The past 12 months have given us BNK48, leopard-gate, and a whole bunch of new coffee shops. Here are the only places worth wasting a lazy Sunday over.
Jump to: Sukhumvit l Charoenkrung/Old Town l Sathorn/Silom l Ladprao/Phaholyothin
Some of the greenest city views of any cafe in town paired with slow-brew coffee (from B150), tea (from B120) and more creative concoctions like Chor Ginnaree (black coffee with roselle and ginger ale, B180), Toob-Tub (milk coffee with peanut chocolate and milk toffee, B180) and Mongkhud Sumala (white tea, jasmine, aloe vera and pink orange, B180).
4/F, Baker Gonna Bake Cafe, Sukhumvit Soi 26, 099-591-9142. Open Thu-Sun 10am-6pm, Tue 10am-6pm
Coffee roaster Coffeas has expanded to a full-time cafe, complete with a coffee school. Run by certified Q Grader and SCAA-certified instructor Nisakorn Sinsawat, the cafe aims to showcase specialty Thai coffee through rotating house-roasted beans, mainly from Chiang Rai. Here, she only serves single origins (from B80 for espresso and B120 for drip coffee).
G/F, Green Connect, Sukhumvit Soi 31, 081-923-0499. Open Mon-Sat 11am-5pm
This teeny-tiny cafe is Japanese minimalism at its finest: white walls, marble bar, blond-wood accents. There’s the full range of coffee-making paraphernalia on show, of course. The two owners source rotating beans from around the world to serve as cold brew or filter coffee (B80). For the full taste of Japan, order the Matzuoka (B60), a creamy iced matcha latte from Shizuoka.
32/1 Soi Udomsuk, Sutthisarn Rd., 095-881-3618. Open daily 7am-7:30pm
The people behind modern Australian restaurant Freebird have brought one of Singapore’s hippest coffee roasters to the beautiful garden at Thai restaurant Kram, tucked away down the back alleys off Phrom Phong. Taking over two shipping containers separated by a metal staircase, Sarnies is split into a coffee roasting zone with gigantic bags of coffee beans to one side, and a small, stylishly minimalist cafe space to the other. This cafe puts a lot of stock in perfecting its roast profiles, highlighting beans sourced globally in places such as Brazil, El Salvador, Kenya, Ethiopia and Costa Rica, as well as locally.
Soi Phopmit, Sukhumvit Soi 39, Open Wed-Sun 9am-5pm
103 Bed & Brews
The reason why hipsters are tripping over one another on a corner of Chinatown's Soi Nana is this perfectly sun-lit, pattern-tile-floored little cafe. The row of steampunk taps pour craft beers, while cold brew comes in creative infusions like kumquat (B100)—damn that makes for good Instagram photos.
103 Soi Nana, Maitri Chit Rd., 02-090-1103. Open daily 9am-10pm
Warehouse 30, Charoenkrung's art and design complex, is putting its coffee in the hands of serial Bangkok cafe openers Li-bra-ry, who now have six spaces across town. The espresso machine here turns out a light, Thai-Brazil roast courtesy of Ceresia Coffee Roasters, with espresso-based coffee starting at B80. More leftfieldcreations include the espresso tonic (B150) with a hint of lemon.
Warehouse 30, Charoenkrung Soi 30, 081-639-0802. Open daily 11am-9pm
This hip Chinatown coffee shop goes for an industrial loft look with brickwork and blackened metal. At As.is, owner Teerajit Luanpitpong (Brave Roasters alumni, Hiphipe hat brand designer) serves coffee (from B75 for espresso) made from Chiang Mai beans alongside a few food items and alternative drinks like fruit-infused affogato (B90) and strawberry cream cheese shake (B90).
45 Rama 4 Rd., 085-143-5215. Open Tue-Wed 10am-9pm; Fri 10am-10pm; Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10:30am-6pm
With its name standing for “Brew It Yourself,” this is a showroom-slash-cafe offshoot of online coffee equipment shop Beans Here. Workshops from self-trained roaster and co-owner Sirichai “So” Sakornvisava start at an affordable B800/person for a cupping tasting event or around B2,000/person for brewing and roasting classes. Otherwise, drop by for a cup of joe at B100 for Thai beans from places like Suan Sodchuen in Ranong or Mae Kampong in Chiang Mai, or B120 for imported beans and blends.
Room 2B, 2/F, Prime Station Hotel, 23/34 Tri Mit Rd., 084-514-2914. Open Thu-Sun 10:30am-6:30pm
From a gorgeous glasshouse extension to Yaowarat’s colonial-style Baan2459 hotel, Chata serves serious coffee in a setting swathed in natural light. Everything is overseen by Nopphadon Jantranapaporn, who’s built a name for his monthly latte art classes at School Cafe in Bangkhen, while beans come from all over—try the house-blend (Thai, Indonesian, Ethiopian and Brazilian) dressed up with lime and bubbly cola in the Colapresso (B140) or play it simple with pour-over (B120).
