Wedged between the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok’s oldest paved road, the labyrinthine alleys of Talad Noi hide some of the city’s most exciting restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Drawing on the district’s storied past, they fuse local cool with old-timey charm — here are the ones to bookmark:
Housed in a former bank building near Talad Noi, this 10-room bolthole feels like a movie set for a 1960s flick. The taxidermy-studded rooms come with roll top tubs and heaps of space and the breakfast spread of honey-glazed pork chops and house-made pastries is one of Bangkok’s best.
This trailblazing Thai restaurant ushered in Talad Noi’s renaissance when it opened in 2015. Chef Andrew Martin doles out tasting menus from homegrown ingredients — think tiger prawns with tomato ‘nam jim’ and moreish beef curries. Wash them down with mocktails from little-used Thai fruits like malabar tamarind and pink guava.
Citizen Tea Canteen
This kaleidoscopic tea parlor puts a spotlight on Thailand’s disappearing ‘kopi’ (traditional cafes) culture. Its Thai tea blends are inspired by everything from traditional desserts to duck noodles and served in custom glassware. Upstairs, you can browse quirky shirts and craft-inspired home goods.
Sol Heng Tai Mansion
Follow Talad Noi’s alleys towards the river and you’ll find the swirling roofs of one of Bangkok’s last remaining 19th-century Chinese mansions. To generate funds for the upkeep, the resident family has turned the courtyard into a small cafe and a scuba diving school.
Central: The Original Store
Perched on the spot where Central, one of Thailand’s largest retail conglomerates, opened its first store in 1950, this community space pays tribute to the group’s rich heritage. Behind the terracotta facade, you’ll find a concept store, jazz bar, and restaurant by Australian chef David Thompson.
Taking over a former school building, this gallery sells everything from Qing Dynasty antiques to African tribal jewelry. Co-owner and curator Mook Attakanwong has her finger on the pulse of Bangkok’s creative scene and frequently invites local artists for shows on the second floor.