Tired of the Ari-Sukhumvit-Siam triangle? BK heads out to Thonburi, Bangna and Praditmanutham to discover the top restaurants, bars and shops urbanites have been missing out on.
Gallery/Cafe | The Space Bangkok (01)
Attend exhibitions, screenings, parties, and seminars in this open space that looks over the Chao Praya River. Or just hang out at the Space Café for some delicious brownies (B80) and standard beers (B80). Conveniently located at the heart of Khlongsan market, local street food is just seconds away.
Above 7-11, Khlong San Plaza, Next to Hilton Millenium, 083-034-9101. www.thespacebangkok.com
Gallery/Cafe | House of Commons (02)
This is a book café where you can enjoy some java and cakes and experience exhibitions, theatre, screenings and workshops. They regularly have interesting and innovative events such as the recent talk about controversial hit TV series Hormones with its director Songyot “Yong” Sukmakanan, a one-off screening of Pen-Ek’s new political documentary Paradoxocracy, and the upcoming Social Media seminar (Aug 26, B2,500).
Charoen Nakorn Rd., between soi 20-22, 082 983 8099. www.facebook.com/HOCSpace. Open daily 8am-8pm
Bar | A Bar Above (03)
Soaring vaulted ceilings, wood paneled walls, wide archways and a mix of cobblestone and tiles conjure up the atmosphere of an elegant wine cellar turned bistro. The unobtrusive soundtrack promises chill easy-listening while the menu features similarly inoffensive inter favorites like the signature A Bar Above Burger (B250) with beef, grilled bacon and egg. They also serve pizza, with toppings such as salmon and onion (B300) or pepperoni (B300). Wash it all down with a draught beer (Hoegaarden or Stella Artois, B240/pint) while you take in the tasteful decor.
2/F, Krung Thon Building, 371 New Ratchadapisek Rd. 02-476-5700. www.facebook.com/ABarAbove. Open daily 6pm-1am
Food | Bangkok Sea View (04)
Bangkok Sea View asks you to get on a long-tail boat (B50 for adults and B20 for kids) from a pier on Rama 2 and go dine in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, basically on a big platform of bamboo sticks. During the 20-minute journey, you’ll pass through a mangrove forest and see the lifestyle of people living by (and on) the river. This is bordering on a day-trip but it’s definitely worth it. Enjoy the seafood dishes like sea crab in yellow curry (B550), stir fried prawns in red curry sauce (B250) and seablite spicy salad (B150). Reservations recommended.
74/3 Thakam, Bangkhuntien, 083-160-6714, 089-613-1340. www.bangkokseaview.com
Food | Pla Mae Nam (05)
Set in a traditional Thai house, there’s no air con here, only wooden seating and a staff made up of grumpy aunts who are then joined by some hard-working kids on the weekends. The menu is standard Thai fare, but it’s very well executed. Just about all the fish dishes we’ve tried have been impressive. The choo chee pla nuea on (sheatfish in curry paste, B240) is naturally sweet beyond the rich coconut sauce it is cooked in. And on the deep-fried side of things, the pla maa tord (deep-fried croaker fish with garlic, B240) is a delight served with a refreshing side of pineapple. The tom yum pla buek (Mekong giant catfish in tom yum, B160), too, is simply wonderful, providing a welcome kick of spice. While service and décor may leave much to be desired, Pla Mae Nam’s kitchen is top notch.
145 Rama 2 Soi 100, 02-892-3499. Open daily 11am-8pm.
TALING CHAN / RATCHAPRUEK
Food | Galley Cafe (06)
Located in a cute white house with a terrace and a garden, this place is popular at lunch with the office workers in the area. The salads, steaks and pastas are pretty good. But what we always order here is the khao pad gaeng kiew waan moo (stir fried rice with sweet green curry and pork, B65) and khao pad kee mao (stir fried rice with basil and pepper, B65).
