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8 Happening Spots by Bangkok's Riverside

Bangkok’s most happening few hundred meters, Phra Athit (“the sun”) Road is where hipsters and in-the-know flashpackers mingle. Sylvia Gavin checks out some great retro bars and eateries.

Published on Jan 31, 2014

1. Riva Surya Hotel

Raising the boutique bar in the neighborhood is the riverside Riva Surya Hotel. Loll in a poolside daybed and sip on their signature cocktail, the Mandarin Chili Martini—but be warned, it has a kick. The hotel’s stylish market cafe, Babble & Rum, is also worth checking out. 23 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 2 633 5000;

2. Jazz Happens Bar

This is where Bangkok goes beatnik. With live jazz starting every night at 7:30 p.m., up and coming young musicians from Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Jazz play their hearts out. Tap your foot to Coltrane covers as you sip on a carafe of kamikaze. Black, thickrimmed eyeglasses are optional. 62 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 2 282 9934

3. Salad on Demand

The healthiest option in the neighborhood. Choose from an array of greens, vegetables and proteins… and then undo all the goodness by ordering their divine green tea panna cotta for dessert. 60 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 2 629 3982

4. Hemlock

An oldie but definitely a goodie. “Farang friendly” Thai food served to a soundtrack of easy-on-theears jazz, doused by a good selection of wines and sometimes topped off with performances or exhibitions upstairs. You cannot fault it. And their Penang curry is really good. 56 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 2 282 7507

5. Escapade Burgers & Shakes

Widely considered to serve some of the best burgers in town, this place is proof that good eats come in small packages. Elbow space in this mini shophouse may be limited, but the great grilled ground meats and creative cocktail concoctions more than make up for it. Try their lamb burger in a chocolate-bread bun. 112 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 81 406 3773

6. Santichaiprakarn Park & Phra Sumen Fort

A late-afternoon hipster hangout, the park also hosts daily 6 p.m. riverside aerobics classes where you can bop about energetically to accelerated versions of top 40 hits that’s blasted out through crackling speakers. Entertaining stuff.

7. Good Story

Locals and tourists flock here for the extensive Belgian and German beer menu. Settle into one of the retro sofas and sip on a Blanche de Namur. 72 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 2 629 2924

8. Roti Mataba

This legendary little place has been rolling out rotis since 1943. The near constant queue outside the narrow shophouse tells you they must be doing something right. 136 Phra Athit Rd.; +66 2 282 2119


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