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Hẻm Gems: A Cuppa in Saigon's Oldest Cafe

One of the first things Co Suong does when we sit down in the back of her tiny District 3 cafe is bring out the newspaper clippings.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Getting Lost in D3’s Soup Bermuda Triangle

During a busy Thursday lunch hour, my coworker and I commit a soup drive-by.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Ky Dong's 40-Year-Old Phở Gà Oasis

If you’re ever lost in District 3, Ky Dong’s famous phở gà place will be the oasis you need in those trying times.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lão Hương Thân, One of Saigon's Oldest Cơm Gà Xối Mỡ Restaurants

Is there anything quite as glorious as beautifully done fried chicken?

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Hẻm Gems: Bún Sứa Serves Up a Jellyfish Medley Without the Sting

The menu at Bun Sua Co Hanh is geared towards diners with a hankering for seafood, and not just your regular fish and company. They serve something out of the ordinary at this slightly drab river...

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Hẻm Gems: Slurping Mì Ốc Hến in District 4 With Công 'the Enforcer'

Shuffling along in flip-flops and a pair of baggy shorts, Công the Enforcer arrives at our table.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

[Video] Hẻm Gems: A Long-Anticipated Bowl of D10's Pre-Eminent Duck Noodles

Rarely have I gone into a meal with such anticipation.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Trip to the Chessboard for Lang Son’s Sweet and Sour Dry Phở

There’s not much you can say about phở that hasn't already been said. From its complicated origin to its deliciousness to its ubiquity on Saigon’s streets, the subject has been covered ...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Saigon’s Original Bánh Mì Breakfast

I am a lifetime supporter of the sandwich.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Dessert Happy Hour at Quynh Hoa

Just as rush hour traffic starts to pick up around me, motorbikes zipping back and forth down the wide alley, I send a message to my coworker.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Good Bánh Bèo Comes to Those Who Wait

The most memorable eating experiences are the ones that take time. Of all the meals Saigon’s sidewalks can offer, the best require a pilgrimage to some faraway district and a series of trial-and-error...

Khoi Pham

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[Video] Hẻm Gems: Fish Balls, Curry and Noodle Soup, a Perfect Storm

Some may say that good things in life come when you least expect them, and from my encounter with this week’s Hem Gem – curry fish balls and noodles – you can count me in as a firm believer in this pa...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Enter the Bánh Đúc Jungle

While many of our culinary adventures take us out of our downtown comfort zone, there are a few gems hidden among the office buildings and skyscrapers of District 1.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: For Good Phở in Saigon, a Dollar Is All You Need

You can really stretch a dollar in this country. That's two cà phê sữa đá or two bánh mì, a couple liters of bia hơi, a xe ôm ride, a well-bargained souvenir, enough snacks to constitute a meal or a s...

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Hẻm Gems: The Best Bún Chả in Hanoi…in Saigon

The weather was truly Hanoian earlier this week. Outside, rain fell in sheets, flooding the pockmarked alley outside our office door. The sun had disappeared. Though a few particularly photo-obsessed ...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Maison Marou: The House That Chocolate Built

Across from Ben Thanh Market sits a massive, open pit that will eventually serve as the base for a set of gleaming, modern towers housing the likes of a six-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel. But just beyond th...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Legend of Baby African

You'll have to clear an afternoon to get to Baby African.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

[Video] Hẻm Gems: The Long but Worthwhile Wait for Xôi Chiên

They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. In the case of the elusive xôi chiên, they're right.

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Hẻm Gems: Binh Thanh's Delectable Bánh Căn

Located on a busy street in Binh Thanh District, Hai Ton Quan is a small, family-run restaurant that serves up Phan Rang-style cuisine, that glorious mixture of tasty, golden-brown rice cakes and fres...

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[Video] Hẻm Gems: D5’s Glorious Goat Curry

One of the benefits or writing this column is that it allows us to sample some of Saigon’s best local eateries. We may be well versed in the ways of street noshing, but once in a blue moon, we come ac...