The Coffee Snob’s Seal of Approval
: Knows how to handle a slow-drip
: Move over Melbourne
No badge: Go with the iced drinks and desserts
Named after the great film photographers Ansel Adams and Elliott Erwitt, this compact cafe near Saphan Kwai junction cherishes analogue culture with its collection of black and white photographs. Their espresso coffee comes from boutique Chiang Mai roaster Pacamara (starting from B50), while for drip coffee they use rotating single origin beans. Desserts, made in-house, include the luscious Thai tea cake (B85), cookies (B35-55) and brownies (B55).
19 Soi Suthisan Winitchai, Sutthisarn Rd., 095-239-1502. Open daily 9am-8pm. BTS Saphan Kwai
The nautical cafe is three stories of photogenic interiors and equally photogenic food. Even drinks stick to the color scheme, led by the butterfly pea latte (B90 hot, B120 iced)—a social media hit. Elsewhere on the menu are small bites like charcoal toast (with your choice of toppings like blueberries and coffee mascarpone or peanut butter-banana-nutella, starting at B130) and more substantial dishes like salmon teriyaki with rice (B220). Coffee starts at B60, with options like Thai-style coffee as well.
392/37 Maharaj Rd., 081-641-4514. Open Fri-Wed 10am-8pm
Run by one of the best coffee roasters in Bangkok, Brave Roasters (also see page 9) at Siam Discovery carries on from the success of its sister I+D Style Cafe x Brave Roasters (formerly at Siam Center) to serve specialty coffee alongside bites like sandwiches and pasta (from B180) and stunning views over Siam. Coffee starts from B100 while Brave’s signature syrup-laden drinks like Gingerbread Latte are priced at B140. House-blended beans also shine in the super yummy latte soft serve (B110), which you can have with a swirl of vanilla or as an affogato (B140).
3/F, Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Rd. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Siam
This cute, pastel cafe whips up a damn fine iced latte (made with cream, B130), but the real star is its delicious Brussels-style waffles and pancakes. The signature Brussels Crack waffle (B290) is topped with a scoop of "pacotized" honey ice cream made in-house, while the star of their Japanese-style souffle pancakes is a take on tiramisu (B330) featuring mascarpone custard, coffee caviar and a shot of espresso.
Sukhumvit Soi 49, 085-359-2656. Open daily 11am-10pm
Old Town bike shop Eight Ridar began catering to diners last year with this cafe serving salads and pastas along with Euro-leaning bites like liver pate with olives (B110). As well as regularly changing coffee blends (B50 a latte), you'll also find the Harry Potter-inspired Butterbeer (B80), featuring caramel, butter and soda, as well as a variety of smoothies (B80). Note: The space is open daily, but the kitchen closes on Mondays.
202 Krung Kasem Rd., 02-628-8448. Open daily 11:30am-9pm
At this cozy house on Ekkamai Soi 12, all the drinks cost B100, and they don’t skimp on quality. Espresso-based coffee uses a Thai-Ethiopian-Brazilian blend sourced from local roaster Bottomless. Filter coffee, meanwhile, uses a rotating list of single-origin beans (currently they source from Roots, one of the city’s top names in roasting). Chocolate drinks, green tea lattes, iced tea and fruit shakes are all accounted for, too.
6/2 Ekkamai Soi 12, 083-785-9090. Open Wed-Mon 8am-7pm; Tue 8am-5pm
Elefin coffee roaster marked its 10th anniversary with this third, much more en-vogue branch opposite Wat Pho. Amid wood-heavy decor, the cafe serves Doi Chang and Chiang Rai coffee beans, and works with Seattle’s Lighthouse Roastery to achieve the perfect roast. An espresso starts at B60 while a bottle of cold brew is B100. The cafe also serves food like breakfast sets (B90-185) and rice dishes (B105-140).
394/1-2 Maharaj Rd., 02-622-1115. Open daily 8am-8pm
The beautiful house not only serves up delicious modern Australian food but also some solid coffee from one of the partners' very own roaster Sarnie in Singapore. Pick up an espresso (from B100) up front at the grab-and-go coffee booth, or go indoors, pull up a stool in the restaurant’s beautiful dining room, and enjoy some of their brunch-y dishes like roasted corn salad on toast (B280).
