Ekkamai cafe guide
Bangkok is famous for its eclectic cafe scene and notorious for its crazy weekend crowds. From the ever-popular ROAST at theCOMMONS to the well-established After You in Siam Paragon, queues and crowds tourists are to be expected if you intend to cafe-hop.
However, there’s one district yet to be hit by Bangkok’s typical hustle – Ekkamai. This residential area boasts much quieter streets, along with a treasure trove of quirky cafes and vintage shops. Here are 5 out-of-the-ordinary cafes to uncover while exploring Ekkamai’s peaceful laneways:
1. Featherstone Bistro – A fantastical cafe-boutique straight out of Diagon Alley
If you’ve ever wanted to teleport to the world of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, your wish is about to come true. With its timeless facade, the enchanting Featherstone Bistro stands out amongst the shops on Ekkamai 12.
As you push through the swinging wooden doors into Featherstone’s boutique section, reality gets even more blurred. Its lifestyle shop is stocked with all kinds of vintage fashion accessories and trinkets – you’d half-expect an enchanted cloak or wand to come whizzing out at you.
The menu falls right in line with the ambience, with its signature elixir-like drinks accompanied by enigmatic names and descriptions.
The Sparkling Apothecary Wild Gardenia (฿140, ~USD4) comprises of a tall glass filled with fruit-infused ice cubes, along with separate bottles of sparkling soda water and lavender syrup. Pour the soda water in first, before adding the syrup. This violet-hued drink is refreshingly bright and bubbly, with a slight floral hint.
Featherstone’s Cold Brew Ice Cube Latte (฿150, ~USD5) is coffee on a whole new level. This deconstructed drink comes with frozen espresso cubes accompanied by a bottle of chilled milk, which can be sweetened to taste with either liquid brown sugar or simple syrup.
Smooth with deep chocolate notes, and almost no acidity. For the coffee taste to come through much stronger, wait a little for the espresso cubes to melt into the milk.
2. Steps with Theera – Allergy-friendly food for a good cause
Tucked away in the quiet residential area of Ekkamai 10 Alley, Steps with Theera requires a little more hunting down compared to the other cafes. But it’s all worth it. This homely cafe was opened by a lady whose passion for allergy-friendly eats was fuelled by her son, who has both autism and severe gluten allergy.
Theera’s entire menu is whole foods-based and can be customised to suit almost every dietary specification, from paleo to dairy-free. Additionally, the cafe serves as a training centre for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), offering them work experience and a warm community.
The space is cosy, with little touches of greenery here and there. You’ll see an entire wall filled with notes of encouragement from customers to the ASD staff, right beside a colourful mind-map that illustrates the cafe’s philosophy.
Theera’s provides a wide range of non-dairy drink options, including soy milk, oat milk, almond milk and so on.
For a not-so-common non-dairy coffee, try the Iced Latte with Rice Milk (฿110, ~USD3.50). The rice milk adds a subtle creaminess and is less cloying compared to regular milk – allowing the coffee to shine as the star.
That said, it’s the Thai Tea Soy Drink (฿90, ~USD3) that steals the show. Soy milk adds a hint of sweetness to this robust milk tea, which is wonderfully creamy with a clean finish. Unlike with many super sweet Thai milk teas, there’s no sugar added at all, making the smoky Thai tea flavours extra punchy.
For a hearty meal to kickstart the day, the Fish Pie with Sweet Potato Mash (฿225, ~USD7) is a comforting order. The fluffy baked sweet potato layer hides a creamy mix of diced carrots, spinach and soft sweet onions, along with generous chunks of white fish.
Theera’s Banana Protein Pancakes with Greek Yogurt, Almonds and Berries (฿225, ~USD7) is just the thing if you always crave something sweet for breakfast. Golden pancakes, tart Greek yoghurt, buttery slivered almonds, and a homemade strawberry compote so addictive, you’ll be craving for more.
One way to judge an all-day breakfast place is through the quality of their scrambled eggs – and Theera’s passes with flying colours. The Scramble with Sauteed Vegetables and Toast (฿220, ~USD7) was perfectly creamy and well-seasoned, with flecks of herbs visible in the fluffy scrambled egg folds.
Aside from brunch items, Theera’s churns their own dairy-free vegan ice cream, made with either soy or coconut milk. We recommend going for their soy-based Cookie Dough Ice Cream (฿75, ~USD2).
Escape the crowds at Ekkamai
In terms of cafe-hopping opportunities, Ekkamai is the perfect mix of quirky and chill. All these places are situated not more than 10 minutes from each other – so head down with your foodie buddies for a chill brunch sesh!
This post was written by Alicia Teng for TheSmartLocal.com in collaboration with Amazing Thailand.