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Bangkok's new wave of rooftop bars won't break the bank. Here's how they compare.

The days when Bangkok’s rooftop bars could get away with selling their cocktails at B700 are over. This is what drinks will cost you at some of the latest names in town. 

By Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj | Mar 28, 2017

  • Bangkok's new wave of rooftop bars won't break the bank. Here's how they compare.
    Brewski

Sky on 20 BK PICK!

The view: Located 26 floors above Sukhumvit Soi 20, the bar has an amazing outlook of Sirikit Lake and Benjasiri Park, though you don’t get 360-degree views. 

The value: Cocktails start at B250 and go up to B400 for Champagne-based drinks. The wine menu is also pretty affordable, starting at B300/glass or B1,500/bottle for something South African called Maison de G (which doesn’t seem to exist outside of Bangkok). Whiskey will hit you for the same as any regular club at B200/glass and B2,000/bottle for Johnnie Walker Red Label. Craft beer and cider are also available, starting at B200 for half a pint of La Chouffe Soleil. 

Verdict: For this price and the view, cocktails are not bad and the food (get the parma ham pizza, B430) is also tasty. A friendly atmosphere and plentiful couches make it one of our favorites. 

26/F, Novotel Bangkok Hotel, 19/9 Sukhumvit Soi 20, 02-009-4999. Open daily 5pm-2am

Brewski

The view: Located in the soi opposite Novotel Hotel, this craft beer bar has fewer tall buildings obstructing its view. 

The value: Beers come in 100ml for tasting, 250ml (half pint) and 470ml (full pint). Our favorite is Belgium’s La Chouffe, an unfiltered blond beer which despite the 8-percent ABV tastes smooth, easy to drink and fruity. It also costs B280/pint, B100/100ml—the kind of prices you’ll find at your favorite windowless British-pub-of-choice. Hotel Thai drinking fodder ranges from sai krok Isaan (B120) to larb moo tord (B170), while the Brewski burger (B490) is made with Australian wagyu beef.

Verdict: Prices are very competitive for this level of beer, but the fact that Sky on 20 serves more drinks (and its food tastes better) makes Brewski the runner-up.

30/F, Radisson Blu Plaza, 486 Sukhumvit Soi 27, 02-302-3333. Open daily 5pm-1am

Vanilla Sky

The view: Located on the 36th floor of Compass Skyview Hotel, the bar gets you an amazing view of Phrom Phong without any tall buildings in the way. It also spans a full 360 degrees. Wooden furniture upholstered in vibrant prints, a sprinkling of palm trees, and a massive marble bar backlit with colored LED lights, give this spot a distinctly “sky bar” vibe.

The value: Unique G&T flavors are the specialty here, all priced at B320. Our favorite, called the Honey Spice, sees dried chili-infused gin mixed with homemade honey-and-rosemary-infused syrup and tonic water, garnished with dried chili. Other signature cocktails are priced at B350. They don’t serve food.

Verdict: Amazing views and cocktails at regular prices make this solid choice. But you have a long walk up from the 35th floor—and no toilets once you get up there. 

35/F, Compass SkyView Hotel 12, Sukhumvit Soi 24, 02-011-1111. Open daily 5pm-2am

Cru Champagne

The view: One of Bangkok’s highest sky bars, located on the 59th floor helicopter landing pad of a five-star hotel, it sure does offer the best view we’ve seen in Bangkok. It’s so high that no building is blocking it any direction.

The value: Signature cocktails are fruity and start at B488 (they’re also better for Instagramming than for drinking). Champagne is the real star here, with prices starting at B799 for a glass of  G.H. Mumm N.1 Pink Edition (exclusively to Cru) and B899 for G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge. The cheapest bottle is Bruno Paillard Brut Premiere Cuvee at B4,900. Food is down-to-earth and good for sharing. The kurobuta pork belly steamed buns with Korean chili paste costs B285, while sweet potato fries with sweet chili dipping sauce are B295.

Verdict: If you’re in the mood for something fancy, this one really does feel special. Those Champagne prices also undercut many of the old-school rooftop heavyweights in Silom/Sathorn. 

59/F, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, 999/99 Rama 1 Rd., 02-100-1234. Open daily 5pm-1am

Bangkok Heightz 

The view: You get clear, 180-degree views of Asoke-Ratchada Road, high above the perpetual traffic jam. The Chao Phraya River is just within sight too. Unlike most rooftop bars, it’s also under cover. 

The value: Signature cocktails use local ingredients and spirits. For example, the Cha Yen (Thai sweet tea) features three Thai whiskies—Sangsom, Mekhong and Regency—as well as Bailey’s. The result costs a not-too-bad B320 (don’t forget there are four different types of booze in there) and tastes just like Thai sweet tea with a strong kick of liquor. Food takes inspiration from Thai street food, though we don’t really see it ourselves. Lobster gaeng panang for B1,400 and Australian lamb shack massaman at B690 are also definitely not street prices. 

Verdict: The place is a bit small, the ceiling low and the vibe way too dark. But there are some good cocktails at a fair price to be had. Our tip: abuse the hotel’s B999 all-you-can-eat-and-drink deal at Medinii then head up here for a couple after. 

39/F, The Continent Hotel, 413 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-867-7000. Open daily 6pm-1am

Attitude

The view: This restaurant-slash-bar is located on the 26th floor overlooking the Chao Phraya River from the rooftop of Thonburi’s new Avani Hotel. It also comes with a swimming pool to maximize the view of the river and city scape.

The value: Like most of these new-gen rooftop spots, Attitude pitches its cocktails in the mid-B300s. Our must-try is the Bora Bora Paradise Island (B380), which features Absolut pear vodka, curacao, Joseph Cartron banana liqueur, apple juice and coconut ice cream. If you are a wine lover they also have almost 100 labels on offer, priced starting at B360 by the glass. The sharing- and booze-friendly tapas dishes feature stuff like lamb shoulder lollipops (B340).

Verdict: The stunning view alone is worth the visit. Add in a nice vibe and some not-half-bad food and drink, and you’ve got a real reason to cross the river.

26/F, Avani Riverside, 257 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-431-9100. Open daily 5:30pm-1am 

 

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