We’re not quite sure how we made it but we’re rubbing eyes and double-checking online and offline calendars and realising that we are on a fully-fledged sleigh ride straight into the end of December. 2019 — and make that the entirety of the 2010s — is coming to an end.
Are we confused because we’e had one too many to drink this year? Or are we razzled and dazzled because we cannot believe how great our one too many drinks this year have been? 2019 saw many a hot new bar opening and cocktail menu launch; whether you like bourbon and burlesque, or whether you’e all about natural wine and naughty neon signs. Bangkok had an exciting one this year, and we’re gleaming as hard as a freshly polished Lucaris glass pre-pour and lemon rind spritz.
The best bar in Asia had a summer-long pop-up at the home of the best bar in Thailand. Our beloved Supawit ‘Palm’ Muttaratana won the Campari Bartender Competition Asia in Milan. And both the inaugural Bangkok Bar Show and second annual Bangkok Gin Fest were a roaring and endlessly pouring success.
Beyond these Big Bar Things, many a new bar also popped up on the scene, enriching the community even more with innovation and healthy competition, pushing Thailand all the more forward on a global scale. Ranked not in order of preference but in order of opening date, read on for our top 12 new bars of 2019. Perhaps you can go on one (last?) bar crawl before the year’s end, and definitely make a toast to our thriving bar industry, too. Keep ‘em coming, Bangkok. We’e been proud to be drinking with you. Happy — hick — holidays!
[Featured image credit: Jacqueline, Hero image credit: Crimson Room]
2019 followed on from 2018 in that we continued to love a sleek speakeasy. 008 was one of these, helmed by industry insider Pailin “Milk” Sajjanit in Thonglor. With something of a jazzy gentlemen’s club, and a warmly-lit dark wood bar, expect well-rounded and spirit-forward drinks here, and a smokey ambience to suit. We don’t know if 008 cheekily follows on from the infamous 007, but we ship it.
008 Bar, 11/F, Akyra Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 55, Bangkok, +66 2 392 8959, Open daily 6pm-1am.
Read More: Where to drink in Bangkok this February 2019
Here’s one that came and left in one wet whirlwind, but was a cool one while it lasted. Amidst blush-inducing neon text signs, sultry hip hop beats, and a definite cool crowd of sorts, Wet opened right next to Gaggan Anand’s iconic Gaggan Restaurant, as a new project between the notorious chef and his head sommelier Vladimir Kojic. The wine bar (and indeed the restaurant too) has since closed, but we hear that “Wetter” is already in the works. Either way, we loved the tease(r).
Wet, 68/9 Soi Langsuan, Phloenchit Rd., Bangkok, +66 2 117 2835, Open Mon-Sat 4.45pm-2am.
Read More: The 5 best wine bars in Bangkok
Spectrum Lounge & Bar
Is it only us who felt like the name of this rooftop bar sounded like a James Bond movie title? Sky high with a killer view on the same tangent, Spectrum Lounge & Bar opened atop the Hyatt Regency at the beginning of the year, and has hosted many a party on its three-floor venue ever since. A rooftop bar with actual dance floor space for a change? Rare, too.
Spectrum Lounge & Bar, 29/F, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1 Sukhumvit Soi 13, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 098 1234; Open daily 5.30pm-1am.
Here’s a hot one for all those who love a Latin beat. Another sky bar to hit EmQuartier, Flamenco brought a burst of vibrant colour and temperament to the city this year, inspired by South America from cocktail list to set-up. Between kingfish ceviche and dancing the Samba, the bar’s motto lives and breathes through the venue loud and clear: “without passion, life is nothing.”
Flamenco Bangkok, 9/F The Helix, The EmQuartier, Watthana, Bangkok +66 2 003 6006; Open daily 5pm-12am.
Read More: Where to drink in Bangkok this April 2019
Seen Restaurant & Bar
Do you see a developing theme here? No matter how high the PM2.5, Bangkok just couldn’t keep away from a good rooftop bar. Perhaps the air is better up there.
This time by the riverside, Seen Restaurant and Bar opened on the 26th floor of the Avani Riverside, bringing together a refreshingly different cityscape view with a multi-cultural cocktail selection. A sweet reason to head to the other side of the river, for a change of perspective and a refresher, too.
Seen Restaurant and Bar, 26/F, Avani Riverside, 257 Charoennakorn Rd., Thon Buri, Bangkok, +66 2 431 9120; Open daily 6pm-1am.
