All that shopping deserves a stiff drink. Here, in Bangkok's retail and business center you'll find a wide range of drinking holes, from five-star hotel cocktail bars and glitzy cigar lounges to low-key craft beer haunts. 

BK's annual B.A.D. Awards celebrate all that's good in Bangkok nightlife. Long filled with shopping malls and five-star hotels, Siam and Phloen Chit is now home to a slew of bars to match the ritzy surrounds. However, it's not all wallet-busting, high-wire mixology and swanky rooftops—there are plenty of hidden gems to discover, too.  
 
 

1881 by Water Library

 
Water Library’s gastro bar at this breezy, partly open-air mall is inspired by a 19th-century steam power plant. The kitchen is all about comforting dishes, ranging from a classic burger to tiger prawn pasta. Throw in a solid cocktail list ticking all the right boxes (classics, barrel-aged, etc.) and handsome industrial decor that combines leather, brassed metal and the obligatory bare bulbs, and you’ve got one welcoming pit-stop.
Groove@CentralWorld, Rama 1 Rd., 061-825-7348, 095-072-7777. Open daily 11am-midnight.
 
 

The Balvenie Bar

 
Lurking in the rafters above a cigar and spirits-specializing boutique, this offshoot bar from the renowned Speyside whiskey lets you pull up a rich, tobacco-leather wingback and knock back 35-year-old single malts with some of the best smokes from Latin America.
2/F, Cohiba Atmosphere, 63/3 Soi Ruamrudee, Phloen Chit Rd., 02-650-9009. Open Mon-Sat noon-midnight.
 
 

The Beer Bridge

 
Decorated in a Brooklyn industrial style with high ceiling, dangling light bulbs and fancy Graffiti murals, the Beer Bridge is a casual hangout sport carrying over 150 labels of beer to accompany Western fusion dishes. Take you pick from classic comfort dishes like pizzas, burgers and steaks or from a number of Thai staples. For those who want to share, Beer Bridge also offers a lineup of tapas-style small plates.
G/F, Portico, 31 Soi Lang Suan, 02-050-5158, Open daily 10:30-1am.
 
 

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
 
 

Character


As if Aqua weren’t exclusive enough, it’s now also home to this Oriental Express-inspired den of cigars and single malts. From servers who feel more like personal butlers, order up South American smokes to go with your favorite decades-old Scotch.
Anantara Siam, 153/2 Mahatlek Luang Soi 1, 02-254-4726. Open MonSat 1pm-midnight.
 
 

Char 

 
Over at the grill at this rooftop bar, they cook up some amazing beef from Australia's Darling Downs. Char takes up the top two stories of Hotel Indigo, with a stylish dining room downstairs and the rooftop bar up above to benefit from those amazing views across Bangkok's "Embassy Row." 
25-26/F, Hotel Indigo, 81 Wireless Rd., 02-207-4999. Open daily 6pm-midnight. BTS Phloen Chit.
 
 

Crimson Room 

 
The team behind Rabbit Hole and Liberation have now opened an Art Deco jazz and cocktail den on Langsuan Road, fueled by the spirit of the Roaring Twenties and the cocktail prowess of Suwincha “Chacha” Singsuwan—the star bartender who introduced the city to truffle fat-washed martinis at Rabbit Hole. Along with a dedicated aperitivo menu featuring Amaro (Bianco Vermouth, Amero Montenegro, orange bitters, B320), Sakomoto's tears (yuzu sake, Braulio, sparkling wine, B320) and more, the 20 signature cocktails cover everything from the Bee Pollen (Hendrick's gin, yellow Chartreuse, caramelized bee pollen, thyme and citrus, B380) to the Underdog (cognac-infused longon, Copper Dog, peach liqueur and chrysanthemum tincture, B380). The bar also puts on live shows every Wednesday to Saturday, including jazz performances and DJ sets. Stadium seating, vaulted ceilings and plush red velvet fabrics, meanwhile, add to the Gatsby-esque vibe.
87 Langsuan Rd., Tel. 062-259-2525. BTS Chit Lom
 
 

Cru Champagne 

 
The bar’s located on what used to be a helicopter landing pad on top of the five-star hotel Centara Grand at CentralWorld. Access Cru from a little elevator at Red Sky, which drops you out right on top of the hotel, where you get a stunning, 59th-floor, 360-degree view of Bangkok. The drinks list is all about Champagne, so come prepared to order a bottle of G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut.
59/F, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, 999/99 Rama 1 Rd., 02-100-1234. Open daily 5pm-1am.
 
