1. Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC)
The TCDC opened in May 2017, occupying a wing of the modernist-influenced Grand Postal Building that was built in 1940. A library with more than 70,000 art and design tomes, a public art gallery and a cafe headline the 8,600 sq m space. The library can be accessed by purchasing a one-day pass.
2. Warehouse 30
The brainchild of leading Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag, this multipurpose space occupies a series of seven warehouses built during World War II. Expect an eclectic mix of tenants, including a hostel, a French bakery, a cocktail bar and an organic market where you can pick up handmade products. Don’t miss the craft workshops and film screenings held here.
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There aren’t many tables in Bangkok right now that are hotter than this restaurant. Here, young chefs Napol Jantraget, Saki Hoshino and Andrew Martin turn locally grown, organically produced ingredients into remarkable Thai fusion creations. Standout dishes include the glazed duck leg with cilantro emulsion and green papaya rice, and the pork belly porchetta.
As its name implies, this jumping joint is dedicated to soul music, with a side helping of blues, jazz and R & B. So order up a beer, admire the James Brown portrait that dominates the stage, and enjoy some of the best live music in Bangkok.
5. FooJohn Building
Occupying a shophouse that was once the headquarters of a Thai-Chinese merchant company, this hipster heaven has three distinct occupants. The ground floor houses a softly lit French bistro, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar is carved into the second floor, while the top floor (and roof) is home to a grill restaurant known for its dry-rub ribs.
6. Little Market
It might be an unusual part of town to stumble across an American diner, but that’s exactly what you get at Little Market, where an eclectic collection of retro toys, pop art and street photography are the backdrop to a menu of burgers, all-day breakfasts, and smoothies.
7. Soy Sauce Factory
Backing onto a canal, this former factory space has been given an industrial makeover and transformed into a chill-out bar, casual Thai restaurant and exhibition space – it’s the latter function that makes this venue compelling, with a revolving door of photo showcases.
8. Speedy Grandma
Run by co-owners Lee Anantawat and Thomas Menard, this pocket art space is one of the foremost galleries by the river, promoting up-and-coming artists in a variety of media. And the name? It’s a nod to a local legend that the lane is haunted by a scooter-riding grandma.
9. Black Pig Tattoo
If you’re in the market for a new tattoo, look no further. Talented local artist Luke Satoru runs this boutique tattoo parlour out of an old house, where he creates amazing custom designs, working one-on-one with each client. He also regularly hosts guest tattoo artists.
Reflecting the district’s growing foodie credentials, this casual yet informed venue brings modern Japanese bar food to the heart of the old town. The focus is on yakitori – Japanese-style grilled chicken – complemented with an impressive range of sake and shochu cocktails.
11. Tropic City
One of the newest kids on the block, this tropical-themed bar is all about the Polynesian vibe, with huge colourful flower murals, a list of rum-based cocktails, and a fun happy-go-lucky attitude. Food comes from 8/20 next door, and Hawaiian shirts are optional, but advised.
– TEXT BY SIMON OSTHEIMER
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED, TROPIC CITY
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.