Explore these bold and brew-tiful spots in and around Bangkok.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
I’ll be the first to admit I miss a glass of wine when out with friends on an evening, but Bangkok’s closures of the usual bars and clubs has at least had the happy consequence of encouraging us to branch out of our comfort zones when exploring the city’s watering holes. Now that we can once again fill our Instagram feeds with pictures other than our #wfh setup, we’ve curated a list of themed cafés in and around the city that are worth going out of your way for.
BUBBLE IN THE FOREST
Forget jaunting off to the Maldives à la all the Indian celebrities, just drive to Nakhon Pathom an hour away and enjoy Maldives-like views (pictured in the feature image above) without adding to your carbon footprint. The main attraction of Bubble in the Forest is its sprawling crystal-blue lake, around which they’ve built wooden cabanas with lounge-like seating so you can enjoy a range of refreshing tropical drinks. A wooden bridge meanders down the middle of the lake, off which there are more intimate seating options for those who want the perfect shot, while you can even eat in a transparent ‘bubble’ room while surrounded by lush verdure.
If you want to transport yourself to wine country, Pirom Café is worth the day trip to Nakhon Ratchasima. Housed in a capacious converted farmhouse, they have 360 views of the mountains, the lake a stone’s throw away, and the neatly manicured hedges and vineyards, the latter of which you can visit on harvest day. Their menu offers an assortment of pastries and comfort food, including their signature Farmer sausages which are not to be missed, while coffee and tea lovers will not be disappointed by their offerings, from the quintessential Iced Thai tea to their organic single origin coffee beans.
OHM CAFÉ (โอมคาเฟ)
An unapologetically unrestrained café that celebrates all things Indian, Ohm Café, located in Thapra, will whisk you back to the ancient days of yore. Not only do they provide a range of settings with lush carpets, fabrics, décor, and even sets that can provide backdrops for a full day’s photo shoot, but they also provide saris and jewellery for rent, and a photographer. Of course, posing for photos is a hungry business so make sure to try their nibbles and drinks – we recommend their Peach tea.
ON THE RIVER CAFÉ
On the River Café, like its name suggests, floats on the river on a converted, two-story boat, with unobstructed views of the tranquil idyll around it. What’s worth the hour-long drive to Pathumthani, however, are the Instagram- worthy, reinforced nets on which you can fully immerse yourself in the peace of the river without well, fully immersing yourself in the river. They also provide a range of drinks and desserts, including their signature Noah’s Ark dessert, a scrumptious cookie crumble, berry, and ice cream affair that we can’t wait to try.
BANKAMPU TROPICAL GALLERY & CAFÉ
If you crossed a woodland farm and a greenhouse large enough to fit an entire Indian wedding party (or at least half of one), you’d get Bankampu Tropical Gallery & Café. For the plant parents among us, this café in Bungkum has every variety of tropical plant you can think of (many of which are for sale), and even free range chickens waddling around the cobbled outdoor area. On their menu is a variety of reasonably-priced snacks and classic Thai favourites like their Massaman nuea curry, as well as coffees, teas, and smoothies, such as their refreshing Strawberry blueberry banana smoothie.
LIBRARY CAFÉ AT NAIIPA ART COMPLEX
While Library Café’s various branches in the city are known among caféphiles, the one at Naiipa Art Complex is one-of-a-kind enough to earn it a spot on this list. Naiipa, which translates to ‘deep in the forest,’ lives up to its name as a complex tucked into a forested area, with multiple-level platforms among the trees to take you around. The café stands out – or rather, doesn’t – because it’s completely made of mirrored glass, and is almost invisible against the background. Modelled after what environmental architecture should look like in the future, the café is also a co- working space, and offers delights such as their aptly architectural Li-bra-ry waffle, infused with pandan flavour.
VILLA DE BEAR
You’ve probably seen snaps of Villa de Bear’s outsized spools of yarn and clockwork cogs covering its ceilings, or its wall of cartoon bear faces, but its popularity does not preclude it from being worth a visit. Its generous grounds are hidden in Ratchaphreuk Road, and feature a large indoor space made up to look like a country manor from the outside and a scene from Jack and the Beanstalk on the inside, as well as a large outdoor seating area. Their menu includes unbearably charming cartoon desserts, including their Mousse bear set that’s too cute to eat.