Nights out in this city just keep getting better.

Over the past three years, the B.A.D. Awards have given us at BK Magazine a chance to raise a glass in honor of the best places to drink, party and spend mostly unforgettable nights out in Bangkok. Somehow, we’re all still kicking.

To put together this year’s guide, we’ve once again hit the streets, and hard. We’ve bellied up to the bar at more places than we care to count, sampling rotary-evaporated cocktails, tasting the latest bottles of gin on the market, finding out why water bugs are suddenly a thing and assessing the freshness of the same IPA at several different bars across town. Helluva life, isn’t it?

More than just putting our livers through the ringer, we’ve spoken with bartenders, importers and insiders, examined the kinds of crowds turning up at bars citywide, and spent maybe too much time dissecting playlists to give you the most qualified perspective we can. That’s because Bangkok nightlife has arguably never been better. From natural wine, cutting-edge craft beer and world-class cocktails to clubs pushing the sonic boundaries, the quality keeps improving across the industry. But that competition means that every bar in these pages really deserves your time and attention.

BK's B.A.D. (Bangkok After Dark) 2019 guide launched with an awards night on Nov 21, 2019, at Koi, in an event that welcomed over 300 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.

BAR OF THE YEAR

 
 

Tropic City 

Need to know: Another year has gone by, but nothing can dull the shine on this tropical, tucked-away, party-loving hotspot.
Why we love it: Drinks remain delicious, potent and downable as ever, while a steady flow of good vibes and DJ takeovers are guaranteed.
One drink to order: One of everything.
672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 083-838-2750. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-2am
 

008 

Need to know: After stints at Vesper and Zuma, Pailin “Milk” Sajjanit has finally struck out on her own with this low-lit, jazz-soundtracked, Prohibition-inspired cocktail bar.
Why we love it: Milk’s spirit-forward drinks are as well-balanced as you’d expect from someone with a Diageo Southeast Asia World Class-winning pedigree.
One drink to order: The 1920s: a drier, lighter version of the Negroni.
11/F, Akyra Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-8959. Open daily 6pm-1am
 

Asia Today 

Need to know: The pot-stirring team behind Teens of Thailand puts Thai ingredients in the spotlight at this Chinatown mainstay.
Why we love it: Wild garlic, organic cacao, tiger’s ear leaf—foraged ingredients form the backbone of one of the most creative menus in the city.
One drink to order: Get a monkfruit- and tonic-infused coffee during the day, stick around for the Eastern Honey at night, a honey-and-gin drink served in a beeswax cup.
35 Maitri Chit Rd., 097-134-4704. Open Mon-Thu 7pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 7pm-1am

BEST NEW BAR

 
 

008 

Need to know: Fancy as hell but fun and lively all the same—this collab between Pailin “Milk” Sajjanit and the Q&A and Thaipioka teams is the cocktail den of your dreams.
Why we love it: Jazz nights, impeccable cocktails and a single malt collection you’d expect to find at an upscale Japanese whiskey bar.
One drink to order: The Pyroblast, which features a “lost recipe” for a Prohibition Era spice mix.
11/F, Akyra Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-8959. Open daily 6pm-1am
 

Liberation 

Need to know: Thonglor’s hot new cocktail bar has been the talk of 2019 thanks to the Avengers-esque team of bartenders—comprising members of Rabbit Hole, Canvas, Backstage and Tropic City—and their scientific approaches to flavor extraction.
Why we love it: The menu here is filled with surprises and opportunities to explore new flavors and techniques.
One drink to order: Ask the bartenders—they’re experts at selecting for you.
Piman 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, 093-654-2500. Open daily 7pm-1:30am
 

The Key Room No. 72 

Need to know: Ask for a keycard at the front desk to gain access to this tiny 1920s-style space painted in deep red and surrounded by mirrors.
Why we love it: This hideaway brought spirit-forward cocktails to Ari, and the neighborhood has never been the same since.
One drink to order: The Sazerac.
 