14/42 Bangkhunnon, Talingchan, 02-881-3623. Open Thu-Tue 10am-9pm
Food | MisterPas (07)
We were pretty crushed when this one moved out to the boonies. (MisterPas was originally on Phra Athit Road.) But what’s a little taxi ride for some home-cooking and a cozy dining-room-sized ambience. The new address offers a larger space but the simple yet innovative food remains untouched—as does the warm welcome. The pistachio crusted snapper fillet on nero spaghetti (B395) remains a stand-out. Also, try the spaghetti with crispy bacon (B250) and the oven-roasted pork fillet with garlic and sage wrapped in bacon with a cranberry sauce (B425).
88/12 Kritsana Village, Kanchanapisek Rd., Bang Kruay, 081-921-1920. Open Sat-Sun 12-11pm, 5-11pm; Mon-Fri 5-11pm
Food | Silom Restaurant (08)
The original Silom venue left many customers in shock when it closed its doors. Fortunately, this canteen-like cookshop has reopened at Taling Chan. Despite the trek, the 60-year-old dishes are still just as delicious: a Thai take on Western and Chinese classics, a kind of Vietnamese-era fusion. When you get there opt for one of the four recommended specialties: oxtail stew, shrimp salad, pork chops or stir-fried fish maw. Prices start from B100.
7/4 Borommarachonnanee Soi 59, 087-072-2944. Open daily 10:30am-2:30pm, 5-10pm
Food | Holland Brewery (09)
This massive beer bar can hold up to 1,500 guests. Inside the brewery, the stage shows and live music are reminiscent of the Tawan Daeng brewery, as are the specialties: Holland-style pork leg (B320), grilled chicken (B220) and sausages (B280). Of course, you’ll be needing lots of Dunkel and Weizen beer for the complete experience.
30/5 Ratchapruek Rd., Pak Kret, 02-195-4671-5. www.hollandbrewery.com. Open daily 6pm-1am
Cafe | Willy’s Chocolate (10)
This place not only serves various chocolate desserts, but its warm, brown tones and homey materials, like brick, have a comforting feel that hits you before you even tuck into the recommended chocolate lava (B175), chocolate choux ice (B185) or chocolate French toast (B175). Don’t forget to try their pink lemonade soda (B90).
The Circle, Ratchpruek, 02-863-8673. www.facebook.com/WillysChocolate. Open daily Mon-Fri: 12pm-9pm, Sat-Sun: 12pm-9pm
Food | 99 Rest & Backyard (11)
Located behind community mall The Nine, this restaurant is actually part of a posh residential development. Its garden and large bay windows allow the surrounding greenery to take center stage, making for a countryside experience in the city. Try new dishes like pan-roasted Atlantic salmon with vegetables and white wine dill sauce (B460), soft shell crab with salmon roe mixed lettuce, lime and coriander spicy dressing (B320) and hot green tea chocolate fondant (B210).
99 Rama 9 Soi 41, 02-300-4339. Open Tue-Sun 11am-11pm
Food | Suan thip (12)
With unlimited al fresco dining options from a leafy garden under the stars to graceful pavilions and a terrace overlooking the river, Suanthip’s dreamy garden is booked out for weddings on most weekends. But we also like to swing by for a lunch of lip-smacking traditional Thai food. The house special is kaeng bon (mushroom curry, B250) and kaeng kee lek (B250), a herbal curry served with grilled fish.
Changwattana Pak Kret 3 Rd., 02-583-3748. www.suanthip.com/. Open daily 11am-9pm
PRADITMANUTHAM / TOWN IN TOWN / RAMkHAMHAENG
Cafe | NY Cheesecake (13)
This little shop with a diner feel serves up the best New York Cheesecake (B205) in Bangkok. Now if that’s not reason enough for you to visit, you might also want to sample a hearty pastrami sandwich (B279) anf cocoa frappe (B80).
