Equal parts upscale residential area and hipster hangout, the Ari neighbourhood is home to a selection of great restaurants and cafés. Although it’s off the typical Bangkok itinerary, Ari (also sometimes spelt Aree) has a lot to offer for visitors to Bangkok seeking a quieter side of the city.
Street food on Soi Ari, Bangkok © Chris Mitchell
Last updated: 25 September 2022
What’s Interesting About Ari?
Although you’ll first notice the small shopping mall La Villa as you arrive in Ari on the BTS Skytrain, the real attractions here are along Soi Ari itself and down the neighbourhood’s quiet tree-lined side streets.
Excellent cafés and restaurants are plentiful in Ari, as are boutique shops. Ari Soi 4 in particular has become a magnet for Instagrammers taking photos outside several of the picturesque cafes along the road. Thankfully most of these businesses survived through the Covid lockdowns and Ari continues to thrive as a destination district.
Ari Restaurants And Places to Eat
Salt Restaurant, Ari, Bangkok © Chris Mitchell
- Street Food on Soi Ari
Soi Ari is home to a huge range of street food vendors serving fresh Thai food. Drop by after 4 pm to catch Soi Ari’s street food scene at its busiest, with workers from the nearby offices and government buildings visiting after work for inexpensive, tasty Thai food.
- Parking Lot Food Court
This newly built food court has no official name – it’s located between Ari Soi 1 and 2, with Dice cafe on the corner of the soi. Previously a parking lot, there is now a collection of small restaurants and cafes, some with outdoor seating – a beef noodle joint, the obligatory izakaya, Error Cafe and more. Good if you’re looking for a no-frills meal.
- Feast Ratchakru Food Court
A great collection of Thai and foreign food including heavenly roast pork and noodles, ice cream and yakatori, Feast is a variety of small shops and vendor stalls in an large, airy setting that feels open air (there’s a roof high above so no need to worry about rain). You buy whatever you want and then sit at the communal tables.This is a great place to start if you want to sample a variety of dishes.
- Ong Tong Khao Soi
So popular it doubled its shop size recently, Ong Tong is right on Soi Ari by the corner of Soi Ari 1. The reason is that the khao soi served by this place really is spot-on. Unsurprisingly, Ong Tong originates from the capital of khao soi, Chiang Mai.
A neighbourhood favourite, Salt serves a great mix of Japanese and Italian food in a sophisticated interior and a spacious open air setting on Phahonyothin Soi 7. Authentic Italian pizza, a huge selection of cocktails and excellent desserts make Salt one of Ari’s best places to eat and people watch.
- Lay Lao
Lay Lao mixes fresh seafood and Isaan favourites, complete with a stylish modern interior. A favourite with locals and tourists alike, this basic but pleasant eatery is located on Phahonyothin Soi 7.
- Cast Iron Burgerhaus
This is an upmarket burger and craft beer joint, with prices to match. If a real burger is what you crave, this should hit the spot. It’s in a super-convenient location, right at the top of Soi Ari.
- Yellow Lane
A brunch cafe set in a beautiful minimal Thai house and garden, Yellow Lane hits the spot if you want a filling meal and decent coffee. Great vibe and friendly staff.
- Pak Nang
A small shophouse restaurant serving up tasty Southern Thailand dishes
- Shinsei Sushi
Solid sushi joint with an up-market feel but without being too painful on the wallet. There are seats for solo diners who can watch the chefs at work plus tables too. Booking ahead recommended if you plan to go at peak times. See also nearby Sousaku for another sushi alternative.
- Pla Dib
Pla Dib serves a huge range of fusion dishes, from Japanese-inspired Thai food to classic Italian pizzas. Dine indoors or, provided the heat isn’t too intense, sit outside and enjoy an extensive selection of Thai, Japanese and Italian-inspired fusion dishes.
Located over on Ari Samphan, the road parallel to Soi Ari, Cantina is a cosy candlelight and dark wood Italian restaurant with a huge wine list and all the classic dishes you’d expect.
- Sekai No Yamachan
An enduring chain in Bangkok with branches all over the city, Yamachan’s speciality is Nagoya Chicken Wings and ice cold Asahi. There’s a huge menu of other Japanese dishes and drinks. The Ari branch is probably the one with the best vibe too. It’s part of the Feast food court, located upstairs in its own space.
