And the 2018 winners are...

In 2017, BK Magazine launched its debut B.A.D. Awards, which toasted the best places to drink, party and be merry once the sun sets on Bangkok each night.

The hangover was real but, thankfully, brief. In putting together our 2018 guide once again we’ve been propping up bars all over town, grilling bartenders, eyeing off drinking companions, soaking up the atmosphere, comparing menus and Shazaming playlists. That is, we’ve not only been guzzling drinks in order to drunkenly proclaim so-and-so makes the best cocktails in Bangkok.

At a time when bartenders are outdoing each other by adding Thai twists to classic cocktails, and more and more “local” brewers are finding ways to circumvent the law, Bangkok nightlife has never been brighter. With this increased competition, however, comes a greater challenge for bars to stand out. But every venue whose name appears on these pages has achieved just that. For all your hard work and creativity, we thank you—even if our livers may disagree.

BK's B.A.D. (Bangkok After Dark) 2018 guide launched with an awards night on Nov 21, 2018, at Beam nightclub, 72 Courtyard, in an event that welcomed over 200 mixology talents, drink industry professionals and BK Magazine partners. Read on to find out which bars come out on top in Bangkok’s ultimate nightlife bible.




Tropic City 


Swedish bartenders Sebastian de la Cruz and Philip Stefanescu steal Soi Nana’s crown after kickstarting a seismic shift in Charoenkrung with their community-focused tropical cocktail bar. Tucked down a back alley in an old house, this venue has the kind of under-the-radar edge that all the faux-secret bars in town would pay for. Add in a killer playlist, award-winning bartenders, mid-century furniture, neon lights, and enough floral patterns to make you dizzy, and this party stronghold is the definition of “now.”
672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 083-838-2750. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.


Mitr Bar | FINALIST!

Thai craft beer has a new champion! This outlet for Nonthaburi’s Mitr Craft project has the lofty aim of liberating homebrewers from the home. Recipes with dreamt-up names like “Too Much Coffee Porter” and “Porn’s Milk Stout” sound good to you? You vote for it, you’ll drink it. Twelve of the taps pour beers you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
3/F, 23/1 Phaya Thai Rd., 089-799-1123. Open daily 5pm-midnight.

Vesper | FINALIST!

Don’t call it a comeback. Vesper’s been Silom’s old reliable for years: the first genuinely cool place to drink after work in what quickly transforms into a red-light district. But we never quite knew how good it could be. That is, until it was transformed into a moody bar the size of an omakase counter­—all the better for chatting to barkeep Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana about his knockout creations.
10/15 Convent Rd., 02-235-2777. Open daily 5:30pm-1am.



Mitr Bar 

This is not just another craft beer bar cruising Bangkok’s recent wave. In fact, it is an outlet for the trailblazing project Mitr Craft—Thailand’s first legal craft beer brewery, which aims to give every brewer the chance to make a living off beer. Aspiring brewers can pitch a project on the website ( for the chance to be brewed and sold by Mitr Bar, with profits split between brewer and brewery. 
3/F, 23/1 Phaya Thai Rd., 089-799-1123. Open daily 5pm-midnight.

Salon Du Japonisant | FINALIST!

Label importer Bacchus Global is behind the mind-boggling array of bottles in this cozy shophouse bar. Here, cocktail crafting is about more than theatrics, with every diamond-carved ice block and puff of smoke engineered with Japanese precision to create heightened tastes and sensations.
36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 083-019-9062. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-1am.

Asia Today | FINALIST!

Where do you go from winning BAD Awards Bar of the Year 2018? Across the street to open another bar, that’s where. Teens of Thailand’s Niks Anuman-Rajadhon has partnered with Kiattikoon “Toon” Auengkum (formerly at Bunker) to scour Thailand’s countryside for unheard of ingredients, featuring wild honey as a sweetener and complimentary Chinese doughnuts. 
35 Soi Maitri Chit, 097-134-4704. Open Tue-Thu, Sun 7pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 7pm-1am.



