Bangkok Neighbourhood Cafe Hopping Guide - Best spots for specialty coffee & co

Bangkok and I go way back. I spent a year in Bangkok studying at Chulalongkorn University and doing a traineeship in 2011. Since then it’s been close to heart and started to feel like a second home, which is why I came back every single year at least for a few days. Returning to Bangkok has become even more exciting ever since I started writing about specialty coffee. The local cafe scene is thriving and while new and innovative coffee shop concepts keep popping up, I also see the already existing ones constantly moving or improving. If you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time, you’ll find vibrant neighbourhoods well beyond Khao San Road. My favourite districts for visiting cafés are Ari, Phaya Thai, Sukhumvit, Silom and Sathorn. There are also a couple of wonderful cafes in the area behind Hua Lamphong station. In this article I want to take you on a little journey to Bangkok’s most exciting neighbourhoods and their specialty coffee shops.

As a little side note, importing coffee from other parts of the world is quite expensive in Thailand due to heavy tariffs. Most cafes you’ll visit feature coffee beans from Northern Thailand, either as single origin or as part of a blend. To add a bit more complexity to the cup many roasters blend Thai coffee with beans from Ethiopia, Brazil or Colombia.



My favourite spots for specialty coffee in central Bangkok, sorted by neighbourhood

Sukhumvit

What Sukhumvit lacks in tourist attractions it makes up for with a maze of alleys packed with cosy restaurants and cafes, rooftop bars and great shopping. One could easily spend a month getting lost in the Soi’s, stumbling from one place to the next, only to find some of the best coffee and dining the city has to offer. Sadly, the legendary street food vendors of Soi 38 have been forced to relocate in order to make room for yet another condominium complex. There is not a lot of street food left in Sukhumvit, but Terminal 21 and EmQuartier have pretty good food courts. The specialty coffee shops not to be missed are:

Invisible Coffee Room
You’ll find the owner Thanapong hand grinding your single origin beans for filter coffee. For espresso they blend four different origins to produce a balanced cup. Beautiful space and a relaxed atmosphere guaranteed!

invisible coffee room sukhumvit  bangkok

Contacts:
Invisible Coffee Room
25/8 Soi Sukhumvit 16, Bangkok

Hello Strangers Cafe
Creative space serving beans roasted by Ristr8to from Chiang Mai. Great for working on your laptop.

hello strangers cafe bangkok

Contacts:
Hello Strangers Cafe
61/ 45/39 Sukhumvit 26 Alley, Bangkok

Ceresia Coffee Roasters
Ceresia have a great selection of single origin coffees from across the coffee belt. Watch the roasting action on site through the giant glass window.

Contacts:
Ceresia Coffee Roasters
593/29-41 Sukhumvit Road Soi 33/1

Sometimes I feel
The best address for signature drinks in Sukhumvit! The owner Jay, his wife and best friend have opened up the cafe in autumn 2018 and design drinks inspired by flavours to be found in coffee beans. Their mission is to extract these flavours by adding a little extra. The coffee shop features multiple roasters and a variety of single origins that rotate every two to three weeks.

sometimes I feel sukhumvit bangkok coffee shop
sometimes i feel signature drink bangkok

Contacts:
Sometimes I feel
5/1 Sukhumvit 31, Bangkok

Roast at EMQuartier and The COMMONS
This haven for brunchers, lunchers and diners has two locations in Sukhumvit, one in the shopping mall EmQuartier and one at the concept mall The Commons.

roast coffee em quartier bangkok

Contacts:
Roast at EMQuartier
1 Helix Building B 693 695 Sukhumvit Road

CAFE LEITZ by Pacamara
Pacamara has, as many other established specialty coffee shops in Bangkok, discovered the advantages of being located in a shopping mall and consequently opened the luxurious CAFE LEITZ in the Helix Quarter across from Phrom Pong BTS station. The menu was particularly designed for this branch and holds fusion dishes for breakfast lunch and desert. The exquisite selection of single origins for filter includes acclaimed international beans such as Ethiopia Guji and Thai beans from the coffee regions Doi Chang and PangKhon. For espresso the choice is to be made between a house blend, classic blend and a rotating single origin.