 

BEST COCKTAIL BAR

 
 

Salon Du Japonisant 

Need to know: Don’t be intimidated by the unmarked door; within, you’ll find the stuff of Japanese liquor geeks’ dreams, courtesy of spirit importer and owner Bacchus Global.
Why we love it: Head bartender Kei Sawada, unfailing in his exacting precision and delicacy, brings a vast array of homemade ingredients to his concoctions.
One drink to order: Any classic with a Japanese twist.
36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 092-294-4457. Open Mon-Sat 7pm-1am
 

Find the Locker Room 

Need to know: This not-so-secret speakeasy combines the cocktail prowess of some of Asia’s best bartenders.
Why we love it: The bar team revamped its pastpresent-future menu in September 2019. The result? Some of the best cocktails you’ll try this year.
One drink to order: Happy Endings—a future take on the El Presidente, featuring clever touches like pomegranate and blueberry wine jam, creme brulee syrup and Greek yogurt.
406 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 061-524-2689. Open daily 7pm-2am
 

Liberation

Need to know: Thonglor’s hot new cocktail bar amps the creativity up to 11.
Why we love it: Members of Rabbit Hole, Canvas, Backstage and Tropic City are behind this new opening—nowonder this is one of the most advanced cocktail menus we’ve ever come across.
One drink to order: We love their “Explorer” menu, which takes single ingredients—cacao, goat milk, water bugs (yes, you read that right)—and runs with them.
Piman 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, 093-654-2500. Open daily 7pm-1:30am
 

BEST  SPECIALTY  BAR

 
 

Yoshibar 

Need to know: This low-key bar launched by Yoshito Suzuki, former bar manager of Orihara Shoten, brings sake down to earth.
Why we love it: Super-friendly happy hours, over a dozen sake labels and a lived-in vibe give this the unpretentious bar staying power.
One drink to order: The menu’s always changing, so ask Yoshi-san for his favorite junmai-shu at the moment.
9:53 Community Mall, 124 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-115-2944
 

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Get a complimentary dish or drink valued up to THB 200 when spending via Citi credit card (limit 1 drink or dish /card /table /sales slip)
01 Oct ‘19 - 30 Sep ‘20

 

Hailiang 

Need to know: Maybe the most unassuming high-end whiskey bar in town, with tons of hand-picked Japanese single malts on the shelves.
Why we love it: It still feels like a secret, and Osaka-born barkeep Jay will help you find the perfect drink from a collection of bottles that date back to the 1950s.
One drink to order: Start with a Yamazaki single malt and let Jay-san guide you from there.
4/11 Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-662-1576.
Open daily 6pm-1:30am
 

Teens of Thailand 

Need to know: Niks Anuman-Rajadhon’s first Soi Nana bar—the one that broke all the rules—still packs them in nightly, thanks to its next-level gin selection and stripped-down shophouse vibe.
Why we love it: The G&Ts, for one, but also that devil-may-care, anti-sellout ethos. The roasted chestnuts never get old, either.
One drink to order: Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin with your favorite tonic.
76 Soi Nana (Charoenkrung Rd.), 081-443-3784. Open Wed-Sun 6pm-12:30am
 
 

BEST NIGHTCLUB

 
 

Beam 

Need to know: The winner of BK’s Best Nightclub Award in 2018 is still no. 1 thanks to its heady mix of laser beams and house, techno and electronic music played on a heavy sound system.
Why we love it: From Digitalism to Hermitude, not a month has gone by in 2019 without Beam hosting a worthwhile event.
One drink to order: Stick to beer.
1/F, 72 Courtyard, Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-7750. Open Wed-Sat 9pm-2am
 

Safe Room

Need to know: Tucked above Whiteline’s grungy art space, this intimate club manages to balance an underground yet down-to-earth vibe, attracting an eclectic music-loving community to its compact dancefloor.
Why we love it: On top of house, electronic and techno nights, Safe Room has also been a solid champion of d’n’b this year, with and impressive roster of DJs—LTJ Bukem killed it.
One drink to order: Thai craft beer.
2/F, Whiteline, Silom Soi 8, 087-061-1117. Open Thu-Fri 10pm-3am, Sat 8pm-3am
 

