Saigoneer

Hẻm Gems: Bánh Căn and the Elixir of Life

In the world of hẻm gems, gritty is a good thing. The more battered the tables, the more precarious the seating, the more dubious the location, the more we feel at one with the chaos of Saigon street life.

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Hẻm Gems: We Found Xôi Gà in a Hopeless Place

Stand outside a market at closing time and you'll bear witness to the daily routines of its swift, unceremonious demise. After sunset, Binh Thanh District's Ba Chieu Market transforms before your eyes from a vibrant center of activity to a ghost town of empty street stalls, rubbish and unusual smells. Like turning on the lights after a wild Saturday night, it ain't pretty.

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Hẻm Gems: Tan Dinh's Hue Food Heaven

The area around Hue O Xuan is pretty busy, making it easy to miss the address amid its neverending traffic. Though the local chain that takes up two storefronts opposite Tan Dinh Market at 18 Nguyen Huu Cau sits pretty much empty during the afternoon, it's a madhouse in the early mornings and at night, when dozens upon dozens of diners turn up for a taste of Hue's finest.

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Hẻm Gems: An Assembly Line of Bún Thịt Nướng

After warming up our tastebuds with last week's bột chiên, we continued exploring the wonders of Thi Nghe's evening street food scene. Amid the sinh tố shops, snack carts and rice stalls, my nomming companion and I set our sights on the eye-catching bún thịt nướng operation at 38 Huynh Dinh Cua.

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Hẻm Gems: Thi Nghe's Gold Mine of Snacks

We found a hẻm gem goldmine.

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Hẻm Gems: A Pilgrimage To Lunchtime Mecca

Lately, we've been having these midday cravings in the office. When lunchtime hits, it's all we can do to find a spot that truly matches our gluttony. That's right: we, at Saigoneer, are devout eaters. Give us a good cơm trưa spot and we will lay waste to every kind of meat and veggies on offer. And while the options for midday dining are plentiful, we are forever in search of the holy grail of lunchtime eateries, that glorious place where you can have you pick of any and every cơm trưa dish under the sun.

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Hẻm Gems: The Best Bò Kho in the Business

This week, there was a rumor going around in our office about the best bò kho in the city. Because we take food very seriously at Saigoneer, I took it upon myself to determine the accuracy of this statement.

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Hẻm Gems: The Lunch Lady You Haven't Met

In Saigon, there is no such thing as a one-stop shop. It's part of the city's charm: coffee in one place, lunch in another, dessert three blocks down and two alleys away. You can turn a single outing into a full day's adventure, provided you know where to go.

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Hẻm Gems: Chuối Nếp Nướng, A Cure For The Hangry

When it comes to southern urban chow, there's lots to talk about. From Go Vap to Nha Be, Hoc Mon to Binh Chanh and everywhere in between, Saigon is full of tasty snacks often hidden in plain sight. And when you stumble upon the perfect mid-afternoon treat, it is your right – nay, your responsibility – not to let that opportunity go to waste: if fate has brought you to delicious southern Vietnamese street food, you must pig out.

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Hẻm Gems: Hủ Tiếu With A Side Of Attitude

You know those vendors who are so good at what they do that no matter how rotten they may be to their customers, people still turn up in droves? Fickle as the world of street food may be, at the end of the day it's a full tummy that counts. So, without further ado, I introduce to you the steaming hot goodness of what I like to call Arrogant Hủ Tiếu, buried 200 meters down the alley at 172 Ly Chinh Thang Street.

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Hẻm Gems: An Ode to Chef Nguyen's Legendary Chicken Rice

Rice is a very serious matter in Vietnam. Sweet or savoury, steamed or fried, you do not mess with the staple of local cuisine. Hidden somewhere within District 3's charming Ban Co Market, Chef Nguyen's legendary cơm gà xối mỡ, or fried rice with fried chicken, is no joke.

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BUDX HCMC