A few years back, Ari was the city’s most happening hood. What was once a peaceful, upmarket residential area turned neighborhood du jour nearly overnight, with the sudden appearance of high-rise condominiums followed by all types of hip businesses: restaurants and cafes, co-working spaces, bars, galleries and shops. But, like everything else in Bangkok, trend comes and goes. Soon enough, the shining light faded, and the popular spots moved to other areas, leaving Ari in peace once again. This year, the loop seems to be returning to the area. Entrepreneurs have returned and new cafes, restaurants, bars and shops have, once again, sprung up in the area. So maybe it’s time to skip the nightmarish traffic in Sukhumvit and revisit Ari’s leafy alleys to discover what’s new in the hood.
This colorful Mexican taqueria is home to delicious tacos prepared by Mexican-born chef, Jimmy Rojas Lopez, who is known for putting a lot of love and himself into his food and craft beer to imbibe along Mexican goodies.
Located next to Onedee Café, Ong Tong Khao Soi is a humble shophouse serving up northern Thai food with the main focus on—you can guess—khao soi (northern Thai-style egg noodles with curry). The decor is simple and friendly, thanks to the use of natural wood and warm yellow walls.
After almost two years in a small space on Soi Ari 1, Flower in hand by P. has relocated to a larger venue, but with a surprise upgrade: the flower shop now features a coffee corner.
The third branch of all-day breakfast establishment Bar Storia is so photogenic, it’s bound to be every Instagrammer’s new favorite hang-out. Just like the other Bar Storia branches, the menu is packed with a wide selection of all-day breakfast plates, pasta and meat plates.
This is perhaps one of the tiniest cafés in the hood. Located in Soi Ari 1, Frank Cake Bar offers artisanal baked goods along with coffee and refreshing non-coffee drinks. Their cakes, however, are quite good.
The new café in Ari is now creating a buzz by coming up with creative and delicious form of frozen delights that intelligently infuses Thai elements like nothing you’ve seen before. Our favorite is the ice-cream version of khanom tarn, the cake-liked dessert whose bold flavor and color are benefitted from palm fruit.
Replacing what was once Vick’s Weekend clothing store, bikers can get full service on their two-wheeled conveyances, including lubrication, polishing and waxing, and choose from a well-curated selection of bicycle items and accessories.
The shop sells lifestyle products (clothes, accessories, home decor, and cosmetics), by more than 30 Thai and international brands. That they happen to stock up on our favorite beauty brands like Glossier, Mario Badescu and Milk has made us fans.
The Decorum is perhaps 2017’s most talked-about menswear store for as it stocks up on a collection of menswear items. Apart from distributing luxury Japanese shirt brand Kamakura, The Decorum also sells a vast selection of shirts, ties, pants and shoes by various Japanese, South Korean and, yes, Italian brands.
Pang Aurapraphan, brand director of Vick’s Weekend and Vickteerut, has always been crazy about retro fashion. Her passion has led her to open up a lifestyle shop that resells vintage items from different eras that she and her friends have been collecting.
Nestled on the second floor of Bar Storia del Caffè is one of the city’s newest wellness sanctuaries. Set in minimalist decor and embellished with botanical elements, Calm Spa combines luxurious massages with organic spa products.
Hidden in the basement level of Siamese Asset building, which is located between Sanam Pao and Ari BTS stations, Future Factory is a creative space and art gallery that provides a venue for unique music events and art exhibitions. A little difficult to find but worth remembering, the space has been widely recognized for hosting the Bangkok debut exhibition of Spanish illustrator, Joan Cornellà, and the gig of producer/DJ, Mark Redito (aka Spazzkid).
Numthong is not new yet it’s always been underrated. Founded by art dealer, Numthong Tang, the gallery features an exhibition space and an art library with a magnificent roster of works by modern masters like Natee Utarit, Niti Wuttuya, Chatchai Puipia, Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Montien Boonma.
One of Bangkok’s best—yet discreet—Thai restaurant, the long-standing Baan Puengchom has long been favored by long-time Ari residents and their kids. Try pad sam men, a salad which mixes their kinds of smelly—yet flavorfully irresistible—vegetables.
Popular café and dessert house Puritan has become an Instagram-worthy destination following a big renovation. Imbued with antiques and collectibles, Puritan’s interiors create an unconventional environment for enjoying tapas-style plates, a variety of cakes and a selection of fruity shakes.
Perhaps the coolest beer bar in the hood, Taproom serves a vast selection of beers on tap – 14 in total – plus a decent range of bottled beer. The tap system follows the same rule as in the Sukhumvit 26 branch: There’s something for everyone – even beer rookies – from wheat and pale ale to IPA and stout to more sophisticated brews.
Phed Phed whips up tongue-burning northeastern fare. The highlight is somtam, which comes in more than 20 varieties. Try tum tang poo dong (B55), in which a spicy cucumber salad is paired with preserved paddy field crab served with its shell.
Thani Khao Mudaeng is one of the legendary crispy pork (moo krob) and stewed pork (moo daeng) shops in Bangkok. Roasted crispy pork belly that is soft and tender inside is served with rice and topped with savory gravy is to-die-for.
A small café that boasts warm and cozy atmosphere complete with vintage-style décor. Signature drinks include tea from Chiang Rai and butterfly pea tea with lemon. These are paired with hand-made goods from all over Thailand and savory dishes like roasted pork ribs, which come with a choice of salad or rice (B175).
Pladib has been Ari’s favorite dining destination for many years. Decorated with minimal décor, this Japanese-fusion restaurant offers homey atmosphere for your group of friends to chill in. Don’t miss their signature mixed raw seafood ceviche (B480) which sees salmon, tuna, octopus, and shrimp cured in lime and spicy ingredients.