28 Sukhumvit Soi 47, 02-662-4936. Open Sat-Sun 9am-late
The palette of turquoise offers colorful relief from the stock coffee-shop look of concrete on wood, while the coffee bar highlights two blends from local micro-roasters in Bangkok and Chiang Mai (also available to purchase and grind at home), along with rotating filter coffee, cold brew coffee and tea. Grab yourself a coffee and croissant for B120 on weekday mornings (7-9am), or drop by for brunch for a plate of bacon and eggs over French toast (B200).
Sukhumvit Soi 39, 091-774-3653. Open Mon-Fri 7:30-6pm; Sat-Sun 8am-8pm
Owner Nuanwan Supertpanish is one of the partners at serious Phahonyothin coffee den Laliart. Here you’ll still find hilltribe-grown coffee starting as low as B50, but the focus is more on vegetarian and healthy bites. Nuanwam sources chemical-free vegetables from Baan Ka in Ratchaburi and crafts much of the produce in-house, including her various experimental breads, pastries and syrups. Come weekends, she serves main dishes like egg and avocado on bread (B120), best washed down with house specials like the lemon-and-honey coffee shake called "shakerato" (B80).
The Yard, 51 Paholyothin Soi 5, 089-142-8203. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun 9am-6pm
The fifth cafe from the Chiang Mai-hailing coffee roasters is its flagship branch. Tucked down a little alley off Thonglor Soi 25, the two-story standalone house is divided into two zones: a cafe and a coffee academy, called Specialty Coffee Lab. You’ll find both classic espresso-based drinks (from B95) as well as slow-bar coffee (B120) made using rotating beans roasted in-house. Do try the snow cold brew (B130), which features shaved frozen milk on coffee jelly, topped with a shot of cold brew coffee, or the refreshing cola-infused cold brew (B120) and nitro cold brew (B120). They also serve brunch dishes like truffle eggs Benedict (B250) and scrambled egg (B230) as well as burgers (B330), pasta (from B215) and ribs (B430-650).
Thonglor Soi 25, 090-930-9340. Open daily 8am-9pm
Overshadowed by the grand relaunch of Roast, this tiny coffee spot is still where the real coffee snobs go to drink. Roots has now relocated from Ekkamai to join its big brother at the Commons, but still acts as the roasting and testing space for what you'll be served up at Roast. Don't miss the deliciously fruity new cold brew poured from the tap (from B100). House-roasted coffee also comes as espresso (B100), drip (B120) and other rotating specialty creations.
M/F, The Commons, 335 Thonglor Soi 17, 097-059-4517. Open Mon-Thu 8am-8pm; Fri-Sun 8am-9pm
Tucked behind Made Here on Earth leatherware store and Yo frozen yogurt shops, Sati’s glasshouse coffee shop provides the perfect, daytime friendly space to enjoy their slow-bar specialties (B150) and in-house creations like the peanut butter latte (B120) and coconut latte (B120). They also serve nitro cold brew coffee (B90). You can even customize your drink with their playful syrups (available in flavors as diverse as tomyum, candle-smoke, pandan and masala spices). When the weather permits, it also has one of the nicest coffee shop terraces around.
110/4 Rama 6 Rd., 095-929-5925. Open daily 8am-midnight
Attached to one of the coolest multi-label stores in town, this high-end take on coffee culture doesn't just serve up quality brews from local roaster Pacamara. It'll also pour a decent cocktail from the all-conquering Sugar Ray team (the guys behind Q&A bar), including the likes of Re-charge (gin, vanilla, demerara syrup, melon, cucumber and lime, B270). Food charts breakfast fare like Thai rice porridge with braised pork belly (B210) and poached eggs with beetroot-cured salmon and Sriracha-hollandaise sauce (B350).
