Early birds should stick to their hotel (buffets usually commence before 7am and serve everything from dim sum to Western fare). For a lateish start, try Kuppa. It opens at 10am and lures locals and expats with excellent coffee, all-day breakfast (including French toast, eggs Benedict and homemade yoghurt) and Thai specialties such as tom yum (spicy seafood soup served in a coconut). The eatery’s tree-peppered mezzanine and timber-decked outdoor terrace have a pleasant ambience but for something extra-discreet, reserve its private Polo Lounge.
39 Sukhumvit Soi 16, Klong Toey
Pork rib soup with pineapple and Andaman shrimp paste; red peanut curry with free-range chicken; and salad of kale with ocean prawn – just some of the dishes conjured at this inventive restaurant owned by Thai chef Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava and her Australian husband, Dylan “Lan” Jones. Both are protégés of David Thompson, the Sydney-born Thai food guru who runs Nahm, Bangkok’s most famous eatery. Bo.lan is extremely popular so be sure to book at least a week in advance.
24 Sukhumvit Soi 53, Klong Toey
Siam Paragon food hall
Dining at a food hall is an essential Bangkok experience. Mostly tucked inside malls, they cater to everyone, from students and well-heeled shoppers to businesspeople. At Siam Paragon, wok-wielding vendors make a bamboozling array of Asian food, like pad Thai, barbecued roast duck and som tam (spicy green papaya salad). Fill your tray with fragrant dishes and enjoy them at your own table or a shared one.
991/1 Rama I Road, Pathum Wan
Coffee pit stop
Gallery Drip Coffee
Baristas churn out hot cappuccinos and iced espressos on almost every corner of the Thai capital. But some places go that extra mile. Housed in the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, this café attracts coffee connoisseurs with its caffeine-obsessed décor and superb slow-drip brews using hand-ground beans sourced locally (arabica from Northern Thailand) and abroad. The cakes are great, too.
939 Rama I Road, Pathum Wan
Drinks with clients
Bangkok has South-East Asia’s finest selection of high-rise bars, with many visitors flocking to Sky Bar, which was used as a set in The Hangover Part II. A cannier, calmer choice is Red Sky on the 55th floor of the Centara Grand hotel and convention centre at CentralWorld. Enjoy a tipple (a passionfruit martini, say, or a glass of Thai chenin blanc) while watching the sunset from the bar’s sleek indoor bistro or vertigo-inducing outdoor terrace. ￼
999/99 Rama I Road, Pathum Wan
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