- Dai Lou
Billing itself as serving “modern Chinese cuisine”, Dai Lou is a cool and contemporary restaurant with a fondness for cocktails too.
Excellent wraps, burritos and other Mexican dishes along with a selection of craft beer in this cosy cafe
- Ori Izakaya
Set inside a vintage Thai wooden house towards the bottom of Phahonyothin Soi 7, Ori izakaya really knows its stuff when it comes to perfectly grilled, tender meats and ice-cold beer. There’s decent sushi and other non-yakatori dishes too. The bright, cheerful vibe and reasonable prices have made Ori a popular Ari hangout.
See also Kenshin Izakaya, right by Ari BTS station on the La Villa side, which is part of a chain (with other locations at Asoke and Sukhumvit 33/1) – the food is not as good as Ori, but the ice-cold Asahi in frozen glasses is heavenly. There’s also Hero Izakaya, tucked down a tiny subsoi off Soi Ari, which is chiefly notable for its huge collection of Ultraman figurines. It would be very easy to do a bar crawl to take in all three places…
Ong Tong Khao Soi © Chris Mitchell
- Paper Butter Burger
There are two Paper Butter Burger places – one is a small stall set up in the food court very near the top of Soi Ari (just behind Never Say Cutz hairdressers). The main Paper Butter Burger venue is on Phahayolthin 5 in front of The Yard hostel, bordering a pleasant garden to sit in of an evening and enjoy these excellent burgers.
Tucked away down Ari Soi 5, Hanazen is a Japanese restaurant and sake bar with a cosy interior (think white walls and dark wood) and great service. There’s a Japanese craft beer menu too.
- Baan Peung Chom
Famous for its Pad Sahm Menh — literally “three smells, stir fried” — Baan Peung Chom is an ultra-popular Thai restaurant on Phahonyothin Soi 7 (Soi Ari). With an excellent menu and a relaxed setting, Baan Peung Chom is always popular with Ari locals.
- Baan Mae Yui
Located inside a classic Thai home, Baan Mae Yui serves a selection of great Thai dishes in a relaxed, residential setting near the Ministry of Finance building. Sit outside and enjoy great, unpretentious Thai food in a green and natural setting.
One of Ari’s oldest restaurants and an outpost of its sister restaurants on Sukhumvit Sois 20 and 33, Basilico is a somewhat dated Italian eaterie with all the hearty staples you’d expect.
Best Hotels in Ari
Up until recently, Ari only had a handful of modest guesthouses and hostels. Now there are several boutique and business hotels with more on the way as Ari continues to become popular with Thais and tourists alike.
Right in the centre of Ari, Hotel Josh has an elegant, retro-cosy feel and its location is unbeatable for exploring the neighbourhood’s restaurants, cafes and bars. Read More
A boutique resort with low-rise blocks of rooms grouped around a large central pool, The Craftsman’s rooms have a bold, Japanese-tinged aesthetic emphasising stripped wood and a calm vibe. Read More
More Ari Hotels
- Baan Nueng Service Apartment
Baan Nueng Service Apartment is a comfortable serviced residence on Ari Soi 5. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, with modern furniture. The hotel’s location is good and bad – it’s a 10 minute walk from the BTS, but this means it’s incredibly quiet and peaceful.
- Vic3 Bangkok
Vic3 Bangkok is a comfortable three-star hotel on Phahayolthin Soi 3. Located a short walk from BTS Ari, it offers a combination of quiet, relaxing Ari living with a great location perfect for getting around Bangkok with ease.
- Bangkok Patio Apartment
Bangkok Patio Apartment is a three-star serviced apartment on Phahonyothin Soi 3. Rooms are modern and nicely furnished, and the hotel offers a free tuk tuk shuttle service to nearby BTS Ari, making it easy to get around Bangkok.
- Abloom Exclusive Serviced Apartments
Abloom Exclusive Serviced Apartments offers a range of serviced apartments ideal for solo travellers and families alike. The apartments range from studios to three-bedroom units, and the complex’s swimming pool and fitness centre make it a great place to relax and unwind.
