It’s my third consecutive year heading to Bangkok, and it seems to be coming a ritual for me. It isn’t often that I revisit a country/city in succession because there are just too many on my bucket list to repeat one of them. Though there are places that I’d love to go back to, like Bali, but nope, I haven’t been back. Bangkok though, seems to be a different story. I don’t love it, ironically. But there just seems to be so much to do there, that it gives me a reason to return. Eat, shop, massage repeat. Doesn’t sound like much, but somehow each 4 day trip that I take to this city doesn’t seem to give me enough time to cover all ground.
This trip, we had a pretty strong focus on food, which was really fun! Going there in a group of 10 meant that we had all sorts of preferences and tastes to accommodate. Not easy at all, but we did it! Bangkok’s cafe scene has exploded in the last couple of years, and this trip, we stayed at the Sukhumvit area which was right smack in the hipster area of Bangkok and gave us easy access to new places to check out.
We stayed at Salil Hotel Soi Thonglor 1, which is walking distance from Thong Lo BTS. It was a cosy boutique hotel that was comfortably furnished, and we enjoyed our stay there. If you’re going to spend most of your time around the Pratunam area, this would be a little out-of-the-way. But if you’re looking to check out a different area of Bangkok and want to soak in some hipster vibes, Sukhumvit/Ekkamai is the place to be.
So, when in Bangkok, these are 6 cafes to check out:
TheCOMMONS is the place to be if you’re cafehopping in Bangkok. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the options available, and as you make your way up to the top deck for Roast, you can be sure that you will be tempted with the other food places calling out to you. The spacious cafe exudes chill vibes, and we soaked in the ambience as we devoured our first meal in the city. One thing to note is that cafehopping in Bangkok is not cheap, but it’s worth checking out this place for brunch with a twist. We loved the Crab Cake Benedict (360 THB) in particular, for the incredibly fluffy, and generously portioned crab cake which went so well with the potato rosti and sweet, caramelised onion jam that was to-die-for. For drinks, I’d highly recommend the Acai Berry Smoothie (220 THB) for a refreshing thirst quencher in Bangkok’s scorching weather. Also, you may be happy to know that the brunch menu was still being served even when we reached the restaurant around 4pm! #alldaybrunchftw.
Unit #T1 (Roast), The COMMONS, 335 Thonglor Soi 17, Sukhumvit 55
Open Mon-Thu (10am-11pm), Fri-Sat (9am-11pm), Sun (9am-10pm)
2. Karmakamet Diner
This cafe oozes beauty from its dark, seductive interiors to the aromatic scents in the air (the washroom smells uh-mazing, I’m not being sarcastic) and the Strawberry in the Clouds (390 THB) rainbow candy floss dessert. So much effort is put into the decor of this place, which originated from an essential oils shop. It is an experience dining in this cafe, which features rustic furniture and vintage menus/placemats (in the form of the Karmakamet newspaper)/coasters (handwritten letters), and you can also buy essential oils from their shop.
30/1 Sukhumvit Soi 24 Bangkok
Open daily 10am-11.30pm
3. On Lok Yun
Okay, so this technically isn’t a cafe, but it seems like the most happening people are flocking here, that its hipster status has been elevated. For a local brunch that isn’t too far from Singapore’s breakfast, but at super duper affordable prices, this is the place to go. They manage to make a simple bread with butter and sugar taste so incredibly good! Plus points for the thick toast of course, and the delicious butter spread on top. Their “big breakfast”(50 THB) is probably one of the cheapest you can ever find. Though the portion is small, but for the price, and those scrambled eggs, no complaints at all. Don’t forget a glass of Thai Milk Tea (25 THB) to go with your breakfast!
The location of this cafe seems really difficult for taxi drivers to grasp, for some reason. But tell them to head to Old Siam Square and you should be able to navigate from there pretty easily.
72 Charoen Krung Road, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong
Open daily 5.30am-4pm
4. TrueLove @ Neverland
If you’re a pooch-lover, and you like big dogs especially, you have to check out this cafe. Not too far from On Lok Yun, you can head over for post-breakfast desserts and some doggie fun just like what we did. For 350 THB, you get a choice of a drink and cake, and most importantly, 1 hour playtime with the huskies! Imagine being surrounded by 20+ huskies, plus a little shih tzu called Momo whom you can play with to your hearts’ content. Okay, to be honest, they tend to squirm away quite a bit, but once they get tired and start lying/sitting down, that’s when you can jump in and take as many selfies as you like! The service hours are at 12.30pm & 3.30pm on Tue-Thu (closed on Mon), with an additional slot at 6pm on Fri-Sat. Do try to visit at these timings to get the full 1 hour experience with the doggies! Food-wise, we really enjoyed the ice cream cakes that were perfect for the hot weather! You can leave your drinks in the cafe while you play with the dogs in the playground, and the staff will remind you to stay on till the end to take a video of the dogs running back to their enclosures, and capture it on slo-mo.
153 Soi Ari Samphan 2, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai
5. After You
The popularity of this cafe is evident in the number of outlets that have mushroomed all over the city. It’s a cafe I would ALWAYS go back to, whenever I’m in Bangkok, if only for their original Shibuya Honey Toast (185 THB) which is the most amazing creation ever. The thick toast topped with two huge scoops of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on the side looks simple, but dig into it to reveal an interior slathered with butter and a drizzle of honey on top, it’s mind-blowingly good! They have many other flavours of the toast, but the original is still the best, with it’s well-balanced flavour without being overly sweet. Surprisingly, we enjoyed the seasonal Thai Milk Tea toast as well!
For the full list of locations, click here.
6. PABLO Cheese Tart
The hunt for cheese tarts continues in Bangkok. When I saw an Instagram post of PABLO in Bangkok, I got so excited because it looked so amazingly yummy!! It seems pretty new too, judging by the snaking queue in front of the cafe. Thankfully it wasn’t as crazy as Singapore’s queues for BAKE, and I had to wait for less than 30mins before it was my turn. PABLO’s freshly baked signature cheese tart (415 THB) was a rather big sized one! It came with a delightfully smooth and creamy interior, with a fruity glaze on top and flaky pastry crust. It seemed a little lighter than BAKE cheese tarts, but I probably should compare it with the mini (75 THB) version for a more accurate assessment. What really stole our hearts was the mini matcha cheese tart (90 THB). The fragrant matcha flavour was just so good!! I’d go back for the large version the next time round ^^
Siam Paragon Basement
Open daily 10am-10pm
If there are any other must-try cafes in Bangkok, do drop me a comment! I might just return again next year.