From must-visit bars and restaurants to Bangkok’s best-hidden places, this neighborhood will never disappoint you. Hit Saphan Taksin BTS station and see it for yourself.
By Dave Stamboulis.
While Thong Lor and Silom have long gotten the accolades for great food and drink, Sathorn is now firmly established on the city’s foodie list, with a host of new top-notch spots along with plenty of old favorites to grab a bite or have a sip in. Accessed by the Lumpini MRT station on its east end, and by Saphan Taksin or Surasak BTS stations on the west end, there are plenty of reasons to head out here for some wining and dining.
Zoom Sky Bar and Restaurant
36 Narathiwat-Ratchanakarin Road; 02 210 9000
Not so many folks know about this killer rooftop bar and restaurant, set on top of the Anantara Sathorn Hotel. Zoom features great sunsets, 360-degree city views (one of the only roof bars to look out on the southern bend of the Chao Phraya River), and some chic lounging to go with French Mediterranean and Asian delights on the menu, paired with an extensive cocktail and wine list.
27 South Sathorn Road, Metropolitan Hotel; 02 625 3388
It’s not only the best restaurant on Sathorn, it’s one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, at least according to UK’s Restaurant Magazine. Nahm, run by Michelin-starred winning master chef, Australian David Thompson, serves up central Thai cooking at its finest, whipping up fresh and mouthwatering Thai delicacies without toning down the spice. The coconut and curry blue swimmer crab is a knockout, as is the kurobuta pork with yellow beans, but just about everything is a winner here.
The Moon Bar and Vertigo
21/100 South Sathorn Road; 02 679 1200
The seafood grill here, led by roasted snow fish served with capers and butternut squash as well as the Appetizer Plate featuring seared bay scallops, seared foie gras, tuna tartare, and lobster spring rolls make the journey worthwhile, but the top reason to come to Vertigo is to dine with the best view in Bangkok. The restaurant is perched on the rooftop of the Banyan Tree Hotel on the 61st floor, and the views are unmarred and open air. Besides seafood, Vertigo also does high-end meat dishes, such as Wagyu beef and roasted rack of lamb. If you arrive early, you can have a drink at the neighboring Moon Bar. Be pre-pared to blow the bank here; it isn’t cheap. But for a magnificent splurge, it’s one of Bangkok’s true highs.
149 Sathorn Soi 12; 02 635 0404
To say that Rocket is just a coffee bar is not really fair. While the coffee here is stellar, with slow drip pour-overs ranking with any spot in town, the food is also worth stop-ping in for. The queues can be long for brunch, with Bangkokians faithfully trying to secure a counter spot to sample the excellent eggs Benedict. Rocket also dishes out soup and baguettes, granola, banana waffles, gravlax on rye, and homemade ice cream. All the seating is around an open kitchen, both intimate and cozy, with large windows affording views out to see what the latest eatery or bar on Soi 12 might be.
279/2 Suanphlu Soi 8; 081 373 3865
Located slightly off Sathorn on Suan Plu, this is one spot worth seeking out. Started by the former head chef of the five-star Sukhothai hotel, Uncle John’s is a hole-in-the-wall cafe in an alleyway full of noodle vendors where you can dine on foie gras and filet mignon for two-star prices! Although the restaurant is no longer Bangkok’s best kept secret, having been written up recently by a handful of magazines, the ambience remains just as delightful and the food just as superb as ever. Uncle John has brought his wife aboard to handle the full house every night, as people come to sample some truly gourmet food in a most down-to-earth and homey environment.
Park Society & Hi So
2 North Sathorn Road, Sofitel So; 02 624 0000
For over-the-top gastronomy and incredible views, a night at Park Society and Hi So will dazzle. This chic rooftop restaurant and adjoining bar on top of the Sofitel So combines superb French-style gastronomic dining with bird’s-eye views of Lumpini Park through the full-length windows and outdoor bar area. There is an Asian Pacific set menu featur-ing Hokkaido scallops, pan-seared foie gras with pear purée, Wagyu beef, and snow fish, and an even more extensive Chef’s Table with five courses for THB 5,000. Other delicacies include roast pigeon and Canadian lobster. Don’t forget to leave room for some crème brûlée or soufflé for dessert. Chef Paul Smart presides over a stylish kitchen, and all the set menus are available with wine pairings. The views of Lumpini Park are the best you will find in Bangkok, and it’s worth coming at sundown for a drink in the bar to watch the park change colors.
Sathorn Soi 10; 085 061 7318
Following in the footsteps of the original Hanakaruta over on Sukhumvit Soi 39, this Japanese-style watering hole makes some amazing cocktails. The place looks like a library, except that the walls are plastered in just about every brand of Japanese whiskey and sake that you will ever come across. The specialty here is plum wine, in fact Hanakaruta makes its own, and the ume highballs, made with Suntory whiskey, are some of the tastiest and most affordable cocktails (THB 130) in town.
Ku De Ta
40th Floor, Sathorn Square Complex, 98 North Sathorn Road; 02 108 2000
No Sathorn eating and drinking list would be complete without the inclusion of Ku De Ta. This 40th-floor of the Sathorn Building collection of elegant bars and restaurants combines sumptuous dining, fine drinking, and knockout views for those with pocket money. Standouts here include Izakaya, a casual Japanese restaurant; Signature, the Japanese rooted flagship restaurant run by gourmet chef Jonathan Maza; and the Ku Bar, where the Nordic Bar Syndicate (whose motto is “a cocktail is not just a beverage but an occasion worth remembering”) has created wild drink concoctions for the brave.
149 Soi Sueksawittaya, Sathorn Soi 12; 02 635 0405
This charming new casual tavern is winning over fans by serving up rustic fare from the barbecue-like fire roasted mustard chicken and braised lamb shank to go with the signature cocktails such as the Seafaring Trader (Gosling’s Black Seal rum, Averna, lime, cocoa nib syrup, chocolate bitters) in a New York–style tavern setting. There is also an elegant lounge called U.N.C.L.E upstairs where you can continue a chilled out night out.
956-58 Sathorn Soi 8; 02 636 6222
Not only can you indulge in fine gourmet eating in Bangkok’s new foodie enclave between sois 8 and 12, but you can eat healthy, too. Green offers good-for-the-system soups, salads, and sandwiches using organic vegetables supported by local farmers. Dig into tasty treats like minestrone or pumpkin soup, or one of Green’s homemade stews or premium sandwiches like chicken pita or pork panini. Green also makes healthy smoothies and juices, and it even does delivery and catering. The rice and tea here are organic, grown by Karen hill tribe farmers up north, and the restaurant partners up with the Royal Project in Chiang Rai.