You’ve seen the Grand Palace, taken a walk down Khaosan road, shopped for souvenirs at Chatuchak market and paid a visit to the golden temples (if not, check out my Bangkok guide!)– now it’s time to dig a little deeper and see a different side to Bangkok! This guide to the best speakeasy bars in Bangkok will help you to step away from the loud, brash bars offering beer towers and cheap shots, and go in search of glamorous secret bars hidden behind payphones, photo booths and discreet doors. They might be a challenge to find, but the effort is worth it once you get inside!
Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night, a cocktail with friends, or you just want to do something a little different with your night – these bars are the perfect places to go for a night out in Bangkok!
Here’s my guide to the best speakeasy bars in Bangkok.
Dark and moody, with mismatched furniture, peeling wallpaper and rickety stairs, walking into Havana Social feels like walking into an old house where someone has set up an illegal bar. The staff were as moody as the atmosphere, something that is so rare in Thailand that we wondered if it might be a deliberate part of the experience! The cocktails are inventive and a twist on the classics – there’s a lot of rum and nightly specials that combine ingredients you wouldn’t think would work together but somehow do (tomato juice, rum and soda water?!).
Cuban sandwiches and empanadas are served up on paper plates if you’re looking for a snack, and there is a selection of good beer and wine if you don’t feel like cocktails. This is a good setting for a date night or chilled night with friends – I would go later in the night if you’re looking for a proper party.
How to find Havana Social
Hidden behind a graffiti and poster covered public payphone booth, this bar isn’t easy to get into – but that’s just part of the appeal. To enter Havana Social you need to call (+66) 087 066 771 for the night’s password. Find the payphone, type in the code, and you’ll be granted entry to a Cuban themed speakeasy bar that serves up unique cocktails and cigars with music from a live jazz band.
Sukhumvit Soi 11 (down a small soi opposite Fraser Suites Hotel)
When to visit Havana Social
The bar is quiet in the early evening and a Cuban Jazz band starts at around 10pm at weekends from a small balcony in the middle of the house. When the band started playing, the vibe really picked up and people were salsa dancing on the ground floor.
Daily 18:00-02:00 (live band plays Friday and Saturday 22:00 to 24:00)
An intimate candlelit cocktail bar hidden behind a photo booth, this was my favourite of the bars we visited – and it was also the hardest to find! A bar that can only be found by searching for a hashtag is very 2018, but being the millennials we are we had to take up the challenge and go here for a drink.
The bar is really small, with around 7 or 8 tables and couple of seats at the bar. With its black walls and dim lighting the atmosphere super moody and romantic, the pale pink and gold bar is lit up as the central point in the room. The overall look is chic, modern and classic – I loved the interiors here.
The drinks menu is huge and is delivered in a large binder in which you are treated to a descriptive paragraph for each drink on the menu. The flavour combinations here are well thought-out and the emphasis is on high quality cocktails, not sugary sex on the beach.
You’re greeted warmly when you walk in the door, and the staff were really friendly – and quick at making our drinks. If you want to be social, sit up at the bar and get chatting – this would definitely be the type of place you could come for a quiet drink on your own. Walk-ins are welcome, but this place gets busy so it’s recommended to call ahead if you want a table – I can’t find any contact information for the bar online but try calling Score sports bar on +66 2 117 2636.
How to find #FindThePhotoBooth
On the second floor of a large glass building, on the furthest wall of Score sports bar is a small, unassuming photo booth – somewhere inside that booth you’ll find the entrance to to the bar. Pop 20 baht into the machine and it will take three photos of your group – leave one for the staff to stick on the machine, take a copy for yourself and then it’s up to you to find the secret entrance out of the booth.
14 Soi Sukhumvit 11 | 2 Floor, Room A, Klongtoey Nua,Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Created by the same people as #FindThePhotoBooth, this was the original hashtag bar in Bangkok. We didn’t make it here, as it’s located a little far from where we were staying, but it gets great reviews and from what I can see it’s a similar vibe to the photo booth bar.