- The Yard
As much a local hangout space as a hostel for tourists who want to explore a different area of Bangkok, The Yard is a refreshing mashup of accommodation and chillout zone. Their large garden is ideal for sipping a Singha, and the staff are super friendly
- POD Hostel Café Design Shop
POD Hostel Café Design Shop offers inexpensive Tokyo-style sleeping capsules close to the BTS Skytrain. Although the accommodation is somewhat cramped, the hostel’s common area on the fourth floor is a great place to relax, browse the Internet and plan your trip.
The Bangkok Pearl (left) skyscraper looms over Ari © Chris Mitchell
There are a lot of cafes in Ari, with new places seemingly opening up every few months. Here’s a few stalwarts, but just wandering the streets will let you easily find others.
- Casa Lapin
Casa Lapin is one of Bangkok’s most fashionable coffee chains, with two branches in the city’s hipster hotspot of Thong Lor. The Ari location is easy to find on the ground floor of the Noble Reform condo building, with a great selection of coffee and café treats on offer.
- Porcupine Café
One of Ari’s most popular cafés and eateries, Porcupine Café is located in a new, bigger space on Ari Soi 4, after relocating from Soi Ari itself. With a wood and cream-coloured interior, Porcupine Café is a great place to relax with your laptop or a good book.
- Gump’s – a collection of cafes, bakeries and tiny restaurants in one complex that is purpose-designed to be super-Instagrammable. There’s a large shady courtyard to hang out and take photos as most of the shops here are more set up for take-away rather than hanging out.
Puritan specialises in desserts. With decorations that make it feel more like a European home than a suburban café, Puritan’s mix of interesting decor and tasty cakes, tea and coffee make it a popular spot for Ari locals to enjoy dessert on Ari Soi 5.
- My Coffee
Located on Ari Soi 1, My Coffee specialises in what you’d expect it to: coffee. Alongside an excellent selection of coffee starting from just 50 baht, My Coffee also serves a selection of café treats, including excellent pancakes.
- Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe – for a distinct Thai experience, visit Kid Mai. It’s a cafe aimed at bringing enlightenment to people to realise their own mortality and educate themselves about the importance of living life to the full.
- Hor Hidden Café
Despite the name, Hor Hidden Café is easy to find. This charming café and eatery was originally located down a small alleyway off Ari Soi 1, hence the name, but has now expanded to have its own full restaurant shopfront so you can’t miss it. Food is much more than the usual café fare – this neighbourhood cafe also serves pizza and great steaks.
- More cafe suggestions if you need them: Poet Cafe, Dice Cafe, Ease Cafe and Co-Working Space, Landhaus Bakery, Kaichong Cafe. There are also two branches of Starbucks in Ari – one in La Villa Ari shopping complex right by the BTS station, and one in The Quarter Ari hotel/office complex, a short walk along Phahayolthin Road from the BTS station. There is also the Amazon coffee chain directly on Soi Ari.
Nightlife in Ari
Feeling Bar, Ari, Bangkok © Chris Mitchell
Lots of Ari’s top restaurants double as its most popular nightspots. Salt’s outdoor area is great for people watching and relaxing with friends in particular, and hopping from one place to another as they are so nearby is great fun.
- Feeling Bar
Dark and mysterious and neon, Feeling Bar makes a small shophouse space feel like a nightclub. Live music accompany serious cocktails and lots of low-light selfies.
Located next door to the Noble RE:D condo building on Ari Soi 1, O’Glee is a comfortable red-brick bar specialising in beer and indie tunes. With a continually changing craft beer on tap and many more bottled beers available, O’Glee is an excellent choice for drinks and bar snacks in Ari.
- Ban Dok Kaew House Bar
One of Bangkok’s most charismatic bars, Ban Dok Kaew House Bar is set a beautiful old Thai wooden house that’s supposedly haunted. That said, it’s got a friendly, laid-back shabby chic vibe with lots of different nooks and crannies to hang out and drink their ever-changing craft beers. The only downside is that it’s a little hard to get to – it’s either a long walk from the BTS or a taxi / tuk tuk ride.
- Mikkeller Ari
Pleasant low-light bar serving a huge selection of draught imported craft beers (20 taps) and Thai food. Import taxes mean the craft beer is not cheap.
- Jim’s Burgers
Open from 5 pm, Jim’s Burgers serves great burgers and a fantastic selection of beers. The huge selection of draft and bottled beers makes Jim’s a popular spot for drinks and comfort food after work.
