A rather odd little gem right in the heart of Bangkok, A Hundred Children Café and Gallery is actually an old fashioned furniture shop selling Chinese house furnishings like cushions or lacquer boxes, and plenty of other decorative items. Add a menu and beverage items to the mix and you have an eccentric little café which is perfectly located at Asok, next to both the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway stations. In addition to various coffee drinks, there is green tea, mini waffles, croissants, and the latest addition to the menu, a tom yam goong burger! The shop imprints their logo on everything, from souvenir postcards to even the coffee cups and is a good spot to escape the rush hour congestion in.
Kuppa is a real man's coffee shop. Not only is it an extremely pleasant café, located in an old warehouse, but it also roasts and sells its own coffee, hand roasting and grinding up blends like Indian Monsooned Malabar or Guatemalan Volcan de Oro, as well as espresso and signature blends. A giant coffee roasting machine stands in the midst of Kuppa, showing exactly just how much they mean business, and yet the comfortable seating with couches and tables ensures that you will relax and stay awhile. While the daytime at Kuppa sees more of a café atmosphere and crowd, the evening brings in plenty of diners, as the place is also a top notch restaurant, serving up a mix of elegant Asian and Western specialties, such as soft shelled crab or duck liver parfait, all the more reason to stay once your coffee cup is drained.
Recommended for Cafés because: For an extensive selection of great desserts and coffee, spacious Kuppa gets accolades.
Dave's expert tip: The desserts at Kuppa are excellent, things like blueberry cheesecake or lemon meringue pie to choose from, and they also do a nice weekend brunch. Take the Skytrain to Asok to get here, and walk down Soi 16 on your left.
In the age of I Pads, Pods, and Phones, not to mention Kindles, it is tough to find a good old fashioned book cafe, but Dasa keeps the pages turning. Based on the "dasa" (meaning slave) in the venerated name of the Thai monk Buddhadasa Bhikku, and the idea that book lovers are slaves to print, this quaint little shop serves firstly as Bangkok's best used bookstore, as well as a homey cafe in which to relax over coffee or tea. The owners are bibliophiles and maintain a database of all titles, not to mention stocking all 10,000 plus of them neatly by genre and alphabetized by author, quite a rarity in Thailand. Not really a coffee shop but a great bookstore and hangout spot to enjoy a cup of caffeine!
Recommended for Cafés because: For Bangkok's best combo of books and coffee, look no further than Dasa.
Dave's expert tip: If you buy used books here and return them, you get back 50% of what you paid in credit, an excellent deal to go along with your mug of coffee.
Roots is at the epicenter of the Bangkok coffee renaissance. What started out as the production kitchen for the folks over at Roast (an artisanal coffee and brunch spot) has evolved into a coffee workshop (from home brewing to tasting and latte art) and barista training space, along with being a fine coffee roaster. While weekdays are for coffee education only, weekends sees the quaint cafe open up to the public, where co-founder and master roaster Korn Sanguankeaw chats with customers, invites them to choose their coffee origin and brewing method (pour over, French press, or espresso), and happily shares his coffee obsessions and faith in the Thai coffee future. Many of the gourmet cafes around Bangkok get their beans from Roots, and customers even pay via an honesty box in which one pays what one thinks the coffee and delicious home made pastries are worth!
Recommended for Cafés because: For expertly brewed gourmet coffee, Roots heads the Bangkok roasters list.
Dave's expert tip: Make sure to try the homemade pastries along with the coffee, they are quite outstanding.
Not only one of the best cafes in Bangkok but an amazing respite from the urban jungle and perhaps worth a sightseeing visit alone. Agalico is the brainchild of renowned Thai landscaper and interior designer ML Poomchai Chambala, who did the Mrigadayavan Palace gardens and the Boathouse in Hua Hin. Chambala spent many years in England and loved tea, and the result of that time is a Jane Austen fantasy, a beautiful gazebo set amidst lush gardens where the Bangkok elite come to escape. What started as a meeting place for Chambala's friends evolved, and he further graces the spot with his baking talents as well, providing scones and cakes that are superb. Agalico is only open from Friday-Sunday though, so plan accordingly.
Recommended for Cafés because: For Bangkok's best kept secret tea room, Agalico's is a must.
Dave's expert tip: The gazebo tea room is lovely, but you will need to come early if you want a seat, otherwise settle for the non AC garden. Additionally, the cakes and scones are usually sold out by the late afternoon.