Havana Social

Need to know: Sukhumvit’s not-so-secret Latin “speakeasy” transports you back to pre-revolution Cuba with mid-century bric-a-brac, live bands and crowds attempting to salsa on the perpetually cramped dance floor.
Why we love it: We always have a good time here, plus events like their Carnival Street Party and salsa classes keep us coming back.
One drink to order: Cuba Libre.
Sukhumvit Soi 11, 080-467-7409. Open daily 6pm-2am
 

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01 Aug ‘19 - 31 Jan ‘20

 
 

BEST DIVE BAR

 
 

12 x 12 

Need to know: Thonglor’s hidden hipster haunt sees an unassuming backstreet townhouse turned into a cozy hangout, where musicians and DJs oversee esoteric sounds spanning everything from reggae and Afro trap to funky disco and world music.
Why we love it: Despite the sometimes cliquey crowd, the unique lineup of music keeps drawing us back in.
One drink to order: One of the bizarre shots.
810/22 Thonglor Soi Thararom 2, 094-260-4713. Open Tue-Sat 6pm-2am
 

Fatty’s

Need to know: Craft beer, live bands and borderline obscene burgers in a space that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Milwaukee back alley.
Why we love it: Dives like this only get better with age, and Fatty’s is a seven-year-old bar that looks like it’s been around since 1972.
One drink to order: PBR tallboys.
598/66 Asoke-Dindaeng Rd., 02-245-2965, 081-438-7221. Open Tue-Sun 11am-midnight
 

Jam 

Need to know: This former cafe has done more than just revitalize a rundown soi in Surasak—it has become ground zero for the city’s underground art and music scenes.
Why we love it: Arthouse movie nights, pajama karaoke sessions and DJ sets that challenge pretty much every musical convention you can name.
One drink to order: Beer Lao, if you’re feeling fancy.
41 Charoen Rat Soi 1., 089-889-8059. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight
 
 

BEST BEER BAR

 

Mikkeller 

Need to know: It’s hard to top 30 rotating taps and hundreds of hard-to-find cans and bottles that you can drink on a huge, secluded lawn.
Why we love it: More exclusive beers treated with the kind of care they deserve. In 2019 alone, they hosted tap takeovers featuring Grimm Artisanal Ales, Otherside and Cloudwater.
One drink to order: Whatever sour beer from a world-class brewery is on tap, like Garage Project’s Wabi Sabi Sour.
26 Ekamai Soi 10, Yaek 2, 02-381-9891. Open daily 5pm-midnight
 

Hair of the Dog

Need to know: Both branches of this asylum-themed joint (Phloen Chit and Phrom Phong) serve head-spinning selections of craft beer imports.
Why we love it: Weekly tap takeovers and parties plus more new and sought-after beers—all with that trademark haunted vibe—make this brand a perpetual winner in our book.
One drink to order: Liquid Lobotomy, a piney IPA brewed for Hair of the Dog by Heart of Darkness.
2/F Mahatun Plaza, 888 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-650-7589. Open daily 5pm-midnight 
593/27 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, 02-258-1461. Open daily 11am-midnight
 
 

BEST WINE BAR

 
 

La Casa Nostra 

Need to know: Thanks to Aman Sachdev (founder of The Wine Merchant) and chef Alessandro Frau, this Sathorn townhouse is a wine geek’s sanctuary.
Why we love it: Over 1,000 bottles—some very rare—and incredible Italian comfort food is a recipe everyone can get behind.
One drink to order: Anything off the “wines of the week” list.
22 Sathorn Soi 1, Yaek 2 (Soi Goethe), 02-287-2402. Open daily 11:30am-midnight
 

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05 Sep ‘19 - 31 Aug ‘20

 

About Eatery

Need to know: Bangkok’s torchbearer for sustainable, natural and biodynamic wines puts small artisan growers in the spotlight.
Why we love it: It’s clear the people here care about their products and the process that goes into them, and you’re always going to find a surprise in the phonebook-thick menu.
One drink to order: The funky, tropical, skin-fermented Jumpin Juice Yellow orange wine.
G/F, Ocean Tower 2, Asoke Soi 3, 02-665-2772. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm; Mon-Thu 5:30-11pm; Sun 5:30-11pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-midnight
 

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15 Jul ‘19 - 15 Jul ‘20

 

The Champagne Bar

Need to know: This super-luxurious speakeasy serves a Champagne selection that’s perfect for celebrations.
Why we love it: The prices aren’t so high as to be completely unaffordable, making this place perfect for when you want to treat yourself or celebrate a special occasion.
One drink to order: Go with friends and grab a B4,000 bottle from the 25-deep selection of bubbles.
 

