Best Restaurants in Thao Dien in Saigon’s District 2
When people first visit or move to Saigon, they are often surprised by the incredible range of culinary options at their disposal. Vietnam has for a long time offered a heady variety of delicious dishes of its own, and that is still the case. But additionally, over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the quality and quantity of international cuisine in Vietnam. The best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City can match those found anywhere else in Asia, and there are a dizzying number of options offering fantastic food for all tastes and budget levels.
To zoom in further, as a foreigner living in Vietnam’s largest city, you are likely at some point to at least consider the option of residing in Thao Dien - the most expat-heavy area of Saigon’s rapidly developing District 2. With plenty of western amenities and familiar languages to be found there, it is easy to forget where you are when exploring this part of the city. As well as being perhaps the least chaotic place to live in Saigon, the best restaurants in Thao Dien also make the area very attractive to foreign residents (and plenty of upwardly mobile Vietnamese locals).
Perhaps you already live in Thao Dien, or maybe you are curiously exploring the possibility of doing so. You may simply be looking to find great food in District 2 while staying elsewhere in Ho Chi Minh City. No matter which applies to you, enjoy our guide to the best restaurants in Saigon’s Thao Dien in District 2 and please put it to good use to fill your bellies!
Pendolasco is well known as one of the best Italian restaurants in Thao Dien and all of Saigon. Established in 1998, we’re always confident about receiving a superb family-style Italian experience at Pendolasco. If you prefer to stay at home, then they offer their excellent PendoGo service for quick and quality delivery of delicious Italian pizza and more to Districts 1-4 and Binh Thanh. Dining in, we love the choice of enjoying the lovely ambience of their garden area or a little more intimacy and cosiness inside.
Established in 1998, Pendolasco has perfected their menu over time to offer mouthwatering classic Italian food to the citizens of Saigon. Whether it’s a wide range of quality pizzas, homemade pasta, juicy steaks, or teasing desserts, Pendolasco does everything in style. Since it is one of the most welcoming family friendly restaurants in Thao Dien, there are also suitably portioned and priced options for kids, with hilarious dish names such as “I Don’t Care” and “I Don’t Want That” - we love it!
If you need your fix of quality Italian food in Thao Dien, you can’t go wrong with Pendolasco.
Image source: Pendolasco
La Villa French Restaurant
When you’re seeking that extraordinary fine dining experience in Saigon, look no further than La Villa French Restaurant in Thao Dien. Upon entering La Villa, literally a beautiful villa, you are transported to an elegant throwback to classic French restaurant styling. You just know that you’re about to participate in something exceptional.
La Villa’s owner and head chef, Thierry Mounon, has created a menu of French gastronomical wonder - full of creativity and exquisitely crafted dishes. Whether it’s the signature Beef Tenderloin with pan fried foie gras and morel sauce, roasted Brittany Lobster, or Chocolate Pastilla with banana sorbet, you are sure to be wowed by the incredible food on offer at La Villa.
Of course, for this kind of quality, you should expect to pay accordingly, but your outlay is sure to result in a truly memorable dining experience. Consider La Villa French Restaurant for your next special occasion - it certainly deserves its place in the eyes of many as the best restaurant in Thao Dien and Saigon.
Image source: La Villa French Restaurant
The Snap Cafe
We at City Pass Guide have always been a big fan of this casual yet quality Thao Dien restaurant. The Snap Cafe is great in groups and also for solo meals, as it’s quiet enough to get some work or reading done, and the atmosphere is comfortable and spacious. As for the food, we have to say that the vegetarian burger is homemade to perfection. The vegetarian chili is also very tasty, although quite small, so it’s probably not for the ravenous eater.
The Snap Cafe currently runs a burger special every Wednesday, which includes two free drinks of choice if you order any gourmet burger. Go early if you’re with a larger group, though, as it does tend to get a bit packed. It’s worth noting this is one of only a few places we can find HP Brown Sauce in Saigon, which is a classic and favourite condiment from the U.K.
Check out their Facebook page for other drink and food specials, and also look out for live bands often playing on Saturday nights. This restaurant doesn’t have a play area for kids, but it is definitely family-friendly, making it an ideal staple for all in Thao Dien.
Image source: facebook.com/TheSnapCafe
Bep Vo Kitchen
Although this Thao Dien restaurant is tiny and a bit away from the main roads, it is consistently packed on weeknights. Known as a popular hangout among expats due to its delicious and affordable fare, Bep Vo is also a perfect place for digital nomads or freelancers to enjoy a meal while doing a bit of work.
The Bep Vo menu is a range of local Vietnamese dishes at prices just above street vendor options. We’re a big fan of the vegetarian noodle bowl and summer rolls (you can consider swapping the noodles for rice), although we personally don’t go for the sandwich when hungry, as it’s just a bit too small. The menu options here are not particularly ideal for vegetarians (only two choices), so bare that in mind when choosing your options from the best restaurants in Thao Dien.
Image source: facebook.com/bepvokitchen
Those of you seeking a classy, but not too fancy, venue for dining out in Thao Dien will likely love the Mekong Merchant. Its excellent location in the centre of town certainly makes it one of the most popular Thao Dien restaurants around. The menu offers some incredible western food (we highly recommend the brunch) and also contains an extensive wine list, making it a great location for intimate date nights or social meals with friends.
The cobblestoned outdoor seating area is beautifully decorated with fairy lights and wicker lamps, which certainly complement the overall vibe of this District 2 restaurant in Saigon. Pet lovers note: Mekong Merchant is definitely one of a number of dog friendly restaurants in Thao Dien!