Salon Du Japonisant 

Take a cushioned wicker armchair at the flowing wood bar and prepare to be mesmerized as head bartender Kei Sawada masterfully carves blocks of ice, blowtorches herbs and sprinkles curious ingredients from test tubes into exquisite Japanese hand-carved glasses. The result? Mind-blowingly creative cocktails that are nothing short of artwork. With alcohol importer Bacchus Global at the helm, the dizzying array of labels traverses infused shochu and sake, Japanese whiskeys galore and numerous homemade concoctions.
36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 083-019-9062. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-1am.

Asia Today | FINALIST!

Fancy a bit of baccaurea kunstleri in that gin sour? How about a hint of champedak? If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then you need to go plant yourself at the crumbling, neon-lit counter of Chinatown’s local ingredients-championing watering hole.
35 Soi Maitri Chit, 097-134-4704. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.

Vesper | FINALIST!

When it comes to cocktail bars, small is good, and Vesper’s intimate new look just goes to prove it. So long as you get there in time for a bar stool, you’re in for a carefully crafted treat of cocktail perfection and a soundtrack that’s so much more fun than the standard big-band jazz.
10/15 Convent Rd., 02-235-2777. Open Mon-Sat 5:30pm-1am; Sun 5:30pm-midnight.




Whatever anyone tells you about such-and-such bar having the best whiskey collection in Bangkok, unless they’re saying Hailiang, then they’re wrong. Be very careful which bottle you point to on Osaka-born barkeep Jay’s shelves—some of this stuff stretches well into six figures. Don’t be too afraid to enter though. He’ll warmly guide you to the perfect tipple within your price range, whether it’s a trending Japanese single malt or well-aged and hard-to-come-by bourbon.
4/11 Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-662-1576. Open daily 6pm-1:30am.

Orihara Shoten | FINALIST!

Stopping short of a flight to Tokyo, this sleek sake bar’s your surest bet for making like a Japanese salaryman. Untuck your shirt, loosen your tie and let the passionate staff guide you into the wonderful world of rice wine—more than 90 bottles of the good stuff. 
Park Lane, Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekkamai), 02-382-0131. Open Tue-Thu, Sun 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am.

Just a Drink (Maybe) | FINALIST!
Here, Thonglor gets on board with Bangkok’s gin boom—and they’re serious about their selection, stocking over 50 gins from around the world. This comfortable, friendly spot is neatly tucked away on the residential Thonglor Soi 1, yet still within reach of Sukhumvit Soi 55’s shenanigans, making it the ultimate choice for pre-gaming.
44/3 Thonglor Soi 1, 095-341-9056. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-1am.




It might seem like the club only opened yesterday, but that didn’t stop Beam from undergoing a big makeover this year to make sure it runs with the best international clubbing standards. Snakehips were brought over to celebrate as guests got to experience its new sofa-heavy main room, melted disco ball sculptures, and shaken up weekly event lineup that sees the music policy get more accessible but no less cool.
1/F, 72 Courtyard, 72 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-392-7750. Open Wed-Sat 9pm-2am.

Sing Sing Theater | FINALIST!

No matter how cool or hipster you are, or how much of the night you actually remember—yes, those dancers in weird animal costumes and dreamlike Shanghainese decor were real—busting out moves to cheesy house remixes on Sing Sing’s cramped mezzanine-cum-dancefloor is a Bangkok rite of passage.
Sukhumvit Soi 45 (next to Quince), 063-225-1331. Open Tue-Sun 9pm-3am.

Safe Room | FINALIST!

Whiteline, Silom Soi 8’s old shop-house-turned-grungy nightlife destination, draws you in with its easy going bar, but it’s the hidden party zone upstairs that has the ‘heads talking. On weekends, you’ll find the place abuzz with the city’s busiest promoters, playing techno and d’n’b through to heavy electronics, with the odd international guest thrown in.
2/F, Whiteline, Silom Soi 8, 087-061-1117. Open Fri-Sat 10pm-3am.