This intimate and top notch cafe in the Rainhill Plaza was named by owner Chartree Treelertkul after the El Salvadorean pacamara arabica, a hybrid of the Bourbon mutation Pacas and the Maragogype beans, known for being a big bean with great flavour. The owner started his business up in Chiang Mai, and he knows the northern Thai coffee bean scene well, stocking his cafe with 70% Thai beans, supporting local growers. The iced lattes here are packed with flavour, and there are constantly rotating selections of new blends to try. Pacamara also stocks plenty of fresh beans for sale, and the company does all their own roasting.
Recommended for Cafés because: For superb iced lattes, single origin beans, and local brews, head to Pacamara.
Dave's expert tip: Pacamara is located in the Rainhill Mall, which is equidistant from the Phrom Phong and Thong Lor BTS stations, about a 10 minute walk from each.
If you are looking for authentic, this is the real deal. Over 60 years old, Eiah Sae has been churning out the owner's great grandparents' coffee recipe to an endless array of chain smoking regulars, ranging from old Chinese men to hip young couples looking for an excellent cup of joe. With its Art Deco purple walls, vintage photos of the Thai king playing the saxophone as a young man, and 25 baht cafe Boran (old style coffee), you can't go wrong here. Even if you aren't a fan of the strong coffee laced with plenty of sweet condensed milk (no, they don't do espresso or cappuccino here) it is still worth coming just for the ambience.
Recommended for Cafés because: For nostalgia and some good coffee, Eiah Sae is a must on any Chinatown itinerary.
Dave's expert tip: It can be slightly confusing to find Eiah Sae. Best to go to Yaowarat Rd from Hualamphong Station, then walk to the corner of Padungdao and Yaowarat (where all the seafood corner outdoor restaurants are). Turn left (towards the river) on Padungdao, then left at the next corner, and half a block down on the left is the cafe.
Run by a Thai and his Venezuelan wife and her sister, Ceresia specialises in superb gourmet coffee from around the world served with plenty of love and affection. Bret Asavaroengchai and his wife Lucia Aguilar and her sister Marian know coffee inside out, as the Aguilar's family were coffee growers, and the beans here are all sourced from single origin farms and cooperatives around the world and given meticulous attention to how they are grown and processed, with Ceresia stocking seasonal blends from countries ranging from Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa to Columbia and El Salvador in the Americas. Coffee is roasted daily in small batches to maintain its original flavour and the owners are more than happy to make suggestions and describe the entire coffee making process from farm to espresso maker. The homey cafe also has some wonderful pastries to go with the fine brew, and you might find yourself staying here longer than planned, chatting up the owners about all things caffeine.
Recommended for Cafés because: For outstanding coffee, coffee knowledge, and a warm welcome, Ceresia is a great cafe.
Dave's expert tip: Ceresia is best reached by taking the BTS skytrain to Phrom Pong station, then walking up Soi 33/1 for several hundred meters, past the Japanese supermarket, where you will find the cafe on your right hand side.
Started by a couple of photographer friends, this charming cafe in the Bangkok Art & Culture Center is the ideal hangout for artsy types. The owners take their coffee seriously, serving Kenyan and Ethiopian single origin beans along with Thai premium selects sourced from organic farms, and a cup of real brew takes a lot of time here, as the staff spend ages bent over a couple of ceramic drip filters, fastidiously pouring the perfectly heated water over freshly roasted beans. Coffee here gets served in jugs, the baristas are a real source of coffee knowledge, and the whole cafe stands behind fair trade and supporting the burgeoning Thai gourmet coffee scene, making Gallery Drip a great spot for a buzz prior to heading up to check out the latest art exhibitions.
Recommended for Cafés because: For some of the best gourmet drip coffee you will find in Bangkok, Gallery Drip is a winner.
Dave's expert tip: Easiest way to get here is via the Skytrain to the National Stadium station, and then walking in to the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, ground floor.
Kaizen is one of Bangkok's newest and hippest cafes, but not only is it cool, it serves up some of the city's best brews. Three hipster friends started up this small spot way up Ekamai, and the quaint all white interior cafe serves up high end gourmet coffee inspired by the Australian Melbourne cafe scene. Flat whites are as good as you'll find in town, and Kaizen also makes explosive nitrogen brewed cups that will knock your socks off. The baristas take their craft seriously here, are extremely knowledgable about the world coffee scene, and the cafe also serves up brunch items and a great array of sweet things to compliment the brew. The only drawback to Kaizen is that it isn't close to the skytrain, and one really needs to take a taxi to get here.
Recommended for Cafés because: For Bangkok's best Melbourne cafe-inspired coffee, Kaizen is the real deal.
Dave's expert tip: Try the nitrogen brewed coffee, it is outstanding.