Bangkok’s Charoen Krung Road is the Cool Neighborhood You Should Know About

Community-oriented art spaces, renovated architecture, and multicultural bars and restaurants prove that Bangkok is hip enough to stay fresh, while still paying homage to its heritage.

150 years ago, Charoen Krung Road reinvigorated Bangkok as the city’s first paved road. This old-fashioned corner of the city is once again undergoing a revival as western entrepreneurs and Thai creatives come together to imbue the road with a youthful spirit.

From multi-purpose shopping complexes and renovated architecture, to hip concept bars and multicultural restaurants, this neighborhood has transformed itself beyond street food and luxury hotels—and it’s all easily walkable. Move over Sukhumvit: there’s a new cool kid in town.

Photo: Warehouse 30

Warehouse 30

Warehouse 30, a series of seven WWII-era warehouses, is the latest in a slew of renovated warehouses popping up in Bangkok. It is arguably the most ambitious, boasting 4,000 square meters worth of multi-purpose shopping, gallery exhibitions, cafes, eateries, and more. Stop by The Fox and the Moon for delicious soups and paninis or admire the bespoke handmade furniture designs at P. Tendercool. Wind down with a cup of coffee at roastery LI-BRA-RY and don’t forget to browse through the design bookstore Candide. You can also shop the minimalist clothing brand, Lonely Two Legged Creatures, as well as the accessories shop 8080Rubber. Throw in a motorcycle showroom, an organic market, a raw juice bar, a pastry shop, and a vinyl music store, and you’ve pretty much got your day here settled.

More information here.

Photo: Jua

Jua

Situated in a now-defunct illegal gambling house, Jua elevates traditional izakaya fare in a chic minimalist setting, with a focused menu featuring juicy grilled skewers re-imagined through diverse international flavors. Sample the impressive sake menu, while admiring the dynamic photographs by Bangkok-based photographer, Jason Wang/Lang, which line the wall.

More information here.

Photo: Speedy Grandma

Speedy Grandma

A bohemian hotspot, this converted but nevertheless authentic-looking shophouse frequently hosts underground art exhibitions, while offering a healthy rotation of events ranging from film screenings and boisterous parties to performance art pieces and workshops.

More information here.

Photo: Tropic City

Tropic City

Specializing in rum-based cocktail creations, Tropic City’s retro pastiche interior is a mix of tropical murals, white brick and wood panels, mid-century furnishings, and neon signage. It is equal parts hipster hotspot and island getaway fantasy, with tasty tipple to boot.

More information here.

Photo: Tropic City

Black Pig

Situated right above Tropic City is coolest tattoo parlor in town, run by New York-native Luke Satoru and featuring a rotating guest list of talented artists. If you’re planning to get inked here, be sure to make an appointment early.

More information here.

Photo: Food John

Foojohn

Divided into three sections, this former shophouse’s quirky mish-mash of international influences proves that variety is indeed the spice of life. Don’t let the retro diner vibes of the ground floor fool you; it’s actually a French bistro serving cold cuts, crepes, and the associated fare. The second floor boasts a nostalgia-themed speakeasy bar where you’ll find expertly made classic cocktails that hark back to a bygone era. On the top floor and roof, Spare Parts serves up delicious barbecue and grilled plates against a rustic backdrop.

More information here.

Photo: Let the Girl Kill

Let the Girl Kill

Given Bangkok’s infamously strict beer laws, a watering hole specializing in craft and local brews is one you don’t want to miss. The interior is threadbare yet still inviting, furbished with wooden furniture that’s complemented by lush foliage. The bar snacks are also unpretentious but satisfying.

More information here.

Photo: 80:20

80/20

Eschewing old-school shophouse appeal, this rustic eatery has spearheaded the recent wave of Bangkok chefs opting for locally sourced, sustainable ingredients from markets or artisanal suppliers. The result is a creative twist on modern fine dining, serving Western-Thai fusion dishes with an emphasis on Thai flavor and technique.

More information here.

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