When it comes to delicious local food, Yaowarat is definitely not taking a back seat to the city’s floating markets.
From London to Toronto and New York to San Francisco, there are many Chinatowns around the world, but Bangkok’s is the biggest in Asia. Known as ‘Yaowarat’ to the locals after the road that is the main artery of the district, Chinatown’s large ethnic community continues to practice their traditions and ceremonies amidst the frenetic markets, gold shops, and yes – the sights, sounds and smells of one of the world’s most renowned street food destinations. When it comes to delicious local food, Yaowarat is definitely not taking a back seat to the city’s floating markets.
Lately, however, Instagrammable cafés with creative bites and brews have sprung up, attracting millennials like me with their youthful vibes. The perfect blend of old and new makes Chinatown one of the most unique places I’ve ever explored. Join me on the café-hopping trail and I’ll show you the best that the area has to offer…
My first stop was Lhong Tou Café, a café-cum-restaurant that focuses on contemporary Chinese cuisine. I recommend their heavenly Egg Lava Bun and Chinese Porridge Set, a fitting breakfast to kickstart our Chinatown stroll.
Just a few minutes’ walk through the backstreets lies Chata Specialty Coffee. This gorgeous glasshouse café with its bare brick walls is set in a colonial-style hotel that dates back to 1916. The latte art on their cutely named Piccolo Latte is as impressive as the aesthetically pleasing décor.
Seeking refuge from the sweltering sun, I grabbed a tuk-tuk to Jing Jing Ice Cream Bar and Café for some delightful homemade ice cream in flavours ranging from mango to coconut with salted egg. In addition to their unique ice cream, they serve set breakfasts and coffees.
With my stomach full, and refuge from the Bangkok heat found, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up my café-hopping expedition.
After savouring a delicious specialty coffee, I made my way past the herbal medicine and auto parts shops to Aoon Pottery, a warm and cosy place that is both pottery studio and café. I loved their one-of-a-kind Satay Rice and richly sweet Dump’s Cocoa, and all of their creations are served in handmade crockery. You can even stay a while and craft your very own piece.
A self-proclaimed foodie, I knew that I still hadn’t had enough, which is why I continued on to Nana Coffee Roaster. Nestled in Soi Nana alley, the vintage café is hidden on the second floor of a flower shop, and walking up the spiral staircase it became clear that the owner had spent a lot of time collecting and displaying the very tasteful array of antiques. Every nook and cranny in the place was picture-perfect, and the coffee was great too, but my favourite is the Le Boisson De Kanda – espresso, tea and rose lemonade topped with milk foam.
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