12 x 12 

From outside, this place just looks like someone’s house, but once you’ve managed to find the entrance, it feels like the bar just grew organically—none of the decorations match but somehow they all come together in perfect Japanese-hipster-harmony for a space that makes you feel cozy and yet ready to party. The place hosts music artists from vinyl DJs to CDJ to live bands that your Shazam hasn’t got a chance. 
810/22 Thonglor Soi Thararom 2, 082-012-0720. Open Tue-Sat 7pm-2am.

23 Bar & Gallery | FINALIST!

When the craft cocktails of its hipster neighbors have drained your wallet dry, you can always rely on this little spot to pour you a stiff one for under B200. A soundtrack pumping with Britpop classics also means you’re way more likely to get up and dance.
92 Soi Nana, Charoenkrung Rd., 080-264-4471. Open Tue-Sun 8pm-1am.


Six years since opening as a humble daytime cafe, the Surasak shop-house continues to shine a light on underground art and music from its precarious perch by an expressway. Here, cold beers and no-fuss comfort food go hand-in-hand with cult movie screenings, retro gaming nights, and gigs that often serve up the unexpected.
41 Charoen Rat Soi 1, 089-889-8059. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight.



Mitr Bar 

This is not just another typical craft beer joint. Not only does it aim to support the local craft beer scene, it is also part of the wider project Mitr Craft—Thailand’s first legal craft beer brewery—which seeks to improve the country’s economy. The project welcomes anyone to pitch their project on the website ( and if it gets 300 likes, it will get brewed at Mitr Craft and sold at Mitr Bar, with profits split between brewer and brewery.
3/F, 23/1 Phaya Thai Rd., 089-799-1123. Open daily 5pm-midnight.

Hair of the Dog | FINALIST!

Don’t let the haunted hospital vibe scare you off, because this place serves one of the best selections of imported craft beer in Bangkok. First opened in Ploen Chit back in 2015, they have now expanded to Phrom Phong, retaining the dark vibe that goes so nicely with bitter IPAs and ‘90s rock.
2/F, Mahatun Plaza, 888/26 Phloen Chit Rd. 02-650-7589. Open daily 5pm-midnight.
593/27 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, 02-258-1461. Open daily 5pm-midnight.

Mikkeller | FINALIST!

Even in an age when every ‘hood in town boasts its own tap room, few can compete with the lineup of 30 brews from Denmark and beyond at Ekkamai’s Mikkeller outpost. Bonus points for the huge front lawn (barbecue time!) and quiet neighborhood setting.
26 Ekkamai Soi 10, 02-381-9891. Open daily 5pm-midnight.



La Casa Nostra 

You have partner Aman Sachdev’s wine merchant business, The Wine Merchant, to thank for the long, extensive and restorative list of bottles for under B1,000 at this Sathorn resting spot for refined, produce-driven Italian comfort food. Enjoy the cozy terrace (complete with petanque court) during the cooler months or take a seat inside the stately old home at the well-appointed bar.
22 Sathorn Soi 1 Yaek 2 (Goethe), 02-287-2402. Open daily 11:30am-midnight.

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About Eatery | FINALIST!

Hailing from Turin, Italy, Giulio Saverino turns conventional wine culture on its head at his rustic Bangkok bistro, instead educating his customers on the beguiling characteristics of natural wine. The menu—as thick as a phone book—is chock-full of biodynamic, natural and organic rarities that’ll challenge your perception of what wine should taste like.
G/F, Ocean Tower 2, Asoke 3, 02-665-2772. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30-11pm. Fri-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30-midnight. Sun 5:30-11pm.

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Kangkao | FINALIST!

The team behind Ku Bar, our favorite spot for Pra Sumen cocktails, has opened another hard-to-find venue, this time dedicated to natural and biodynamic wine. This petite place is so peaceful and cozy that you could just sit with a glass—OK, a bottle—looking pensively out the window for hours.
2/F, 469 Phra Sumen Rd., 02-067-6731. Open Wed-Sun 7pm-midnight.




