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Bangkok Magazine

  • 10 Best Bars in Bangkok 2016

    Our Favourite Places to Drink in Bangkok

    Selecting the 10 best bars in Bangkok was no easy task; this, after all, is a city that is world-renowned for its bustling nightlife scene, with literally thousands of drinking spots drawing in millions of thirsty punters every year.

    Our list of the best Bangkok bars is judged on four different factors: quality of drinks, ambiance, location and unique-selling-point. Our tops picks are spread across all the popular areas of the city, including the backpackers’ favourite of the Old City, the hotel and shopping haven of Sukhumvit, the hip and trendy Thong Lor and Ekkamai, as well as a few wild card entries, such as a bar serving paella in the centre of Bangkok’s largest market, and a rooftop garden overlooking the BTS Skytrain. Read on to find out our favourite places to drink in Bangkok.

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    This dark and broody basement venue, the work of popular designer Ashley Sutton, has become one of the most talked-about cocktails bars in Bangkok since its opening in 2013 at the Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom. Maggie Choo’s has a distinct 1930’s Shanghai vibe, which is created by numerous playful props such as hanging paper umbrellas, terracotta-style warrior statues and sexy models in traditional Chinese get-up nonchalantly rocking back and forth on swings suspended from the ceiling. The entrance is very cool: walk down the steep steps into a small noodle shop, with the much larger bar hidden by thick drapes – it feels like a dirty little secret every time you enter.

    Private booths are set inside what used to be the East India Company’s old bank vaults (complete with exposed brick work and giant metal doors) and there’s also a grand piano that’s used for live music events. Cocktails, whilst a bit pricey (about 350 baht), are amongst the best we’ve ever tried in Bangkok. Expect them to be served almost ceremonially with plenty of dry ice, garnish and even candy floss! Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 18:00 - 02:00
    • Location: Silom
    • Address: Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom Hotel, 320 Silom Road
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 635 6055
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    Part thrift store, part unashamed hipster hangout, Tuba Bar in the affluent Ekkamai neighbourhood makes our list of the best bars in Bangkok with its wacky decor, mammoth cocktail list and feel-good bohemian vibes.

The whole place features a kaleidoscope of colours, furniture and artwork, with an ample supply of erotic paintings hanging on the walls, mismatching vintage chairs, retro lighting and quirky props dotted around, including a life size Spiderman statue and 19th century diving helmet. Drinks options are far reaching and reasonably priced for this neck of the woods, with cocktails from 200 baht, beers from 120 baht and small bottles of spirit from 350 baht. Fans of European beers and ales will be particularly pleased thanks to some rare beers (at least for Bangkok) on tap such as Boddingtons, Guinness and Paulaner, as well as an excellent selection of Belgian bottled beers. They also have a pool table, TV screens and do some pretty decent Thai grub as well. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 11:00 – 24:00 Daily
    • Location: Sukhumvit - Ekkamai
    • Address: 4 Ekamai, Soi 21, Bangkok
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 711 5500
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    Bangkok has dozens of great rooftop bars, but none tick all the boxes like Cloud 47 does. Sure, you can go to Lebua Sky Bar and feel like you’re on a movie set, or go up to Vertigo for some better views, but Cloud 47 made our cut of best bars in Bangkok with its easy going vibes, huge open seating area and added bonuses of having a pool table and big screen for live sports.

    Visiting some of the city’s other rooftop bars can often feel like going out for a big occasion, needing to dress up and sometimes folk-out thousands of baht when the bill arrives. Cloud 47, on the other hand, has no dress code, no entry cost and beers start from just over 100 baht – about the same as what you’d pay sitting on the street 47 floors below. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 17:00 - 24:00 
    • Location: Silom
    • BTS: Sala Daeng
    • Address: 47 Floor, United Centre Building, 323, Silom Road, Bangkok

    This quaint old colonial house near Asoke junction offers a great alternative to the usual sterile, worn-out expat pubs around Sukhumvit Road. Step inside Hemingway’s and you’ll feel like you’ve left Bangkok, with numerous themed areas spilt over two levels offering something for everyone, including a Cuban cigar bar, sports bar, outside garden and a impressive nautical themed dining room.

