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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 ...

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Hẻm Gems: To Chan's Noodle Soup Offers Comfort in a Bowl

If you turn up to a hủ tiếu spot anywhere in this city and there is not a hand-painted, wooden noodle cart taking up one corner of the venue, you may want to think twice about sitting down.

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Hẻm Gems: D5's Glorious Com Tam Is the Perfect Drunk Food

Saigon is a city of a million cơm tấm carts, meaning it is easy to pick one at random and chow down. But some stand out from the crowd.

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Hẻm Gems: 60 Years of Guangdong-Style Chinese Food in Chợ Cũ

Besides being the “it” place to obtain imported goods, Saigon’s chợ cũ, or Old Market, is also a treasure trove of hidden eateries.

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Hẻm Gems: Anh Tư's Dreamy Grilled Chicken in Binh Thanh

Around the Saigoneer office I've become the go-to scribe when it comes to chicken-related Hẻm Gems. Therefore, when a friend described a Binh Thanh-based restaurant with dozens of chickens hanging abo...

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Hẻm Gems: An Excursion to Tan Dinh's Secret Bún Hideout

Life is slow in the jungle of hẻms that branches out from Dinh Cong Trang Street. Here, a bún establishment offers noodles of northern heritage using recipes handed down through generations of family....

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Hẻm Gems: The Balanced Beauty of Bacon and Fried Rice

Our dining experience at A Lung was remarkably simple: there was no turning back when we saw bacon on the menu.

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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...

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Hẻm Gems: Anh Hoai, Master of Italian Cuisine (and Awesome)

You should know before you visit his establishment that anh Hoai is a consummate professional.

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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.

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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.