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Hẻm Gems: The Green Delight of Phu Yen's Bánh Canh Hẹ

In the age of the internet, we go back and forth about everything, including whether or not the most important meal of the day is, in fact, important. While members of the medical profession continue ...

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Hẻm Gems: The Sumptuous Street Snacks of Ha Cao Ban Co

Whether we’re talking about the packaged foods aisle at Circle K or the lady whipping up bánh tráng trộn on the street corner, snack foods often meet two distinct criteria: they are both delicious and...

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Hẻm Gems: An Evening of Bánh Xèo Phan Rang and People-Watching by the Canal

There are certain foods in life that take time to love. Mắm tôm, for instance, or mắm chưng. Any of the mắms, really. Durian, I’m told, is a wonderful fruit on the fourth or fifth try. And while some ...

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Hẻm Gems: A Quick, Delicious, No-Nonsense Lunch at Quan Com Ga Hai Nam

Now that I'm on my fourth chicken-centric Hẻm Gem, I guess I might as well start carrying out these assignments dressed as a chicken.

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Saigon’s First Designated Food Street to Open on Monday

Earlier this year, as District 1 People’s Committee Vice Chairman Doan Ngoc Hai ramped up his sidewalk-clearing campaign, Saigoneers wondered about the fate of the city’s street food vendors. Now, jus...

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Hẻm Gems: Sủi Cảo and Handmade Noodles, a Match Made in Food Heaven

Is this the best mì sủi cảo in Saigon? I don’t know, but it’s pretty goddamn delicious.

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Hẻm Gems: Phieu Ky’s Fantastic Phở Sa Tế

While Pho Phieu Ky’s white walls and fluorescent lighting are nothing special, the hideaway shop in District 5 makes up for its bland color scheme by pasting neon characters – Roman and Chinese – acro...

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Hẻm Gems: Cô Nhi and Chú Den's Humble Nui Xào Bò Cart

At this point in our Hẻm Gem journey, I’ve stopped thinking of us – a two-person team consisting of me and my photographer colleague Brandon – as mere food reviewers, but rather food hunters from hunt...

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Hẻm Gems: Praise Be to Cheap, Tender, Delicious Chicken by the Mosque

Thanks to central Saigon's blistering pace of development and the short-lived sidewalk-clearing campaign of 2017's early months, the downtown area can be something of a street food desert.

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Hẻm Gems: Chef Badeh Brings Syrian Cuisine to Saigon

In the small covered area outside the front door, Chef Badeh brings together two of my favorite things: bread and fire.

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Hẻm Gems: Kickin' It at Kim Thao's Hột Vịt Lộn Hangout

In the thick of rainy season, afternoon snack spots are hard to come by. Street vendors make do with cement-weighted umbrellas and heavily used tarpaulin, carving out (relatively) dry patches on the s...

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Hẻm Gems: In Search of Saigon's Best Home-Cooked Char Kway Teow

Saigon’s street vendors are a special bunch. They come in various shapes, sizes and backgrounds, but all have one raison d'être: creating the most enticing and memorable dishes that leave patrons year...

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Hẻm Gems: The Bowl of Cao Lầu Worth a Run Across the City

Hoi An's cuisine makes a modest appearance in District 7's food paradise.

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Hẻm Gems: The D5 Beefsteak Joint That Means Business

There is no shortage of restaurants slinging beef-based dishes in Saigon, but every now and then one comes along and stands out from the pack.

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Hẻm Gems: Co Huoi and Her West-of-the-Border Delights

One of my favorite Saigon pastimes is wandering around strange neighborhoods. If you’re feeling lost or bored or lonely or just a little too comfortable, have someone drop you off in a district you do...

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Hẻm Gems: The Life-Changing Beauty of Bánh Cuốn Trứng

If I have to drive eight kilometers across the city to get breakfast, it’d better be damn good.

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Hẻm Gems: Pasteur Street's Well-Hidden Cơm Trưa Mother Lode

Every once in a while, you come across a simple Vietnamese restaurant that absolutely blows you away.

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Hẻm Gems: On the Magic of Sidewalk Bánh Xèo

We rolled up to a lone bánh xèo cart on an empty, tree-lined sidewalk in District 1, not far from where DeciBel used to be. The traffic on Dien Bien Phu raced by at the far end of the street, but litt...

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Hẻm Gems: D5's Bò Xào Sa Tế, a Feast for All the Senses

Saigon is changing at a dizzying rate, and so is its food scene: forget about your favorite café or restaurant for a few months and you can come back one day to find it replaced by a convenience store...

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Hẻm Gems: Quan 249’s Wondrous Cơm Chiên Emporium

It’s 6pm on a Thursday, and I’m up to my eyeballs in cơm chiên. Page after page, Quan 249’s excessively handled menu features a laundry list of fried rice combinations, some you’ve heard of, some you ...