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Ngõ Nooks: The Deep-Fried Satisfaction of Steamy Bánh Gối

Thanks to being born and bred in Hanoi, I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the city. That said, there are more “loves” than “hates” on my list, and street food in Hanoi plays a huge part in the former category. Moreover, as a food lover, I’ve been feasting in the capital since the moment I learned how to cycle around and find the finest vendors. One snack, in particular, remains one of my all-time-favorites: bánh gối (fried pillows).

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Banana Leaves Make Glorious Comeback in Supermarkets Across Vietnam

After straws, Vietnam’s anti-plastic movement now has a new target: plastic grocery wraps.

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Ngõ Nooks: Immerse Yourself in the Traditional Architecture of Cafe Nha San

Nestled deep in a dead-end street reached through a warren of alleyways from an almost impossible-to-see entrance is an ancient-looking building. This stunning traditional Vietnamese stilt-house is one of the few remaining structures of its kind in the capital, and houses one of Hanoi’s most inimitable cafes.

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Ngõ Nooks: Sumptuous Xôi From One of Hanoi's Friendliest Street Food Vendors

If you live in Vietnam, then you’ll already know how vital rice is here, and the role it plays in almost every meal we eat.

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The Familial Vietnamese Ritual of Making Spring Rolls

Nem rán (fried spring rolls), or just nem for short, has been a part of life in Hanoi since forever. Whenever I think of this dish, I think of my mother. That is because only nem made at home by my mother is the really best nem. That is something ingrained in me since I was still a child.

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Ngõ Nooks: Vintage Sound Systems and Birds of Prey Coexist in Café Nhac Xua

A quaint melody drifts out of Nhac Xua and over to one side of West Lake, where café owner Nguyen Duy Binh and I sit. The calming, classical, Vietnamese-style guitar-driven music, is soothing.

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Ngõ Nooks: The Dish That Smells Like Regret but Tastes Like Happiness

If you’re a food lover, there is one dirt-cheap, aromatic Hanoi snack that you must try: bún đậu mắm tôm.

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Ngõ Nooks: Crispy Fried Eels Complete This Warming Winter Soup

I am Hanoi’s hungriest tourist; and the capital welcomes me into its flavorsome, umami-rich warmth with open arms.

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Da Lat, the Unlikely Home of El Salvador's Rare Pacamara Coffee Beans

In a previous life, Nguyen Van Son was an auto parts salesperson. As a gift of appreciation for his wife, he acquired a seemingly trivial plot of land in Da Lat and made it a place where the family could cultivate flowers as a summer hobby. But things changed when he was approached by some cunning businessmen who convinced him to grow coffee for quick cash: he was sold trees that never produced cherries.

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Ngõ Nooks: De Tam Café Adds a Contemporary Touch to a Familiar Retro Aesthetic

As soon as you walk into De Tam’s leafy entrance courtyard, a familiar vintage theme becomes apparent. An entire wall is covered in shelves containing over 100 film cameras and lenses, while record players and old radios adorn almost every table inside. Yet the stylish, at times contemporary, approach to décor prevents this new haunt from feeling like another contrived addition to an already over-saturated aesthetic.  

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A History of Rice Wine, Part 2: A Traditional Craft Slowed to a Trickle

Rose-tinted shades and long swept-back hair tickling the collar of a half-unbuttoned maroon shirt that revealed a dangling peace-sign pendant: at age 27, Minh was the epitome of 70s Saigon cool. More than that, though, he was one the most famous rice wine producers in Long An, a province renowned for its traditional liquor production. After he moved from the big city to his wife’s home village, her family discovered his natural talent and passed on their distilling knowledge which he spent decades perfecting.

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