Sugar House Cafe
Ladphrao's latest house of Thai craft beer is a very pretty picture.
The buzz: This earthy cafe-cum-bar in Ladphrao goes for a bit of everything, thanks to six owners with backgrounds as diverse as patisserie chef, architect and beer brewer. Expect sweets and smoothies in the daytime, chill dinner dishes and Thai craft beers after dark.
The decor: The wood and brick venue has a definite a farm-house vibe. The tables, chairs and even pendant lamps feature reclaimed wooden planks, while indoor plants and decorative rice sacks add to the rustic appeal. Curved glass windows let in lots of natural light in the daytime, while a glass plant-house outside grows vegetables that are actually used in the kitchen.
The food: Lots of spicy, Thai twists on pasta and steaks—beware! We like the jumbo-size spaghetti pad khee mao (stir-fried spaghetti with basil, B499) which can serve up to four (there's a single portion, too, at B145). Other picks include black spaghetti with spicy sausage topped with mentaiko (B145) and pork or chicken steak with mushroom or black pepper sauce (B115). For sweets, there's a menu of waffles and toast available all day.
The drinks: Local craft beers are the real highlight. One of the partners is behind Jo+ Beer, a Chiang Khan-based brewer. But now you don’t need to travel all the way to Northeastern Thailand, as Jo+ Beer can be found on four out of the six taps: Wheat 90 hitz (B160), Chocolate Stout (B160), Smells like IPA (B180) and Amber Ale (B160). Currently, the other options are Outlaw’s Blondie pale ale (B160) and Happy New Beer’s Hardcore IPA (B180), but you can expect these to rotate regularly. There's also Asahi on tap, along with imported bottles like Hoegaarden, Hitachino , Corona and Kirin (from B80). Non-alcoholic drinks include smoothies and "mujito" (the teetoal version of the classic mojito, B85)—pick your favorite fruit, from strawberry, passionfruit, lychee or blueberry, and choose whether to mix it with yogurt or mint leaves.