While Sukhumvit soi 11 may be the neighbourhood’s cool, vibrant international hub, with a wealth of slick restaurants, busy bars, and urban late-night clubs, across the big Suk you’ll find its somewhat laid-back cousin, Soi 8.
Soi 8 is a relatively small street, equally as cosmopolitan as any other soi in the area but with a rather warm, local feel to it, and a collection of foreign friendly bars and lazy, laidback evening spots that are well known among local expats and regular visitors to the area. This isn’t the place to head for wild or raunchy fun, instead, here you’ll find a more traditional holiday vibe, with a small number of lounge and terrace style bars and a friendly line up of food hawkers serving plenty of fruit, soups, and fried snacks, day and night.
Whether you are looking for some pre-party drinks before heading off to Nana Plaza and the super-clubs across the main road, or simply looking for a somewhat chilled and romantic alternative to the almost non-stop noisy nightlife elsewhere in the neighbourhood, here is a rundown of some of the Best Bars in Sukhumvit Soi 8:
Every true cosmopolitan soi in Bangkok needs a traditional tavern of its own, a place for locals and tourists to mingle, sharing their Thailand tales whilst catching up on the latest news and gossip from the motherland. The Kiwi Pub is that venue. Here you’ll find a real taste from back home with a very warm, local vibe and friendly atmosphere. There is both beer and cider on tap, a decent menu of traditional pub grub, including a delicious roast on Sundays, and lots of sports coverage and live music in the evenings.
Originally housed under the expressway on Sukhumvit Soi Zero, Det 5 has continued to keep up its cult like following, now existing in a particularly peaceful spot on Soi 8. Det 5 is perhaps best known and loved for its eclectic music tastes ranging from some interesting local bands to the Monday night jam sessions, and a diverse collection of music CDs for other occasions. But most importantly, music here is seen as a backdrop to good conversation, drinking, and dining. The menu is pretty good too, with a mix of Thai and Western dishes, most notable including some Dutch cuisine, while the bar also hosts 4 pool tables, a fussball table, and a dart board.
Monsoon, on the ground floor of the smart Adelphi Suites, is a Mediterranean style bar, so cool and laidback you’ll feel like you are drinking at a popular beach resort. Despite no ocean in sight, the venue is a reasonably big hit with tourists, regularly alive with the sounds of soft chatter and ambient background music. Split between the spacious indoor lounge (popular during the heat of the day), and the terrace seating out front (the place to catch a cool evening breeze), this bar come restaurant has a tasty menu of gourmet burgers and pizzas, as well as a deadly delicious dessert menu.
Part lounge bar, part pizzeria, Via Vai is as a popular for its chilled vibe and gentle lounge acts as it is for their wood-fire oven baked pizzas. It’s not the cheapest venue in the soi but if you’re looking for a relaxed and ultimately romantic bar to wine and dine in, more concerned about the vibe than the budget, this could be your place.
A small, hole-in-the-wall type bar, Viva Taps is certainly not lacking in charm. Open on 2 sides with lounge-like seating, it’s an ideal spot to take in a bit of people watching and feed off the vacation vibe of the street. The tapas menu includes cured hams, spicy pumpkin pancakes, and some wild mushroom quesadillas, though it is a tad on the expensive side (but then all tapas restaurants in Thailand are). The drinks are noticably cheaper than the food with happy hour drinks including large beers and house wines under 100 Baht.
We 4 U
If you’re looking for a people watching perch and want to keep things a little more down-to-earth, We 4 U is Soi 8’s answer to Cheap Charlie’s, offering a very simple brick beer bar located in the centre of the soi, where the name of the game is to simple sit, sip, and stare at the passing foot traffic. Alternatively, they also have an OK pool table.