Crystal Design Center, Praditmanutham Rd., 02-102-2065. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-9pm; Sat-Sun 10:30am-10pm
Food | Tinee Eatery (14)
This self-service café serves Western comfort dishes that work pretty well for a lunch break, as well as grab-and-go options such as liver pate and marinated goat feta. They stick to local produce, with beef, cheese and vegetables sourced from the Royal Projects and almost everything else homemade. Enjoy comforting mainstays like beef stew (B105) and pork balls (B105), pop in early for breakfast dishes like Moroccan baked eggs with onion chutney and bacon (B180), or just bag a chicken tikka sandwich (B110) to go. Drinks include the raspberry lemonade (B80) and Italian soda (B80). They also do gluten-free cakes.
1213/45, Town in Town Place, across Si Wara Soi 4., Praditmanutham Rd., 02-559-2475, 083-015-4555. Open daily 9am-6pm
Bar | Beerology (15)
Beerology aims to bring the imported beer craze to suburbanites with a solid selection of brews. The bar sits somewhere between a typical English pub and a Thai-style watering hole, with its outdoor area dotted with faux-leather stools. Check out the imported draft beers (Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe, Hofbrau and Guinness B210/pint) and bottled drops (B160-280). Or try the bar’s eponymous wheat beer for B160. Hardcore drinkers shouldn’t miss their ongoing beer buffet where B800 gets you unlimited refills from 5pm-midnight (Tue-Thu). They also do food, from the usual pub grub to a range of Thai and Western single dishes (B80-370).
2/F, Crystal Design Center, Praditmanutham Rd., 081-553-1718. Open daily 5pm-midnight
Bar | Niche (16)
The huge venue, sat right across from The Crystal Park, promises a wide selection of craft beers from all over the world, including some rare beers. Resembling a small town in Belgium, it’s a beer garden with plenty of seats, as well as an old container-cum-stage to one side for daily live entertainment and huge projector screens for the weekend football matches. The decor is all about bare cement, light-colored wooden furnishings and white couches. Adding a little excitement are all the beer-related decorations, which have all the makings of a beer museum. Bavaria, Weienstephan, La Trappe, Hoegaarden, Hoegaarden Rose, Stella Artois and Boddingtons are all available on tap (B230/pint, B120-190/half pint), with over 140 choices by the bottle like Hitachino, Brewdog, St. Bernadus and Chapeau (B200-590). Food includes rolled chicken stuffed with mushroom and bacon (B295), 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shank (B490), black-ink pasta with river prawns (B345) and spicy smoked salmon salad and fruit (B185).
482 Praditmanoontham Rd., 02-515-1232-3. Open daily 4pm-midnight
Food | Haus 20 (17)
Haus20 Design & Dine is owned by a member of our fave new electro-rock band, Dot, Anucha “Off“ Ochareon, and a friend, Natchaphan “Ae“ Pisarnkoskul. Set in a four-story building that features a bar, an office for indie label Rat Records, a furniture store and an empty space used to stage gigs, it’s already a rendezvous point for media industry hipsters and starry-eyed indie-loving 20-somethings. Aside from concert nights, the owners’ playlist is a pretty hip mix of new (think Daft Punk) and old (R.E.M. and The Radio Dept). Indulge in beer-friendly dishes like deep-fried chicken wings (B90), which are a bit salty but totally addictive, or the salmon canapé (B180). A basic selection of whiskey is available from Sangsom (B240 for 300ml) to Chivas Regal (B1,300 for 700ml). Or opt for Beerlao (B100-110).
62-64 Lad Phrao Soi 122 (Ramkhamhaeng Soi 65), 085-162-2111. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-1am
Food | Nong Khai Pa Su (18)
Since the owner grew up in Nong Khai, the menu reflects his Isaan heritage. But it’s also been combined with a taste for Vietnamese food in dishes like the recommended nam nuong (Vietnamese sausage, B150). Other highlights include the guay jub yuan (Vietnamese noodles, B70) which is a thick, gooey delight, too.
