Choosing a bar in Bangkok can be a daunting task. New options are opening up all the time, and pop-up spots come to life only to close a few nights later. But one thing many Bangkok bars excel at is crafting an unforgettable experience, where the atmosphere is always as important as the drinks. Bangkok is a cocktail lovers paradise, and extensive drink menus are often pages long. Craft whiskey bars and distilleries are on the cusp of a major surge in the bar scene right now, but where Bangkok bartenders excel in mixed drinks, they fall short with wine, which is subject to a high luxury import tax. Wine devotees will be disappointed by the quality of the selection and shocked by the price, so be sure to stick to the hard stuff. Craft beers are available in Bangkok but aren’t as readily found as Singha, the national favorite brew. Whatever your drink, here are the best bars in Bangkok.
What Iron Fairies lacks in square footage, it more than makes up for in atmosphere—think 1920s Paris lounge meets Peter Pan’s Lost Boys’ hideaway. Jazz singers preform on the spiral staircase each night, and the bar is known for serving Bangkok’s best burger. Order an absinth-laced cocktail—they’re a specialty here.
The Nest Bangkok
If you need a break from the party scene, The Nest is a quieter alternative to the non-stop clubs on this iconic Bangkok street known for its nightlife. Avoid the active post-dinner crowd at the bar, to grab one of the large daybeds outside where you can enjoy the funk and soul beats that pulse though the speakers while snacking on tapas.
Boasting an absinthe fountain behind the bar and décor that is fully committed to a 1900s Paris vibe—complete with red velvet couches and checkered flooring—Le Derriere will feel like a beautiful escape from everyday life. The large champagne and cognac selection make it the perfect place for a nightcap.
Make your way to the 33rd floor of the Fraser Suites at the end Sukhumvit Soi 11, and you’ll be treated to top-notch modern cocktails and top-notch views of the city (make sure you bring your phone to the bathroom to snap a photo out the window). Signature drinks like Le Nouveau Comte and Big Smokey Apple are local favorites.
Cocktails are poured with a generous hand at this upscale bar. Jazz music and Chinese-style lounge areas make it easy to talk while you sip on their exceptionally well-crafted mojito or Singapore sling. If you’re feeling hungry, the bar is attached to three teak houses that serve up Indian, Thai, and Japanese food.