Mocha Mondays is a new and semi-regular feature on cafes and how workable they are, for freelancers or students looking for a place to park themselves at while getting work done. It may or may not actually feature mocha.
I don’t know why I’ve never seen Bangkok for what it is – a true cafe-lover’s scene. This trip I really set out to discover a different side of Bangkok, and I feel like most of it was made possible honestly with the conscious decision to stay out of the standard tourist areas like pratunam. You guys have already read my love letter re: the dream airbnb apartment, and it being smack in the middle of the up and coming trendy district Thong Lor situated us perfectly for cafe hopping!
So here we go – for today’s Mocha Monday feature – a list of the cafes we went to (the more memorable ones) to add to your own bangkok bucket list. Most of them are walking distance from our apartment, with the exception of the odd husky cafe that was pretty far out, but either way they’re all quite worth paying a visit to!
We were walking from our apartment to J Avenue Thong Lor for dessert when we passed this cafe. It was already on my mind from the previous day’s perusal of foursquare recommendations and we barely exchanged a glance before deciding to slip in, out of the relentless Thai sun.
The cafe itself is a double storied Japanese style cafe, with cute-ish decorations and doodles all over the interior. Free wifi, too. We were the only people there that lazy afternoon, which was perfect because all we wanted to do was sip on an iced coffee and never leave the airconditioned safety of the cafe. The coffee itself was unremarkable, but the great location (it’s literally right by the main road, no confusing twists and turns for this one) made popping in a no-brainer.
64 Sukhumvit 55 (Thong Lo), Vadhana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
We started off one of our days at Pacamara, a short walk from our apartment in the Thong Lor district. Seriously, Thong Lor is the best. So many great hidden gems! Pacamara was situated within this eco-concept retail mall called Rain Hill, which sported water features and walls of creeping ivy. It was like walking into a spa, except .. it was a mall. Okay, never mind. Bad analogy. Either way, Pacamara was a deliberate decision – this was no accidental find – because I saw it on foursquare (seriously, if you haven’t, go read the top five free travel apps post) and it was rated as having the best coffee in bangkok.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s no coincidence. Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters originated in Bangkok and opened up cafes elsewhere in the Southeast Asian region, and most of you might have heard of the Singaporean version. Either way, both outlets serve great coffee, the Singaporean one having slightly less of a kick, if anything. Bangkok’s Pacamara served up an intense cuppa, which you could smell from all the way across the room. It was divine, it was incredible, it sure woke me right up.
The place is small, so don’t expect to sit there all day. If you wanna get work done, you can take a cue from the expats littering the area outside the cafe – there are tables, chairs, and powerpoints there. If you’re just in the area for good coffee, you’re in luck. Pacamara served the best coffee I had in Bangkok, hands down.
777 Soi Sukhumvit 47 | 2nd floor, RainHill Retail Mall, sukhumvit47
So punny! I love. We took a motorcycle taxi to 24 Owls on the recommendation of Jamie, our airbnb host. The minute he heard we liked cafes, he texted a bunch of his thai girl-friends and asked for their top five favourite cafes, then forwarded it to me. See what I mean about airbnb being amazing that way?
24 Owls is, obviously, a 24 hour cafe in Bangkok’s Ekkamai district. Thong Lor – Ekkamai is kind of one big trendy district, so I think it still counts as being relatively in our area. The entire place is designed to be instagrammable, as you can see, and who can resist a cafe that has the tagline Being human is exhausting, be an owl, really? We each had a cuppa (Lex had thai coffee, I had the safer iced latte and a lobster bisque), and while the food was serviceable, the place was just exuding chill vibes. We sat down and the next time we got up, it was two hours later…
24 Owls by Sometimes
39/9 Sol Ekkamai12 Sukhumvit 63 Rd
Klongtannuagh Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
After you is one of those places you just gotta hit if you’ve got a sweet tooth. I went to the one in Siam Paragon the last time I was in Bangkok and was sufficiently mind blown, but its central (read: touristy) location ensured that the queue stretched all the way into next week. This time, lex and I took the slow leisurely walk down Thong Lor’s main street to J Avenue, popping into random cafes and flower shops on the way. And what a great decision! This After You outlet was just the right amount of crowded (not deserted, you can actually sit down, but enough people around to reassure you – isn’t it super dodgy when you head to a ‘must-go’ location and its completely empty?). The desserts were, once again, mind-blowing.
It was Lex’s first time having After You and I swear she got teary. That shibuya honey toast with strawberries and ice cream? The marriage of sweet and savoury? The baby chocolate lava cake? It’s every girl’s guilty pleasure.
After You Dessert Cafe
J Avenue, Thonglor, Bangkok
This one was pretty much the only cafe we couldnt walk to from our perfectly located apartment, but that’s only because it’s deliberately located out of the city centre to give the huskies enough space to run around. We made a phone booking the day before (hit and miss, because some of my friends just turned up and couldnt get in), and took a half an hour cab ride out to Neverland Siberian Husky Cafe.
I’ve always been a cat person, but from young I’ve wanted a husky, a big handsome dog I can hug. Unfortunately they’re mad expensive and the Singaporean weather can be quite unkind to them, so we never got one – but that doesn’t change the fact that I get unreasonably excited whenever I see a husky! Can you image me! In a husky cafe! It was wondrous.
The cafe goes both by True Love Cafe and Neverland Siberians, for the eating and husky aspect of the place respectively, but it’s no issue – you can get there by getting the address to either. The huskies have dedicated ‘play times’ and otherwise are kept in airconditioned areas. Just speak to any of the staff there – even though there’s a slight language barrier, the fact that they love their huskies so much transcends all that. It’s shining out of them. This was a great trip out of the city centre I think, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The food was actually decent, although we were expecting it to be really bad because c’mon, you’re not really going all the way there for the food, are you?
Overall, very enjoyable way to spend a morning. Definitely recommend!
True Love Cafe / Neverland Siberians
153 Soi Ari Samphan 2, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai,
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
So there you go, the top five cafes we hit while in Bangkok. I loved every single one for different reasons, and if you guys head to any, I would love to know how you felt about it! I don’t think we would have managed to visit so many cafes or have such a unique (read: not exclusively shopping) Bangkok experience if not for the fact that we deliberately stayed in Thong Lor – so yes, definitely, when planning your next Bangkok trip, look to stay in places you wouldn’t normally stay in and you’ll have so many more memories to take away. I hope I convinced you guys to list Thong Lor as your next Bangkok must-visit area, but if not, no worries – I’m penning a Thong Lor area guide as we speak. That’ll convince you.
Thank you so much Airbnb Singapore for having us – if any of you are interested in staying where I stayed, remember to read my completely breathless rave of our apartment (our dream apartment, really), and check out airbnb.com/jemma for all the airbnb listings I’ve stayed in before.
Till next time x