174/479 Soi Sena, Phahon Yothin Soi 32, 02-578-0532. www.nongkhaipasu.com. Open daily 9am-9pm
BANGNA / SRI NAKARIN
Food | Hong Bao (19)
Tucked away in the far-flung Thanya Shopping Park, this restaurant is decorated with modern Chinese accents. With a chef flown in from Macau, expect expert Cantonese cuisine, including a variety of dim sum stuffed with lava cream and salted egg (B85), fried prawn with salted egg (B500) and more.
G/F, Thanya Shopping Park, Srinakarin Rd., 02-108-6055. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5-9pm; Sat-Sun 11am-9pm
Food | Nam Vietnamese Restaurant (20)
Despite the curios and framed illustrations, this Vietnamese restaurant décor is nothing to write home about. What is worth adding to your Instagram feed, though, is the tasty food served here. Recommend dishes include the baked beef (B180) and nam nuong (Vietnamese sausage, B190).
68 Bangna Soi 66, Near Ratwinit Bangkaew School, 02-740-2166. www.facebook.com/NamBangna. Open Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; Sat-Sun 9am-10pm
FOOD | Suphan ocha (21)
Although this place may come across as just another shabby cookshop, it is a stellar Thai seafood restaurant. Home style recipes such as stir-fried shrimp with salted egg (B180), stir-fried spotted Babylon sea snails with basil and fingerroot (B180) and stir-fried crab meat with chili (B300) just burst with flavor—and are always fresh.
19/1 Lasalle Soi 79, 02-361-6522. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-9:30pm
BANGNA / SRI NAKARIN
FOOD | Koh Lanta (22)
Sure, it’s a long drive but this restaurant, situated just minutes from the Suvanabhumi Airport, cooks up some amazing seafood. Try the spicy papaya salad with salmon (B250) and the grilled fish with special Japanese soy sauce and grilled garlic (B470). You can choose to sit on the moored boat or stick to the numerous salas if you’re a land lubber. Whether the passing jets flying over your head at five-minute intervals are an added bonus or a deal breaker, we’ll leave up to you.
88/11 King Kaew Road, District Bangplee, 02-738-4811. Open daily 4pm-midnight
Cafe | Amatissimo Caffe (23)
Way out on the edge of Bangkok, Amatissimo is hidden behind the huge Paradise Park mall. Here, the owner brews his own coffee in an industrial-meets-vintage space. His cappuccino (B65), made from his own blend, stands up as a solid cup of Joe. But perhaps the real reason you should seek the place out is for the yummy pastries like the passion fruit tart (B75). Try it with the siphon coffee, too, if you’re feeling a bit geeky.
127, Seri Villa Soi 3 (Behind Paradise Park), Srinakarin Rd., 085-482-9977, 081-898-0070. Open daily 9am-8pm
Food | Breizh Crepes (24)
Breizh Crepes is basically an outdoor food stall with seating. And yet, it is the only place in town that uses the traditional way of making savory crepes, using buckwheat flour. They also use this great fresh goat cheese that’s both tart and nutty (Corsica, B149, three-cheese, B149). As for the sweet crepes, they’re just about perfect; we recommend the one with salted butter caramel cream, almonds and whipped cream (B119)—delicious.
Room Bldg. B, 2/F, Thanya Shopping Park, 735/2 Sri Nakarin Rd., 02-108-6090. Open daily 10am-9pm
Bar | In the Box Bar Station (25)
Boxy modernist architecture, bare cement, wooden crates used as stools: this bar might be far from downtown but it’s definitely following all the same trends. The drinks list included imported beers along with local ones, as well as sheesha. Soak it all up with regular or Japanese-inspired snacks like chicken wings fried in fish sauce (B110), shrimp in wasabi sauce (B150), or salmon and wasabi salad (B220). Of course, cover bands provide the soundtrack to your evening.
17 Seree Villa Soi 2, Srinakarin Rd., 081-449-9358. Open daily 5:30pm-1am