Read More: Where to drink in Bangkok this June 2019
Siri House opened earlier this year, and if you still haven’t graced the cool-cat epicentre within Soi Somkid, you’re as outdated as a plastic bag on a grocery run (read: very). Located atop our new favourite hangout, Jacqueline bar is inspired by the former American First Lady, and is the brainchild of Bangkok nightlife godfather Sanya Souvanna Phouma (formerly of Bed Supperclub, Maggie Choo’s, Sing Sing, and more). Where laid-back glamour meets a sophisticated drinks list, it’s a contemporary toast to the 1960s, and we happen to be thirsty for the throwback.
Jacqueline, 1/F, Siri House, 14/2 Soi Somkid, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, +66 94 868 2639; Open daily 5pm-12am.
Here’s one that caused quite some buzz pre-opening. Located at the very top of the very new and shiny Rosewood Bangkok, Lennon’s is a speakeasy-style whisky bar, made for both music and cocktail lovers. Enter past a very cool vinyl record library (with over 6000 records to explore), and take a seat on sultry leather sofas and sip a Negroni-inspired ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ cocktail. Stargazers unite.
Lennon’s, 30/F, Rosewood Bangkok, 1041/38 Phloen Chit Rd., Pathum Wan, Bangkok, +66 2080 0088; Open daily 7pm-12am.
There’s been quite some hype around this one, and mainly so in particular insider circles. Another speakeasy-like bar, Alonetogether boasts not only a great name for a watering hole, but also a great vibe for those who love a good drink in an equally buzzing environment. Between a live band and vintage flowers, there are few other places more suited to be —indeed — alone together.
Alonetogether Bangkok, 29 Sukhumvit 31 (Soi Sawasdee), Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, +66 2 163 4778; Open daily 6pm-2am.
Read More: Where to drink in Bangkok this August 2019
From the team behind the beloved Sugarray: You’ve Just Been Poisoned, Thonglor’s theCommons saw a really cool bar addition to its ever-popular community space this year with Sugarray Apartment. It’s a small bar but the drinking experience is all the more unique, almost as if you’re at the bartender’s apartment (#goals, really), and he or she is tending to your every need. Feel-good vibes persist all around with a DJ at the decks on most nights, too.
Sugarray Apartment, The Commons, M/F, 335 Thong Lo 17 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Wattana, Bangkok, +66 2 006 6089; Open Mon-Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri-Sun 5pm-1am.
Read More: 7 Bangkok bartenders to follow on Instagram
Goodness, Bangkok, how deep is your love for a neon light sign? Another to follow on with this trend, Mutual Bar was created by a group of seven friends, and is exactly the kind of place you could hang for hours with your own seven friends. “Let’s get to know each other” is the underlying concept, and with craft cocktails created by various industry insiders for the bar to accompany, it is indeed a great place to do so.
Mutual Bar, 3/7,8,9 Soi Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok, +66 2 550 6820; Open Tues-Sun 5pm-1am.
Your posting address was undoubtedly ‘Under a Rock’ had you not felt the buzz the weekend Crimson Room opened. Welcomed by every savvy Bangkokian, the new bar on Langsuan presents the snazzy red velvet burlesque lounge the city never knew it needed. The brainchild (almost unsurprisingly) of the team behind Rabbit Hole and Liberation, Crimson Room follows on a similarly smooth tangent, featuring live jazz performances, and a Gatsby-esque environment in which to clink, sip, and ‘gram.
Crimson Room, 87 Langsuan Rd., Bangkok, +66 62 259 2525; Open Sun-Thurs 6pm-1am and Sat-Fri 6pm-2am.
Read More: Where to drink in Bangkok this November 2019
Throw two things together that Bangkok loves — a speakeasy and anything Japanese — and it’s not hard to see why Bar 335 is already making waves despite having opened towards the very end of the year. Minimalist interiors, an addictive secretive flair, and a drinks list that is both modern and sophisticated, present a real urban hotspot for those who likes to enjoy a good cocktail. Why 335, you ask? It’s from the song Room 335 by Larry Carlton. Music to our ears.
Bar 335, Metropole Building, Soi Promsri, Sukhumvit 39, Bangkok, +66 9 2545 6419; Open Mon-Tues and Thurs-Sat 7pm-2am.