Exclusively for Citi ULTIMA, Prestige, Premier, Mercedes, ROP Preferred and Select card members
Get a complimentary half dozen of imported oysters valued THB 900 when spending THB 5,000 or more/ sales slip (between 5-7pm and limit 1 dish/ card/ table/ sales slip)
1 Jul ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘19

 

BEST RESTAURANT-BAR

 
 

Olta 

Need to know: This newcomer on the upper crust of the city’s dining circuit brings modern British cuisine and craft cocktails to Suan Phlu.
Why we love it: The drinks are at least as good as the food. In fact, they might even be better.
One drink to order: The Cucumber Fizz, a mix of Old Tom gin, elderflower, cucumber and tonic.
101/11 Suanphlu Rd., 094-656-2159. Open daily 11:30am-2pm (with brunch on the weekend), 5pm-midnight
 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members
Get a complimentary scotch egg valued THB 110 when spending via Citi credit card (limit 1 dish /card /sales slip).
01 Oct ‘19 - 30 Sep ‘20

 

Chu Chinese

Need to know: Start with authentic Hong Kong fare in thepeach-washed dining room before sliding into the neon-clad bar for a heady cocktail.
Why we love it: This new opening hits the sweet spot between casual and upmarket, while rolling two venues into one for an ideal start to a big night out.
One drink to order: Any Chinese-themed cocktail.
 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members
Get a complimentary Lime Ice Jelly valued THB 76.50 when spending THB 600 or more /sales (limit 1 dish /card /table /sales slip).
01 Aug ‘19 - 31 Jan ‘20

 

Jua 

Need to know: This modern izakaya fuels nights out in Talad Noi with perfectly juicy charcoal grilled skewers, an effortlessly cool vibe and ample sake, shochu and umeshu.
Why we love it: The artsy but unpretentious design, simple but flavorful skewers and a drinks list that would make any sake somm nod in approval.
One drink to order: Start with sake, end with an umeshu highball.
672/49 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 02-103-6598. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight; Sun 5-10pm
 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members
Get a complimentary dessert valued up to THB 250 when spending THB 1,000 (limit 1 dish /card /table /sales slip).
01 Nov ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘20

 
 

BEST LIVE MUSIC BAR

 
 

Studio Lam 

Need to know: Adventurous live sounds—Thai funk, Ethio-jazz, modern boogie—fill DJ Maft Sai’s compact enclave off Sukhumvit. Retro furnishings and record-lined walls complete the look.
Why we love it: Despite being discovered by the elephant-panted masses, nights spanning from upbeat molam and hip-hop to visiting artists like reggae legend Tippa Irie see us returning to this little gem time and again.
One drink to order: Ya dong.
Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-261-6661. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-2am
 

Black Cabin

Need to know: Amid a moodily-lit cabin vibe of dark red lighting and taxidermy animals, a packed weekly schedule of live music covers genres as diverse as jazz, soul, blues and electro, along with vinyl-heavy DJ sets. A leafy garden area provides space to chill.
Why we love it: From Disney nights filled with nostalgic belters to Sunday barbecues and ‘80s showdowns, this place is nothing but good vibes.
One drink to order: Any liquor—the bartenders pour it strong.
 

De Commune 

Need to know: Located in an abandoned mall with raw industrial design to boot, this hidden venue screams underground. The crowd is one of the friendliest in the city.
Why we love it: Nights here can be hit-or-miss, but when they’re good, they’re really good. De Commune continues to boast one of Bangkok’s most eclectic lineups— think psytrance, metal, rock, experimental pop, d ‘n’ b, reggae and more.
One drink to order: Sangsom and coke.
 
