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Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Chicken Noodles in Phu Nhuan's Flower Neighborhood

Located deep in the heart of Phu Nhuan District’s “flower” neighborhood, Mi Ga Lua Hong offers up a solid addition to Saigon’s host of chicken-centric dishes: a fried chicken drumstick with dry, green...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: An Expedition to D2's Hole-in-the-Wall Mexican Joint

On the modest patio in front of Simple Place, a charming little hole-in-the-wall in District 2, my Spanish coworker Victor launches into a stirring speech about tacos.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Bún Bò Breakfast in D3

Tucked away in a narrow storefront along District 3’s Nguyen Thien Thuat is a mean bowl of breakfast bún bò Huế.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cô Khanh's Vegetarian Banquet and a Trip Down Memory Lane

On days when the thought of biting into a slab of greasy fried pork fills your gut with mild disgust, Saigon’s scores of vegetarian eateries are exactly what you need to cleanse your palate.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Grilled Chicken With a Side of Jet Fuel

In the pantheon of great street food locations in Saigon, many of my favorite places to chow down can barely even be considered restaurants. Is there really a need for four walls and real furniture wh...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Beef and Booze at Lau Bo Co Thao

The alley where cô Thao has set up shop isn’t worth remembering. A high concrete wall runs down one side, reflecting the sun that’s sapping our energy on this hot, dusty Friday afternoon, while the ot...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Refreshing Chè at Hiển Khánh, a 60-Year-Old Retro Hangout

Relishing a bowl of assorted chè at Thach Che Hien Khanh is more than just an afternoon spent shooting the breeze with friends, it’s also a trip down memory lane and an exploration into Saigon’s herit...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Loriekot’s Filipino Fare in the Heart of Saigon

In Saigon, there are plenty of places you don’t see when you’re breezing by on a motorbike. If you are (hopefully) focused on the road ahead, the narrow shopfronts and modest quán lining most Saigon s...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Perfect Plate of Cơm Trưa by the River

In Saigon, cơm trưa is more than just a meal: it’s also a cultural trait, a community and, at times, a serious business, all wrapped up in a plate of freshly cooked rice and perfectly caramelized chun...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lunch Hour Gone Rogue at Oc Thao

In the vast and complex world of Saigon street food, ốc is generally classified as a staple of the fourth meal: nhậu. Its various forms, whether doused in garlic, drizzled with mỡ hành or swimming in ...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Saigoneer’s 5 Best Hẻm Gems of 2016

We’ve done a lot of eating this year.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Getting Your Fried Chicken and Noodle Fix in D4

“When in doubt, have chicken.” – Saigoneer proverb

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cô Hong’s Killer Late-Night Cơm Tấm

In the 16 years she’s spent selling cơm tấm on the District 4 side of the Calmette Bridge, cô Hong has seen some things.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Phu Nhuan's Beef Inferno

It might take more than a few Hẻm Gem reviews to chronicle all the things I have gone through for good food in Saigon.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Striking a Balance With D10's Chè

If life is all about balance so, too, is food.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: D1's Rainy-Day Cháo Mực

“A cháo a day keeps the cold at bay.” – Saigoneer proverb

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: An Old-School Nhậu on D10's Bia Hơi Block

Any self-respecting Saigoneer has a certain reverence for the art of nhậu.

Brian Letwin

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Crab Curry Fit for a King

At a glance, this week’s District 4 Hẻm Gem might appear like any typical ốc restaurant in Saigon. Quan Oc 63’s laminated menu offers up no less than 40 dishes within its sticky plastic pages. However...

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Nguyen Thuong Hien's Quaint Corner Juice Heaven

In Saigon, when life gives you grapefruits, you create a thriving business to sell its juice to health-conscious locals.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: D1's Bún Mọc Assembly Line

We leave our office in search of District 1’s famed phở áp chảo only to find bún mọc in a hopeless place.