There are so many bars and pubs in Ho Chi Minh City that feature pub games, but which are the best places to play pool and darts in the city? Darts has a longer history here as the league has been established for over five years, while the pool league only started in 2014. Most venues are spread across Districts 1, 2 and 7 for both sports, and in many cases the same pubs offer the best facilities for both. It is worth noting that if you are serious about pool, the pool tables in bars rather than the pool halls will be of international standard and well maintained. The pool halls tend to be a mishmash of dimensions and poorly maintained. While they mainly have Carom Billiards, there are of course exceptions. The new electronic dart boards (“soft darts”) are growing in popularity as well.
Pool and Darts
17 Tran Hung Dao, D1
Dailo’s is located on the main stretch of Tran Hung Dao near the infamous backpacker street, Bui Vien and Ben Thanh Market. This is a well-established bar that has moved locations and changed names several times in its storied tenure as a Saigon sports hub, but it’s a great place to play pool and darts, as well as rotating DJ nights and live bands.
7 Thao Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
The oldest established bar in D2, Buddha Bar has been around for as long as the expat scene. Two pool tables (though only one worth playing on) and a designated darts area mark this out as a reliable venue for both darts and pool. The league teams in both sports are well established.
Dtwo Sports Pub
55 Thao Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
A popular contender in the Saigon pool and darts scene, this Al Fresco Group bar is a real beauty. Dtwo Sports Pub is laid out well with plenty of space around the pool table. The dart boards fold away behind cupboard doors for when the big sporting events are on TV. It’s an excellent space offering roomy surroundings in which to play.
38 Quoc Huong, Thao Dien Ward, D2
This German owned indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant has two very good pool tables and dart boards in a fully air-conditioned section of the bar. BMV is open from lunchtime onwards, it is a great place to practise your skills, whilst enjoying tasty German food and imported beers.
R2-24 Hung Gia 3, Bui Bang Doan, Phu My Hung, D7
The Tavern is a very popular sports bar and restaurant in the upmarket area of Phu My Hung. The food and drinks menus are excellent and it has a strong committed expat clientele. The bar has modern and well-maintained pool and darts equipment.
46-48 Ton That Thiep, D1
An Australian style sports bar, Phatty’s is one of the more established and certainly most well known bars in town. It’s a bustling noisy place, particularly when any of the Australian sports are on TV. It has a very nice dedicated area for darts and a thriving dart community.
166 Cong Quynh, D1
Vinyl is a busy little bar near Bui Vien. All four of the owners are darts players and that has driven the bar along to be a favourite venue amongst the darts fraternity in the city. The bar also benefits from one of the best happy hour days in town. The staff are well trained and the bar has garnered a loyal group of expat locals.
The Drunken Duck
58 Ton That Thiep, D1
The Drunken Duck is a very popular bar in the business district. The pool area is at the rear of the bar and there is generally always a good group of people playing pool. This is a fun bar that is popular both in the early evening and into the wee hours. They have a strong representation in the pool league and a very high standard of players.
32 Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
Snap Café is a super venue in Thao Dien. It is almost like two completely different bars in one. By day a family fun pub and café, by night a bar and restaurant. The pool table is in a covered outdoor area and is one of the nicest settings in which to play, until the really hot season kicks in.
Thao Dien Man Cave
36 Quoc Huong, Thao Dien Ward, D2
Nothing more than an upstairs room in an old house, Thao Dien Man Cave is nonetheless a great place to practise pool. It really is just a pool table in a room with nothing much more than a TV playing music videos and a refrigerator, well stocked with bottled beers. In the evenings a hardy bunch of expats gather to play pool and have a laugh.
Whether you are a serious player or just enjoy a game for the fun of it, these bars will fulfill your requirements. If you want to take things more seriously, ask in any of the bars and they will point you in the direction of the relevant league organisers.