Bldg. E, Crystal Design Center, 1420/1 Praditmanoontham Rd. 02-102-2096. www.est-33.com. Open daily 11am-midnight
Est. 33 is what you get when you combine an old-school label like Singha with the forward-thinking brains of the folks behind Minibar Royale. It’s for the young and hip crowd, the kind of crowd who shop at the far-flung Crystal Design Center. Stop here for glasses of original, microbrewed beers. Sit at the bar and see it being brewed right in front of you (try Est. 33 Shandy, B150, and Fire Drop, B180), or opt for the pier-like outdoor space, perfect for people watching and catching the suburban breeze.
Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd., 08-9497-8422. Open Wed-Sat 7pm-2am. www.club-culture-bkk.com
Indie kids were devastated when Club Culture, home to the city’s party collectives like CMYK, Club Soma and Trasher, shut down at the end of last year. A few months later, however, the place re-opened on Ratchadamnoen, in a massive four-story warehouse-like space akin to a criminal’s lair. Club Culture may not win any design prizes, but its raw and edgy vibe makes it a favorite spot for hipsters and people looking for an alternative scene.
Athenee Residence, 65/1 Soi Ruam Ruedee, 02-168-5152-3. Open daily 5pm-1am
The folks behind Flow ensure that this GQ-esque hangout for the young and hi-so is strong on the cocktails front (Ian Kittichai is behind the food). In addition to their usual drinks list, they do 11 new cocktails every month and even dedicate entire months to flights of single liquors like whiskey, rum and vodka. Definitely a spot to be seen at and get liquored up before hitting the clubs.
Mansion 7, 244/7 Ratchadaphisek Rd., 02-275-0779. Open daily noon-midnight
Set in Ratchada’s latest retail playground Mansion 7, Cocktail gets kudos for bringing a slice of sophistication to the massage parlor-ridden neighborhood. The bar strikes a rare balance of edginess and elegance, thanks to the dramatic high ceiling and spiral stairs which somehow complement industrial elements like bare cement and metal frames. We hate to state the obvious, but don’t leave here without sampling their cocktails, whipped out to suit your current mood by a resident mixologist.
7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 ,02-662-6246. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-1am. BTS Thong Lo. www.wtfbangkok.com
Tucked inside a narrow lane off Sukhumvit Soi 51, WTF is a cool, intimate spot favored and frequented by unpretentious hipsters. The ground floor of this retro shophouse sees a small corner bar with retro touches like old movie posters, an old-school bench seat and flowery tiles. We particularly dig their inventive cocktails (try the absinthe-infused Van Gogh, B200) and the lack of popsanova). Head there early to ensure a table if you’re too self-conscious to stand around.