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Hẻm Gems: A Bowl of Hanoi's Southern-Style Bún Bò in the South

Fabien from France and Trang from Hanoi led a very different life just a year ago. They were running a Vietnamese restaurant nearly 12,000 kilometers away from Saigon, in Morocco.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lost in the Half-Childlike, Half-Adult World of 'The Little Prince'

Remember the tale about a little boy who travels planet to planet on a quest to discover and retrieve lessons about the adult world? This cafe is yet another untold chapter of that story.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Mexican Simplicity and Zen-Like Tacos in D3

Tacos, and the many meat-and-tortilla variations we often categorize as ‘Mexican cuisine,’ are having a bit of a renaissance in Saigon.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At Thương Library, a Shrine to Leonard Cohen and How the Light Gets In

At the risk of appearing like a pretentious prig, I will begin this Hẻm Gem review with the introduction of a foreign word: the weirdly specific concept of smultronstället.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Hear Us Out, Coconut Milk and Fish Sauce Are Actually Great Together

There are few problems and little mediocrity that can’t be improved with an unctuous ladle of coconut milk.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gem: In D5, Spicy Phá Lấu Skewers Worth Suffering Traffic For

Saigon has a wonderful tropical climate with two seasons: dry and wet. As the cold weather approaches, chasing the blazing heat away, we all crave for some hot and steamy dishes to keep warm.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Come for the Architecture, Stay for the Architecture

In an age when seemingly every building in Saigon has been knocked down for redevelopment at least once, it's rare to be able to spend time in a truly unique architectural gem.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In a D1 Corner, a Heated Battle Between Yellow Noodles and Red Noodles

At the northernmost end of Saigon’s bustling District 1, the end of Hai Ba Trung Street leading to Phu Nhuan District is known best for heavy rush hour traffic. But a curious textbook case of an Asian...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: On the Road to Ruin, From Budapest to Binh Thanh

The southern edge of Binh Thanh is one of Saigon’s most fascinating areas. More cosmopolitan than the district would have you believe, its maze-like streets hold a heady mix of different influences. W...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Madam Oyster Proves that Taiwanese Food Is More Than Just Milk Tea

Arguably one of the most underrated cuisines in Asia, Taiwanese fare has remained under the radar in Saigon for a long time, even though Taiwanese business owners were among the first foreign business...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cam Cam Kafe and the Fujian Pagoda That Inspired Its Name

I wish I could claim that I discovered Cam Cam Kafe by myself. Tucked away in a corner unit up the second floor of a nondescript apartment in District 5, the coffee shop seems mostly undetectable from...

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: On Eating Greek With Chopsticks

Who says excellent Greek food can't be served on the same menu as Korean tofu along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal?

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Canal Cafe and Bar as Rustic as Its Name Promises

Driving leisurely along Hoang Sa Street, I stopped in front of a small coffee shop called Lao Hac — a retro-style cafe that's hidden behind the perennial flowering vines within sight of Nhieu Loc...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: On the Hunt for Succulent Seared Chicken in an Old French Apartment

As far as urban nooks go, exploring Saigon’s apartment buildings is perhaps the best way to discover new hangouts, Instagrammable corners and amazing views of the city.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Tried-and-True Singaporean-Style Hainanese Chicken Rice in D4

Every foodie who has visited the island-nation of Singapore has probably heard about about a local specialty known as Hainanese chicken rice. With a Michelin star and Michelin Bib Gourmand title, ...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lured by the Promise of 7-Way Noodles, We Found Delicious Dim Sum in D5

Come for the seven-way noodles, stay for the dim sum.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At Ngọt Cafe, a Treasure Trove of Saigon's Childhood Snacks and Knick-Knacks

To me, Saigon is not just a city, it is the people, the lifestyle and the cafés.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Old-School 'Take It or Leave It' Nam Dinh Phở in District 3

Pho Dau captures the essence of the Nam Dinh soul food that the owner brought with her to Saigon six decades ago.

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Hẻm Gems: Northern-Style Miến Lươn Is a Magical Saigon Breakfast

Mien Luon Cho Ben Thanh was the final destination in my parents’ 20-year quest to find an authentic northern miến lươn in Saigon.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Set an Alarm, We're Waking up Early for Dim Sum in D11

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...