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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.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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Saigoneer’s 5 Best Hẻm Gems of 2016

We’ve done a lot of eating this year.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Hẻm Gems: Striking a Balance With D10's Chè

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

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Hẻm Gems: D1's Rainy-Day Cháo Mực

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

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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.

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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...

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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.

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Hẻm Gems: Nguyen Tri Phuong's Chicken Rice Paradise

We promise this will be the last Nguyen Tri Phuong-based Hẻm Gem…for now.

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Hẻm Gems: Conquering the Crab in D10

My uncle used to say that you haven't had real crab until you have to cook and dismantle one. For this week’s Hẻm Gem, Saigoneer takes you on a trip to do just that, relishing real crabs by break...

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Hẻm Gems: Saigon's Original Bò 7 Món

Going to dinner at Au Pagolac is like going to dinner with family. That is, of course, provided your family spans several generations and also serves its meals in crisp, white button-ups and the occas...

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