5/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-160-5836
The S&P group took on the hipsters last year with this new serious coffee joint that seeks to join the pop cafe culture. On top of comforting food (try the rad na (thick noodles in pork gravy) with sunflower greens, B180)), a large espresso counter stands in the middle of the crisp, white space serving the usual cups of coffee (from B100) alongside tea and juices. Most exciting though are the nitro cold brew taps (B150), which spurt out smooth and creamy coffee as if it were draught beer (see opposite). There are also a bunch of fun smoothies and shakes—try the Tub Tab Frozen (milk smoothie topped with Thai-style peanut candy, B150). They just opened another branch at FYI Tower, Rama 4.
G/F, Ital Thai, 2034 Petchaburi Rd., 02-723-4442
Some Time Blue
Ari’s award-winning drip coffee specialist Sutdrip has moved to a new space. Here, Sutida Srirungthum, winner of National Thailand Brewers Cup 2016, serves her rotating drip coffee (B150) alongside espresso-based cups (from B50) and fruit blends (B100). Do try her coffee shake (B150), a drip coffee shaken cold with ice. Food can be ordered from former neighbor Khao Bahn restaurant still. The space itself shuns current coffee shop cliches in favor of more classic, Victorian furnishings.
Phaholyothin Soi 2, 087-907-0099
Another Thai roaster with some impressive coffee. Hopping on the trend of Southwestern-modern decor—think wood, white-washing and succulents—the small space dishes out croissants (B35) and scones (B60 for three), but the emphasis here is really on their beans. Coffee starts at B60 for standard hot items, but they’re also not above trendy fruit drinks like the pink lychee rose soda (B125).
604/137 Sathu Pradit Rd., 081-655-6698
Not far from Chinatown's rising hipster rendezvous of Soi Nana, the chic, white Wanderlust cafe sources its beans from Chiang Mai to create perfect espressos (from B70), drip coffee (B100) and coffee-based mocktails (try the The Metro (espresso with tonic and orange juice, B120)). It also dishes out Melbourne cafe-inspired dishes with flavorful twists. The chia pudding (B160), for example, features coconut milk and tropical fruits, while the skillet Dutch pancake (B180) mixes the crispy baby Dutch pancake style with America's thicker, fluffier interpretation.
149-151 Rama 4 Rd., 089-757-7770
In contrast to the dark original venue on Sukhumvit Soi 31, the new Wonderwall, dubbed Wonderwall #26, sits in a bright, cozy space (courtesy of Be Grey design) with plenty of natural light on one of Sukhumvit's most pleasant-looking streets. On top of the signature Wonderwall blend coffee (from B60) from P&F roaster and familiar baked items, the cafe also adds a breakfast and brunch menu, consisting of things like eggs Benedict on Waffle (B220) and French toast with fresh fruits (B250). The slow bar features selected rotating beans from Japan, Australia and Hong Kong.
A Square, 120 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 099-424-6592
Cafe Hopper picks
Bangkok’s top coffee bloggers tell us their favorite spots in town.
Duck You Caferista
Selected by: @oatkomkrich (10.3K followers)
“Their roasted single origin beans never disappoint whenever I buy drip coffee.”
Selected by: @tidnub (923 followers)
“Some of the first people to say that local coffee can be delicious if roasted right. I
also like their collaborative projects with local farmers.”
Selected by: @afotonov (11.4K followers)
“The best, both for pricing and quality. That’s why so many coffee shops use their beans.”
Pakawan “Ploy” Tirapairoj from Roots
Selected by: @keerisnith (14.2K followers)
“I’ve followed her since Roots’ early days. She works hard to know every bit about coffee and presents it in the very best way.”
Athip "Man" Archalerttrakool from Factory Coffee
Selected by: @tidnub (923 follwers)
“He’s friendly and has the skills for both espresso and slow bar coffee. I followed his work from Casa Lapin to Granola and now Factory.
MOST CREATIVE DRINKS
Selected by: @afotonov (11.4K followers)
“I love it that they encourage baristas compete against each other for the monthly specials.”
Selected by: @bellbubblebob (1.2K followers)
“They create new drinks regularly. I especially liked the mint milkshake with cookies and strawberry sauce called X’Mas Frappe.”