Hẻm Gems: Saigon’s 100-Year-Old Vegetarian Quán

A mellow hideaway amidst the hastening traffic near Ben Thanh Market, Tin Nghia vegetarian restaurant is a time capsule.

Little things once a common sight in Saigon are scattered throughout the humble shop. From the way you place your order, writing down each dish on the provided piece of paper, to the way the room is laid out as a home, complete with a dimly lit ancestral shrine and an engraved wooden lintel above the door frame, every facet of this 100-year-old house is infused with history. Every corner of Tin Nghia takes me back to my childhood: the plastic, floral tablecloths and brown ceramic chopstick holders are straight out of 1980s Saigon.

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