Bangkok’s coolest neighborhood: Thonglor
Thonglor is well known for its restaurants and bars, which is why it’s our go-to area to wander around at night. The neighborhood is a trendy spot for locals and expats and is not overrun with tourists. A huge highlight of this area, as well, is that it’s right outside our door at the Marriott Hotel. The main street in this area is Soi 55 off of Sukhumvit. On both sides of the street you are greeted by different eateries and fashionable bars. One down side is that year after year we seem to fall in love with great spots, but sadly return to see that they have closed. Even though turnover is high, you truly can never go wrong when picking a place.
Here is a list of some of our favorite spots we experience time and time again and some new additions!
We have been eyeing Soul Food for the past several years, and we finally tried it on Christmas Eve. The whole experience was so amazing; we were disappointed that this was our first time there. It’s only open for dinner and we highly encourage you to make a reservation, as the restaurant is quite small. The menu has many options and it was hard for us to choose, as we wanted to eat everything! After much debate we settled on: the Southern Thai Samosas with Lamb, Pad See Ew (rice noodles with house-smoked pork jowl), Red Curry with Smoked Duck and Rambutans, and finally ended with Mango Sticky Rice. Every dish was an explosion in the mouth and really wished we had more room in our stomachs to eat more. A little tip, you can bring your own bottle of wine. They do sell wine, but we decided to BYOB.
Last year we went to Gaggan, which is a fantastic experience, but expensive. If you are looking for a delicious, well-priced restaurant, try Soul Food. You won’t regret it!
Fifty-Fifth is a great late night spot for those looking for a very local and inexpensive Thai restaurant. It’s great if you’ve had a few too many Singhas or just hungry! Most of the diners are local, which for us, means that it has to be good. The menu is an extensive picture book. We always share different items, but our favorite is the black pepper chicken. It comes out sizzling in this wonderful pepper sauce with vegetables and rice. Of course, we always get 2 Singhas to go along with it. You can’t go wrong here!
Octave is a fabulous rooftop bar and is a favorite among locals, tourists, and expats that pack the place every day from sunset until late. The bar and restaurant is located on floors 45-49 of the Marriott Hotel on Soi 57. Whether coming to eat or drink, this place cannot be missed. The views of Bangkok are stunning and there is always a nice breeze. There are frequent promotions so it is definitely possible to visit even if you are on a budget.
The Fox is a new bar, which recently opened. Surprisingly, it’s owned by a local Thai we met last year at his old bar down the street. We really liked the chill and relaxed atmosphere of this place. The outdoor patio is great to enjoy a cold Singha and listen to local musicians. As previously mentioned, there is a lot of turnover on this street, but we really hope to see this place again!
Bad Motel Bar
Bad Motel Bar is one of our absolute favorite bars in Bangkok! It’s cool and trendy, but by all means not too cool or trendy…they still let us in the door! It’s definitely relaxed. They serve not only drinks and cocktails, but also a full menu. We’ve never eaten here before, but the food has always looked really good. The service is great and you are always well hydrated…with your drink of choice, of course. We enjoy sitting on the back patio with the twinkle lights…but be sure to ask for bug spray! A new addition (we think) is the club upstairs…that part is definitely way too cool and trendy for us!
Bombay Blues was a new restaurant for us to try this year! We love Indian food and have a tried other restaurants in the past in Bangkok. We put tripadvisor recommendations to the test and tried this place out. The restaurant is on Thonglor Soi 10, which is a side street of Soi 55. You walk into the restaurant and you are required to remove your shoes, but don’t worry it’s clean! You sit on the floor, which was new for us. The atmosphere is a combination of restaurant and hookah/shisha lounge. We recommend making a reservation, as it filled up very quickly. The food was fantastic, but we also really loved the ambiance.