Happening hipster hotspot Ari is setting all the trends in Bangkok right now.
This up and coming neighbourhood fusing old traditions and cutting edge cool is the playground of the city’s brightest young things and creative types.
A once sleepy residential area just north of central Bangkok is rapidly being transformed with avant-garde galleries, exceptional eateries and quirky boutiques.
The vibe remains laid back and tranquil, and the unique atmosphere can’t be found anywhere else in Bangkok.
Ari neighbourhood (sometimes spelt Aree) is easily accessed by its very own BTS Skytrain station on the Sukhumvit Line in Phaya Thai District.
Here’s our guide of the very best places to eat and drink in the area…
- 1 Best Restaurants in Ari
- 2 Best Bars in Ari
- 3 Ari Coffee Shops
- 4 Other Things to Do in Ari
Best Restaurants in Ari
The Cast Iron Burgerhaus is the best place in Ari to grab a gourmet burger or a sizzling steak.
Located on Phahon Yothin Soi 7, the interior decor here is industrial chic — think smooth concrete walls, exposed metal pipes and minimalist warm wood details. The menu is decadent, with gigantic burgers (200 – 300 THB) made from quality dry-aged beef or pork smothered with toppings such as creamy blue cheese, crispy bacon, and caramelised onion.
Sides include chunky fries or curly fries with truffle oil (160 THB), as well as a selection of crisp salads. Pair up your burger or steak with a cold draught beer (200 THB) or a velvety milkshake (180 THB).
Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm.
Khao Soi noodles hail from Chiang Mai, but this delicious spicy, silky broth featuring rich egg noodles and generous lumps of juicy chicken can also be sampled in the Ari neighbourhood at 21 Soi Phahon Yothin 7 for a mere 59 THB.
This smart little shophouse also serves up a stir fried version of the dish of 79 THB, with a choice of meats including Northern style sai oua sausage, as well as a wide selection of other Northern Thai delights.
Ong Thong Khao Soi is open daily from 10:30 am to 9 pm.
Chinese and Thai comfort food is the order of the day at Lhao Lhao restaurant at 271/4-7 Phahon Yothin Road in Ari.
This restaurant has been cooking up authentic khao tom cuisine here since the 1980s, and the menu features some excellent seafood dishes.
Prices vary depending on your choice of seafood. Stir-fried sea asparagus with prawns and spinach will set you back 400 THB, a crispy fried fish maw with crab meat costs 180 THB, and a spicy and sour tom yum goong prawn soup costs 600 THB.
Lhao Lhao is open until late, from 4 pm to 4 am.
Clean, bright and airy, Phed Phed at Phahon Yothin Soi 8 boasts some of the best Isaan cooking in town.
Based around the staple of sticky rice, this northeastern Thai cuisine features sweet and spicy flavours with tangy notes of lime and coriander.
The classic dish of somtam (papaya salad with peanuts and dried shrimp) is available here in over 20 different variations, including a spicy cucumber version with fermented crab for just 55 THB. Most dishes here cost 50 – 100 THB, from clear piquant soups to homemade curries and traditional Isaan sausage.
Phed Phed is open from 11 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday.
Ari Station is the location for the Goodcery Cafe, which bases its philosophy on three main principles: eat right, exercise often, and sleep well.
This mantra is certainly reflected in the menu which presents health focused dishes created using the freshest ingredients.
Low fat, whole grain foods feature heavily, and some of the star dishes on the menu include ‘good toast’ (75 THB) – whole wheat bread slathered in a creamy topping with smoked salmon and fried egg, and some excellent skinny chocolate brownies (140 THB). There is also a selection of energizing fresh fruit and vegetable juices on offer for around 80 THB.
Goodcery Cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 7 pm.
Sushi and sashimi lovers will find happiness at this reasonably priced Japanese restaurant on Soi Ari 4.
The decor at this popular omakase-style eatery is cosy with bamboo details and traditional Japanese woodblock prints. The menu is wide-ranging, with everything from salmon to sea urchin on offer in various different forms.
