Turn to Thai desserts, we say. They’re often lower-calorie, delicious, and derive their sweet factor from natural ingredients such as coconut milk, sticky rice and tropical fruits. In Bangkok, there are plenty of cafes serving such sweets — from classic mango sticky rice to bowls of colorful bua loi rice balls — as well as afternoon tea sets that pair traditional teas with Thai desserts.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite Thai dessert cafes in and around Bangkok.
Housed in a 106-year-old wooden house near the Giant Swing, Gingerbread House is a cafe that opened just this past January (the launch of which was the first time the heritage building had ever opened its doors to the public). Inside the cafe, the menu not only offers coffee and citrusy soda, but also a selection of traditional sweets, which get plated in an ornate golden bronze tray. It’s a nod to the venue’s long history, which traces back to the reign of King Rama VI. Other highlights on the menu are the Thai tea ice-cream with black jelly and bua loi rice balls topped with pandan-flavored ice cream and foi thong (golden egg yolk threads).
FIND IT: 47, Dinso Rd, Sao Chingcha, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Only a few steps off of BTS Ari is this tea parlor that offers an afternoon tea set paired with traditional Thai desserts. Cafe-hoppers can pick any tea among a selection of over 40 types to go with their favorite sweet dishes, which include creamy coconut puddings and flower-shaped Thai shortbread cookies (THB49 per dish / THB290 per set). To cool down on a hot day, you can also consider getting a cup of coconut ice-cream topped with banana slices in sweet syrup (THB89).
FIND IT: Soi Ari 1, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok
Located on the fourth floor of megamall Iconsiam, Cher Cheeva serves must-try sweet delicacies made from recipes that have been passed through the generations. Popular items on the menu here include khanom phra pai (flour dumplings stuffed with sweetened mung bean) and coconut ice-cream served with black sticky rice and mango. A group of friends or families can order the Nimman Noradee, a luxury afternoon tea set that comes with nearly a dozen types of mixed desserts (including the beloved mango sticky rice).
FIND IT: 4th floor of Iconsiam, Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong Ton Sai, Khlong San, Bangkok
Surrounded by lush gardens and a koi pond, Baan Dok Pud serves traditional Thai desserts as well as a variety of refreshing homemade ice cream flavors. Other offerings on the menu include khanom piak poon (pandan sweet pudding), pla krim khai tao (sweet rice noodles with coconut cream) and glutinous rice balls on sticks.
FIND IT: Ladprao 48, Yak 28-16 Samson-Nork, Huai Khwang, Bangkok
If you’re at the weekend outdoor market Chatuchak and want something for a treat, then we’d suggest heading to this small cafe next to MRT Khamphaeng Phet. Wantong Cafe, named after a character in Thai folklore, serves contemporary Thai-inspired desserts made in-house. The signatures include Kaya (THB120), custard tart filled with whole-wheat bread and meringue topped with foi thong, and Nila riceberry cake (THB95).
FIND IT: Chatuchak Market, Section 26 Soi 1/4 (near MRT Khamphaeng Phet) Chatuchak, Bangkok
Owned by fashion designer Thongyoy Phaesuwan, this cafe located in the Ari neighborhood attracts hip crowds looking to satisfy their sweet tooth and snap some shots to feed their Instagram habits. The desserts are served on golden-colored plates (so regal). One of the highlights is the Tea Set (THB150), a kettle of hot tea paired with a choice of Thai desserts such as khanom tom (Thai coconut balls) and khanom chan (pandan layered cake).
FIND IT: 88/2, Rama 6 Rd, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok
Sitting inside Yindee Hostel in the Silom area, this small cafe specializes in homemade lava cakes featuring Thai ingredients. We like the blue butterfly pea lava cake with young coconut (mini size for THB120), the milk tea lava cake with caramel tapioca balls (mini size for THB120) and the foi thong lava cake with young coconut sauce (THB380 per pound).
FIND IT: Silom 10 Alley, Suriya Wong, Bang Rak, Bangkok
MORE BANGKOK FOOD & DRINK:
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