The Alchemist Bar is the place to go if you are exploring Sukhumvit Soi 11 and looking to drink somewhere unpretentious but don’t fancy slumming it at Cheap Charlie’s. You’ll find it hidden around the corner on a small cul-de-sac to the left hand side of the soi. The prices are reasonable and the music is cool; this bar is just the place to start the night or spend a low-key evening.
The Alchemist is just around the corner from Soi 11: walk right past Cheap Charlie’s and you can’t miss it. Being set off the main street is no bad thing either; it takes you away from the VW Camper van bars and street food smells and this sub soi has a great selection of restaurants: fish and chips, a French bistro, Mexican and tapas which are also worth checking out. As well as a bunch of loyal regulars, the crowd tend to be young and indie; this is somewhere to go when you don’t want to dress up to the nines or show off your latest gadget. Early evening the bar can sometimes be quiet (ideal to grab a table) but from 21:00 the place is usually packed.
The name came not only from the title of the famous tale by Paul Coelho but also the idea that making cocktails is like mixing potions. The Alchemist has a stripped down industrial look, but because of its small size it still manages to feel really cosy and there is room to sit both inside and out; but the best seats in the house are along the bar so you can chat to the entertaining bartender (he dances as he mixes your drinks). Tunes tend to be a selection of great funky house; the two owners used to be radio DJs so it isn’t surprising that they have good taste when it comes to music.
The drinks are strong and taste good. Potion #1 is an invigorating mix of vodka, passion fruit, ginger, lime and coriander and the bartender uses fresh fruit in these cocktails; for a great taste of Thailand try their mangosteen and martini twist: ‘mangosteenis’. As well as keeping punters interested by inventing new concoctions, the price of the wine and beer is kept low too. Be sure to check with the friendly staff as they often have specials on until 21:00. If you get peckish there is a yummy selection of snacks; the current menu includes ham and cheese toast and pork satay.
The Alchemist Bar
- Opening Hours: 17:00 to midnight every day except Mondays
- Location: Down a sub soi on Sukhumvit 11, around 100 metres down on the left, past Cheap Charlie’s
- BTS: Nana
- Address: 1/19 Sukhumvit Soi 11
- Tel: +66 (0)8 3549 2055