98 Phatsai Rd., 096-154-5049. Open Tue-Sun 7am-3pm
Gallery Drip, the iconic cafe and roaster at BACC, has branched out to Chinatown. Playfully named after its Wangburapa neighborhood, Gallery Drip Wangbrewpa stays honest to the cafe’s drip-coffee-only philosophy, serving single origin beans from both Thailand and abroad (from B70/cup).
G/F, Cacha Bed Heritage Hostel, 156 Maha Chai Rd., 081-917-2131. Open Tue-Sun 9am-7pm
This newcomer is semi-hidden in a three-story shop-house that resembles a 19th-century explorer’s workshop, complete with a spiral staircase that takes you to where award-winning barista Warong Chalanuchpong serves up his signature drinks. Order a Le Boisson De Kanda (espresso, tea and sparkling rose lemonade topped with milk foam, B250) before going up again to the rooftop, where by elbowing aside the many ferns you’ll uncover a seating nook.
31-33 Soi Nana, 089-775-0006. Open Thu-Sun 11am-7pm; Mon 11am-7pm
Khaosan’s new train-themed hostel and cafe is more than a photo opp. The five-story shop-house has been given a streamlined makeover to resemble a futuristic train carriage. On the ground floor, pull up a high stool at the coffee bar which puts a smooth medium-roast blend from the local Roast Runner roaster to use in a range of hot and iced lattes (B110).
88 Chakrabongse Rd., 097-090-6241. Open daily 10am-6pm
Popping up in an unlikely alley off Sathorn Soi 11, All Good in the Hood stands out from the surrounding shop-houses with its stylish wood-heavy decor. The all-day dining menu offers an ever-changing array of savory dishes, while espresso coffee starts at B88. Nitro-coffee specialist Bhava Cafe has moved from its original location in Silom to pour their self-roasted coffee (B88) from the tap here, too.
Sathorn Soi 11, Yaek 5, 086-577-7796. Open daily 7am-9pm
Set in a 70-year-old wooden house dating back to the Rama 7 era, this Yen Akat neighborhood favorite wows you from first glance. The cafe highlights beans by local micro roasters, with two house signature blends: Artisan (Thai, Colombia and Guatemala) and Craftsman (Thai, Brazil and Ethiopia). The menu features various avo-toast options along with some solid pizza (get the chorizo and portabello mushroom).
30 Yen Akat Rd., 02-249-0180. Open daily 7am-7pm
Sathorn’s new nitro cafe goes well beyond your average nitrogen-infused coffee. You can still get a nice and frothy nitro cold brew (B90), but the adventurous will want to try the salted egg latte (B120), which combines cold brew with homemade salted egg syrup and peanut butter syrup. Another highlight from the cafe’s six taps is the durian iced tea (B120), which comes in layers of macadamia gelato, Thai tea with durian syrup and freeze-dried durian powder on top.
14/6 Sathorn Soi 2, Sathorn Rd., 087-429-6465. Open daily 8am-8pm
Five-year-old coffee roasters Roastology have opened their first showroom and compact cafe in Sala Daeng. Here, they not only showcase house-roasted and -blended beans through espresso-based cups (from B100) and slow-bar (from B80 for Thai beans; from B150 for imported beans) but also create weird fusion stuff that sounds bad but tastes great. We recommend the purple sweet potato latte (B130) topped with an espresso shot.
G/F, YJA Building, Sala Daeng Soi 1, 086-986-1690. Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm
Set in a glasshouse replete with tropical touches, Kiaw Kai Ga is a new reason to brave the congested traffic of Ladphrao. The hanging ferns, banana-leaf wallpaper and vintage parquet floors are complemented by rustic Thai food from all around the country. Chef Nathawut Nantakaem (formerly of The Never Ending Summer) serves the likes of gaeng hang lay (Northern Thai curry, B220), made from a recipe picked up in Phrae, and yum pak kood (B180), made with an edible fern from the chef’s own garden in Ratchaburi.
33 Nak Niwat Rd., 095-949-9299. Open daily 7am-10pm
This far-flung, rusty building comes fully equipped as a coffee roaster, cafe and school. Red Diamond doesn’t just have a roasting machine on-site, it also has its own farm in Pha Tang Chiang Rai, which is certified by CQI as a specialty coffee producer. Along with their own beans, they also roast coffee from around the world, including varieties with 90+ scores (an extra B150-200), from Cup of Excellence competition winners (an extra B100) and even limited supplies like the Panama Esmeralda Geisha private collection (B500/cup).
733 Sangkhom Songkhro Rd., 085-044-2662. Open Tue-Sun 11am-8pm
Ari’s award-winning drip coffee specialist Sutdrip has moved to a new space. Here, Sutida Srirungthum, winner of National Thailand Brewers Cup 2016, serves her rotating drip coffee alongside espresso-based cups and fruit blends. Do try her coffee shake, a drip coffee shaken cold with ice. Food can be ordered from former neighbor Khao Bahn restaurant still. The space itself shuns current coffee shop cliches in favor of more classic, Victorian furnishings.
Paholyothin Soi 2, 087-907-0099. Open Mon-Fri 9am-7pm; Sat 11am-9pm; Sun 11am-5pm