Image source: mekongmerchant.com
Tucked away off the main Thao Dien street sits An Cafe, which happens to be one of the prettiest Thao Dien restaurants on this list. This quality Vietnamese restaurant has a rustic yet classic vibe and will instantly calm the minds of all who enter the premises.
An Cafe’s inviting space is packed to the brim with greenery and Buddhist relics and is a perfect escape from the traffic-heavy street on which it is located. The service is good, but it does tend to take a bit longer than some other contenders on this list, so keep that in mind if you’re on a time crunch. We love the vegetarian banh xeo, possibly our favourite of its kind in Saigon, although pretty much everything we’ve sampled here has been on the money.
Image source: facebook.com/ancafesaigon
This classy yet welcoming Thao Dien restaurant can be pretty challenging to find, but once you arrive, it’s completely worth it. Although you can dine inside, we recommend MAD House’s outdoor seating area surrounded by small pools, tall trees and plenty of lush, tropical plants. You can expect to enjoy top service that is both friendly and to a very high standard.
Although MAD House is a sister restaurant to MAD Burger, obviously known for its meat, the salads at this restaurant are more than worth the premium prices. The vegetarian burger is top notch, as is the fresh-pressed juice options available. We also think this spot is perfect for a date, so if you’re looking for a beautiful and romantic restaurant in Thao Dien to get to know someone or catch up on some quality time, MAD HOUSE is the place to be.
Image source: facebook.com/madsaigon
BoatHouse Restaurant: Vietnam
40 Lily Road, APSC Luxury Villa Compound, 36 Thao Dien, D2
Facebook; +84 28 3744 6790
Open Every Day 7:30am - 10:00pm
The BoatHouse has steadily risen to become one of the best restaurants in Thao Dien since the establishment came under new management, who have carried out delightful refurbishments and excitingly revamped its menu options. Although some of the classic BoatHouse menu items remain, there is now a brand new wine and craft beer menu, stunning tandoor oven options and a glorious range of fusion goodness.
The BoatHouse runs a happy hour every night of the week from 3pm to 7pm, offers daily specials, and hosts great live music every Friday and Sunday. This place is super dog friendly, located right on the river, and is a great spot to wind down with friends after a busy week. We are definitely fans.
Please be aware that you may need to obtain a security pass for the entrance of the villa compound in which BoatHouse is located. Contact the friendly restaurant staff directly for details.
Image source: facebook.com/boathousevietnam
Saigon Bagel Thao Dien
Saigon Bagel is a fantastic addition to the foodie scene in Saigon’s District 2. Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Thao Dien, it’s also one of our favourite restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City (with another branch in District 1). Before discovering Saigon Bagel, it had been a long, long time since this City Pass Guide writer had experienced a proper bagel!
Customers have extensive options of bagel sandwiches and toppings, sides such as chips and salsa or guacamole, and also massive cannolis. In addition to incredible bagel sandwiches and sides, Saigon Bagel’s Thao Dien location also has several board games available to keep you occupied, including our personal favourite, Catan. Get the best bagels in Saigon right here.
Image source: facebook.com/SaigonBagelThaoDien
In the modern world, we love to customise and Deku Salad does not disappoint on this level. Deku offers you the option to build your own salad, your way, just as you like it. This Thao Dien restaurant is not blessed with a huge area for dining in, but the great thing is that you can pop in and re-use your tupperware for your takeaway order to keep your eating eco friendly.
All of the ingredients used by Deku Salad are organic, which I love, but that also means this place is definitely on the more expensive side. However, we think it’s worth it, especially since it can sometimes be difficult to find delicious, fresh healthy eating options in town. Check out Deku Salad for your fix of quality healthy food in Saigon.
Image source: facebook.com/dekusalad2018
Simple Place is a popular Thao Dien restaurant for a number of reasons. First off, it’s conveniently located, serves great Mexican food (Tex Mex style) and it’s super affordable. It’s a perfect option for a post-work meal if you’re not trying to do anything too fancy. It’s also an excellent choice for those living in District 2 in Saigon and needing to nurse a weekend hangover.
The service in Simple Place is super quick - almost unbelievably quick - and the staff is friendly and kind, which makes a huge difference to the experience. It might not be the most authentic Mexican food in Saigon, but it’s reliable and great value. Stop by, but we suggest that you don’t go on Sundays when it’s closed!
Image source: facebook.com/simpleplacesaigon
Jaspas Thao Dien
A popular hangout among seasoned expats, Jaspas is as typical a modern-day Thao Dien restaurant as you can get. Jaspas serves plenty of options on its menu, ranging from western classics such as Eggs Benedict and pancakes, to Asian dishes like Nasi Goreng and a Korean-style beef dish.
Like many great restaurants in Saigon’s District 2, and Thao Dien in particular, the prices on this menu are a bit more than what you would pay elsewhere in town. However, the contemporary and breezy atmosphere, children’s playground, and quality of food all help to make up for it. Jaspas is also a popular choice for anyone looking to book a venue for a party or event in Thao Dien, as they are very experienced in this area.
Image source: facebook.com/jaspasthaodien
While there are several new pizza joints that have been popping up within Thao Dien, Pizza Reale has done an exceptional job of making itself well known. While dining in is a great experience, we’ve also ordered delivery plenty of times and have been seriously impressed with the speedy service and quality of the pies.
The menu has a bit of something for everyone: quality pasta dishes, Italian sandwiches, and plenty of pizza options, including several vegan selections. Also look out for the exceptional set lunch deals they offer.
Owner Manuel Reale even runs a kids’ cooking class if you want to provide some culinary inspiration for your young ones. Overall, Pizza Reale deserves your attention as one of the best pizza restaurants in Thao Dien and Saigon.
Image source: facebook.com/pizzareale
Banner Image source: Pendolasco