Charoenkrung’s sleek modern izakaya is upmarket but wallet-friendly; concise but creative; artsy and effortlessly cool. In other words, it hits a sweet spot that most bar-restaurants miss. The Japanese-style bar grub proves simplicity is king with flawlessly juicy and tender grilled skewers, while the concise, quality list of sake, shochu and umeshu is ample fuel for a night out in this buzzing neighborhood.
672/49 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 02-103-6598. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight; Sun 5-10pm.


Tim Butler’s ever-evolving, transcontinental cuisine has made Eat Me a fixture on regional restaurant lists, and in mixologist Buntanes “Pop” Direkrittikul he has a worthy ally. Pop’s gastronomy-inspired creations don’t shy away from bold Thai flavors (khao mun kai in cocktail form, anyone?), ensuring this is far more than a run-of-the-mill watering hole.
1/6 Soi Phiphat 2, Convent Rd., 02-238-0931. Open daily 3pm-1am.

Penthouse | FINALIST!

Sunday brunch at Park Hyatt’s Penthouse has to be Bangkok’s booziest and most-fun, mixing free-flow G&Ts with video games including VR gaming machine to make you feel truly out of it. Other days, the lavish setting—steakhouse downstairs, expertly stocked back bar upstairs, whiskey antechamber hidden round the back—makes this one exceptional eating-and-drinking package.
34-36/F, Park Hyatt, 88 Wireless Rd., 02-011-7480. Open daily 5.30pm-midnight.



De Commune 

An abandoned room in Thonglor’s Liberty Plaza building roars to life with the sound of underground music, from indie and reggae to d’n’b and psytrance. With its raw industrial design, black walls and red neon lights, this is a proper live music venue that combines a stage for bands, a DJ desk, a quality (loud!) sound system, and a friendly crowd to guarantee a good night. Plus, the drinks are a steal. 
1/F, Liberty Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 088-419-7380. Open Wed-Sat 5pm-2am; Sun 5pm-midnight.

Studio Lam | FINALIST!

A huge soundsystem pumps out everything from molam to Ethio-jazz and Afro-beat onto a miniscule dancefloor bustling with a similarly ethno-diverse crowd lit on ya dong. Live sounds might come courtesy of Toomturn Molam Group, Yaan or the globe-trotting Paradise Bangkok, whose contemporary spin on Thai funk music is breathing new life into the genre.
Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-261-6661. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-2am.

Play Yard by Studio Bar | FINALIST!

Lad Phrao’s home of live indie rock and Leo towers welcomes the cool kids with aspiring bands hitting the stage most nights and prices that are a hangover from last decade. If the awkward rockstar posturing’s a bit much, retreat to the bric-a-brac-filled beer garden to chow down on deep-fried gab glaem (drinking snacks).
Lad Phrao Soi 8, 085-146-8017. Open daily 6pm-12:30am.



Bamboo Bar 

Take Bangkok’s oldest jazz bar (open since 1953), lavish it with a respectful new interior of lacquered bamboo and animal print, install a head barkeep (Jamie Rhind) who earned his stripes at London’s Artesian Bar, and you have a damn fine place to knock back a Manhattan and watch the live performances.
1/F, Mandarin Oriental, 48 Charoenkrung Soi 40 (Oriental Avenue), 02-659-9000. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am.

Saxophone | FINALIST!

This 30-something-year-old brick-walled jazz bar feels like a safe haven from Bangkok’s ever-changing scene. Located mere steps from the commuter bustle of Victory Monument, the city’s old jazz and reggae hands (Koh Mr. Saxman, T-Bone) enrapture audiences at very close quarters, accompanied by a new brigade of scene stealers.
3/8 Phaya Thai Rd., 02-246-5472. Open daily 6pm-2am. 

