Who needs friends when you've got good booze?

Changwon Express at Flow House 


Why: A beer bar perched above an urban surf park may not immediately strike you as the place to drink on your lonesome, but Changwon Express starts pouring glasses from 3pm, which is the perfect time to curl up with a book on the terrace while catching some rays—just like being on holiday at the beach. The wipeouts below provide constant amusement, too.  
The drinks: 20 out of the 30 taps are devoted to Thai craft brews. Try the owner’s refreshing Asoke Pale Ale (B200/330ml).
A-Square 26, 120/1 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 095-445-1465. Open daily 5pm-midnight

 


Coastal 


Why: Set in the peaceful front garden of the Thai restaurant Kram on the back streets of Sukhumvit Soi 39, Coastal lets you laze on the grass like it’s your own mini park. Find a patch of turf, order some refreshments and forget about the world. (You can also order Kram’s delicious Thai food and Sarnies’ coffee while you’re there.)
The drinks: Coastal used to be solely a tiki cocktail bar but now they’ve added craft beer to the menu. All cocktails are priced at B280 but if you’re going to start drinking at 3pm, we suggest the Fresh Squeezed IPA (B380).
113 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 098-253-9356. Open Mon-Fri 6pm-midnight; Sat-Sun 3pm-midnight

 


Duke


Why: This Gaysorn gem opens early from 11am but what really sets it apart is the in-bar art gallery devoted to Thai talents. On a quiet day, you can just pop by to check out works by Kriangkrai Kongkhanun and Sarakin Krue-On, glass of whiskey in hand. They’ve got art books for sale, too.
The drinks: Duke offers one of the biggest whiskey selections in Bangkok, with the list divided by region. One must-try is Michel Couvreur’s Clearach (B690/shot; B8,600/bottle), a French single malt whiskey aged in French cherry wood barrels for a sweet and flowery aroma.
1/F, Gaysorn Village, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 080-587-9520. Open daily 11am-midnight

 


Kangkao


Why: This clandestine Old Town wine bar, tucked above Brown Sugar and below Ku Bar, is so hidden your friends won’t be able to track you down. Though it’s a little bit dark for reading, you can order up a glass (or bottle—why not?) while gazing out the window at the street scene and letting your thoughts run wild.
The drinks: Dedicated to everything natural wine, the list changes from week to week. Prices tend to hover around B1,500-2,600 by the bottle and B300-380 by the glass. For a red, the Domaine Roche-Audran Côtes du Rhone 2015 (B320/glass) is so delicious that you’ll want to stick with it all night.
2/F, 469 Phra Sumen Rd., 02-067-6731. Open Wed-Sun 6pm-midnight

 


Riedel


Why: One of the perks of being located in a shopping mall, Riedel opens its doors to wine connoisseurs from 11am. The small, outdoor terrace boasts front-row views of CentralWorld and the general hubbub of Ratchadamri Road. When not overtaken by smokers, it’s a great spot in which to squeeze into a corner and watch daily life go by.
The drinks: One of Bangkok’s fanciest wine bars, they stock over 40 labels by the glass thanks to the use of state-of-the-art wine dispensers. Get the 2011 Produttori Del Barbaresco Asili Piedmont Italy for B780.
2/F, Gaysorn, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-656-1133. Open daily 11am-midnight

 


Salon Du Japonisant


Why: From the outside, this corner shop-house has all the old-world charm of your Japanese friend’s home. Don’t be intimidated by the unmarked door (for bearings, look for the neighboring Hanakaruta)—inside, the dramatic lighting and wall bearing a parade of labels provide a setting in which to lose yourself. Prepare to be mesmerized by the bartender Kei Sawada’s next-level cocktail techniques.
The drinks: Classics with a twist, made with Japanese precision and delicacy. Get their gin and tonic (B380), which features Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin, a drop of elderflower syrup, Fever Tree elderflower tonic, soda water and an olfactory bouquet of six herbs as the garnish. Kei begins his G&Ts with a “Japanese style of cooling the glass”—essentially, ice and water first and a quick stir before any of the heavy-duty stuff is added.
36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 083-019-9062. Open Mon-Sat 6:30pm-midnight