Inexplicably and colloquially dubbed Frogtown by German and Bohemian immigrants who settled here at the turn of the last century, Thomas-Dale is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in St. Paul. Located north of University Avenue, and extending from I-35E to Lexington Avenue, Frogtown is home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese and Hmong immigrants in the United States. More than 100 locally owned Asian businesses of all kinds line both sides of University Avenue, from restaurants and bakeries to retail shops and grocers. African immigrants have halal meat markets in the area. There are also small carnicerías with Mexican-American owners. In the summer and fall, a Hmong-American farmer’s market operates in the Unidale Mall. Vendors offer a wide selection of fresh produce including Asian herbs and vegetables.
The neighborhood has a public Creative Arts High School as well as magnet, charter and private schools. Amenities in the neighborhood include the new Green Line light rail, recreation centers, the Rondo Community Library, and numerous churches. Housing ranges from the 653 Artist Lofts—carved out of a former clothing factory—and other apartment buildings to modest four-squares and ramblers, in addition to historic homes.