The best bars and restaurants in Ari are places where the cool, arty crowd that make up this area of Bangkok all go to chill and enjoy a meal or beverage that suits their tastes. It could be a Guatemalan drip coffee, hard-to-find craft beer or a chunky burger made with Japanese wagyu beef and artisanal French cheese. Shunning the mainstream franchise culture apparent in most other parts of Bangkok, Ari – located 5 Skytrain stations north of Siam – is where nonconformity is the norm.

    Ari is crammed with cool cafés, pop-up restaurants and arty bars so just walking along Soi Ari will no doubt unearth some hidden gems, but if it's your first time exploring the area, follow this guide to the most prominent hangouts in the area and meet the cool crowds at the best bars and restaurants in Ari.



    Salt is the most popular bar and restaurant in Ari. The huge space is also perhaps the biggest plot in the area too. Consisting of an expansive terrace, glass-fronted dining room and a hidden cocktail and cigar lounge at the back, Salt Bar and Restaurant has plenty of areas to explore. The crowd is mostly young professional Thais with a smattering of in-the-know expats.

    Come for dinner and enjoy sushi rolls, excellent thin-base pizza or fusion pasta, or even just find a space in the garden where you can enjoy a cocktail with friends. The cool lounge house music and up-to-the-minute indie bands on the stereo match the ambience perfectly.

    Location: 36/2 Phahonyothin Rd, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 12am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 619 6886


    Pla Dib

    This Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant was the first of the ‘cool’ restaurants in Ari and spawned several imitators. However, Bla Dip is the original and best at what it does, with an outdoor area and live band complementing the large and haphazard menu of everything from spicy deep-fried squid to vegetarian lasagna. Throw in craft beers, excellent coffee and many ingredients in the kitchen brought directly from Pla Dip’s own farm and you have the makings of a classic Ari hangout spot. Located a little far from Ari BTS Station, consider taking a motorbike or taxi. Everyone will know the name ‘Bla Dip’ (it means ‘raw fish’ in Thai).

    Location: 1/1 Soi Ari Samphan 7, Phraram 6 Rd., Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 8am to 11pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 279 8185


    Future Factory Bangkok

    Future Factory Bangkok is a collaborative art space that is most popular for its range of music events. Open daily with additional special events, this small art gallery is well worth a visit for art lovers. Hidden in the basement of an insurance building in Ari, Future Factory is spacious and the walls are painted white to give it a simple and modern feeling that’s perfect for art exhibitions and music events.

    Future Factory occasionally hosts parties but space is limited so ticket numbers are usually capped at about 300 to 500. So, while buying tickets at the door is usually possible, you might not get one if the event's a popular one. Entrance to the music events costs around 500 Baht, depending on who is playing.

    Location: Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 9pm

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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