Steve Café

68 Soi Sri Ayuthaya 21 (Wat Devarajkoonchon), Sri Ayuthaya Rd., 081-868-0744, 02-281-0915. Open daily 11:30am-11:30pm.
Located in the small community behind Wat Devarajkoonchon next to Thewet Pier, this 60-year old house was damaged by the floods last year but has now been revamped with bright colors and homey wooden furniture. There’s a nice open-air terrace to take in the breeze and the kitchen is manned by one of the owner’s moms who has been working in Bangkok kitchens for the past 20 years. A true Southerner, she likes nothing better than to whip up powerful, pungent classics like gaeng luang sai bua gung (Southern sour soup with lotus stems and prawns) and gaeng tai pla (Southern style fish curry).  Beer: B70, Cocktails: B70

Babble + Rum

1-2/F, Riva Surya, 23 Phra Arthit Rd., 02-633-5000. Open daily 6:30am-1am.
Babble & Rum is not only the name of the main restaurant located on the first floor of Riva Surya, the new boutique hotel sat beside Phra Arthit Pier, it’s also the moniker for the bar next door which combines an outdoor terrace and a laidback upstairs area, perfect for a breezy riverside night out. The riverside terrace shares the same black and white theme as the main restaurant, while the second floor offers a square-shaped open bar painted with Thai poetry and daybeds from which to soak up the river view. Mixologist Surachit “Art” Jarumanee serves up signature cocktails like the candy flavored Jelly Riva (vodka, melon syrup, lime juice on top of jelly) and the Jamaican Fizz (vodka, mango fizz, mango, syrup and lime juice). Happy hours are 5pm-7pm with buy one get one free on cocktails.  Beer: B99, Cocktails: B250, Wine: B160


The Siam Hotel, 3/2 Khao Rd., 02-206-6999. Open daily noon-10:30pm, reservation only.
Overlooking the Chao Phraya River and Krung Thonburi Bridge, Chon is the signature Thai restaurant of Bangkok’s newest riverside hotel, The Siam. To match the classic views, Executive Chef Blair Mathieson, former head chef at The Chedi in Chiang Mai, promises authentic Thai recipes that utilize the finest ingredients. Set in a beautiful Thai teak house that was brought down from Ayutthaya and painted all in black, Chon also boasts an impressive array of antiques and collectables belonging to the owner.  Beer: B250, Cocktails: B320, Wine: B425

Viva & Aviv

River City Complex, 23 Yota Rd., 02-639-6305. Open daily 11am-midnight. Sri Phraya Pier.
Fitting for its riverside location, this new venue has a rustic-yet-relaxed nautically-inspired theme with a dash of industrial chic and pirate-inspired interiors. Soak up the river view and breeze while watching the tourist boats plying up and down the river and enjoy the range of inventive cocktails created by the masterminds behind the established Hyde & Seek. Try the signature Pina Colasi (Appleton rum, pineapple, coconut foam and more) and decent pub grub like the Four Cheesons pizza.  Beer: B100, Cocktails: B250, Wine: B230

Buri Tara

762/2 Rama 3 Rd., 02-682-9457-9. Open daily 5pm-midnight.
This bar is decorated in a classy black and red theme, with a mix of Balinese and Thai styles. The most popular cocktails are the Buri Tara Sunset and Falling in Love (B180 each). And, of course, there’s the charming view surrounded by trees and the nearby river while bands play soft jazz and acoustic music. Beer: B180, Cocktails: B180, Wine: B1,090/Bottle

The Deck

Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Pratu Nokyung, Maharat Rd., 02-221-9158. Restaurant opens Mon-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sun 7am-11pm. Bar opens Mon-Thu 5pm-midnight, Fri-Sun 5:30pm-1am.
Few restaurants can boast a spectacle as inspiring as the brightly lit Wat Arun directly across the river. There is a modest list of wines, so you’re probably better off bringing your own (no corkage). As for the food, try poh pia gung (B180) and kai satay (B180). To watch the sun set behind the wat while enjoying the open air, call in advance for the best spots. Beer: B130, Cocktails: B175, Wine: B200


1612 Songwat Rd., 086-978-9331, 02-639-6853. Open Tue-Thu, Sun 4pm-midnight, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am.
Samsara is one of our favorite spots by the river. Set in one of those charming wooden houses you pass as you ride the express boat along the Chao Phraya, the restaurant is tucked down a little alley behind Wat Pathumkongka (where you can hardly park your car). The place feels halfway between a gallery and a friend’s house, brimming as it is with personality: expect to find colorful vintage furnishings, all sorts of cat-related curios and paintings hanging on the wall. Most of the tables are set out on the terrace and reservations are a must for the ones with the best views. The tasty Thai cuisine is augmented by Japanese touches since some of the owners hail from Japan. Beer: B140, Cocktails: B200, Wine: B900/Bottle