Smalls | FINALIST!

At David Jacobson’s den of urban bohemia, Wednesdays are for jazz. Not your plodding hotel-lounge jazz, either. We’re talking progressive sounds from the Pong Nakornchai Quartet or Stella Space, occasionally expanding to more out-there realms (Stylish Nonsense). The DJ regulars deserve props for ensuring a soundtrack that’s never stale, too.
186/3 Suanphlu Soi 1, 095-585-1398. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 7pm-2am.




Thanks to the downtown Yen Akat location, you get to enjoy views of big trees and low-rise buildings, with a glass wall differentiating this spot from your typical boxy cocktail bar. You can also head outside to feel like you’re sipping that cocktail in Palm Springs, California, surrounded by cacti and palm trees, or take the stairs to the rooftop for a more relaxed atmosphere, where you can chill around the bonfire.
4/F, 15 Yen Akat Rd., 083-437-3515; 02-249-1451. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-2am.

Thaipioka | FINALIST!

By the same team as Q&A and Sugar Ray, this place has a similar long layout, with added Japanese coziness. The living room-like space houses a light wooden bar lined with cute chairs, where quality drinks are served up in ceramic glassware. 
Salil Hotel, 44/7 Thonglor Soi 1, 087-713-6943. Open daily 7pm-2am.


Sake, skewers and one hell of a smooth terrazzo counter top. Tucked in an old corner lot that used to be an illegal casino, this bar-restaurant’s creaky metal door, large photo canvases and minimalist decor have a look of refined cool, which explains the eclectic mass crowd that hangs out here. 
672/49 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 02-103-6598. Open daily 6pm-midnight.



La Casa del Habano 

This intimate time-capsule of a cigar lounge mixes safari chic and gentlemen’s club stateliness—a colonial throwback in keeping with the hotel in which it sits. This was the first official retailer of Habanos cigars in Thailand, and today you can select from a range of 300 cigars (all Cubans). Pair your choice with one of the rare liquors in stock or order in one of the creative Thai concoctions from the adjoining Bamboo Bar.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 48 Oriental Avenue, 02-267-1596. Open daily 12pm-1am.

Character Whisky & Cigar Bar | FINALIST!

A hardwood and leather homage to the Oriental Express, this den of cigars and single malts is a slick operation. Fedora-wearing attendants are quick to prep or relight your hand-rolled cigar (Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Dominicans), while there’s an exhaustive list of Scotch for company.
G/F, Anantara Siam Hotel, 155 Rajdamri Rd., 02-254-4726. Open Mon-Sat 1pm-midnight
32/F, Compass SkyView Hotel, 12 Sukhumvit Soi 24, 02-011-1133. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-midnight.

Whisgars | FINALIST!

After an era of fancy cigar and whiskey lounges being available in five-star hotels only, came Whisgars. In this standalone, they put the focus on non-Cuban cigars (while most other places focus on Cubans) claiming that the region’s other producers actually offer better quality. 
16 Sukhumvit Soi 23, 02-661-3220. Open daily 2pm-2am. 



ABar Rooftop 

How many times have you been to a hotel rooftop bar and found the great views and service are let down by average drinks? That’s not the case here. The top floor specializes in gin, the floor below dark spirits.
38/F, Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-059-5999. Open daily 5pm-1am.

Penthouse | FINALIST!

We love Penthouse for one simple reason: they don’t rip you off. In fact, we don’t reckon there’s a cheaper beer at a five-star rooftop in Bangkok. It also helps when the view’s this stunning, plus that name—the Park Hyatt—it just sounds good. 
34-36/F, Park Hyatt, 88 Wireless Rd., 02-011-7480. Open daily 5.30pm-midnight.

Attitude Rooftop Bar & Restaurant | FINALIST!

This sky-high perch is perfect for playing spot-the-landmark thanks to a location looking straight at the big city. Check them all off while indulging in fruity, flamboyant cocktails and tasty grilled bar snacks. 
26/F, Avani Riverside, 257 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-431-9100. Open daily 5:30pm-1am.