 

BEST NEW DESIGN

 
 

Baby Bar 

Need to know: This funky hotel bar-restaurant is an interior designer’s dream, drawing from every rule in the Art Deco book.
Why we love it: The peachy pastel color scheme and funky cosmic orb lights, to start.
One drink to order: During the day, you can sip on a Bubble Matcha Latte, but come nightfall go for the fruity, gin-based Baby Shower.
1/F, Craftsman Hotel, Phahonyothin Soi 11, 02-279-7299 ext. 55. Open daily 11am-midnight
 

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01 Nov ‘19 - 3 Dec ‘20

 

Honest Mistake

Need to know: This shady Saphan Khwai speakeasy conjures the Shanghai mafia era.
Why we love it: From the fake Chinese pawnshop entrance to the old-school mahjong table lit up by neon red signs, this place goes all in on its theme.
One drink to order: The Chinese ingredient-laden concoctions come in three styles: sweet, sour and complex—go with the latter.
488 Phahonyothin Rd., 062-490-5126. Open daily 7pm-2am
 

Lennon’s

Need to know: Rosewood Bangkok’s crowning glory features an entrance hall lined with 6,000 records that you can play and even buy. Once inside, sultry Art Deco light fixtures meet retro brown leather sofas and a spiral staircase leading up to a clandestine cigar lounge.
Why we love it: The entrance looks like a mix between a Tokyo record bar and a mid-century recording studio.
One drink to order: A music-themed cocktail.
30/F, Rosewood, 1041/38 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-080-0030. Open daily 7pm-midnight
 

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01 Jul ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘19

 
 

BEST ROOFTOP BAR

 
 

ABar Rooftop 

Need to know: Too many rooftops allow stunning views to be let down by substandard drinks. That’s not the case here. Sit downstairs for dark spirits or upstairs for the 50-plus labels of gin.
Why we love it: Their chairs with built-in air-conditioning always get us, plus their events schedule is packed with tastings, live music and even pop-up cinemas.
One drink to order: G&T.
37/F, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-059-5999. Open daily 6pm-1am
 

Seen

Need to know: Sweeping views over the Chao Phraya River combine with a stunningly lavish design, funky music, playful cocktails and friendly service for a relaxed but special feel.
Why we love it: This year, Seen replaced its predecessor Attitude, bringing some Portuguese flair to the riverside courtesy of celeb chef Olivier Da Costa. Plus, the view remains second to none.
One drink to order: An Asian-twist cocktail.
 

Sky on 20

Need to know: Maybe the most chilled out—and definitely the best value—rooftop bar in the city is the kind of place we wish could remain a secret.
Why we love it: Legitimately affordable cocktails on a rooftop, and they’re good.
One drink to order: The rum- and mango-based Bango if you want something sweet, Victoria’s Old Fashioned if you’re still feeling the spirit-forward drinks.
26/F, Novotel Bangkok, 19/9 Sukhumvit Soi 20, 02-009-4999. Open daily 5pm-midnight
 

BEST RIVERSIDE BAR

 
Credit by: www.facebook.com/samsarabkk/
 

Samsara 

Need to know: This hard-to-find wooden house is one of Bangkok’s worst-kept secrets. Grab a seat on the riverside deck surrounded by artwork and chilled-out beats as you watch the world float by.
Why we love it: There’s nothing more relaxing than a sundowner at this unpretentious spot.
One drink to order: Sake.
1612 Songwat Rd., 02-639-6853. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight
 

Dock No. 13

Need to know: A classy place to drink right on the river on Phra Arthit, with 13 taps of craft beer and live music? It almost sounds too good to be true.
Why we love it: These guys are plugged in to the Thai craft beer scene, and you can’t beat that riverside setting by the Rama XIII bridge at the golden hour.
One drink to order: Whatever Udomsuk beer they’re pouring.
49/7 Phra Arthit Rd., 02-629-5165. Open Mon-Fri 9am-noon, 3pm-midnight; Sat-Sun 9am-noon, 1pm-midnight
 

