Head across the river for coffee at Duangrit Bunnag’s Jam Factory, or hit up the Old Town to discover Farm to Table’s amazing Thai-style ice cream. 

Elefin Coffee

A stone’s throw from the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, this charming Thai cafe is all about local beans, serving only 100 percent arabica sourced from Chiang Rai, which they roast themselves right here in the cafe. The coffee menu is short as they brew only from an espresso machine, but you can still enjoy a classic cup of coffee. Other branches are at Museum Siam and Hansar Hotel.

394/1-2 Maharaj Rd., 02-622- 1115, 085-074-4405. Open daily 8am-8pm

Farm to Table, Hideout

Nestled in a century-old Rama 5-era house, this charming space may require an effort to find, but the finished result is well worth it. Duck behind Pak Khlong Talat flower market and you’ll find a cozy, contemporary-yet-rustic cafe that plays up the fresh market location with vegetable baskets and metal food carts. The menu spans simple European dishes like roast chicken salad as well as Asian desserts (get the coconut rice dumplings). There’s also a Chiang Mai coffee slow bar.

15 Soi Tha Klang, 02-004-8771. Open Thu-Sun 10am- 9pm; Mon 10am-9pm; Tue 10am-9pm


Formerly of Sukhumvit Soi 49, this cafe relocated the riverside recently, bringing all its Brooklyn-referencing charm along with it. Begin your day of Old Town exploration with a stack of banana pancakes or plate of eggs, French toasts and sausages cooked a la minute. Alternatively, drop by at lunch for pasta and pulled pork burgers, as welll as healthy dishes like salmon quinoa sushi and acai bowls.

Tha Maharaj, Maharaj Rd., 02-024-1323. Open daily 9am-9pm

Li-bra-ry Cafe

The coffee’s strong, the clientele’s hip and the riverside location’s perfect at this cafe within the complex of design offices founded by local starchitect Duangrit Bunnag. The adjoining bookstore focuses firmly on Thai publications, and throws out some wonderful gift ideas, from postcard prints to Japan travel guides. To get there, the ferry next to Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel costs just five baht.

The Jam Factory, 41/4 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-861- 0968. Open daily 9am-8pm

Life and Kuisine

At this eye-catching bright blue venue on Phra Sumen Road, a group of motorcycle lovers have forged a like-minded community. Get together with your biker gang and enjoy a turkey sandwich that carries a spicy hint in its chili cheese, or a ballsy plate of braised and roasted barbecue ribs. Thai touches abound in the spaghetti pad keemao (spicy stirfried) with shrimp and crab. You can also grab some motorbike gear at the adjoining showroom.

589 Phra Sumen Rd., 092-919-4656. Open Tue-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 7:30am-8pm; Sun 7am-6pm


Not far from Chinatown’s rising hipster rendezvous of Soi Nana, Wanderlust sources its beans from Chiang Mai to create perfect espressos, drip coffee and coffee-based mocktails. It also dishes out Melbourne cafe-inspired dishes with flavorful twists. The chia pudding, for example, also features coconut milk and tropical fruits, while the skillet Dutch pancake mixes the crispy baby Dutch pancake style with America’s thicker, fluffier interpretation.

149-151 Rama 4 Rd., 083-046-8647. MRT Hua Lamphong. Open Mon-Thu 8am-8pm; Fri-Sun 8am-10pm

BIY Coffee Bar

With its name standing for "Brew It Yourself", this is a showroom-slash-cafe offshoot of online coffee equipment shop, Beans Here. Workshops from self-trained roaster and co-owner Sirichai "So" Sakornvisava start at an affordable B800/person for a cupping tasting event or around B2,000/person for brewing and roasting classes. Otherwise, drop by for a cup of joe at B100 for Thai beans from places like Suan Sodchuen in Ranong or Mae Kampong in Chiang Mai, or B120 for imported beans and blends.

Room 2B, 2/F, Prime Station Hotel, 23/4 Tri Mit Rd., 084-514-2914. Open Thu-Sun 10:30am-6:30pm


Chinatown's latest hip coffee shop goes for an industrial loft look with brickwork and blackened metal. At As.is, owner Teerajit Luanpitpong serves coffee (from B75 for espresso) made from Chiang Mai beans alongside a few food items and alternative drinks like fruit-infused affogato (B90) and strawberry cream cheese shake (B90). Hungry? Go for the eggs Benedict (B110) or buttermilk pancakes (B135). We also recommend the homemade ice cream affogato (B95) with lemon cake (B60).

45 Rama 4 Rd., 085-143-5215. Open Tue-Wed 10am-9pm; Fri 10am-10pm; Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10:30am-6pm

Blue Whale Maharaj

New nautical cafe Blue Whale Maharaj is three stories of photogenic interiors and equally photogenic food. The walls are covered in gradated blue and green tiles that mimic the scales of a fish and sketches of sea creatures drawn by one of the owners. Even drinks stick to the color scheme, led by the butterfly pea latte (B90 hot, B120 iced). Elsewhere on the menu are small bites like charcoal toasts (with toppings like blueberries and coffee mascarpone or peanut butter-banana-nutella, starting at B130) and more substantial dishes like salmon teriyaki with rice (B220). 

392/37 Maharaj Rd., 081-641-4514. Open Mon-Wed 10am-8pm; Fri-Sun 10am-8pm



BK's Cafe Society guide gathers Bangkok's coolest hangout spots for brunch, coffee, sweets and all-day bites. Download your PDF copy at here