The innate trendiness of Ari, Bangkok’s residential corner turned niche coffeehouse-centre, made it the inevitable locale for an up-and-coming late-night scene. From cabana bars to cantinas, ranging from the ultra-posh to hipster dive, these watering holes are bringing Bangkok’s fashionable elite to this fringing neighbourhood.
The Kelly green entrance gives this Ari pub its characteristic Irish flair, offering eight taps rotating among top beers and IPAs sourced from all over the world, and a wide selection of popular bottled craft beers and ciders. With a small and cosy interior and several TV screens showing live sports broadcasts, it easily fills up nightly, the crowd often young and full of character. The bar’s kitchen gets high marks as well, serving up top-rated pub grub and Thai bites popular among its patrons.
Laid-back and delightfully decorated, this Hawaiian-themed tiki bar brings the beach directly to Bangkok’s weary urbanites. Bamboo accents, banana-leaf wallpaper, and drink umbrellas aplenty make this Ari retreat a standout sanctuary for those looking to channel their inner beach bum, without the airfare. You won’t have to settle for watery daiquiris, however. The Hawaiian-shirted staff mix up incredible signature drinks like the Lilia – an infusion of pear vodka, gin, pink guava juice, and a hint of elderflower. Or for something a bit more sultry there’s the Umahi – a blend of Mae Kong, passion fruit, basil, honey, apricot brandy, vanilla, and lime.
A favourite local haunt, this bar’s location supposedly has an actual ghostly record of its own. Its two stories accommodate a hidden 80-year-old building, evoking a sort of antiquated charm in an area that is constantly undergoing renovation. And while it’s tough to find cheap drinks anywhere in Ari, Ban Dok Kaew’s prices are as close as you’ll get. The cheap drink prices accompany its dive bar atmosphere, making it the perfect spot to unwind over local craft beers among its friendly regulars. The bar only serves beers (craft, local and international,) and soft drinks – no wine or liquor.
Immediately recognisable by its floor-to-ceiling window panes and concrete accents, this stylish urban-meets-Brooklyn loft restaurant has a reputation for attracting the city’s most charismatic and artistic crowd. The kitchen serves up trendy specialties, like ribeye steak with wasabi, Japanese yakisoba, and wood-oven pizza, fired up by the logs piled decoratively in its backyard. While the fashionable diners flock for the food, the real lure is its incredible cocktail bar, doling out expertly mixed drinks like its Bangkok Mule – Mekhong rum, brown sugar, ginger, and lemongrass, and the Lush – white whine, lychee, apple, and watermelon.
Tucked away beneath a business building, Future Factory Bangkok is a collaborative performing art space and gallery. It runs regular concept exhibitions and also attracts a steady stream of live music – both for paid shows and free parties. The free events are popular locally and usually cap at 300-500 people, but reservations for tickets can be made ahead through their Facebook page. The space has a “pop-up” bar serving craft and local beers and cocktails, open during all its events.
Opened just last November, this beer garden is an affiliate of Bavaria’s Schneider Weisse Brewing Company, bringing its signature wheat beer – among other coveted German brews – straight to The Land of Smiles. The beer garden’s concept is after a harmony of Thai and German tastes, serving up classic Schnitzel with sauerkraut and traditional Bavarian pretzels alongside Thai fusions like pork leg with German roasted peppers and chilli sauce.
Courtesy of Tacochela | https://www.facebook.com/tacochelabkk/
This playful taqueria is the brainchild of Mikkeller, a Danish microbrewery that set up shop in Ekkamai a few years ago. A laid-back vibe is the central feature, rooted in its décor reminiscent of the Mexican culture of storybooks – bright colours and deco murals all around. The bar boasts 17 craft beers and ciders on tap and three kinds of margaritas on draft, and you won’t be using those drinks to wash down normal pub grub. Tacochela’s menu was designed by Mexican-born Jimmy Rojas, whose global resume includes a two Michelin-starred kitchen in Spain.
Courtesy of Aree Bar | https://www.facebook.com/aree.barbkk/
This no-frills bar is a refreshing retreat from Bangkok’s recent hype around everything uber-trendy. Developed by the team behind Salt, it operates to almost counterbalance the ultra-stylish restaurant and cocktail bar sitting just opposite, serving up standard booze that’s delightfully Thai-style. Individual drinks are available, but get the best bang for your baht by sharing a bottle of Sangsom – or Clan Gold aged 18 years, if you’re feeling fancier – over the regular live music and bar bites like deep fried chicken in lemongrass.
Courtesy of Jim's Burgers and Beers | https://www.facebook.com/JimsburgerBKK/
A pleasantly humble hangout, this joint specialises in the two areas promised by its name: burgers and beers. The industrial-style bar has a variety of German beers on tap, and is joined to its neighbour, The Three Musketbeers, which expands its collection considerably. Guests can lounge in either venue and it all is easily sorted on one bill. Its menu is decidedly simple but that focus pays off – its burgers are top-quality and range from its staple, Jim’s honey beef burger, to its Ribbreakker burger stuffed with BBQ pork ribs smoked for over six hours.
This retrofitted shophouse oozes of all-things-Ari: vintage décor, ethereal light fixtures, hip ambiance, and an overall air of nostalgia. The bar serves up a refreshing mix of classic and signature cocktails, with a decent selection of wine and beers as well. It’s a carnivore’s delight as the most popular orders include its signature Fatbird Burger with thick-cut onion rings, yellow “buffalo” wings, and home-style stew pie.