Definitely not your run of the mill coffee joints
In recent years, a wave of cafés opted for the ubiquitous “minimalist industrial-chic” style setting to appease the coffee-crazy crowds of Bangkok. But there are some that took an alternative approach to draw in customers, offering unique—and highly Instagramable—experiences rather than just a quick cup of joe. From cute and cuddly animal cafés, to magical creature themed, to everything durian, Bangkok’s café scene has something for everyone. We’ve run down five of the city’s quirkiest cafés to try on your next coffee outing. Some weird, some wacky, and some wonderful; perfect to visit when you have guests in town, or even just for a change of (colourful) scenery.
Situated right on the corner of Sathorn Soi 8 and Silom Soi 3, with a giant winged unicorn statue at the entrance and a rainbow coloured exterior, the Unicorn Café is pretty hard to miss. The inside is just as colourful as the exterior, with unicorn wallpaper, unicorn carpeting, more unicorn statues, powder blue and pink furniture, and unicorn dolls and toys scattered everywhere—even hanging from the ceiling. Unicorn onesies are also available to rent during your visit (B100), or to buy (B1,200).
The menu too features a number of colourful, unicorn-themed dishes, including Unicorn Rainbow Toast (B190), pastel-coloured Unicorn Waffles (B190), a Unicorn Chocolate Brownie à la Mode (B170), rainbow-coloured Spaghetti Carbonara (B200), and Unicorn Rainbow Cheeseburgers (B250) served with French fry horns. A range of rainbow cakes, frappes, sodas, and hot and cold coffees are also available.
The Unicorn Café opened in 2013 and due to its popularity has since doubled in size. In 2016, it even made headlines across the world and was featured on Cosmopolitan’s website. You can visit for yourself any Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 8pm.
After You Durian
Sitting alongside the ever-popular After You café, on the ground floor of Siam Paragon (Rama 1 Rd), After You Durian adds the king of tropical fruit to its much loved signature dishes. Nestled in an enclosed partition—to help control the pungent smell and not bother non-durian eaters—this quirky café serves up a durian packed menu including Durian Sticky Rice Honey Toast (B285 without sticky rice/B325 with sticky rice) and Kakigori (B345) filled with fresh durian and sticky rice and topped with a durian and coconut cream and durian flavoured ice cream.
Or for something a little less intense, opt for the Durian Crumbstick (B95), a durian-shaped ice cream on a stick, or a Durian Frappe (B145). The café is open daily from 10am to 10:30pm.
Mermaid Castle Siam
The brainchild of Yuri Kuliga, the recently opened Mermaid Castle Siam in Siam Square is the newest, and much bigger version of the Mermaid Island Café, located in Rangsit. Earlier this year, news of the original café was reported on PopSugar and soon went viral, making headlines on Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and Elite Daily. To keep up with popular demand, the Castle opened in August in a four-storey building in Siam Square (Siam Square Soi 2), with the café being housed on the 4th floor and the first three floors dedicated to shopping all things mermaid—swimsuits, clothing, accessories, phone cases, shoes, handbags, make up, the works.
Upstairs at the café, the drinks menu boasts colourful frozen drinks topped with whipped cream and an edible mermaid’s tail. Rainbow-coloured waffles, oyster shaped desserts, and mermaid tail-topped cupcakes are also available, but the castle’s Signature Set (B590) offers a bit of everything and is perfect for sharing. Offering either a waffle or two slices of cake, two cupcakes, two oyster shaped desserts, plus tea or hot chocolate served in a Beauty and the Beast’s Mrs Potts and Chip Cup, or Aladdin’s Genie tea set (technically not from The Little Mermaid but we’ll let it slide). For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, savoury and Thai dishes are also available.
Mermaid tales and your favourite Under The Sea plush friends are placed at each table—making all your mermaid dreams come true. Opening times are daily from 11:30am to 9pm.
The Animal Café
Bangkok has its fair share of pet cafés; from various breeds of dogs, to cats, and even rabbits. But for the more exotic inclined, The Animal Café at La Raffles community mall on Soi Sathupradit 19 offers one-on-one time with owls, chinchillas, foxes, raccoons, caracals, serval cats, as well as several domestic breeds of cute and cuddly cats and kittens.
The entry fee is B200 per person and B100 per child, which can be used as credit to purchase food and drinks inside. The venue itself is split across two floors; the ground floor hosts the owlery and café, while upstairs is a restaurant and animal playroom area. The café’s menu features several desserts, Italian sodas, coffees, and smoothies, while the restaurant offers full meals such as beef burgers and steaks—best to keep an eye on your food around the animals. Open daily from 11am to 10pm.
KC Selfie Coffee
Forget conventional foam art, KC Selfie Coffee situated along Siam Gypsy Walking Street, now offers coffee topped with your face! A first in Thailand, the café uses an imported printer from the US, and food colouring for ink, to print images onto cream-topped hot or cold drinks. Simply send them a selfie or any picture of your choice to their Line account.
The selfie coffee menu features hot, iced, and frappe drinks starting from B50, and for an extra B35 you can have a selfie printed on your coffee. Other drinks include Italian sodas, hot teas, and slow drip coffees. Thai and Western comfort food, as well as café favourites like honey toast and cakes are also available to enjoy with your selfie art. Open daily from 10am to 10pm.
By Kelly Harvey