Leafy Ari is a bit of a conundrum. This neighbourhood has plenty to offer, a wide variety of hip restaurants and bars, tree-lined lanes and wide pavements ideal for wandering, but it doesn’t make the same impact amongst the expatriate and tourist crowd as Thong Lor does. But as the adage says, when looking for places to eat, follow the locals. This certainly rings true here, because the restaurants in Ari already attract crowds of fashionable Thais, who know a good thing when they see it.
We’ve come up with a list of a few of our favourite restaurants in Ari.
The name probably gives it away, but this steakhouse has become a master in the combination of high quality meat, served alongside excellent wines from their large, glass-fronted, temperature-controlled cellar that sits in the middle of the restaurant. There no messing with the classics at this restaurant, opening with favourites such as French onion soup or pan-fried scallops served with crispy bacon. The Australian steaks are aged for 21 days, and is served lightly seasoned with a tangy ‘secret’ sauce on the side. The restaurant has a masculine edge to it, run by three bankers who used to eat at the noodle shop that still sits at the entrance to Wholly Cow. On the left is a cigar lounge, the ideal after-dinner spot, where you will find classic cubans to puff on.
34/1 Ari Soi 2 Bangkok, +66 2 6198178
The black and white striped awning and large windows are an instant magnet, and you can’t help but spot the beautiful cakes and jewel-like macarons as you pass by. Unlike many places along this popular street, it’s open all day, serving specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inside the decor is more cutesy, with small round fish bowls on each table. This restaurant was set up by friends, and both the food and the atmosphere are homely. The menu is a blend of international and Thai, with spices and condiments that Recommended dishes include salmon with ebiko cream sauce and spicy stir-fried spaghetti with bacon. There’s even more of a selection when it comes to desserts, with Bangkok’s favourite, crepe cake, coming in both green tea and strawberry flavours. Hydrate thanks to the wide range of iced and hot teas and coffees.Add free wi-fi into the mix and this cafe will quickly become your living room away from home, with no need to wash up afterwards.
Ari 4 (North), Bangkok, 10400, +66 81 495 1555
Salt’s architecture just screams cool, a rustic wooden frame that supports large glass windows makes up the central dining room, and there’s plenty of room to sit outdoors too. A great bonus point of this part of town is that it’s mostly residential, so there’s hardly any traffic to disturb your dinner. Food here is an eclectic mix of Japanese, French and Italian. They take it seriously though, with fresh sushi, homemade pizzas from a special oven and portions of garlicky frog’s legs. Drinks are creative and strong enough that only a couple will suffice on a school night. There’s also a decent range of draught beers. As one of Ari’s hot spots we recommend booking ahead so that you get a good table.
111/2 Soi Ari, Phaholyothin Soi 7, Bangkok 10400, +66 2 6196886
Another so hip it hurts restaurant, Fat bird is nice both inside and out. Located in a charming shop house, the restaurant has been filled with retro furnishings and curios that walks the fine line between your grandma’s living room and a construction site. Top picks include pork sliders with home-made terryaki sauce and a must-try, the salmon laarb, marinated in lemongrass and herbs. For dessert, the dark chocolate beer cake with a heavy topping of frosting is a sugar sensation, but probably best reserved for those who like the sweeter things in life. Fatbird is also a great option for those looking for somewhere for drinks, thanks to the small bar at the rear of the restaurant, where they serve jam jar cocktails of their own creation, as well as beers and wine.
36/9 Phahon Yothin Soi 7 (across Ari Soi 3) Bangkok, +66 2 6196609