Not so long ago this leafy residential neighborhood was almost a nightlife-free zone but for a few restobars serving up fusion food, sugary-sweet cocktails and live popsanova covers. How things have changed. Ari is now a party destination in its own right, packed with buzzing cocktail bars, nerdy craft beer specialists and more reasons to hit the drink.
BK's annual B.A.D. Awards celebrate all that's good in Bangkok nightlife. One thing we've noticed in 2018 is that Ari is no longer a poor cousin compares to Sukhumvit's nightlife riches. Cocktail bars, beer bars, live music bars—these leafy sois to Bangkok's north have it all.
For more bars nearby, see: Forget Ari, it’s time to go bar hopping in Saphan Khwai
Live Music. This the place for when you crave a back-to-basics night out that doesn’t involve craft beer or craft cocktails. The space is kind of like a party barn thanks to oversized wooden stools and tables, and generous use of brick. Order up a bottle of whiskey to share around and some gab glaem (drinking food), as a dude behind a MacBook plays Thai rock on the more commercial end of the scale.
Ari Soi 4, 061-542-5535. Open daily 5pm-midnight.
Wine. Soho Hospitality (the group behind Above Eleven, Charcoal and Havana Social) fills the Italian gap in Ari with a casual pizza, pasta and wine house. Themed after an Italian wine cellar, the wood-and-brick-heavy restaurant features hundreds of wine bottles, which are sold at rock-bottom prices. Food-wise, the kitchen matches the cozy vibe with simple dishes like bruschetta with San Daniele ham and stracciatella cheese, smoked burrata salad with heirloom tomatoes, pasta and Neapolitan-style pizza. Don’t miss their mascarpone e tartufo pizza which features mascarpone cheese, mozzarella cheese, truffle paste, rocket leaves and San Daniele ham.
4 Ari Samphan Soi 3, 02-278-0250. Open daily 5pm-noon.
Beer. Acres of bare cement, and exposed ceilings and piping tick the industrial checkboxes, while dim, orange lighting ensures you can chomp down on burgers in relative anonymity. That’s good because things could get messy with the Chunky Blue Cheese Burger with its juicy dry-aged beef patty cooked to medium-rare and oozing cheese. Just important is the beer pairing: select from the likes of draft Vedett IPA, Menabrea and La Chouffe.
Noble Reform, Phahon Yothin Soi 7, 062-920-0300. Open Mon-Fri 5-11pm
Beer. 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.
Live Music. It’s all go in Ari these days, as proven by yet another new opening: the neon-drenched Feeling Bar. A glowing “How are you feeling tonight?” sign coaxes you inside, where your mood will be guided by the music each night: Tuesdays are “relaxed” (pop/chill); Wednesdays are “missed” (‘90s-’00s); Thursdays are “blues”; Fridays are “happy” (all-time hits with a live band); and Saturdays are “excited” (today’s hits with a live band).
18D, Soi Ari 4, 082-425-1515. Open Tue-Sat 6pm-1am
Cocktails/Live Music. 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.
HOBs Aree Garden
Bangkok’s very first beer-centric bar has branches all over town (seven at last count). One of our favorites is this one, which brings a touch of beer garden vibes to the peaceful Aree Garden mall. Think classic Belgian beers on tap, and hearty burgers and sausage platters.
Aree Garden, 62 Rama 6 Soi 30, 02-617-1600. Open daily 11am-midnight
Beer. Head here for bigger-than-your-face burgers and craft beers in serving sizes to match. Thanks to the tiny premises, expect to be eating and clinking one-litre glasses of Weihenstephan Vituselbow elbow-to-elbow with your fellow diners.
Ari Samphan Soi 3, 02-000-9598, 085-660-8880. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight
Cocktails. 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.
Beer. The second branch in Bangkok from the Danish microbrewery takes a Thai twist. The 20 taps put more emphasis on Thai and Asian craft beers, while there’s also a menu of Thai food. The bar occupies the airy, white house that used to be home to Tacochela.
Ari Samphan Soi 1, 02-101-4962. Open Tue-Thu 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-midnight.
Beer. The garden and spacious home make a refreshing, residential change from converted shop-houses. With links to Bavaria’s Schneider Weisse brewing company, Schneider Haus boasts a seven-strong selection of on-tap beers to help kick back salty German fare and international drinking food. The whole thing goes down to a soundtrack of live acoustic performers and coffee-shop popsanova.
Ari Samphan Soi 4, 098-426-9456. Open daily 5-11:45pm
Ari’s Tex-Mex player belongs to the owner of Jim’s Burgers, another of the neighborhood’s comfort-food favorites. The small venue is heavy on high stools, white tiles, and old-school video consoles, while the menu is mostly wraps. To have with, select from the fridge a range of local and imported craft brews.
Ari Samphan Soi 2, 085-660-8880. Open Thu-Sun 2pm-midnight; Mon2pm-midnight; Tue 2pm-midnight