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Exploring Thao Dien: A Guide to Saigon’s Trendiest Neighborhood

Posted by jeanseb on April 29, 2023

If you’re looking for a chic and cosmopolitan neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City, Thao Dien should be at the top of your list. Nestled on the eastern bank of the Saigon River, Thao Dien has become a trendy enclave for expats and locals alike. In this guide, we’ll explore the best that Thao Dien has to offer, from its gourmet food scene to its art galleries and beyond.BIS KINDERGARTEN THAO DIEN

Getting to Thao Dien

Before you can start exploring Thao Dien, you’ll need to know how to get there. Thao Dien is located in District 2, just across the Saigon River from downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The easiest way to get to Thao Dien is by car or taxi. If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to ask the driver to take you to “Thao Dien”. If you’re driving yourself, you can take the Thu Thiem Tunnel from District 1 to District 2. Alternatively, you can cross the Saigon Bridge from Binh Thanh District to District 2. Keep in mind that traffic in Thao Dien can be congested during peak hours, so plan accordingly.

Exploring the Food Scene

One of the main draws of Thao Dien is its diverse and exciting food scene. There are plenty of options to choose from, whether you’re looking for a casual lunch spot or a fancy dinner destination. Here are a few of our top picks:

here are 17 top restaurants in Thao Dien, along with their price ranges:

    1. The Deck Saigon: High-end riverside restaurant serving seafood, Western, and Vietnamese cuisine. Price range: $$$$ (expensive).
    2. La Villa French Restaurant: Romantic restaurant offering classic French cuisine with a Vietnamese twist. Price range: $$$$ (expensive).
    3. Mekong Merchant Saigon: Rustic restaurant serving Vietnamese and western dishes. Price range: $$$ (moderate).
    4. The Vintage Emporium: Quaint cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch dishes. Price range: $$$(affordable).
    5. Hum Vegetarian: Vegetarian restaurant serving Vietnamese and international dishes. Price range: $$ (affordable).
    6. Clay: A fancy fusion restaurant serving asian traditional dishes with a modern twist. Price range: $$$$ (expensive).
    7. Pendolasco: Italian restaurant offering pizzas, pastas, and other Italian favorites. Price range: $$$ (moderate).
    8. L’Herbanyste: A really cool Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant. Price range: $$$ (moderate).Exploring Thao Dien: A Guide to Saigon's Trendiest Neighborhood 5
    9. Hue corner: Vietnamese restaurant serving lunch and dinner. Price range: $$-$$$ (affordable to moderate).
    10. The Loop: Cafe and restaurant serving Western and Vietnamese dishes. Price range: $$$ (affordable).
    11. Bep Vo: Vietnamese restaurant offering traditional dishes in a modern setting. Price range: $$ (affordable).
    12. La Poissonnerie: a seafood restaurant located in Thao Dien that specializes in serving fresh and high-quality seafood dishes. Some of the popular dishes you can expect to find on the menu include:
      Fresh seafood platter, Lobster bisque, Seafood pasta, Grilled fish, Fish and chips. Price range: $$$ (moderate).
    13. Pasta Fresca: Authentic Italian restaurant in Saigon offering the chance to combine your favorite fresh pasta to any of your favorites, among our selections of, homemade sauces… $$$ (moderate).
    14. District Federal: Mexican restaurant. Price range: $$$ (moderate)
    15. La Plancha: Mediterranean restaurant offering tapas, pizzas, and other dishes. Price range:$$$ (moderate).
    16. Cashew cheese : Vegan sandwich store. Price range: $$$ (moderate).
    17. MAD House: Great little spot with an open terrace, green organic decor, and great food. Nice brunch place.



Exploring the Art Scene

Thao Dien is also home to several art galleries and cultural institutions. Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Vin Gallery: Vin Gallery is a contemporary art gallery that showcases the work of emerging and established artists from Vietnam and beyond. With its sleek and modern space, Vin Gallery is a must-visit for anyone interested in the contemporary art scene in Saigon.
  2. Factory Contemporary Arts Centre: The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre is a multi-disciplinary arts space that features exhibitions, performances, and workshops. This cutting-edge institution is a great place to experience the latest in contemporary art and culture.
  3. Salon Saigon: Salon Saigon is a cultural center that celebrates Vietnamese arts and culture. With its program of exhibitions, concerts, and talks, Salon Saigon is a great place to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam.

Exploring the Outdoors

Exploring Thao Dien: A Guide to Saigon's Trendiest Neighborhood 6

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, Thao Dien has plenty of outdoor spaces to explore. Here are a few of our top picks:

  1. Saigon Outcast: Saigon Outcast is an outdoor event space that hosts concerts, film screenings, and other cultural events. With its laid-back vibe and colorful graffiti-covered walls, Saigon Outcast is a great place to relax with friends and enjoy some drinks and snacks.
  2. Thao Dien Village: Thao Dien Village is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Thao Dien. This landscaped park features a lake, walking trails, and plenty of green space for picnics and relaxation.
  3. Saigon River: Of course, no visit to Thao Dien would be complete without a stroll along the Saigon River. The riverfront promenade offers stunning views of the city skyline, and there are plenty of benches and cafes where you can stop and take it all in.
  4. The Thao Dien running loop: If you’re a runner looking for a scenic and convenient route to log some miles, the Thao Dien running loop is a must-try. This 5K loop track follows Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, and Xuan Thuy streets, offering a mix of tree-lined paths and bustling urban areas. Not only does the route provide a picturesque setting for your workout, but it also offers plenty of opportunities to refuel and rehydrate. Along the way, you’ll pass by a variety of cafes and convenience stores where you can grab a quick snack or drink. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just looking for a leisurely jog, the Thao Dien running loop is a great way to explore the neighborhood and stay active.

Exploring the Shopping Scene

Thao Dien is also a great destination for shopping. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion or locally made crafts, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few of our top picks:

  1. Estella Place: It is a luxury shopping mall that features a range of high-end fashion brands and designer boutiques. This is the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy and pick up some stylish souvenirs.
  2. Masteri Thao Dien ‘s Vincom: A similar shopping experience on Thao Dien side, it has a large supermarket at the basement.
  3. If you take a stroll down Thao Dien, Xuan Thuy or Tran Ngoc Dien streets,  you’ll find a myriad of shops that line the streets, offering everything from fashion and accessories to home decor and groceries.


Thao Dien is a vibrant and exciting neighborhood that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in food, art, outdoor activities, or shopping, Thao Dien has it all. So next time you’re in Ho Chi Minh City, be sure to add Thao Dien to your itinerary and explore all that this trendy neighborhood has to offer.

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