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Tucked down a little alley behind Wat Pathumkongka, this charming riverside wooden house feels halfway between a gallery and a friend’s house, brimming with personality from colorful vintage furnishings, paintings, resident cats and all sorts of cat-related curios. The tasty Thai cuisine is augmented by Japanese touches, while drinks span craft beer, sake and cocktails, like the Purple Rain with butterfly pea tea, tequila, lemongrass and mint. Head there for a chilled sundowner on the riverside terrace to live DJ beats. 
1612 Songwat Rd., 086-978-9331. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 4pm-1am.

Supanniga Eating Room Tha Tien | FINALIST!

It was a happy day when we discovered that one of Thonglor and Sathorn’s most satisfying Thai restaurants would be branching out to an Old Town riverside location. Here you not only get Supanniga’s wonderful food with prime Wat Arun views, but also their excellent cocktail menu, brimming with well-considered localized classics.  
Riva Arun, 392/25-26 Maharaj Rd., 02-015-4224. Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm.

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Jack’s Bar | FINALIST!

Hidden behind the Shangri-La hotel you’ll find a drinking den of the old-school variety—flexing plastic chairs, classic Thai stir-fries (including knockout southern dishes beloved of chefs like 80/20’s Napol Jantraget) and ice-cool, sub-B100 Leos. There’s no air-con and you’ll have to arrive early if you want a rickety riverside perch, but we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 
Soi Wat Suan Plu, Charoenkrung Soi 42/1, 086-416-8182; 089-138-1922. Open daily 12pm-2am.


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Robin Hood 

Even if it didn’t possess such a prime location just staggering distance from BTS Phrom Phong, we’d still seek out this long-running British-leaning boozer thanks to its Bodingtons on tap, giant racks of ribs in a proper sticky barbecue sauce, and well-thumbed photocopies of The Sun and Daily Mail (you don’t have to agree with it to still want to read it). Pitch up for any big match or race and you’re guaranteed there’ll be a TV in prime sight showing it. 
597-597/1-3, P.B. Building, Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, 02-662-3390. Open daily 9am-1am.

Royal Oak | FINALIST!

This long-running pub will make you feel like you’re cozied up in a traditional British boozer. Here, you’ll find plenty of rugby screenings and, of course, British people. They also have generous happy hours every day from 4-8pm and the Comedy Club Bangkok is placed on their upstairs with shows every Friday. 
595/10-11 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, 02-662-1650. Open daily 10-1am.

Sportsman | FINALIST!

English? In Bangkok to witness their best World Cup performance since Lineker was in tight nylons? Then you’ll know that the Sportsman with its giant TVs primed for games from every angle was the place to be. Three lions on a shirt!
Trendy Building, 10/22 Sukhumvit Soi 13, 02-168-7241. Open daily 8-2am.



Salon Du Japonisant 

Liquor importer Bacchus Global presides over cocktails made with Japanese precision. Cushioned wicker armchairs surround a flowing, natural wood bar backed by bottles of shochu, sake, whiskeys and science lab-like equipment for a mind-blowing drinking experience. 
36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 083-019-9062. Open Mon-Sat 7pm-1am.


Don’t let the fact that this is a hotel rooftop bar put you off, as here they really know what they’re doing. The drinks alone prove that they’ve done enough homework to compete with any Bangkok standalone.
37/F, Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-059-5999. Open daily 6pm-1am.

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#FindThePhotoBooth | FINALIST!

Yes, this cocktail bar is located on Sukhumvit Soi 11, but don’t worry, you won’t be drinking Long Island Ice Teas here. Coming from the team behind The Locker Room, they keep up the speakeasy gimmick and definitely bring a touch of class to Nana. 
2/F, 14 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-117-2636. Open daily 6pm-2am.

