Back Eat & Drink » Street Food » Hẻm Gems: Pasteur Street's Well-Hidden Cơm Trưa Mother Lode

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.

When you've lived in Saigon for almost six years it's hard to be surprised by a local lunch spot. You have your go-to favorites, and every now and then you may hear of a stall or cart from a friend. I often forget about these recommendations, but when Alberto, our office street food expert, shared a picture of a cơm trưa spot with piles of goodies, I knew I had to check it out.

Located down the hẻm next to the Liberty Central Hotel on Pasteur Street, this no-name restaurant will impress even the most jaded foodies in town. Walk through the standard dining room to the back and you are greeted by a table covered in an unbelievable number of dishes. If Vietnam celebrated American Thanksgiving, this is what it would look like.

I lost count of the number of dishes (somewhere around 30) and this doesn't even include the self-serve, all-you-can-eat vegetable and soup buffet. Simply tell the cheerful woman manning the rice spoon what you want and she'll serve up a heaping portion to sate even the hungriest of diners.

Name your traditional lunch dish, and they have it. Fried chicken? Yup. Pork belly? Of course. Lemongrass tofu? Absolutely. Cuttlefish? Duh. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

The vegetable selection alone offers enough options for a full meal, making this hidden eatery a must-visit for vegetarians. Salad, stewed eggplant, stir-fried morning glory, sautéed green beans and carrots - it's all there, plus much more.

As incredible as the food selection is, the best part of this hole-in-the-wall is the price: VND35,000 across the board, which includes the aforementioned all-you-can-eat veggies and soup.

Unsurprisingly this true gem is very popular with workers from nearby construction sites and office towers so seating can be hard to come by, but with the kitchen producing enough food for an army you'll never have to worry about missing out on an amazing meal.

To sum up:

Taste: 5/5

Price: 5/5

Atmosphere: 3/5

Friendliness: 5/5

Location: 5/5

Michael has almost no sense of smell and was an on-screen extra in Jurassic World. You can usually find him with a craft beer in hand.

Cơm Trưa Hẻm Pasteur

63/2 Pasteur, D1


Related Articles:

Hẻm Gems: A Perfect Plate of Cơm Trưa by the River

Hẻm Gems: A Pilgrimage To Lunchtime Mecca

Hẻm Gems: District 1's Cơm Trưa Food Court

Related Articles

in Street Food

Hẻm Gems: A Delicious Journey on the Caribbean Clipper at Jamaica Jamaica

By this stage of my life in Saigon, I'm not particularly surprised when an outpost of some unexpected cuisine appears in the unlikeliest of places.

in Street Food

Hẻm Gems: A Direct Flight to Taiwan Through Your Taste Buds

One of the great benefits Vietnam's budget airline boom is the ease with which Saigoneers can now travel directly to wonderful destinations like Japan and South Korea without breaking the bank.

in Street Food

Hẻm Gems: A No-Name Chợ Cũ Food Collective to Satisfy All Your Snack Cravings

Some street eateries in Saigon are so good they don't need a name.

in Street Food

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.

in Street Food

Hẻm Gems: An Expedition to D11's 7-Way Dim Sum Banquet

According to historical legend, dim sum was created along the ancient Silk Road as a snack for weary travelers to enjoy with their tea while resting. On this day, I felt like I had traversed that fabl...

in Street Food

Hẻm Gems: Fine Dining at a Budget Price in Binh Thanh's Mai Sen Bistro

When it comes to dining in Binh Thanh District, most Saigoneers probably think of street food, or perhaps the strip of Japanese establishments on Pham Viet Chanh Street.