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Hẻm Gems: A Trip to Bàn Cờ for Lạng Sơn’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 ...

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Hẻm Gems: Trứng's Divine Flan Is What Happens When Saigon Dreams of Japanese Desserts

My slight obsession with Japanese-style flan started in Tokyo, but it’s taken on a new life here in Saigon.

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Hẻm Gems: Milo Dầm Is Decadence, Childhood and Street Culture in a Spoon

Growing up in Saigon before the surge of foreign dessert trends like milk tea, cheese tarts, and bingsu, the humble and affordable Milo powder found in almost every grocery store and street vendor was...

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Hẻm Gems: Dì Út Tells Her Family's Indian-Vietnamese Story via Tasty Bò Kho

The arrival of the rainy season in Saigon has left me craving for hot meals to beat the cold, damp weather. I was on my way home from work in the aftermath of a bout of rain one day and found myself i...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At Bún Thang 50, Unexpected Hanoi Flavors in a Phú Nhuận Corner

When I was growing up in California, every couple of months, plastic containers of sliced fried egg, chicken, and chả lụa would line the kitchen counter. This medley of ingredients would usually mean ...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Chuối Nếp Nướng That You Can't Find on Google Maps

Before the birth of TikTok and food review channels, many Saigoneers already grew up with their own set of staple food gems. As a youngster, I would visit the city's familiar, delicious food stalls wi...

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Hẻm Gems: The 40-Year-Old Phở Gà in Kỳ Đồng, Now Michelin-Approved

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

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Hẻm Gems: In Bàn Cờ Market, Cô Vân's Cút Lộn Sốt Me Offers Fortune and Flavor

It would be a grave sin to discuss Saigon’s street food scene without a proper mention of vịt lột.

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Hẻm Gems: At a Corner of Nguyễn Văn Linh, Saigon's Best Korean Cold Noodles

Much like a stereotypical meet-cute in a romantic comedy, the majority of my most memorable food experiences often involve a faux pas of varying degrees of humiliation.

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Hẻm Gems: In a Saigon Hẻm Lives a House for Rare Regional Delights

One fine day a few months ago, I embarked on a search for the flavors of faraway lands across Vietnam, all of which are present in a hẻm in the middle of Saigon.

Paul Christiansen

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cà Phê Sữa and Cơm Tấm With a Side of Espionage History

Kimchi is not a common cơm tấm accouterment. The extra helping of chili pepper heat, palate-cleansing bitterness and cabbage leaf crunch doesn't taste out of place beside a fully loaded plate of broke...

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Hẻm Gems: Tân Định's Tried-and-True Bánh Canh Cua for a Late Breakfast

Bánh canh, at times described as Vietnamese udon or even “mouse-tail noodles,” is a great mystery on its own. Etymologically speaking, bánh canh translates to “soup-cake,” and these thick, cylindrical...

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Hẻm Gems: The Midnight Hủ Tiếu Only for Saigon's Most Patient Night Owls

As a Saigonese who has lived abroad for half of her life, I have a huge craving for hủ tiếu khô (dry noodles), my go-to breakfast meal and a dish my family always made sure to get on our way to my mot...

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Hẻm Gems: Tiệm Cơm Ninh Giang, a 'Secret' Hakka Feast Only for Those in the Know

I first heard about Tiệm Cơm Ninh Giang 寧江客家飯店  from some Hoa friends in the city.

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Hẻm Gems: From a Historic D5 Shophouse, An Duyên Serves up Tasty Chợ Lớn Classics

An Duyên Chợ Lớn transcends Chợ Lớn quán stereotypes of rustic mom-and-pops with rickety amenities to provide a comfortable dining experience, made memorable thanks to aesthetically pleasing décor and...

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Saigoneer's Picks of Saigon's 5 Best Cafes to Poop At

What brings you to coffee shops? Novelty beverages, mellow playlists, a feeling of home, proximity, or just simply convenience — all are valid attributes that have endeared me to many of my favorite c...

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Hẻm Gems: We Found Huế's Roast Pork Chè in Saigon, but It's Complicated.

When the parent ingredients are such top-tier performers in their respective categories, it’s natural to feel disappointed that the resulting combination is so subpar.

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Hẻm Gems: Bún Bò Đà Nẵng Will Change How You Feel About Bún Bò in Saigon

Have you ever wondered who named our food? Oftentimes I do, and I daydream of traveling back in time to those monumental moments in the past when a famous dish or ingredient earned its title to slap s...

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Hẻm Gems: A Cafe-Snack Bar Hybrid in Bình Thạnh Offers Portals to Japanese Nostalgia

Bình Thạnh’s Ward 19 is snuggled between Xô Viết Nghệ Tĩnh and Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, creating a surprisingly quiet area just across from District 1. As a neighborhood, it offers an eclectic mix of local an...

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Hẻm Gems: Café Slow Cultivates a Natural Habitat for Creature Comforts

It's incredibly challenging to set yourself apart in Ho Chi Minh City's overcaffeinated café scene. The city's narrow streets and hẻms are brimming with beans.