cafe leitz pacamara helix quartier bangkok

Contacts:
CAFE LEITZ by Pacamara
M floor, Helix Quartier, 12 Sukhumvit Rd

Casa Lapin x26
Casa Lapin is a roastery and specialty coffee chain with several cafés around Bangkok. The one nestled away in Soi 26 is adjacent the pretty hostel and co-working space One Day.

casa lapin specialty coffee bangkok

Contacts:
Casa Lapin x26
51 Sukhumvit 26 Alley , Bangkok

Brave Roasters : Space Oddity
Located in the lifestyle mall Seenspace in Thong Lor, this branch of Brave Roasters is famous for its signature drinks, such as the smoking iced Fume de Latte and Mocha. There are also different kinds of craft beer available to taste-try.

Pacamara Coffee Roaster x Specialty Coffee Lab

Hands and Heart Cafe
Minimal design, hand grinding and drip coffee only. This Instagram darling is a popular choice for cafe hoppers.

hands and heart specialty coffee bangkok

Contacts:
Hands and Heart Cafe
33 Sukhumvit 38 Alley, Bangkok

Phil Coffee Company
Pioneer artisan coffee roastery and Malay family affair operational since 2011 that currently offers single origins from Chiang Rai, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya. They became the 1st runner-up at the Thai Coffee Roasting Championship 2018.

Phil Coffee Company

Phil Coffee Company

Contacts:
Phil Coffee Company

21 Sukhumvit 61 Alley, Bangkok

Ink & Lion
Cosy micro-roastery café in Ekkamai that has been around since 2013.

ink & lion coffee bangkok

Contacts:
Ink & Lion
Soi Sukhumvit 63, Bangkok

Onion
One Ounce for Onion is sharing the space with a multi-label store in a quiet Soi in Ekkamai. Super cosy place with great food, coffee and local vibes.

One ounce for onion coffee bangkok

Contacts:
Onion
19/12 Sukhumvit 63 Alley, Bangkok

Kaizen Coffee Co
This hipster hangout spot in Ekkamai is moving (December 2018) and I’ll hopefully get to show you the new space next month.

Roots

roots specialty coffee Bangkok

Roots is arguably one of Bangkok’s finest coffee roasters. It is located in the concept mall The COMMONS. While there is certainly no lack of shopping malls in Bangkok, The COMMONS stands out for its community centered approach and the plentiful outdoor seating where you can hang out even if you don’t decide to shop anything.

I had the opportunity to go on an origin trip to Northern Thailand together with head roaster Korn, which you can read about here, and saw first hand that Roots carefully selects only the best quality coffee. They are also the first specialty roastery to exclusively roast coffee from Thailand. As Korn told me, the quality of coffee in Northern Thailand has improved a lot over the last couple of years, a development that the roastery is strongly supporting. Roots have opened up a second location in Sathorn.

Contacts:
Roots @Thonglor
theCOMMONS (Top Yard Floor) Thonglor 17

Silom

The financial district of Bangkok might seem like a jungle made of office buildings at first, but if you venture far enough, you’ll stumble upon art galleries, Hindu temples and great coffee shops. Strolling down Pan Road and visiting the Kathmandu Photogallery is a must when in the area. Around the impressive Sri Mariamman Temple you’ll feel teleported straight to India, only to be reminded by local street food vendors that you’re actually in Bangkok. Silom is a neighbourhood that can be described as beautifully diverse. As the sun sets it starts bustling with market and food stalls appearing in an instant, and during the day the following coffee shops are a great draw.

F.I.X.
A must for those who appreciate minimalist design. This coffee shop in deep greys and sleek blacks has two grinders, one house blend made of Brazil, Colombia and Thailand and a guest blend with specialty coffee from local roaster friends.

f.i.x. coffee shop bangkok
f.i.x. coffee shop bangkok

Contacts:
F.I.X
Saladaeng 1, Bangkok

Coffeelism Stand

Rocket

Luka

Sathorn

Sathorn can be described as the laid back older sibling of Silom, slightly more grown up but equally diverse and interesting to discover. While it is a center for business and high-rise buildings, there are just as many residential areas in this neighbourhood that are often overlooked by visitors. Get lost in the alleys, immerse yourself in the local way of life and refresh at these specialty coffee shops.

