Bangkok has long been known for its night time revelries, wild parties and cheap shopping. But for those who like to sit at a quiet nook and watch the city whiz by its cafes are the right spots. From themed cafes to dessert bars, Bangkok’s burgeoning café culture is rapidly catching up. Many of these cafes can be easily missed unless you stumble upon them whilst walking in the tiny by lanes of the Sukhumvit area. A large number of cafes are concentrated in the by lanes of Thonglor and Ekkamai neighbourhoods. Here’s a selection of cafes to try:
Located on Thonglor Soi 17, The Commons is a buzzing community hub spread over four storeys replete with cafes, eateries, stores, marketplace and play area. Some of the notable cafes here include Roast, an all-day eatery that’s known for its scrumptious brunches, single-origin coffees sourced from regions like Guatemala and Rwanda and indulgent desserts. Another spot here is the Jona Waffle. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Songpon Wongpaisan specialises in creating overnight yeast-raised waffles giving them a soft interior with a crispy texture on the outside. The menu features lavishly decked waffles such as Lady in Red—a regular waffle with fresh strawberries, blueberries, yogurt honey sauce, berry sauce and strawberry ice cream; and the Tokyo Drift—a Matcha waffle base with green tea ice cream, red bean paste, banana, a sprinkle of Kinako (yellow bean powder used in Japanese desserts), and Kuromitsu (dark sugar syrup).
Quick tip: The Never Too Much waffle is a chocolate waffle base topped with caramelised banana and almonds, Belgian chocolate ice cream and warm chocolate.
Mr Jones’ Orphanage
Modelled to look like a children’s nook, Mr Jones’ Orphanage is named after a children’s book. Paper planes dangling from the ceiling, colourful carousels, and more whimsical elements form the creative decor of this cafe’s six locations in the city, including the popular tourist hub, Siam Centre. Their cakes and desserts are their biggest attraction; even with savouries on the menu. You will find tiers filled with red velvet cake, M&M and Kit Kat cake, white chocolate cheesecake, passion fruit sponge, milk pie and Matcha toast. You can wash them down with flavoured milk served in cute little milk bottles. The cafe also offers you to adopt a teddy bear—that comes with a passport and personality—the earnings of which is donated to Camilian Home, a foundation for children with disabilities.
Quick tip: At the Siam Centre branch, you can view an almost life-size train filled with teddy bears gliding above the tables.
Located a few minutes away from BTS station Phrom Phong, just ahead of Hotel Emporium Suites, Karamaket Diner is a quaint cafe in Silom. Originally a perfume brand, Karamaket got into the restaurant business with Everyday by Karmakamet. The Karamaket Diner is their second restaurant. The menu is inspired by French cuisine, but for those looking for a hearty meal, opt for pastas, burgers or a variety of egg preparations. The main highlight is surely their ‘photo-worthy’ desserts. Strawberry in the Clouds is a likely winner in this category. Hidden under a large globe-sized mound of rainbow-coloured cotton candy is a glass filled with pieces of strawberry shortcake, amaretto cream, walnut crumble and strawberry ice cream.
Quick tip: Try their Banana Espresso Eclair.
(Un)Fashion Cafe brings together one of the most coveted activities in Bangkok—shopping—with a dash of bitter-sweet indulgence and a hipster chic vibe. Situated at a mere 10-minute walk from Ekkamai BTS station, this cafe sits next to a flurry of vintage fashion stores selling leather bags, shoes and accessories, among other items. Their minimal menu comprises baked goods such as berry tarts and scones with clotted cream and jam paired with a range of coffees and teas such as the Matcha Latte and Strawberry Mango tea.
Quick tip: Thumbs up for the Banana Chocolate Latte.