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Bangkok Magazine

  • 5 Best Bars and Restaurants in Ari

    Where to Eat and Drink in Ari, Near Victory Monument

    The best bars and restaurants in Ari are places where the cool, arty crowd that make up this area of Bangkok all go to chill and enjoy a Guatemalan drip coffee, hard-to-find craft beer or chunky burger made with Japanese wagyu beef and artisanal French cheese. Shunning the mainstream franchise culture apparent in most other parts of Bangkok, Ari – located five Skytrain stations north of Siam – is where nonconformity is the norm.

    Ari is crammed with cool cafes, pop up restaurants and arty bars so just walking along Soi Ari will no doubt unearth some hidden gems, but if it is your first time exploring the area, follow this guide to the most prominent hangouts in the area and meet the cool crowds at the best bars and restaurants in Ari.

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    Salt is the most popular bar and restaurant in Ari. The huge space is also perhaps the biggest plot in the area too. Consisting of an expansive terrace, glass-fronted dining room and a hidden cocktail and cigar lounge at the back, Salt Bar and Restaurant has plenty of areas to explore. The crowd is mostly young professional Thais with a smattering of in-the-know expats.

    Come for dinner and enjoy sushi rolls, excellent thin base pizza or fusion pasta, or even just find a space in the garden and enjoy a cocktail with friends. The cool lounge house music and up-to-the-minute indie bands on the stereo match the ambiance perfectly. Read More...

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    Pla Dib

    This Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant was the first of the ‘cool’ restaurants in Ari and spawned several imitators. However, Bla Dip is the original and best at what it does, with an outdoor area and live band complementing the large and haphazard menu of everything from spicy deep fried squid to vegetarian lasagna. Throw in craft beers, excellent coffee and many ingredients in the kitchen brought direct from Pla Dip’s own farm and you have the makings of a classic Ari hangout spot. Located a little far from Ari BTS Station, consider taking a motorbike or taxi. Everyone will know the name ‘Bla Dip’ (it means ‘raw fish’ in Thai).

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    Café Marlin is a spacious bar and restaurant that appeals to a wide range of people. Part bar, part restaurant, the brushed concrete and menu of signature cocktails and craft beers is typical of several other cool hangouts in Ari. Part owned by a prominent Japanese sushi chef, the sushi and sashimi is particularly good here. On weekends, Marlin Cafe have an acoustic duo perform from 19:00-22:00, to further blur the line between restaurant and bar.

    We don’t mind the somewhat fuzzy concept behind Marlin Café Bangkok: the menu is about as varied as it can be, yet the food is good quality, and if you are looking for a new, interesting place to take a large group, Café Marlin is a good fit. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 16:30-24:00 daily
    • Location: Paholyothin 7 (Soi Aree) between Soi Aree 4 and Aree 5
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 023 3438
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    Located on a back lane just off Soi Ari, this two-storey restaurant not only has an original look, but it’s doing something very different in the kitchen. Serving cuisine that the team describe as "Siamisation", it brings together the flavours of Thailand and the countries that border it, as well as the influences of trade ships from countries such as India and Portugal.

    The Rock Restaurant and Bar is open from Tuesday to Sundays from 17:30 until 00:00. It’s a pleasant ten minute stroll from the BTS Skytrain at Ari. Read More...

    • Location: Rock Restaurant and Bar, 7/1 Paholyothin Soi 9 Bangkok
    • BTS: Ari
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 688 8200
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    Steve Café and Cuisine in Town

    Steve Café has been impressing us with its take on southern Thai cuisine at its secluded riverside restaurant for years, so it was great news when Steve and crew decided to open a second branch right off Ari Soi 1.

    Named Steve Café and Cuisine in Town, the same concept is at work here: seasonal Thai food, mostly inspired by fiery southern recipes, with a focus on great seafood. Colourful, retro elements make up the dining room which is spread over two floors and attracts a steady stream of locals and foreigners. The flavours presented here are as authentic as you will find in Ari so if you’re in the mood for Thai food, Steve Café and Cuisine In Town should be your first choice.

    • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11:30 - 14:30 and 16:30 - 23:00; Weekends 11:30 – 23:00
    • Location: Soi Ari 1 (Soi Rajkru)
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 619 9822
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