Roots at Sathorn

roots sathorn specialty coffee bangkok

Contacts:
Roots
33,31 Bhiraj Tower at Sathon, Bangkok

All Good in the Hood
Adjacent of All That Bangkok Hostel, this neighbourhood coffee shop is a great place to venture to. It is right in the middle of a residential area and local life will pass by while you sip on nitro cold brew.

all good in the hood specialty coffee bangkok

Contacts:
All Good in the Hood
14 Soi Sathon 11, Bangkok

Rocket Coffeebar S.12
All day breakfast and single origin coffee from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Thailand. This is one of two branches in Bangkok.

rocket sathorn specialty coffee shop bangkok

Contacts:
Rocket Coffeebar S.12

149 Soi Sueksa Witthaya 2, Bangkok

Chit Lom

Chit Lom and Phloen Chit have probably the highest density of shopping malls and luxury hotels per square meter. It’s not surprising that the two specialty coffee shops in this neighbourhood are also located in shopping centers. The area is filled with expats in business attire as it houses a number of embassies. The are a few local markets, food stalls and restaurants around, but most of the establishments are high-end.

Coffeeology
Coffee shop located in the Central Embassy mall with a one-of-a-kind counter. The owner has a coffee plantation in Chiang Dao and serves his coffee at Coffeeology. The farm is illustrated on the walls and with lots of imagination you can transport yourself there. Come here for a true seed to cup experience.

coffeology specialty coffee bangkok

iberista Specialty Coffee

Siam

Did I say Chit Lom has the highest density of shopping malls? Siam is definitely competing for that title, but shopping here is slightly more affordable, apart from the luxurious Siam Paragon. There is always something going on at Siam. From the BTS station you’ll see crowds of people pressed against a stage on most days, even though you’ll probably never figure out why they are there. Siam is also where to find the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center (BACC), which has different exhibitions going on that you can visit for free. Two great specialty coffee shops are to be found here, one in Siam Discovery Shopping Mall and one in the BACC.

I+D Style Cafe x Brave Roasters
A branch of Brave Roasters located in the shopping mall Siam Discovery.

brave roasters siam discovery bangkok

Contacts:
I+D Style Cafe x Brave Roasters
Siam Discovery

Gallery Drip Coffee
Filter coffee only at the BACC (Bangkok Arts and Culture Center).

Phaya Thai

In recent years the neighbourhood around Phaya Thai and Ratchathewi BTS station has seen more and more designer hostels popping up in small alleys amidst local houses, markets and restaurants. Close to Phaya Thai is where I used to live when I studied in Bangkok and I always stay here when I return, partly for nostalgic reasons, but also because some great cafes and restaurants are to be found in the area. Nowadays, these following specialty coffee shops make the Phaya Thai neighbourhood even more attractive.

Factory Coffee

athip barista champion factory bangkok thailand

Contacts:
Factory Coffee
35/18 Phayathai Rd, Bangkok

Lazy Mary Coffee

Lazy Mary Coffee Bangkok

Contacts:
Lazy Mary Coffee
386/57, Soi Phaya Nak

Casa Lapin Phaya Thai

Ari

Siam has long lost its hipster crowd due to the commercialisation of the area. Where did they go you ask? To Ari, an area that has developed at a slower pace than other parts of Bangkok. From local street food to chic restaurants, Ari offers something for every budget. Last but not least, these cafes serving specialty coffee make Ari the place to be!

Coffee No. 9

coffee no 9 ari bangkok

Contacts:
Coffee No. 9
1199 Soi Ari 1, Bangkok

FabCafe (former Laliart Cafe)

FabCafe is a concept cafe serving excellent brunch and lunch options. It’s a quiet and airy space perfect for working. Infact, there is a designated space for guests to use laptops. The coffee is equipment is top notch, but the result in your cup really depends on who’s serving it.

laliart cafe

Contacts:
FabCafe Bangkok
77/1 Phahonyothin Rd, Bangkok

Porcupine Cafe

Porcupine Cafe Ari Bangkok

Contacts:
Porcupine Café
48 Phahon Yothin 7 Alley, Bangkok