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There’s more to Bangkok nightlife than just Sukhumvit. Thanks to leafy surrounds, you can pretend you’re in in Palm Springs, California, while sipping your cocktail by the rooftop bonfire, or head inside where the natural scenery can still be enjoyed thanks to glass walls.
4/F, 15 Yen Akat Rd., 083-437-3515; 02-249-1451. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-2am.

Smalls | FINALIST!

If you work in Bangkok F&B then the theme tune to Cheers—”where everybody knows your name”—rings true at this, art-filled shop-house. But it’s not just “Hospitality Night” that has this spot pumping. Progressive jazz acts, a roof terrace and Danny Yeung’s ever-impressive cocktails make visiting Smalls a no-brainer.  
186/3 Suanphlu Soi 1, 095-585-1398. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 7pm-2am.

Junker and Bar | FINALIST!

By our reckoning, still the absolute cheapest place in Bangkok to find superlative gin, poured as it should be (stiffly) and with a decent tonic to boot. Owner Bard Passapon serves 20 of his own infusions on the menu, which accounts for much of the bar’s unbelievable Friday night popularity. That, and the burgers. 
454 Suanphlu Soi 1, 085-100-3608. Open Tue-Sun 3pm-midnight.

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What a difference one year makes. Not so much in terms of the drinks—those still come from head barman Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana’s lengthy and ambitious “Art Book”—but thanks to a wholescale reinvention that’s turned a sprawling bistro into an intimate cocktail counter where everyone’s in earshot of the bartenders. Ask them to knock you up your favorite classic, they’ll do it. Tell them it’s not quite to your liking, they’ll do it again. Now that’s service! 
10/15 Convent Rd., 02-235-2777. Open daily 5:30pm-1am.

Whiteline and Safe Room | FINALIST!
This may be within walking distance of Patpong (and Hooters) but the vibe here is rather different. Whiteline and its upstairs speakeasy club Safe Room play a big part in Bangkok’s underground music scene, making it the coolest hangout for Silom’s hipster crowd. 
Silom Soi 8, 087-061-1117. Open Thu-Sun 7pm-midnight.

Yao Rooftop Bar | FINALIST!

Tucked up on the 32nd floor of the newest Bangkok Marriott, this rooftop bar has impressive panoramic views encompassing the peaceful Chao Phraya river and historic Old Town as well as Bangkok’s business district high rises. Both the decor and the cocktails come with contemporary Shianghainese twists.
32/F, Marriott Hotel The Surawongse, 262 Surawong Rd., 02-088-5666. Open daily 5pm-2am.



The Key Room No. 72 

If you think Ari cocktails are all simple and easy-drinking, think again, as this recent opening’s (very) spirit-forward concoctions are proof that quality, crafted cocktails are no longer reserved for Sukhumvit only. Keeping up with the speakeasy trend, the ‘20s-style bar is hidden away in a secret room, only accessible after obtaining a keycard. 
G/F, Josh Hotel, 19/2 Ari Soi 4 (Nua), 02-102-4999. Open daily 6pm-2am.

Frank Mansion | FINALIST!

Ari is best known for its hipster, craft beer bars but Frank Mansion pioneered switching it up with cocktails. Coming from the same team as Ari’s Sousaku, Porcupine Cafe, Landhaus, Sasori Izakaya and O’Glee, and with food collabs with Phra Athit’s Rarb, it’s fair to say this place doesn’t disappoint.
3-4/F, Ari One, Ari Soi 1, 02-048-3225. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-1am.

Dok Kaew | FINALIST!

On the fringes of what can legitimately be described as Ari, Dok Kaew House Bar pumps out serious brews from a makeshift tap machine amid an environment that would look right at home in Pee Mak Phra Khanong. Order up one of partners Supot “Pot” Onmark’s personal brewing experiments and let the night take you wild.
71 Rama 6 Soi 28, 089-993-1663. Open daily 5pm-midnight.