A good idea is to go for a set menu such as the Aburi Signature set (700 THB) with a combination of salmon, tuna, mackerel and eel sushi. Naturally, sake is available (prices start at 180 THB) as well as a selection of Asian beers.
Sousaku is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm.
Best Bars in Ari
Authentic Mexican cuisine, world class craft beers, and margaritas and mezcal collide at Tacochela by Mikkeller on Ari Samphan 1.
Five types of tacos, four types of ceviches, and a range of other snacks team up with over 20 draught craft beers at this colourful hip new bar that is quickly becoming known as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Bangkok.
Tempting bites include zingy creamy guacamole (225 THB), fiery pork belly tacos (290 THB) and Spanish sausages with smoked chipotle and spices (280 THB). Beer prices range from 150 – 350 THB, and an inventive selection of margarita cocktails start at around 250 THB.
Tacochela is open every day from 5 pm to 11 pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays).
This charming traditional Thai house is supposedly haunted, but that certainly hasn’t scared off its customers since its reinvention as a first-rate bar and restaurant.
With beers on tap and a huge selection of bottled craft beers from all over the world, the beverages alone are reason enough to come to Baan Dok Kaew.
The Thai menu is pretty good too, with a range of dishes including barbecued meats, yam salads and spicy sour soups for less than 200 THB on offer.
On average the beers cost less than 200 THB too, and the bar (located at 71 Rama 6 Soi 28) is open daily from 5 pm to midnight.
The signature Bavarian Schneider Weisse wheat beer (260 THB) is the star of the show at Schneider Haus.
This cozy east meets west bar and restaurant benefits from a very pleasant outdoor garden space where you can relax and try out the range of tap beers on offer.
The food here is designed to pair perfectly with the beer selection, with dishes such as spicy salmon salad, German venison stew, and juicy T-bone steak (average price 350 THB).
Schneider Haus is located at 24/2 Soi Ari 4, Phahon Yothin Road and is open every day from 5 pm to 11:30 pm.
JIM’s Burgers & Beers is exactly what the name implies: excellent craft beers and mouth-watering American style burgers.
The modern, loft style bar restaurant has a host of European and American draught and bottled beers ranging from 180 – 380 THB.
The immense burgers range in price from 180 THB for a BLT burger, to 380 THB for the aptly named ‘Apocalypse burger’, a gigantic burger made with a king size beef patty, double bacon , double cheddar cheese, fried onion rings and special homemade sauce. There are plenty of sides too, including French fries and fried chicken.
Jim’s Burgers and Beers is situated at Ari Samphan Soi 3 and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 5 pm to midnight.
Another outstanding destination for beer lovers in Ari neighbourhood is warm and welcoming O’glee bar, which features a seriously impressive selection of imported bottled and draught craft beers (on average around 300 THB for a pint), with 8 taps which are regularly changed to feature new beers.
The reasonably priced menu offers a range of both Thai and western dishes to choose from including garlic fries, German sausage, fried chicken wings, Thai spicy basil with grilled beef and more.
O’glee can be found at Ari Soi 1, and is open from 5:30 pm to midnight Monday to Saturday.
The laid back lifestyle of Hawaii is the inspiration for Pakalolo, a Tiki bar which taps into the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to Thailand’s love of the beach and the endless search of finding a place to chill.
The exotic signature cocktails (280 – 320 THB) are a taste sensation with unique flavours of thyme syrup, pink guava, lime, honey and basil. There is a also a small selection of craft beers (200 THB).
The menu is a refreshing and light fusion of Thai and Japanese cuisine featuring dishes like spicy squid with mint and lemongrass (260 THB) and Holy basil beef with Japanese rice (220 THB), as well as some delectable Hawaiian BBQ Ribs with Espresso Sauce (300 THB).
Pakalolo is situated at Ari 4 North and is open for business from 5 pm to midnight Wednesday to Monday.
Rotating 14 taps of craft beer from around the world, the focus at this unassuming little bar is all about the beer and the average price for a pint of draught is about 250 THB.
