Saigoneer

[Video] Hẻm Gems: D5's Drop-Dead Delicious Xôi Mặn

Saigon street food tastes best when the whole experience feels like a secret. Head to some of the city's most successful street carts and there are no place names or proper business hours, no phone numbers, no signage, no menus. In almost mafia-like fashion, all you can do is show up during the designated window of time and hope to find food.

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Hẻm Gems: Eat Your Way Through Nguyen Hue's Secret Street Food Alley

Nguyen Hue's heritage has been badly degraded over the years. Thanks to the city's neverending development, its older buildings have either been torn down, used as air-conditioning unit pedestals or turned into fast food joints. Beyond the ornate lost facades, these architectural changes impact locals who, like the old buildings, are swept away, never to return to the place they have called home for generations.

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Hẻm Gems: A Perfect Saigon Breakfast

Most days, I roll out of bed 15 minutes after my alarm has stopped ringing, stumble downstairs, brush my teeth and leave the house just in time to grab my morning dose of caffeine before heading to the office.

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Hẻm Gems: On Eating (Chicken) Ass

Let’s play a game. I tell you a word and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Here goes: chicken.

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[Video] Hẻm Gems: D4’s Supreme Street Sushi

There’s no shortage of solid international fare in Saigon. From Italian to Japanese, Indian to Korean, local diners are well covered. However, since most options in this category are relegated to indoor enjoyment, we get particularly enthusiastic when we find some solid – and affordable – versions of the same cuisine on Saigon's streets.

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[Video] Hẻm Gems: D1's Not-So-Secret Snail-Grilling Operation

At first glance, Oc Dao looks like a factory. A giant, secret snail-grilling operation tucked behind several twists and turns along a narrow downtown alley, where plates of fresh crustaceans are churned out one after the other and beer crates line the perimeter of the dining area.

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[Video] Hẻm Gems: The Merits of Chè Dim Sum

If we're being real, I would not break an appointment for chè.

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[Video] Hẻm Gems: The Lazy Man's Bánh Xèo

I have a confession to make: my spring roll game is embarrassing.

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[UPDATED] Hẻm Gems: A Return to Saigon's Duck Taco Mecca

After several readers reported that District 2's venerable Tuesday night duck taco outpost was no more, we decided it was time to launch an investigatory expedition to get to the bottom of this. 

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Hẻm Gems: Heavenly Hủ Tiếu on Co Giang

Many count Co Giang Street among their favorite Saigon street food corridors. Featuring a long stretch of stalls, which serve everything from chè and bún riêu to magical bowls of Chinese-style hủ tiếu, Co Giang is a veritable treasure trove of good eats. It’s a fat kid’s dream.

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Hẻm Gems: District 1's Cơm Trưa Food Court

If you've ever driven along Ton Duc Thang during rush hour, there's a strong chance you've almost run over a street food tout just north of the Le Thanh Ton-Nguyen Huu Canh intersection. While I have, for years, considered these people a menace to local traffic, it turns out they were right all along: down the alley behind them, there is food worth dying for.

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