5 Best Bars and Restaurants on Suan Phlu

Bangkok’s Latest Nightlife Street in Sathorn

Suan Phlu is one of Bangkok’s latest drinking and dining enclaves, with new fashionable openings moving in every month and a real buzz about the area. One of the great things about Bangkok’s nightlife scene is how different areas suddenly blossom over a matter of months, pulling in crowds from all over the city. Currently, Suan Phlu is that place.

This street is so interesting for foreigners because it is in the first stages of gentrification; the old shop houses are still here, as are the fantastic range of street food stalls, but now these have been joined by a new generation of funky modern venues that appeal to Thais, expats and inquisitive tourists.

Suan Phlu is located on Sathorn Road, close to many of the large five-star hotels such as Banyan Tree, The Sukhothai, and The Metropolitan. If you are arriving by BTS, it is easiest to get off at Chong Nonsi Station and take a short taxi.

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Brushed concrete, carefully mismatched wallpaper and Geisha prints create a chic and convivial atmosphere at Kom-Ba-Wa, but don’t think the short but exciting menu is an afterthought. This restaurant serves modern Japanese food in small tapas-style portions, spanning everything from salads to sushi to beef tataki prepared like a blooming rose. The music is on point, swinging through jazzy lounge house to 50s rat-pack. Eleven sakes are available by the bottle, two by the glass, and there are three signature cocktails based around sweet concoctions of sake and/or whisky. If you are coming from Sathorn Road, Kom-Ba-Wa is one Suan Phlu’s first venues, located on the left-hand side of the street. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily, 11:30-14:00 and 18:00-01:00
  • Location: 39/19 Soi Suanphlu, Sathorn Road
  • Tel: +66 (0)2 679 3775
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This three-storey bohemian bar sits on a corner location on Suan Phlu Soi 1, enticing a cool crowd with its antique Parisian furniture, well stocked bar – including a range of absinthe and rare whiskies – and a rooftop section that gets packed out until late (and really late on weekends). Owned by David Jacobson, a legendary nightlife proprietor who opened successful clubs in Saigon and Bangkok before making the move to Suan Phlu and opening this quintessential neighbourhood bar. Music is often chilled and always offbeat, with world music and jazz taking centre stage instead of commercial hip-hop and house. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 19:00-02:00 (closed Tuesday)
  • Location: 186/3 Soi Suan Phlu, Soi 1
  • Tel: +66(0)95 585 1398
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3
Junker and Bar

Catering more to a Thai crowd but still a mainstay on Suan Phlu, this is more of a bar with food than a restaurant with drinks, but you can certainly do both here. Well regarded for its cocktails, the oversized glasses and boozy yet balanced concoctions are our favourite in the area and the kooky tattoo art on the walls is a nice touch. Junker and Bar’s menu contains western dishes with Asian accents, such as signature pizzas and wagyu striploin with truffle mash.

The guys at Junker and Bar also love their gin so this is a great place to try some small batch samples from around the world. Occasional live music packs the tiny venue to the rafters, mostly with friends of the bands, but it also guarantees a great experience of partying with a fashionable, urban Thai crowd.

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4
Uncle John’s

Uncle John’s is what happens when you take a talented chef from a five-star hotel and ask him to serve French food in a neighbourhood shophouse. The eponymous Uncle John opened his humble restaurant as a labour of love and it shows. The menu contains far too much filler touching on many world cuisines, and while this does show the chef’s skill at turning his hand to anything, we definitely advise sticking with the French menu. Foie gras, duck a l’orange, beef Rossini – dinner at Uncle John’s is as unexpected as it is delicious (and half the price of what most other restaurants charge for the same dish). Just be prepared for a slightly longer than usual wait for your meal as the chef prepares everything personally from a very basic kitchen.

  • Opening Hours: 18:30-01:00
  • Location: 279/2 Suanphlu Soi 8
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5
Rendez-Vous Bistro

Rendez-Vous Bistro is a smart and modern bistro decked out in charcoal grey and glass. Simple, classic French food dominates the menu, padded out with Italian dishes such as pasta, lasagne and risotto. The menu changes according to produce so the day’s fare is scrawled in chalk on blackboards, but you can expect French onion soup, mussels and fries, duck confit and other French staples. The two-storey venue has tasteful art on the walls, a large terrace out the front and an adequate wine list (with many bottles available by the glass). If you are in the area in the daytime, Rendez-Vous has a two-course set lunch costing 390 baht. The patisserie is great here with homemade tarte tatin a particular highlight.

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