During the day Taproom is a popular cafe where people come to work on their laptops and drink coffee, but happy hour kicks off at 5 pm.
The food choice is limited but although basic represents good value — a mixed grill of sausages will set you back 270 THB and there is also pizza available (70 THB per slice).
Open every day from 5 pm to midnight, the Taproom is at Ari 34 Phahonyothin Soi 7.
Ari Coffee Shops
The team at the tiny but ultra stylish Coffee No.9 kiosk pride themselves on ensuring that every drink is of a consistently high standard.
Beans are sourced locally from Doi Saket in the Northern Regions of Thailand and brought to Bangkok where they are roasted at a local Coffee Roaster.
Prices for a regular coffee start at 40 THB, with lattes and frappes costing 70 – 90 THB. Coffee No.9 is situated at Ari Soi 1 and is open from 6:30 am for the early birds.
For award winning drip coffee in Ari, head on over to Some Time Blue on Paholyothin Soi 2, a cosy cafe with homely vintage furnishings.
Signature drip coffees cost 150 THB and use roasted beans from both local and more exotic locations such as Columbia. There’s also a tempting range of freshly baked goodies on offer including muffins and cheesecake for around 100 THB.
Some Time Blue is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
Luscious Italian lattes, cappuccinos and espressos and a varied breakfast, lunch and brunch menu make this inviting cafe on 13 Soi Ari 4 an irresistible place to while away a few hours.
Hearty pasta dishes, rich desserts like bread and butter pudding (180 THB) and lighter dishes such as rarebits with rocket salad (220 THB) all feature on the menu.
Bar Storia del Caffe is open from 9 am to 11 pm Sunday to Thursday and 9 am to midnight Friday and Saturday.
At the White Rabbit cafe on Ari Samphan Soi 5, coffee beans are sourced both locally and internationally.
The team at White Rabbit also serve up some exceedingly good homemade ice creams and sorbets (starting at 55 THB), as well as some excellent shakes and cakes.
White Rabbit is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm.
The combination of bike shop and cafe may seem a little odd, but at Aran Bicicletta on 128/10 Phahon Yothin Soi 2 the two combine to create a unique and trendy bicycle themed cafe with outstanding coffee (50 THB) and a range of tasty cakes and pastries (around 100 THB).
Open from 9 am, at 6:30 pm this cafe turns into a pleasant bar restaurant closing a 9 pm.
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Both a cool cafe and a vibrant activity space, Common Room on Phahon Yothin 5 is a cafe with a focus on quality coffee from both local roasters and those farther afield from Colombia and Kenya (120 – 150 THB).
There are plenty of things here to appease an appetite, including all day breakfasts, Thai curries, and baked goods. A healthy way to start the day is with a berry yoghurt bowl with nuts and mixed seeds (150 THB) or for a more indulgent treat try a charcoal waffle with vanilla ice cream and salted yolk custard (220 THB).
Common Room is open daily from 8am to 5 pm.
Other Things to Do in Ari
What could be cuter than cuddling a fluffy husky whilst sipping your coffee?
There are more than 20 Siberian huskies at True Love Cafe, and for the admission fee of 350 THB you get a drink and a cake of choice plus an hour of puppy playtime with these adorable dogs.
TrueLove At Neverland only offers two interactive sessions a day (except Mondays) at 12.30 pm and 3:30 pm respectively, and it’s not possible to make reservations so arrive in good time to be sure of your entry.
Opening hours are 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm every day. The cafe can be found at 153 Soi Ari Samphan 2.
An impressive contemporary arts gallery, Numthong is one of Bangkok’s most interesting artistic attractions.
Exhibitions change monthly and are centred around the works of both Thailand’s established, and upcoming new artistic talents.
Numthong Gallery is situated at 72/3 Ari Soi 5 and is open Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm – a stop off here is a must for any art lover exploring the Ari neighbourhood.
Where are your favourite places in Ari, Bangkok?
Featured image is by drburtoni (CC NC-ND 2.0 licence)