How to find #FindTheLockerRoom
Again this bar is located by searching for the above hashtag on Google, and as the name would suggest, it’s hidden behind a row of lockers somewhere in the city.
Locker Room, 406 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), Bangkok, Thailand
An intimate speakeasy that’s built like a small railway carriage, Q&A serves upmarket cocktails in a classy atmosphere. A DJ plays chilled-out tunes while people sit on high stools around the bar and at long tables lining the walls. The lighting is dim (are you noticing a trend here?) so we had to read the menu by the light of our phones. Free snacks arrive as soon as you sit, and the staff are helpful without being too intrusive.
While beer and wine are available, cocktails are the focus here. The cocktail menu is adventurous, and split into three sections: Fruity, herby and experimental (spicy cocktail, anyone?). You might find it hard to pick a drink, but the staff can help you to choose the right one for you.
With drinks averaging 400THB (£10), Q&A bar is definitely more upmarket than the others on this list. I’d go here for an end of the night drink if you want to have a nightcap of an old fashioned and a chat before heading back to your hotel.
How to find Q&A Bar
Q&A doesn’t require any wizardry to get inside, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find. Tucked away in a little residential lane, the unmarked gold and wood door to Q&A is discrete but stands out amongst the blocks of flats on either side.
235/13 Soi Sukhumvit 21, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand.
If you can brave the walk through an eerily abandoned building to make it to the hidden entrance of Ku Bar, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most creative cocktails in Bangkok in a seriously cool atmosphere. The menu changes monthly and features an eclectic mix of spirits, herbs, milks and garnishes that combine to create delicious and unique flavours.
How to find Ku Bar
Tucked away in the old town, Ku Bar is just a 15 minute tuk tuk away from Khaosan road. Make your way to Brown Sugar jazz bar on Phra Sumen Road and follow the alley that runs alongside it. You’ll come to a wooden door with a sign that has the Chinese character 苦 on it. Make your way inside and you’ll find Ku Bar on the third floor.
Walk-ins are welcome, but with only 20 seats and a no standing policy, it’s best to message Ku Bar on Facebook or give them a call on +66 91-731-9752 to reserve a seat.
3/F 469 Phra Sumen Rd, Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Wed – Sun 7pm – midnight
Teens of Thailand
A cozy gin bar that’s popular with the young, hipster Thai crowd, Teens of Thailand is a great place to head with your friends for a few drinks. Behind the heavy wooden door is a quirky bar playing indie music, with pop culture posters lining the walls. With a stream of people coming in and out, you’ll probably end up sharing a table and meeting new people.
Drinks start at around 250 baht (£6), and prices go up depending on the gin you prefer. Some of the premium cocktails cost double that. There are daily specials and a rotating menu so there’s always something new to try here!
Go here with a group of friends, or with your partner for a couple of drinks after dinner. Just 5 minutes’ walk from Hua Lamphong Station, this is a great choice for a quick drink before your train.
How to find Teens of Thailand
Teens of Thailand is located in Chinatown and is on the same street as some other really cool bars. Check out Wallflowers Upstairs across the road for wine, or 23 bar and gallery nearby before you you head into Teens.
76 Soi Nana, Charoen Krung Rd., Bangkok
Sun-Thu 7pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 7pm-1am
Dress Code & Entry Fees
Dress codes vary a little from bar to bar, and are generally more strictly enforced on weekends. Closed toe shoes (including trainers) are a must for men, while I was able to go into all of these speakeasy bars in flip flops. Dress smartly, no alcohol branded t-shirts or any vests at all. A t-shirt or shirt and jeans for a guy should be fine. I wore denim shorts and a smart top and was fine on a Friday night. Havana Social in particular is very strict on long trousers for men at weekends!
There you have it, my pick of the best speakeasy bars that Bangkok has to offer! Surprise your friends or other half with a trip to one of these while you’re in Bangkok. Don’t forget to have a drink for me!
Thanks for reading!
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