- HOBS (House of Beers)
Upmarket bar chain HOBS (House of Beers) has two branches in Ari. The bigger of the two is located in Aree Garden on Rama VI Soi 30, while the second – called HOBS Away – is easy to find inside La Villa Aree beside Ari BTS Station.
Ari Neighbourhood Map
This is a VERY approximate Ari map – Ari cafes and restaurants open and close all the time, and Google Maps is still littered with places that were demolished years ago. Use this as a rough guide to orientate yourself – Soi Ari itself is formally known as Phahayolthin Soi 7 – search for that on Google Maps on your phone.
La Villa Ari, Ari, Bangkok © Chris Mitchell
Things to See and Do in Ari
- La Villa Ari
La Villa Aree is an open air community mall located next to BTS Ari. Home to a selection of cafés and restaurants, it’s a great place to socialise with friends and dine out for lunch or dinner.
- Aree Garden
Boutique shops, cute cafés and restaurants and an outdoor market set amongst a leafy courtyard make Aree Garden a great place to relax and shop. Located on Areesampan Soi 11, opposite the Thai Ministry of Finance building.
- NumThong Gallery at Aree
Located on Ari Soi 5, NumThong Gallery at Aree is a cosy art gallery that provides exhibition space to some of Thailand’s most acclaimed visual artists. The gallery hosts a range of new exhibitions every year from Thai and international artists.
- Ari School of Fitness
Dubbed “Bangkok’s happiest gym” by its members, Ari School of Fitness is one of two CrossFit gyms in Bangkok. Located down Ari Soi 3, this open air gym contains a training course and a large swimming pool. Open to members and drop-in customers.
Near to Ari: Chatuchak Market
The world famous Chatuchak market is only 2 stops away from Ari on the BTS, making this neighbourhood a great place to stop going to or from the market if you’re in need of somewhere to eat.
Near to Ari: Saphan Khwai
As Ari’s rapid gentrification and explosion of restaurants, cafes and bars continues, the neigbouring Saphan Kwai area between Ari and Chatuchak is transforming from gritty working-class Thai neighbourhood to a Thai hipster and cheap backpacker area, especially around the intersection of Phahayolthin and Sutthisan Vinitchai Road. It’s definitely worth checking out Saphan Khwai if you’re exploring Ari.
Getting to Ari
- By BTS
Ari is extremely easy to reach using the BTS Skytrain. Take the Sukhumvit Line towards BTS Mo Chit and get off at Ari Station (N5). Go out of Exit 3. At the bottom of the stairs, doubleback on yourself and walk 20 metres along Phahayolthin Road and you’ll then turn left into Soi Ari.
Ari is two stations away from Mo Chit, making it easy to get to Ari after transferring off the Bangkok MRT at Chatuchak Park Station.
End Note: Ari Restaurants That Have Closed Down
Artwork on the wall of former Rokukyu Teppanyaki, Ari, Bangkok – now sadly painted over © Chris Mitchell
Just in case you’re looking for one of these places, this is to note they have now permanently closed or moved out of Ari:
Moved to the third floor of the TCDC (Thailand Creative and Design Centre) in Charoen Krung.
- Rock Restaurant and Bar – award winning contemporary Thai food and cocktails, relocated to Soi Ruamrudee in Ploenchit
- Ton Chin Kan Ramen – Ari branch closed down but the original branch is still open on Rama 9.
- Casa Azul – a cozy Mexican restaurant shut down by Covid.
- Fatbird – an Ari institution that began Ari’s cafe/bar hipsterisation, Fatbird shut in the summer of 2019 and was replaced by Wara Wara Japanese restaurant
- Rokukyu Teppanyaki – the great street art outside wasn’t really matched by the standard of food and service inside. Currently vacant premises.
- Dalad – this excellent Vietnamese restaurant was deposed by Yuzawa izakaya, which remodelled the beautiful wooden house into a concrete bunker. Dalad moved to new premises in nearby Saphan Khwai.
- No Name bar – the former nameless bar opposite Ari institution Salt has been under renovation for months with no sign of getting near completion
- Sugar Pop – a bakery and sweet treats place that was built for Instagrammers.
- Schneider Haus – a beautiful garden and restored house selling German Schneider beer and German cuisine. Sadly now gone with no replacement.
- Tap Room – a joint venture with Casa Lapin which saw the cafe turn into a bar in the evenings, Tap Room has now moved on.