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.

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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 when the food is amazing?

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Hẻm Gems: Beef and Booze at Lau Bo Co Thao

The alley where 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 other is lined with modest storefronts half-obscured by tattered awnings.

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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 streets start to run together, blurring into a mess of awnings and neon signs, plastic furniture and noisy, fearless touts.

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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 chunks of sườn nướng.

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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 a sea of tamarind, represent a collection of highly snackable, bite-sized morsels that pair well with evenings on the sidewalk, long, extended periods of eating, and ice-filled glasses of Saigon Red.

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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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