 

Duke 

 
Whether you want cigars from Cuba, the Dominican Republic or other prominent producers, they’ll have it. It’s also an art gallery, showcasing local talent whose work stretches from eye-catching papier-mache sculptures to grand, statement oil paintings. Big-spenders take out membership packages, which run into the hundreds of thousands and furnish you with ample credit at the bar.
1/F, Gaysorn Village, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 080-587-9520, 094-647- 8888. Open daily 11am-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
 
 
 

HOBs the Playhouse

 
Bangkok’s very first beer-centric bar has branches all over town (seven at last count). Our favorite could well be the one at Groove at CentralWorld, which is decked out in vintage style and adds frequent live music to the classic beers on tap. Think classic Belgian beers and hearty burgers and sausage platters. 
CentralWorld, 4,4/1-4/2,4/4  Ratchadamri Rd., 02-613-1322. Open daily 11am-11:30pm
 
 

Hyde & Seek

 
This almost-decade-old cocktail and gastro cuisine pioneer recently reopened in a swanky new spot at Plaza Athenee hotel with renewed focus British and American comfort food (think salt and pepper shrimp, Yankee Wagyu Burger or bangers and mash). The cocktails list includes easygoing hits like the South Side, made with Tanqueray gin, Citrus, gomme syrup, bitters and mint. Playful sister restaurant Hyde & Seek Peek-a-Boo remains at the nearby Groove at CentralWorld.
Plaza Athenee, 61 Wireless Rd., 02-168-8669. Open daily 11:30am-2pm, 5:30-11pm
Hyde & Seek Peek-a-Boo, Groove at CentralWorld, Rama 1 Rd., 02-646-1099. Open daily 11am-1am
 
 

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
 

Exclusively for Citi ULTIMA and Prestige
Get 20% discount from the menu
01 Jul ‘19 - 31 Dec ‘19

 
 

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
 

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

 
 

Penthouse 

 
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 noon-2pm, 5pm-2am. 
 
 

Red Sky

 
The 55th-floor view from Centara’s rooftop puts this bar in the same league as other high flyers, like Vertigo at the Banyan Tree. Al fresco dining and drinking takes place under a swooping, red-lit arch, while chef Christian Ham’s seasonal menus spotlight classic, rich steak dishes. Don’t miss the truffle-infused wagyu beef tenderloin Rossini—a menu staple and proven crowd pleaser.
55/F, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, 999/99 Rama 1 Rd., 02-100-6255. Open daily 11.30am-1am (last food order 11:30pm)
 
 

Riedel


Gaysorn’s ultra-fancy wine bar boasts one of Bangkok’s largest selections by the glass thanks to a state-of-the-art wine dispenser. Its lavish interior, with elegant open-pore wooden tables and swooping circular booths, stirs well with the prim-and-proper types who drink and eat here. With that said, the wine list isn’t as wallet-damaging as you might expect.
2/F, Gaysorn Village, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 02- 656-1133. Open daily 10am-midnight
 
 

Roof 409 Bar & Bistro

 
This rooftop bistro and bar offers a happening vibe thanks to clean black-and-white industrial decor (think New York subway tiles and metal cafe chairs), a DJ booth that pumps out house tunes and a loungey area overlooking Phloen Chit. The fourth floor views can't compete with the most famous rooftop bar on top of hotels, but you do get a suitably urban vibe due its very central location. Overall it's a laidback and highly affordable option with a menu of fuss-free comfort food such as risottos, pastas or fish and chips. 
4/F, Mercury Ville, 504 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-658-5655. Open daily daily 11am-midnight
 
 

Siwilai City Club 

 
This vast complex of restaurants and bars whips out refreshing tropical cocktails amidst the airy view of Phloen Chit’s neighbourhood. Order the grilled pineapple iced tea (with double-roasted chili and cinnamon syrup) or go with its original twist on classic spirit-forward drinks like the Black Pearl Old Fashioned instead. The venue also boast some amazing musical acts on a
regular basis.
5/F, Central Embassy, Phoen Chit Rd., 02-160-5631. Open daily 11am-midnight.
 
 

The Speakeasy 

 
This rooftop cocktail lounge takes you back to the jazz age. The two-story space sports prohibition era-inspired decor, featuring lots of dark woods and Art Deco touches. A balcony on the 24th floor lets you take in 180-degree views of Bangkok’s business district, while an alfresco rooftop offers a more leisurely atmosphere. 
24-25/F, Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, 55/555 Lang Suan Rd., 02-630-4000. Open daily 5:30pm-1am.
 
 

St. Regis Bar

 
The five-star hotel’s 12th-floor bar with incredible views of Royal Bangkok Sport Club has become a destination in itself. Not only will you find some amazing local jazz and blues bands playing live (think the same people you find at Brown Sugar rather than stuffy hotel lounge piano), but the drink list combines trending bottles from both home and abroad (think local producers like Iron Balls, Kristall and Chalong Bay rum). The gin tonics are a match for any hipster outfit, with specific gins paired with the right tonics and herbs.
12/F, The St. Regis Bangkok, Ratchadamri Rd., 02-207-7801, Open daily 9am-1am.
 
 

Up and Above

 
Bangkok’s most high-end Japanese hotel, The Okura Prestige, does a great line in both Japanese wine and whiskey. Check out their list of premium bottles like Suntory Hakushu 12 Years Old and Taketsuru Pure Malt. On the menu you might find everything from marinated hamachi sashimi to braised pork belly in a sweet soy and miso glaze. The 24th-floor views only add to the appeal.  
24/F, The Okura Prestige Bangkok, 57 Wireless Rd., 02-687-9000
 

BK B.A.D. Awards 2019 is available as a free booklet inserted in BK Magazine issue number 751 (Nov 23) and as a downloadable PDF version here