Jack’s Bar 

Need to know: This rickety shack is proof that riverside doesn’t always equal fancy. Cheap beers and killer Thai food have secured it as both a local and tourist fave.
Why we love it: Every year that this old-school drinking den stands its increasingly valuable ground, our love grows deeper.
One drink to order: Leo.
Cheroenkrung Soi 42/1, 086-416-8182. Open daily noon-2am
 

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01 Jul ‘19 - 30 Jun ‘20

 
 

BEST PUBS

 

Robin Hood 

Need to know: With its cozy wood cladding, carpet-covered booths and eau de stale beer, this long-running boozer is the closest Bangkok gets to the Blighty we know and love—even if the red phone box takes it a step too far.
Why we love it: It’s stumbling distance from BTS Phrom Phong and draws a raucously fun crowd for every big match and race.
One drink to order: A pint of Boddington’s.
597-597/1-3, P.B Building, Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, 02-662-3390. Open daily 9-1am
 

Ekamai Beer House 

Need to know: This three-story beer house boasts 16 draft beers on tap, regular live music and a sports bar featuring a pool table, shuffle board and large TV screens.
Why we love it: They show all the major sports matches and have a never-ending happy hour on Asahi. Plus, they serve chip butties.
One drink to order: Asahi.
Ekkamai Soi 2, 02-714-3924. Open daily 11:30am-midnight
 

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01 Jan ‘20 - 31 Dec ‘20

 

Sportsman

Need to know: It may have all the charm of a pool hall in the Midwest US, but you can’t beat this place for cheap beer and live sports.
Why we love it: Big screens and big towers of beer, plus a solid selection of craft beers.
One drink to order: Deschutes Fresh Squeezed if you’re there at night, a Bloody Mary if you’re popping in to catch the game at 7am.
Unit 10/22 Trendy Condominium, Sukhumvit Soi 13. 02-168-7242. Open daily 7-2am
 

BEST ASOKE - NANA

 

#FindThePhotoBooth 

Need to know: From the Locker Room team, this other hideaway pairs classic cocktails with Thai-twist companions in a dark and moody space.
Why we love it: Soi 11’s recent facelift may already be drooping, but this place rises above it all.
One drink to order: Any Thai-twist cocktail.
2F, 14 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-117-2636. Open daily 6pm-2am
 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members
Get a complimentary drink valued THB 390 when spending THB 390 or more /sales slip (limit 1 drink /card /table /sales slip)
01 Sep ‘19 - 30 Jun ‘20

 

Havana Social

Need to know: Sukhumvit’s Latin party enclave is all raucous live bands, energetic salsa dancing, puffs of cigar smoke and flowing rums from around the world.
Why we love it: This place is an oasis among Nana’s seedy bars and touristy mega clubs.
One drink to order: Rum.
Sukhumvit Soi 11, 080-467-7409. Open daily 6pm-2am
 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members
Get 10% discount on food only when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip
01 Aug ‘19 - 31 Jan ‘20

 

Sky on 20

Need to know: Affordable drinks, almost priceless views and a mellow beach club vibe make this rooftop bar one to put on your radar.
Why we love it: Good music, good drinks and no selfie-hungry hordes.
One drink to order: B350 for bubbles? Sounds like a winner.
 

BEST PHROM PHONG

Salon du Japonisant 

Need to know: It goes to reason that Bangkok’s Japanese enclave should have a proper Japanese cocktail bar—cover charge and all—yet this unmarked gem from spirit importer Bacchus Global remains largely under-the radar.
Why we love it: Head bartender Kei Sawada’s painstaking concoctions are sheer perfection.
One drink to order: Everything is amazing.
36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 092-294-4457. Open Mon-Sat 7pm-1am
 

ABar

Need to know: This rooftop bar overlooking Benjasiri Park offers two bars—one with a focus on dark spirits, one specializing in gin (with Bangkok’s biggest selection), and both are worth your time.
Why we love it: Besides their apocalypse-ready collection of gin, they’re always hosting new events, be it Negroni Week, Scottish gin and malt tastings or movie nights.
One drink to order: Gin, gin and gin.
37/F, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-059-5555. Open daily 5pm-1am 2
 

