Mid-Century Villas and Affordable Apartments in Ari, an area just south of Bangkok’s fun-filled Chatuchak Weekend Market, is home to longtime artists who have settled there to open galleries of art and beer gardens along its leafy roads. But in recent years, a younger generation has arrived, adding photogenic matcha bars and burgers to next-gen conceptual spaces in pastel hues like Gump’s. Now, mobile som tum vendors selling plates of crispy green papaya salad share nooks with stamp-sized espresso bars, and visitors can find artisan donuts (try those from Chubby Dough) alongside. of syrupy khanom or traditional thai candy. Stroll through the low-key Soi Ari 4 and 5 streets for a taste of what has won over so many locals and expats.
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Where to have breakfast or a nightcap
While it’s best to stay close to the Chao Phraya for easy sightseeing, you should still go to the Wes Anderson-esque Josh HotelIf only for the carbs: Volks makes excellent bagels (try the activated charcoal and black sesame varieties) coated with wasabi or wild raspberry cream cheese. If you are visiting after dark, ask for the key to Room 72 – it leads to an underground bar-style cocktail bar.
Get your caffeine fix
Which sets Nana roasters Along with the myriad of other trendy cafes nearby is its tree-lined garden. A hotspot for digital nomads, this local favorite’s second outpost has more than 30 single-origin beans in its arsenal, which baristas brew at the slow bass, siphon brewer, or in sweet concoctions made from it. ‘espresso with coconut foam and yuzu a soda.
Find artistic inspiration
Having also lived in Melbourne and London, creative director Rom Sangkavatana sees Ari as the analogue of Bangkok with bustling, community-oriented neighborhoods like Fitzroy or South Kensington. In her gallery and year-old retail space Townhouse, it aims to channel the creative energy of the region with flower arrangement workshops and coffee tasting classes, as well as exhibitions by Thai artists.
The local pillar to try
While neighboring businesses have disappeared, the glass and concrete exterior of Salt has been a constant on Ari’s social scene since 2010. Knowledgeable locals stop by for casual dinners that merge Italian, Japanese and French flavors and techniques – think duck confit and scallop noodles – and to sip organic wine in the cactus-strewn courtyard.
Pick up new threads
The city’s independent fashion scene is teeming with treasures, but it can be difficult to navigate without language skills and insider information. Industry veterans behind the concept store TO HIDE. (who call themselves Tao and Fang) have made everything simple for you, filling the shelves with Thai-designed shirts, shorts and dresses in natural hues and airy silhouettes, as well as a range of monochrome basics of their own. collection, H. by HIDE.
Sip something local
When the sun goes down, the neon lights will light up on Oh! Vacoda Café, where avocado appears in all dishes (and some drinks); the change signals its transformation into Fruit Bar, a social diving club with mismatched furniture and scribbled designs on the walls. You will find over 40 types of umeshu (plum wine) and house beers made from SangSom rum and plums cultivated by hill tribes in northern Thailand.
This article appeared in the September / October 2021 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.