A taste of southern Italy, a new restaurant by chef Dan Bark of Upstairs, and a taco truck run by former Gaggan proteges.
Floor-to-ceiling windows look out to a green garden and a water feature at this peaceful brunch spot, where the straight lines of the window frames stylishly contrast with the curves of the interior. Order a Babyccino (espresso with sweet milk and cinnamon; B190) as you browse the brunch menu, which features everything from breakfast brioche (smashed avocado and Sloane’s sausage in homemade brioche bun; B350) to eggs Benedict (B330), maple bacon French toast (B350) and the vegan-friendly “Meatless (Mon)day” (tofu scramble, tomato confit, glazed carrots, sauteed mushrooms, pea puree, baked beans and housemade toast; B390). They also serve more lunch-friendly dishes like miso-glazed cauliflower and kale (B350) and pasta with spicy meatballs.
53 Ekkamai Soi 12
Chef Dan Bark has moved his Michelin-starred Upstairs down the road, turning a spacious townhouse off Sukhumvit Soi 71 into the restaurant of his dreams. Chevron wood floors, crimson velvet seating and navy-blue subway tiles lead into a mirror-filled room, followed by the dining room, where cream-colored semi-circle banquettes face the showpiece open kitchen. If you dined at Upstairs, you’ll be familiar with Bark’s progressive American bent. Every dish on the 15-course menu (B4,300) relates to Bark’s own journey in some way, from Ocean, a starter of a fresh oyster, a salmon tartare crisp and a palate-awakening, pina colada-filled orb resting on an ethereally glowing bowl of marbles, inspired by trips to Hua Hin, to Beef, which draws on his Korean heritage and features New Zealand wagyu with soju-pickled plum and homemade ssam jang (a spicy sesame- and gochujang-based sauce). Opt for the eight-course cocktail pairing (B2,000) to complete the experience.
225 Pridi Banomyong Soi 25
Run by chefs who cut their teeth in the kitchens of Gaggan and Gaa, this taco truck brings LA-style Mexican fare to our very own City of Angels. The short but sweet menu feature quesadillas (B160) with griddled cheese and chicken tinga on a warm flour tortilla; Baja-style fish tacos (B160/two); and the house specialty, birria (B160/two), an aromatic stew hailing from Jalisco, Mexico. Typically made with goat, chilis and spices like cinnamon and clove, the birria here is instead made with pork—although we were a bit wary, it does not disappoint! Wash it all down with homemade agua de Jamaica (B30), a refreshing hibiscus drink served over ice. All dishes can be served as a combo with beans, Mexican rice and any drink for an additional B60. Although there's very limited seating, we highly recommend dropping by in person to get your tacos freshly made; otherwise, delivery is available through Lineman and soon through their website, too.
Bangkapi Mansion, 89 Sukhumvit Soi 12
From the team behind local, eco-friendly stationery brand Grey Ray comes this handsome, mid-century modern cafe. The venue is more like a creative hub with good food and drinks than just a cafe, featuring a co-working space, an art school and a stationery room showcasing all their cool products on the upper floors. The slow bar cranks out a mean cold brew using beans sourced from Indonesia, India and Thailand; level up with the refreshing Mile’s Brew (B220), which consists of Nescafe cold brew mixed with bael, star anise and lemon. There is also a variety of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, from Hokkaido Rare Cheesecake (B120) and Hokkaido Framboise Choco Cake (B120) to the dark chocolate, Levain-style cookies called Midnight in Paris (B65). After you get your caffeine and sugar fix, check out Grey Ray’s stationery items, as well as a curated selection of lifestyle products from other local and international brands, such as bags and totes from Japfac, colorful monster figurines from Sticky Monster Lab, and cute stickers from Bebearboyy.86/7 Ratchaprarop Rd.
A black wrought iron-style gate opens onto a winding, bright green lawn scattered with bistro chairs at Sathorn’s garden hideaway. Grab a table amid the trees and mini waterfall to enjoy everything from all-day breakfast, like Egg in the Park (a poached egg with hollandaise sauce, sauteed mushrooms and red spinach; B300), to heartier dishes like golden chicken pie (B250); burgers with Kurobuta pork or Australian wagyu patties (B380); wood-fired pizzas (from B250 for Margherita); and artichoke salad with feta (B280)—all delivered to your table in cute picnic baskets. To drink, order an energy booster like Wake Me Up (carrot, cucumber, apple, beet; B180) or usher in the weekend with wine (from B280/glass or B1,400/bottle for 2016 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio), cocktails (mojito; B250) and beers (from B150 for Singha).
122 Sathorn Soi 12
If you’re longing to visit Italy, you can always take a trip to this restaurant on Soi 23 instead. Here, former Il Fumo head chef Walter D'Ambrosio whips up southern Italian cuisine in a setting that will transport you to Apulia with its clean white archways, patterned tiles, photogenic courtyard and cacti. Backed by the owner of the now-closed Sfizio, you can count on delicious pasta, like the handmade fregola with seafood and white wine sauce (B480). For a meatier dish, try the pistachio-crusted grilled New Zealand lamb rack with caponata and potatoes (B1,480). They also serve gourmet pizzas like the namesake Mediterra (B490), topped with mozzarella, scamorza, mussels, spicy nduja, yellow tomato coulis, toasted almonds and parsley, alongside mouthwatering desserts like cannoli (B280). Although they stop serving food at 10pm, the bar is open until midnight.
14 Sukhumvit Soi 23
From Japanese coffee giant UCC, this clean-looking, white-tiled cafe in Ekkamai is the brand’s Thailand flagship. Five brewing methods are used at the slow bar—siphon, hand drip, French press, water drip and ice-brewed coffee—with three single-origin beans to choose from: Thai Honey Catimor and Bourbon (B180), Guatemala El Durazno and Costa Rica Tarrazu Tobosi Copey (both B200). Most impressive, however, is the extraordinary latte art (latte, B190) created by house barista Nutthinee “Ri” Jearranan—champion of the Thailand National Latte Art competition in 2019 and 2020. Thai-inspired concoctions like Full Moon Pa-ngan (espresso, tonic water and lychee juice topped with fresh mint and lychee; B200) are also available alongside snacks like the classic Monte Cristo (a ham and cheese sandwich with maple syrup; B250) and Basque cheesecake (B180).
M/F, Gateway Ekamai, 982/22 Sukhumvit
Hidden on the fourth floor of Phetchaburi’s Akara Bangkok hotel, this fun-loving restaurant is on a mission to become a hub for the city’s Filipino community. Although it comes from the owners of Lola’s Kitchen, the menu and vibe are entirely different. Start off with the fresh spring roll-like Lumpiang Sariwa (B140), coconut shoot and mixed vegetables wrapped in a spring roll wrapper topped with sweet brown sauce and crushed peanuts, before moving onto the Smoked Rellenong Bangus (B390), a taste explosion of minced milkfish with carrots, potatoes, raisins, bell pepper, pickles and spices. Dessert is a must, whether you opt for the Christmassy Bibingka (B140) or the creamy coconut-based Buko Pie (B160). Sing along to the live band as you enjoy the dangerous happy hour deals, which include buy five, get three free on Red Horse beer (B150) and buy two, get one free on cocktails like the Don Martin (gin, Martini Rosso, mango juice, passion fruit; B290). Points also go to the staff, who are hands-down the friendliest we’ve ever come across in Bangkok. Check out their Facebook page for updates on themed nights and their all-day Sunday brunch buffet (B899).
4/F, Akara Bangkok, 372 Sri Ayutthaya Rd.