Mutual Bar

Need to know: This low-lit, speakeasy-like space brings a welcome element to a soi that was sorely lacking refined nightlife.
Why we love it: The drinks are solid, but it’s the opento-all-comers vibe that will make this bar your new neighborhood haunt.
One drink to order: Order The Mutual and let the bartenders attempt to create your signature style.
5/F, 3/7 Sukhumvit Soi 24, 02-550-6820. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-1am
 

BEST SATHORN - SILOM BAR

 
 

Vesper 

Need to know: This long-standing cocktail den specializes in stiff drinks and stellar service, courtesy of head barman Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana, winner of the inaugural Campari Bartender Competition Asia.
Why we love it: This is hallowed ground for devotees of the classics. Drop by next door’s newly opened sister bar 1919 to try a Negroni how it’s supposed to be made.
One drink to order: The Vesper Martini.
10/15 Convent Rd., 02-235-2777. Open daily 5pm-1am
 

Junker and Bar

Need to know: Suan Phlu’s hip rebirth started way back in 2013 with this compact bar, where tables fill up nightly, home-infused gin and local craft beers flow freely, and towering burgers topple from the kitchen.
Why we love it: This is our go-to for decently-priced, well-made after work drinks and tasty bites—when we can get a seat, that is.
What to order: Gin.
454 Suanphlu Soi 1, 085-100-3608. Open Tue-Sun 3pm-midnight 2
 

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15 Oct ‘19 - 30 Sep ‘20

 

Smalls

Need to know: If you work in F&B or hang out with the creative cool kids, odds are you’ve spent your fair share of nights out at this art-filled hot spot.
Why we love it: Danny Yeung’s reliably good cocktails, industry nights, avant garde jazz and extra late opening hours.
One drink to order: Absinthe.
186/3 Suanphlu Soi 1, 095-585-1398. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 7pm-2am
 

BEST ARI - PHAHONYOTHIN BAR

 
 

Baby Bar 

Need to know: You won’t find a better-looking bar this side of Thonglor.
Why we love it: Ari itself looks so retro you’d think the neighborhood was stuck in the ‘60s, and no bar fits in better with this aesthetic than Baby Bar.
One drink to order: Whiskey sour.
1/F, Craftsman Hotel, Phahonyothin Soi 11, 02-279-7299 ext. 55. Open daily 11am-midnight
 

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01 Nov ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘20

 

Honest Mistake

Need to know: It’s been a good year for Saphan Khwai, in no small part due to openings like this Shanghai mafia-themed faux gambling den.
Why we love it: Speakeasies may be done to death, but this one’s unique theme brings something new to the (mahjong) table.
One drink to order: A Chinese herb cocktail.
488 Phahonyothin Rd., 062-490-5126. Open daily 7pm-2am 
 

The Key Room No. 72 

Need to know: The first “secret bar” to open in Ari established its bona fides with solid drinks.
Why we love it: Before this bar opened, there was no place to go in Ari for a quality classic cocktail.
One drink to order: Gin Martini.
G/F, Josh Hotel, 19/2 Ari Soi 4 (Nua), 02-102-4999. Open daily 6pm-2am 3
 
 

BEST THONGLOR/EKKMAI BAR

 
 

008 

Need to know: You can’t walk half a block in Thonglor without finding some highfalutin cocktail bar, but 008 transcends its pretentious neighbors with discreet service and high-quality drinks.
Why we love it: 008 shows that Thonglor still rules the night.
One drink to order: Bar manager Milk’s pick if she had one last drink on Earth: an Old Fashioned.
11/F, Akyra Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-8959. Open daily 6pm-1am
 

Liberation

Need to know: This sleek newcomer to Bangkok’s thriving cocktail scene manages to stand out thanks to ultra-creative concoctions by some of the city’s finest mixologists.
Why we love it: Thonglor may be saturated with cocktail bars, but where else can you get a water bug-infused drink?
One drink to order: If bugs aren’t your thing, pick from the WWII-inspired creations or their zero waste counterparts.
Piman 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, 093-654-2500. Open daily 7pm-1:30am
 

