With their swarm of high-rise office towers and shared reputation as a financial and business hub, Silom and Sathorn may seem a little lackluster to the untrained eye. But spend a day here and you’ll be wooed by stylish coffee shops, generations-old hole-in-the-wall restaurants, swanky bars, and a wonderful mix of art galleries, temples, and local gems. Here’s how to spend a perfect day in the twin neighborhoods.
Morning for many starts with a run in Lumphini Park or a gym session at Base in the Sathorn Thani building. That means Silom-Sathorn has more than enough breakfast options to satisfy fitness freaks and sleepy-eyed workers alike. Walking down BTS Chong Nonsi, the smell of fresh-baked brioche oozing from Brioche From Heaven will make your mouth water. Head there early to grab a slice of peanut butter brioche (B120) paired with a classic vanilla shake (B120) before the Instagrammers arrive. Croissant enthusiasts can make a beeline for Kenn’s in Sathorn Soi 7 (B65 for a plain), Kokopan in Silom Soi 2/1 (B60 for three pieces of nutella), or Holey Bakery in Soi Suanphlu (B100 for a butter croissant). For hefty brekkie options, head to Lots Sathon in Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Soi 7 for the honey ham and cheese sandwich (B220) along with a toffee nut latte (B85); Crackhouse at The Commons Saladaeng for the Breakfast Burrito (B240) paired with a hot coffee (B100) courtesy of Roots; or Akart Day on Yen Akart Road for the Super Star All-day Breakfast (B350). For a dose of culture, explore the area’s diverse religious history. You can visit Sri Maha Mariamman Temple on Pan Road before checking out the Mirasuddeen Mosque, one of three mosques in the area, and the St. Louis Catholic Church. Before it gets too hot, hit up King Power Mahanakhon Skywalk for a 360-degree view of Bangkok’s skyline (B530 for an adult ticket) or retreat to the Nielson Hays Library for coffee and good reads in a century-old, neoclassical heritage building.
These neighborhoods have it all when it comes to street eats and restaurants. If you’re all about Japanese food, Mokkori Silom offers some of the tastiest bowls of oyster ramen in town (B239). Convent Road is home to Khao Man Gai Nai Noi, known for its delightfully comforting chicken rice (B50), as well as the Michelin Bib Gourmand-recognized Yentafo Convent. For awesome Indian and Middle Eastern-influenced cuisines, don’t miss the lusciously rich massaman (B50-70) from long-standing Krua Aroi Aroi or tasty panjavarna uthappam (“Indian pizza” with chutney, B140) at Chennai Kitchen on Pan Road. Soi St. Louis, meanwhile, is known for its abundance of street food. Try the succulent braised pork on rice (B50-70) from old-school Khao Ka Moo Jorsor 100; the fragrant chicken biryani (B40) from Khao Mok Gai Od Ton; or the egg noodles with juicy shrimp wontons and barbecued crispy pork (B45) at Hea Ngou Ba Mee Giew Koong. If you want something heartier, if a little guilt-inducing, Brassica over in Nanglinchee doles out juicy fried chicken (from B260) and donuts (B75).
If you have room for snacks, generations-old D.K. Bakery on Pan Road makes kaya buns that are so good they still draw huge queues. Guss Damn Good in Saladaeng Soi 1 is the perfect place to beat the heat with a scoop of ice cream before grabbing a Montreal-style bagel (B50 for plain) and coffee at nearby Roastology. Or just head straight to community mall The Commons Saladaeng for more delicious light bites and drinks (adult beverages included). The space also hosts workshops and events, so check out the calendar in advance. If you’re a film photography nerd, make sure to drop by Photo Gallery at Thaniya Plaza or Analox Film Cafe near the Silom-Naradhiwas intersection, where you can pick up old gear or have your film developed by the pros. The area is also home to an eclectic mix of the city’s best art spaces, like Bangkok CityCity Gallery, Sathorn 11 Art Space, Gallery Ver, the Woof Pack Building, and Kathmandu Photo Gallery, all of which specialize in different media and artistic styles.
The neighborhood changes shape at night, when office workers clock out and head to the bars and restaurants to unwind. For flavorful Thai food in vibrant settings, visit Charm Eatery and Bar and Supanniga Eating Room in Sathorn sois 10-12. If you’re after international fare, you’re not short on options, either: indulge in 24-hour cured duck confit at Silom institution Eat Me; grab some French-leaning bites at Bardo; munch on wonderfully crisp pizzas at Sathorn’s Il Bolognese; splash out on a mind-bending German tasting menu at Suhring; or try the crispy soft shell crab, served with a sideshow of Greek plate-smashing, at Aesop’s. And, of course, there’s the Japanese food. Popular izakayas like Teppen and Katsu Shin cater to more than just the Japanese expat community with scrumptious karaage (deep-fried chicken), charcoal barbecue, and raw fish dishes with sake, highballs, and mugs of draft Asahi.
Later on, the business district transforms into a hub for bar-hopping, fitness, and even film. After work hours, hundreds of 9-to-5ers flock to Lumphini Park or the eerie Teochew cemetery slash-park to burn off steam. Even more, however, head for happy hours at Le Cafe des Stagaires in Sathorn Soi 12 or O’Malley’s Irish Pub near BTS Saladaeng; quality craft beers at Nineteens Up in Silom Soi 19 and Craft Room Sathorn; potent cocktails at upscale bars Vesper, Just a Drink Maybe, Cactus, and Revolucion; or drinks with a view at rooftop bars Vertigo and Moon Bar, Yao Rooftop, Hi-So/Park Society, and Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant. While the lights may be dimming on Patpong and Silom Soi 4’s definitively more risque nightlife, venues like the beloved, LGBTI-friendly Stranger Bar and Pride Bar and Restaurant (formerly Tapas Cafe) are trying to keep the flame alive while tourist numbers are nearly non-existent. For a glimpse into the neighborhood’s past, drop by the Patpong Museum, and find out why nightlife in the community wasn’t always what it seemed.
This feature was originally written for BK Magazine.