Sorry folks, this is long overdue. I finally sobered up a bit after drinking all of these cocktails. What caused this sudden bout of sobriety? Probably the bills I wracked up paying for these drinks! Bangkok’s cocktail scene is just getting started and although there’s a lot to be desired, let’s be happy it’s slowly pulling away from being siloed in hotels and needlessly pretentious places. Here’s a list of Bangkok’s best bars to encourage you to get started bar hopping in Bangkok and challenging the city’s mixologists to make you something special.
Easily Bangkok’s best bar for craft cocktails. The Swedes behind the bar really understand bar culture and the lounge setting in swank, yet unpretentious.
Location: Dark alley next to Lady Brett and up some windy stairs. If you end up in the kitchen you went the wrong route. Open only Wednesday to Friday.
Facebook Page: U.N.C.L.E. (United Nations of Cocktail Lovers Everywhere)
Bangkok’s best signature cocktail menu is recently improved with a large selection of house aged spirits. The food is underwhelming and craft cocktails are best when head bartender Colin is at the helm.
Location: On Soi Convent, walking distance from BTS Sala Daeng.
Facebook Page: Vesper
J Boroski’s Bar
Hidden, dark, and expensive. This is one of the most sought after bars in the Bangkok. The bar’s namesake comes from the owner and head bartender Joseph Boroski. The New Yorker has made a name for himself as an expert mixologist for bars in Asia and you should always ask what unique flavors he’s brought back with him from recent travels.
Location: Thonglor Somewhere
Junker and Bar
The most casual of the lot, Junker and Bar gets crowded with live music lovers, cocktail newbs, and professional alcoholics in search of a reasonably priced cocktail alike. Whether you want an oversized mojito to share or prefer sitting back with an exotic gin, the bartender’s got a liquid solution for you.
Location: The early part of the happening little street Soi Suan Plu in Silom
Unofficial Facebook Page: Junker and Bar
Here’s a dependable spot for great drinks on Sukhumvit Soi 11, the most well known party street in Bangkok. If you’re serious about your cocktail hunt, pop in here before going on and enjoy their happy hour deals and occasional live music.
Location: In Nana’s Sukhumvit 11 about 200 meters down you’ll find a small street across from Villa that wraps around past Cheap Charlie’s (near Snapper Restaurant).
Facebook Page: The Alchemist Bar
Former bartender at Hanakaruta offers up his own infusions and classic cocktails at a hidden spot in Sukhumvit 49 and on Sunday’s and Monday’s at Raw Bar.
Location: Sukhumvit 49 Somewhere
Facebook Page: Nori’s Bar
Location: End of Ekkamai in a building looking like it’s set for demolish soon. You’re in the right place if you spot the iconic storm trooper. Check their fb page for news of their reopening.
Facebook Page: Sugar Ray You’ve Just Been Poisoned
Location: Three locations, one in Mahatun Plaza (Phloen Chit), Asoke’s Sukhumvit 23, and in Silom at the base of the Holiday Inn.
Half bar, half Isaan (Northeastern Thai) dancehall. Come here for the funky music and tune out with crazy cocktails. This is the best place in the city to decide if hipsters have revived the Thai herbal spirit ‘yadong’ or if it still tastes like warm ass.
Location: Sukhumvit 51 walking distance from BTS Thonglor.
Facebook Page: Studio Lam
Protip: If the music is too loud check out nearby WTF Bar & Gallery for cocktails and art.
Bars and Brands in Bangkok Deserving Honorable Mention
There are several bars who are definitely raising the standard for bars in Bangkok. However, they may not exactly fit into the cocktail bar category.
Location: Two locations, one in Sukhumvit 39, the other on Sathorn 10 in Silom.
Facebook Page: Maggie Choo’s
Charcoal Tandoor & Grill (Fraser Suites Hotel)
This Indian restaurant’s cocktail concept was though out by Joseph Boroski or the famed J. Boroski bar. Expect cocktails both visually stimulating and packing the full flavors of India’s spice markets. Chase your cocktail with a mouthful of paan after!
Location: Fraser Suites Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 11
Facebook Page: Charcoal BKK
Havana Social Club
Protip: The parent company for Charcoal is working on their own secret bar to be called Havana Social.
Update: Havana Social is now open. The bar is hidden in Sukhumvit 11 and unless one of Bangkok’s speakeasy hopping socialites is your tour guide, you’ll need a code to open the phone booth looking secret door too.
Location: Sukhumvit Soi 11, somewhere between Le Fenix and Fraser Suites Hotel
Facebook Page: Charcoal BKK
Osito Unique Spanish Restaurant
The recently remodeled El Osito has a new name, food concept, and extra space for eclectic gins on the wall. I’ll hoping they offer some gin tasting events and bolster their menu with flights of gin in the future.
Facebook Page: Osito Unique Spanish
Live music, gay night, magicians, cabaret and all kinds of wild shit happening while you try to sip your cocktail. This is a great place to finish the night after bar hopping, but make sure you and the squad are properly dressed to get passed the bouncer.
Location: Silom Road in the basement of the Novotel Siam
Facebook Page: Maggie Choo’s
Diageo World Class
Diageo World Class is “the world’s largest and most exclusive mixology education programme that celebrates the skills and creativity of bartenders and introduces the latest cocktail-making trends to the global community.” In layman’s terms this means they host bartender competitions and pr events to talk about themselves and hype up Diageo as much as possible.
Similarly to Diageo’s World Class, Bacardi Legacy is mostly a bartender competition happening all over South East Asia. The event “challenges the best bartenders in the world to create their own cocktail legacy; to create a drink that will not only stand the test of time blah blah blah…” This program is just as heavy on the marketing, however, it has even fewer events.
I’m definitely always mixing something up at home. If you’ve seen some typos in anything I’ve written you were probably already suspicious! Seriously though you’re not invited to see me getting drunk at home, except through my snaps on the @bkkfatty Instagram account!
Facebook Page: Bangkok Fatty