Studio Lam 

The headline venue of arguably Sukhumvit’s coolest 30-meter stretch of real estate, this world music bar doesn’t do quiet nights. Beat the mid-week hump with Tuesday’s jazz vinyl night or Wednesday’s live molam sessions or hold out till the weekend when ya dong
-fueled creative types pack the dancefloor no matter which DJ is on duty.
Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-261-6661. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-2am.

Backstage | FINALIST!

One of Bangkok’s cocktail pioneers still remains an industry favorite. Here, you will find bartenders from around town coming to wind down with after-shift drinks—if it’s good enough for those guys, it’s good enough for you. 
L/F, Playhaus Thonglor, 205/22-23 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 061-519-5891. Open daily 7pm-2am.

12 x 12 | FINALIST!

Thonglor night clubs tend to be full of posers trying to “be somebody.” Luckily, you can forget about that here, because it’s full of quirky Japanese hippies who are cool without even trying. The decor really adds to the bar’s eccentricity—nothing matches but somehow everything goes. You won’t know the music, but do give their boozy homemade concoctions a try. 
810/22 Thonglor Soi Thararom 2, 082-012-0720. Open Tue-Sat 7pm-2am.



Tropic City 

This community-focused tropical cocktail bar has made waves in the neighborhood, hosting collaborative block parties with local restaurants like 80/20 that have kick-started a shift down the road for the area’s nightlife. Despite their impressive cocktail list from award-winning bartenders—think fat-washed rums and bark-infused vodkas—they manage to dodge stuffiness with their tropical shirts and jovial atmosphere. And pssst, top tip—if you don't wanna drink the cocktails they'll pour you a cheapo whiskey soda instead.
672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 083-838-2750. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.

Asia Today | FINALIST!

What a year it’s been for Soi Nana. From arty backwater to fully fledged cafe-hopper’s paradise. Fortunately, we have Asia Today to thank for still keeping the cool credentials alive. It’s not just about those incredible drinks—no idea what’s in them but damn they taste good—but also a properly cool, speakeasy vibe. 
35 Soi Maitri Chit, 097-134-4704. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.

Wallflowers Upstairs | FINALIST!

You’ll feel like you’re entering the secret garden as you ascend the creaky wooden staircase that leads to this rustic rooftop bar. Through a maze of hanging plants, flower tube chandeliers, exposed brick walls, fairy lights and wooden ladders, you’ll be met with international dishes and Garden of Eden-themed cocktails. 
Rooftop/F, Oneday Wallflowers, 37-39-41 Soi Nana, 096-727-6789. Open daily 6pm-midnight.



The Loft 

Bangkok’s beau monde are making a beeline up the rolling brass staircase of the Waldorf Astoria’s F&B suite and into this intimate cocktail den thanks not just to those stunning interiors by AvroKo, but also because head barman Michele Montauti has found his natural habitat: refined, spirit-forward, and with a strong nod to time-worn traditions. The original Waldorf Manhattan is superb, though you’d be just as happy with a surprisingly affordable bottle of Cava. 
56/F, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, 151 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-846-8888. Open daily 5pm-midnight.

Penthouse | FINALIST!

We’ve had nothing but praise for the showpiece bar at the Park Hyatt ever since it opened in 2017. The interior is stunning. The drinks are the right price and don’t skimp on the premium stuff. The music is decent. If we had one complaint, it’s that not enough people are taking notice. 
34-36/F, Park Hyatt, 88 Wireless Rd., 02-011-7480. Open daily 5.30pm-midnight.

Hair of the Dog | FINALIST!

Their first branch hidden above the lively La Monita acts as a gathering spot for drinks (especially Americans) thanks to excellent imports from the US. After years of growth on Bangkok’s craft beer scene, this bar remains one of our firm favorites.
2/F, Mahatun Plaza, 888/26 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-650- 7589. Open daily 5pm-midnight.

BK B.A.D. Awards 2018 is available as a free booklet inserted in BK Magazine issue number 751 (Nov 23) and as a downloadable PDF version here