Best Bars in District 2
Craft beer, high-class wine, skillfully mixed cocktails – District 2 might be newer than some of the other parts of the city, but the bars running along Thao Dien are as good as any you will find in Districts 1 or 3. With its rapidly expanding population and increasing value as both a residential and commercial area of town, it is no wonder that District 2 is fast becoming a new afterhours haven for Ho Chi Minh City’s partiers. This is reason enough for us to take you on a tour through D2’s best bars and party locations. Bottoms up!
90 Xuan Thuy, Thao Đien Ward, D2
A new arrival on the D2 scene, this is proving to be a huge hit with ale lovers. They have eight beers from local microbreweries, including their own. Here you’ll enjoy the cozy, hole-in-the-wall atmosphere. The beer taps sit neatly in a row on the back wall and a few high tables and stools make up the rest of the bar.
In addition to their great selection of drafts, they also sell about a dozen different types of bottled beer. Beers range from the light, easy-to-drink pale ales, to the heavier, dark style of beers like porters and stouts.
38 Quoc Huong, Thao Dien Ward, D2
This could be one of the best bars in District 2. It is a fantastic space and something refreshingly different. German-owned, it specialises in selling quality German food and imported German beers, and they really are quite something.
A recent refurbishment has seen the addition of a second pool table, additional indoor seating and a large screen TV for big sporting events. The upstairs mezzanine area is a real plus. However, this bar would benefit from advertising its opening hours and then sticking to them.
7 Thao Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
This is one of the oldest and more well-established bars in Saigon. It can be frustrating at times, as it never seems to have a hard-and-fast closing time and arriving late can be something of a lottery. It is, however, one of the best afterhours spaces in the whole city. This gem features a great layout with two pool tables and live music on the weekends. It also has a large screen TV and several monitors, ideal for sports watching. Having just appointed a new manager, one hopes that things will stabilise soon – maybe they’ll even decide a closing time!
The White House Saigon
Nguyen U Di, Hem So 4, Thao Dien Ward, D2
Another recent addition to D2’s bar scene, the American-owned White House Saigon is housed in a superb three-storey villa. What it offers is no less than a three-in-one package: a pub on the ground floor, a comfy meeting space with a loungy feel on the first floor and what can be called HCMC’s finest pub pool room on the top floor.
Plus, there’s also the amenities: here you’ll find eight local craft beers on draft, moderately priced snacks, electronic dart boards, a large screen TV airing sports, an outdoor swimming pool, a barbecue area and a gazebo. Basically, it’s the perfect spot for all occasions: family afternoons, late-night parties or simply for an after-work drink with your buddies.
24 Thao Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
Kokois has been getting mostly good reviews ever since it opened in 2015. It’s an eco-friendly mixture of a lounge, cafe and shop. The few negative reviews I’ve read have been mainly about service, but to be fair, with any new establishment there will be a few bumps along the way.
The design of the place is fabulous and a great deal of thought has been put into the concept. Built mainly from sourced recycled products, it is an eclectic location that continues to be a favourite among the D2 crowd.
D2 Sports Bar
55 Thao Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
The latest addition to the Saigon bar scene is this modern Sports Bar, owned by the Al Fresco Group. Formerly “Baan Thai Bar and Restaurant”, it has been superbly refitted to create space that few even knew existed. It is an excellent place to catch up with all the latest in sports, while enjoying superb food and a terrific drinks selection. It is also a no-smoking venue, which makes a pleasant change for non smokers. My only criticism would be that the meal portions are more in keeping with a high-end restaurant than a sports bar. However, the quality is excellent.
230 Nguyen Van Huong,Thao Dien Ward, D2
A delightful bar/restaurant, it is deeper into Thao Dien than the others and sits on a bend in the road by The British International School. Indeed, at lunchtime it is generally filled with both staff and pupils. At night they describe what they do as “bistronomie”, combining the feel of a comfortable, chic bistro with classic delicious offerings from the kitchen. This is a lovely bar with comfy sofas and a regular expat clientele. The arrival of a pool team has given it more of a bar feel on certain evenings.
14 - 16 - 18, Road 11, An Phu Ward, D2
Although primarily a paintball set up, the bar here is really great. The bar area is outdoors and it can be great fun to sit drinking while watching the participants enjoy the paintballing. They have a tremendous Sunday lunch special at a very competitive price. Hard to find at first, it’s in a myriad of streets behind The Vista, but it is becoming a very popular haunt for the expat crowd.
188/1 Nguyen Van Huong Street, Thao Dien Ward, D2
In 2012, three shipping containers were deposited on a grassy piece of land in District 2. That this has developed into a premier venue in HCMC is the stuff of legend.
Music venue, cafe, bar, restaurant, film theatre and space for art exhibitions and workshops, Saigon Outcast almost defies definition. It’s a quirky, folksy, alternative lifestyle venue that has a capacity for 400 people and regularly fills it. Over the last few years it has carved out a great reputation as one of the best of Saigon’s entertainment scene.
32 Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien Ward, D2
Snap Café is like several bars in one, coupled with a small group of shops and businesses. Hugely popular at the weekends and in school holidays because of the children’s play area, it is a busy bar/restaurant with a folksy feel to it. It’s eclectic with a great laidback music playlist. A popular venue with strong pool teams and the largest monthly quiz night in town, it switches between family fun bar by day, to a laidback venue for grown ups at night.
38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien Ward, D2
This is a very upmarket restaurant/bar that really could not have a better location: it sits right on the southern bank of a long sweeping curve in the Saigon River. It is a terrific place to sit and relax, have a few drinks and enjoy choices from an amazing menu.
Not the cheapest of places it has to be said, but you get what you pay for. This really is a superb, upmarket venue that has a well-earned reputation for quality of service, food and beverages.
The Fan Club
628C Hanoi Highway, An Phu Ward, D2 (in The Vista Condo Block)
A large, brand-new sports bar that arrived on the Saigon bar scene in 2014. In some ways it’s a bit away from the action, stuck as it is in The Vista condo block. The owners have taken a gamble on the future development of the area, making it a prime location. Whether or not that happens we’ll have to wait and see, but the Fan Club is a fantastic venue. No expense has been spared here. There is a comfortable seating area as well as the more usual bar stools and high tables. It has more TV screens than anyone has the right to expect, which means that customers are always in view of the sports action as they enjoy the terrific food from a varied menu.
Have we forgotten your favorite bar in District 2?