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Hẻm Gems: It's a Pagoda, It's a Restaurant, It's Superb Vegetarian Food

The revered 92-year-old Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh sums up his teachings on food and the first meal of the day like this: “I asked some children, 'What is the purpose of eating breakfast...

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Hẻm Gems: For the Love of Hanoian Snacks and Streetside Iced Tea

During the day, the dining area at 89 Nguyen Du houses a bún bò restaurant, but once the afternoon comes to an end and the sun starts to set, the area turns into a boisterous nhậu spot filled with nor...

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Hẻm Gems: A Direct Flight to Taiwan Through Your Taste Buds

One of the great benefits Vietnam's budget airline boom is the ease with which Saigoneers can now travel directly to wonderful destinations like Japan and South Korea without breaking the bank.

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Hẻm Gems: The Comfort of Slurping Vegetarian Noodles on the Pavement

Tien, who’s been up since 4am, stops for a moment, lets out a small sigh of satisfaction and wipes the sweat from her brow with the well-used towel around her neck. It’s now 7:45am on another hot, hum...

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Hẻm Gems: Nhậu and Forming Friendships the Laotian Way in Saigon

“Here we go, I’m gonna do it,” I proclaim to a table of eight friends. On the tip of my chopsticks is a single ant egg, the “pearl of the forest” as some call it. Instead of ending in a dramatic burst...

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Hẻm Gems: Finding Your Path at a Downtown Vegan Buffet

Peaceful music that chimes with joy, monks that greet you with smiles, and a delectable donation-based vegan buffet — it's a little heaven on earth. Well, heaven underneath a derelict building on Ton ...

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Hẻm Gems: A Bowl of Tripe Noodles That Takes You Straight to Hong Kong

In the public discourse surrounding beef and its culinary application, more often than not there’s barely any space for tripe.

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Hẻm Gems: Where Chay Alter Egos of Vietnam's Everyday Soups Reign

My first-ever vegetarian dish, long before I followed a plant-based diet, was hủ tiếu chay, and since then it has been my go-to order when trying a new restaurant. Besides, you definitely cannot go wr...

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Hẻm Gems: One Family's Unexpected Outpost at the Foot of Langbiang

Lac Duong, a township 12 kilometers north of central Da Lat, isn't exactly a place where one would expect to find some international comfort.

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Hẻm Gems: Making Good Life Decisions With Midday Rice Wine and Hanoi Deep-Fried Food

The Subcommittee for Sustainable Fishing? The Office of Dipterocarp Record-Keeping? The Directorate of Synthetic Rubber Quality Control? Ride-Share Hygiene Board? It was difficult to assess who exactl...

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Hẻm Gems: A Masterful Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki in Binh Thanh

An honest-to-god Japanese izakaya is a beautiful thing. Dark and smoky, often decked out in wood furnishings and yellowing travel posters, its flawless blend of bar and restaurant often involves nothi...

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Hẻm Gems: Mexican Simplicity and Zen-Like Tacos in D3

Tacos, and the many meat-and-tortilla variations we often categorize as ‘Mexican cuisine,’ are having a bit of a renaissance in Saigon.

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Hẻm Gems: Hear Us Out, Coconut Milk and Fish Sauce Are Actually Great Together

There are few problems and little mediocrity that can’t be improved with an unctuous ladle of coconut milk.

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Hẻm Gem: Spicy Phá Lấu Skewers Worth Suffering Traffic For

Saigon has a wonderful tropical climate with two seasons: dry and wet. As the cold weather approaches, chasing the blazing heat away, we all crave for some hot and steamy dishes to keep warm.

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Hẻm Gems: In a D1 Corner, a Heated Battle Between Yellow Noodles and Red Noodles

At the northernmost end of Saigon’s bustling District 1, the end of Hai Ba Trung Street leading to Phu Nhuan District is known best for heavy rush hour traffic. But a curious textbook case of an Asian...

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Hẻm Gems: At Madam Oyster, Two Brothers Prove that Taiwanese Food Is More Than Just Milk Tea

Arguably one of the most underrated cuisines in Asia, Taiwanese fare has remained under the radar in Saigon for a long time, even though Taiwanese business owners were among the first foreign business...

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Hẻm Gems: On Eating Greek With Chopsticks

Who says excellent Greek food can't be served on the same menu as Korean tofu along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal?

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Hẻm Gems: On the Hunt for Succulent Seared Chicken in an Old French Apartment

As far as urban nooks go, exploring Saigon’s apartment buildings is perhaps the best way to discover new hangouts, Instagrammable corners and amazing views of the city.

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Hẻm Gems: Tried-and-True Singaporean-Style Hainanese Chicken Rice in D4

Every foodie who has visited the island-nation of Singapore has probably heard about about a local specialty known as Hainanese chicken rice. With a Michelin star and Michelin Bib Gourmand title, ...

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Hẻm Gems: Lured by the Promise of 7-Way Noodles, We Found Delicious Dim Sum in D5

Come for the seven-way noodles, stay for the dim sum.

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