Funky Lam

Need to know: Full-flavored Laotian recipes and an old school funk soundtrack combine at the noir-industrial dining room of nightlife baron Sanya Souvanna Phouma (Bed Supperclub, Maggie Choo’s, Sing Sing and Cactus).
Why we love it: Hand-painted rattan blinds, dashes of neon and flickering film projections lend a vibe that’s sultry and clandestine, while the crisp, dried chilies might be the best free bar snack in town.
One drink to order: The punchy, tamarind-laced Lazy Sour.
The Taste Thonglor, 235 Thong Lor Soi 11, 02-050-0469. Open Sun-Mon, Wed-Thu 6-11pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-midnight
 

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01 Jun ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘19

 
 

BEST CHAROENKRUNG/CHINATOWN BAR

 
 

Tropic City 

Need to know: When it opened in late 2017, this playful tropical bar kick-started a seismic shift away from Soi Nana and deeper into the back alleys of Charoenkrung. Since then, the accolades—BAD’s Bar of the Year 2018; no. 31 in Asia’s 50 Best—do the talking.
Why we love it: The drinks are on point and the vibe is through the roof.
One drink to order: Any cocktail.
672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 083-838-2750. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.
 

Asia Today 

Need to know: Thai ingredients dominate the cocktails at this moody Chinatown shop-house bar, where pink neon light and a huge model shark hanging overhead strip away pretension.
Why we love it: We have to agree with that cheeky sign behind the bar (“This bar is better than Teens of Thailand”)—it’s somehow more approachable and we love hearing tales from the hair-raising foraging expeditions that go into making their unique concoctions.
One drink to order: Anything with coffee or honey in it.
35 Soi Maitri Chit, 097-134-4704. Open Mon-Thu 7pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 7pm-1am
 

Ku Bar

Need to know: Set in a building that could be used in the dictionary to define “hard-to-find,” this craft cocktail hideaway gives you good reason to spend a night out in the Old Town.
Why we love it: The monthly-rotating cocktail menu at this hipster-baiting sanctuary puts different local ingredients in the spotlight.
One drink to order: Pick your favorite spirit and throw caution to the wind.
3/F, 469 Phra Sumen Rd., 091-731-9752. Open Thu-Sun 7pm-midnight
 
 

BEST SIAM/PHLOEN CHIT BAR

 
 

The Loft 

Need to know: Glamor is the name of the game at the Waldorf Astoria’s sky-high showpiece cocktail and cigar den, where glittering views over Ratchadamri meet stunning Art Nouveau decor.
Why we love it: Despite being in a hotel, we find ourselves returning to this glitzy bar again and again thanks to excellent drinks, five-star service and a surprisingly unstuffy vibe.
One drink to order: The Waldorf cocktail.
56/F, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, 151 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-846-8888. Open Sun-Wed 5pm-midnight; Thu-Sat 5pm-1am
 

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Get a complimentary half dozen of imported oysters valued THB 900 when spending THB 5,000 or more/ sales slip (between 5-7pm and limit 1 dish/ card/ table/ sales slip)
1 Jul ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘19

 

Beer Republic 

Need to know: Rarely has a hotel bar taken beer as seriously as this place, a classier version of your neighborhood pub with a craft beer importer-approved tap list.
Why we love it: It might be the one bar in Bangkok where you can get pints of esoteric brews from FrauGruber or an Asahi, and both will be in perfect condition.
One drink to order: The freshest IPA on the rotating draft list.
Holiday Inn Bangkok, 971 Phloenchit Rd., 02-656-0080. Open daily 11:30-1am
 

Hair of the Dog 

Need to know: The original branch of the wickedly macabre brand helped turn sleepy Mahatun Plaza into a nightlife destination.
Why we love it: Thirteen rotating taps of fresh, often exclusive craft beer, tons of bottles and cans, plus a patio where you’d never expect it.
One drink to order: The biggest, baddest imperial stout on the draft board.
2/F Mahatun Plaza, 888 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

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