There's more than massage parlors on these two sois.
Walking past the glitzy five-star hotels on Sukhumvit Soi 20 or the seedy bars and massage parlors on Soi 22, you might feel as if you’re in Pattaya. Don’t abandon ship, though. These parallel sois between Asok and Phrom Phong are home to globe-spanning restaurants, awesome rooftop bars, and some hidden gems, too.
Artis; credit: fb.com/ArtisCoffeeBangkok
Coffee & Breakfast
Cafes are scarce, but there are a few gems to be found. Start your day a short walk away at Artis on Soi 18 with a ham and gruyere cheese ciabatta sandwich (B125) paired with a double americano (B110), or head to 1989 Hostel & Cafe on Soi 22 for the American breakfast set (B169; fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee or tea). Further down the soi, Forest Bake offers some ridiculously good-looking cakes, baked goods, and Insta-worthy drinks. Try the Fox Tales Carrot Cake (B165) with the espresso-based Orange Black mocktail (B120). For a thirst-quencher, the Triple P soda (B125; passion fruit, peach and pineapple juice ice ball garnished with an orange slice) hits the spot.
Lunch & Dinner
Get your German food fix at Bei Otto with the huge Bavarian Platter (crispy pork knuckle, grilled sausages, sauerkraut, gravy, mashed potatoes, fried onions, and bread dumplings; B1,690), or hit up Berlin’s Doner Kebab for a mean Australian beef and lamb doner set (B330) served with fries and a soft drink. If you’re all about Indian eats, stop by Saras for vegetarian comfort food like aloo methi (potatoes and methi leaves sauteed in garlic and spices, B230), or Amritsr for the rich butter chicken (B340). Stay curious at Chesa, where you can try traditional Swiss cuisine like rinds gulash stroganoff (beef goulash stroganoff served with cubes of tenderloin and paprika gravy, B710), or J Cafe, the Israeli restaurant-slash-mini bakery and supermarket dealing in kosher food (mushroom hummus, B209; cheese bourekas, B189).
Sky on 20
Unwind to breathtaking views of the Sukhumvit skyline at Sky on 20 at the Novotel Bangkok, where affordable cocktails (B300 for a New York Sour; B350 for a Negroni) meet chilled house music, or grab a seat at gin specialist ABar Rooftop’s 38th-floor, open-air patio at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. Want to keep it low-key? Wine Connection (B59 for a glass of Les Solstices red or white wine at happy hour; daily 5-7pm) at Soi 20’s Mille Malle and Wine Depot on Soi 22 both offer an array of affordable bottles. Beer geeks should head to The Last Drop for their generous daily happy hours (4-8pm; Asahi B120/Guinness B220), Buddy’s Bar & Grill for big bottles of Chang (B115), or The Fat Cow for their well-stocked fridge, with more than 40 different craft beers (Mahanakhon white ale, B140).
BTS Asok is a 10-minute walk away.
A 30-sq-meter, one-bedroom condo at Park Origin Phrom Phong starts at B15,000/month, while a 26-sq-meter studio at The Nest Sukhumvit 22 is B22,000/month. A 68-sq-meter, one bedroom unit at Millennium Residence starts from B35,000/month. For something cozier, check out the low-rise Quartz Residence, where rooms run from B22,500-55,000/month.
The Friese-Greene Club
Check out exhibitions by emerging photographers at RMA Studio before catching your favorite indie flicks with a cocktail at The Friese-Greene Club (membership costs B400/person). Keeping fit? Treat yourself to rejuvenating treatments at Infinity Wellbeing (B1,200 for a 60-minute aromatherapy massage), or hop to Benchasiri Park for a cool-ish morning jog.
What do you like most about this neighborhood?
Triin Udris, Soi 22 resident
“I love the mixed vibe of the area—you can live it up or keep it casual. I can walk to several rooftop bars for amazing sunset views, or go for some delicious Thai food on those ‘not sure what I fancy nights.’”
Paul Spurrier, owner of The Friese-Greene Club
“When much of Bangkok is becoming ‘gentrified,’ there’s something wonderfully ‘untrendy’ about Soi 22. It feels like a real, old-fashioned Bangkok street. That’s what makes it livable for me.”
Tom Michaeli, project manager of J Cafe
“The accessibility of the area is one of the best reasons to live here, together with the international crowd and variety of food, from street vendors to fancy rooftop restaurants.”