By now we have established that Bangkok is one of my favorite cities in the world and I like it enough to spend extended amounts of time there. While I usually hang out in the old part of town for the most authentic food, cheap massages, and its proximity to the Chao Praya river and all of the city’s major sights, I have recently discovered a new part of town: Thonglor, Bangkok.
Thonglor or Thong Lo is synonymous with Soi Sukhumvit 55 and by now one of the hippest neighborhoods in Bangkok. The area is especially beloved by Japanese expats which means that you can find some seriously good Japanese food here. Mind you, also those craving some trendy Thai food or a cool bar have come to the right place.
If you are craving a look into trendy Bangkok life, a visit in Thonglor is a must and thanks to a convenient connection with the BTS, you can quickly explore the rest of town from here.
Where to stay in Thonglor, Bangkok
As you know I equally love design hotels and places with a history. Thonglor is definitely the place for the former and one hotel that lives up to the title and my new-found favorite is the Volve Hotel.
I have been eying the Volve for a while and when I was looking for a cool Thonglor hotel the stars finally aligned and they invited me for a two-night stay. The hotel is within a few minutes walking distance from the BTS stop and close to some of the best restaurants in Thonglor.
The hotel is urban and quintessential Thai but thanks to its architect Pitipat Jongsomjit also called Khun Um it also has a seriously cool streak. The rooms are sleek and modern and make for a simple and sophisticated refugee for guests, whether you are headed to Bangkok for business or fun. My favorite: the complimentary minibar stocked with water in glass bottles (yay for no plastic!) and Thai snacks. Another highlight for those of us who travel with plenty of electronics – there are outlets everywhere. Perfect for a travel writer who likes working from bed and seems to always run out of power too quickly.
The style of the hotel is contemporary meets 50s retro; think wood paneling, ornate floor signs as well as modern Thai art. In between each floor, you find a picture by the young artists Nakrob Moonmanas and Thomthong Chaijinda, depicting typical things from the various areas of Thailand and – to my delight – a cleverly hidden cat. Good enough reason to take the stairs more often at least, for me.
Volve offers breakfast, both from the buffet and a la carte but also has a small bistro with meals throughout the day. If you want to venture out to explore Thonglor, Bangkok each guest gets a map with the hotel’s favorite places to eat, drink, shop, and of course, get a massage in the area.
Best restaurants in Thonglor
While the bistro at Volve is lovely and great for a light meal there are so many great restaurants in Thonglor so you should most definitely go and eat out. Right next door you will find Bo.lan, one of Bangkok’s hippest restaurants and opposite there is Bacco, an Italian restaurant which makes a very decent pizza. Otherwise, here are some of my favorite Thonglor restaurants:
Soul Food Mahanakorn – 56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55
(Soi Thong Lor)
Wholesome ingredients, honest cooking, serious drinks – the motto of Soul Food Mahanakorn couldn’t be closer to my heart. This place is great for people who want authentic Thai flavors but in a nice setting and with some great drinks or wine to go with.
Try the crab and lemongrass curry with rice noodles and actually, scratch that – rather take all your friends and order everything so you can eat the whole menu!
72 Courtyard – 72 Sukhumvit 55 5
72 Courtyard was the reason I first wanted to come to Thonglor as I was looking for baos. Unfortunately, the bao place had just closed but in its place, you will still find an ultra-cool courtyard community of hip and happening eateries here. Mind you, it wasn’t as exciting as I first thought it would be (I do think any good place needs baos!) but the food at Lucky Fish wasn’t half bad and I am still keen to come back for some fancy Mexican food at Touche Hombre.
Supanninga Eating Room – 160/11 Soi Sukhumvit 55
Supanninga is another great option for authentic Thai food in a cool environment. There are 3 outlets all over Bangkok, and the Thonglor branch is a great spot for a chic lunch or a cozy dinner.
Traditional heritage food is on the menu and the good news: carnivores, seafood lovers, and vegetarians will be equally pleased by the options. I loved the glass noodles with mushrooms and deep-fried tofu. Luckily even for foreigners, the food comes with a good spicy kick here!
Wie Immer Bangkok – Thong Lo 14 Alley
Needless to say, the name intrigued me. Wie is a lovely little cafe resembling a tiny greenhouse in a somewhat dingy-looking side alley (I have a thing for dingy alleys just FYI).
The cafe offers cool drinks like charcoal latte and some very healthy options as well as yoga classes in their basement. While I realized I am not a fan of charcoal latte, the classic Americano was really good and worth forgoing Starbucks for!
Thonglor has an array of Japanese restaurants and fake Nobu is right around the corner from Wie and actually quite good. There is also a bar called Iron Fairies next door which apparently is worth getting dolled up for.
theCOMMONS – 335 Soi Thonglor 17
Now, theCOMMONS is really as hip as it gets and you will find the coolest Bangkok expats, locals, and visitors alike here. There is bunting and hipster lights and of course, craft beer and Instagrammable churros with different dips.
In addition, this market type food court has an excellent wine bar and many lovely food options from lobster rolls to steaks. I recommend 555 Soul Food, a fast-food version of Soul Food Mahanakorn which makes excellent pulled pork burgers and lemonade. Their crispy chicken burger comes with som tam salad which may or may not make you cry – it is so spicy.
The Commons, Thonglor are also a great place if you are looking for a co-working venue and you can even bring your dog and park your bike at designated bicycle parking spots.
For more restaurant and cafes in Thonglor, check out the Volve’s map with recommendations. I am heading back to Thonglor for the whole of October and cannot wait. If you have any additional tips please let me know!
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