Sukhumvit Soi 33. 02-662-2824. Open daily 4pm-late
Formerly known as CK’s, this long and narrow bar coughs up a few good deals on beer everyday. They usually have sports playing on their screens on the bottom floor. Upstairs are the pool tables. Just a warning: it can get pretty congested in there.
The buzz: Cozied up next to Snapper and just across from the long-established Cheap Charlie’s on the infamous alley off Suk 11, The Alchemist is named after Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel. It’s run by former radio DJs Taps and Saloni, who have opted for a mix of the casual but hip, with funky tunes and refreshing tweaks on classic cocktail recipes.
This brightly colored little shop house is actually the sister branch of the popular eatery up in Chiang Mai, and it looks to recreate some of that place’s ramshackle charm. Unfortunately, the location doesn’t really help: sat on a cut-through between sois 22 and 24 it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. So, despite the vivid walls and festive touches, the place can feel a little gloomy on a quiet night—though maybe that’s just the creepy Dia de los Muertos skeleton mural on the wall.
The buzz: There are only a handful of Mexican restaurants in Bangkok, and even fewer that are any good. So we’re intrigued by the opening of El Diablo’s, especially since the original branch in Chiang Mai is quite popular. Tucked away on a small Soi connecting Sukhumvit Soi 24 and Soi 22 (near the Davis Hotel), this colorful cantina does almost everything from scratch, using the owner’s personal recipes.
The décor: There’s a pretty festive, freewheelin’ atmosphere inside: a simple, small room with details like a big longhorn bull skull, a yellow Dia de los Muertos skeleton mural on the wall and several oxblood-red wooden tables.
The food: Almost every dish is homemade, like the tortilla chips (B125), the rich guacamole and fiery jalapeno sauce. There are also enormous and cheesy quesadillas (cheese B150, grilled chicken, shredded chicken/pork, chorizo B215, carne asada, B245), nachos (B150-B245) and tacos (B70-90). Or you can go for the eponymous burrito with the usual filling options, such as rice and beans (B120), grilled vegetables (B150) or chicken and pork (B195).
The drinks: Lots of margaritas. Try the knock-out margarita (made with Jose Cuervo, B150 a glass or B1,200 for 10 glasses) or have a round of shots (Cuervo B100, Cuervo Gold B125, tequila slammer B100). The selection of beers goes from Beerlao dark (B145) to Corona (B190).
The crowd: Office buddies, expats and residents in the neighborhood. Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet
26 Sukhumvit Soi 1. 02-655-2471/2. Open daily 7pm-late. BTS Ploenchit.
The buzz: This sister of the Gazebo in Khaosan offers an improved décor, a great view and better service to a new Sukhumvit crowd.
The buzz: The latest izakaya to open in Nihonmachi, Torayoshi is owned by the same people as next door’s Nagiya, which pretty much nails the homey, slightly steamy Japanese tavern vibe—the result being that it’s generally packed out, even on weekdays. This chain, which boasts three branches in Tokyo, also promises to stick to the trusted casual drink and dining concept, but with a bigger emphasis on grilled meat.
The buzz: Located on the first floor of the 39 Boulevard residence, below the recently opened restaurant Whale’s Belly, new wine outlet and bar Dolcetto & Co differs from the recent crop of wine bars as it first started as a wine shop importing only Italian wines, including some from the owner’s own vineyards, dubbed “Chicken Wine.”
A good place to take your visiting friends, this restaurant boasts fun and authentic Laotian dining in a classic setting. The traditional musicians play dreamy wavering notes round the base of the magnificent tree that stands at the center of the restaurant. Clad in traditional Vientiane wear, the friendly wait staff is more than willing to arrange less-spicy somtam for your foreign friends.
A good place to take your visiting friends, this restaurant boasts fun and authentic Laotian dining in a classic setting. The traditional musicians play dreamy wavering notes round the base of the magnificent tree that stands at the center of the restaurant. Clad in traditional Vientiane wear, the friendly wait staff is more than willing to arrange less spicy somtam for your foreign friends before engaging in mock swordfights for added entertainment.