    Although just a minute walk from the high rises and megamalls of Sukhumvit, the leafy surroundings, original teak structure and antique paintings all create a quaint colonial vibe. There’s also a long menu of western classics as well as cocktails, exported beers and wines. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: Sun - Weds 11:30 - 01:00, Thurs - Sat 11:30 - 02:00
    • Location: Sukhumvit - Asoke
    • Address: 1 Sukhumvit Soi 14, Sukhumvit Road
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 653 3900
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    About Eatery is a bar and restaurant that is serious about natural wines, craft beers, and small batch liquors. The grand idea has been to make a casual hangout that is affordable to just about everyone, while promoting ecologically sound food and drinks. The menu, too, has been compiled with a mind on sustainability and organic ingredients so you know that a night in About Eatery is just about the healthiest place to have a good session. It is cliamed that organic wines never give you a hangover the next day... but that's for you to find out.  Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 11:00-01:00 (Closed on Sunday)
    • Location: Sukhumvit 21 Soi 3, Ocean Tower II (close to Asoke Junction)
    • BTS: Asoke
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 665 2772
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    Vesper Bangkok, named after James Bonds’ famous martini, is a fancy cocktail bar and Italian restaurant serving some of the finest drinks in Bangkok. The level of detail and preperation that goes into making each drinks is truly a cut above anywhere else - which does come across in the cost. The vibe is one of quiet sophistication, suitable for groups of ladies to enjoy a few drinks, but also lots of fun.

    Located just a few steps from Sala Daeng BTS Station in Silom, Vesper is easy to find, and find it you should because they are serious about making the best cocktails in Bangkok – try for yourself and see if you disagree.


    • Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 18:00 to 01:00; Sunday 18:00-24:00
    • Location: Silom
    • Address: 10/15 Convent Road, Silom, Bangkok
    • Tel: +66 (0) 2 235 2777
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    Ashley Sutton’s second venue to feature in our top 10 best bars in Bangkok is Iron Fairies, a firm favourite drinking den of Thong Lor’s young and trendy crowd. The low lighting provides a mysterious and alluring setting across the two-level bar, and exposed pipes, a wrought iron staircase and worn-down timber/brickwork surfaces help to create a definite industrial, ironsmith’s theme.

    Drinks wise, Iron Fairies has local beers from 120 baht, but we always go for a signature cocktail which costs around 300 baht. Food is limited but they do serve some pretty mean burgers, and there is also a live jazz and blues band playing from 21:00 onwards with an open mic night on Mondays. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 18:00 – 02:00
    • Address: 394 Thonglor Road, Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 714 8875
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    When Smalls opened up on the relatively discreet Soi Suan Phlu at the start of 2014, it firmly fell into Bangkok’s niche category of expat neighborhood bars. But things change quickly in Bangkok, and through word of mouth, media attention, and the fact that the same street has welcomed a handful of other new drinking dens, Smalls has become one of the most talked-about bars in town.

    Set over three floors of a refurbished 1960s townhouse, Smalls is defined by its dark and broody atmosphere, created by some well-chosen Parisian-inspired décor, low lighting and a sophisticated soundtrack of soft jazz. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 18:00 - 02:00 Daily (closed Tuesday)
    • Location: Sathorn
    • Address: Soi Suan Phlu
    • Tel: +66 (0)95 585 1398
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    Viva 8, located at Bangkok's biggest weekend market, feels like a little oasis amidst the gauntlet of shops and vendors sprawled across Chatuchak. Relax on the leather and cow hide seats, sink an ice cold beer (120 baht) or jug of frozen margarita (450 baht) and watch the endless stream of shoppers coming and going. They also have local up-and-coming DJs from around Bangkok so the deep house music is always blasting. 

    The larger-than-life ‘Chef Fernando’ is the centre of it all; you’ll know you’ve arrived once you spot the round-bellied Spaniard stirring his big pot of paella whilst posing for photos with the passing crowds. Find it on the main ring road of the market at section 8 – or just ask the info desk ‘where is the paella man!?’ (weekends only). Oh, and don’t forget your shades. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: Sat - Sun only 08:00 - 22:00
    • Location: Chatuchak
    • Address: Chatuchak Weekend, Section 8
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 618 7425
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    Just a stone’s throw away from the craziness of Khao San Road is Brown Sugar, a long running, sleek and stylish venue that has become famous for being one of the best bars in Bangkok for live music.

    With over 27 years in the game, Brown Sugar recently moved to a bigger venue from Sarasin Road to Phrasumen Road and now sits up to 200 people seven nights per week. With emphasis more on the live jazz music more than anything else, the food and drinks list isn’t as extensive as some of our other picks, but you can still get a mean Martini for 250 baht or local bottle of beer from around 120 baht. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 17:00 - 02:00 (live music from 21:30) 
    • Location: Old City
    • Address: 469 Phrasumen Road, Bangkok

    • Tel: +66 (0)89 499 1378 
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