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7 Izakayas to Visit Around Bangkok

Since nothing beats an energetic catch-up with your best buds over a bundle of shared dishes and highballs, these 7 izakayas in Bangkok set the perfect venue for that occasion.

For those unfamiliar—an izakaya is categorised as a chill, laidback Japanese bar with food, snacks, and a variety of drinks for people to enjoy, especially after work. You can find your usual sashimi, grilled meat and vegetables, as well as regional delicacies here. Some places even offer hotpots.

Whether you plan to visit these places on weekdays after work or on a Saturday night, be sure to bring a lot of companion and keep in mind our pro tips for each venue.

[Hero and featured image credit: Zuma Bangkok]

7 Premium Izakayas You Can’t Miss in Bangkok

Ki Izakaya is the perfect blend of the traditional Japanese vibes and the newer, more contemporary atmosphere of modern bars. Located on the ninth floor of the Sindhorn Kempinski, the place provides a wide variety of draft beers, highballs, sakes, and umeshu. Resident Chef Hiroyuki is also very happy to whip you delicacies to go with your drink of choice.

Our tip: Their yakitori is served on a beautiful charcoal brazier which would be perfect for an Instagram story. And if you’re feeling adventurous, their Ume-Cha is made of umeshu, as well as peach blossom tea and rose lemonade.

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An upscale contemporary izakaya restaurant from London, Zuma invites diners to unwind in its vast area inside The St. Regis Bangkok, choosing from either the sushi bar, the open kitchen, or the famous robata grill zone. Since all Zuma dishes are meant to be shared, bring your friends to relish in sumptuous delicacies like Chilean Sea Bass and Green Chili Ginger Dressing, Chicken Wings with Sake, Sea Salt and Lime, and Miso Marinated Black Cod.

Our tip: Visit Zuma on Sunday for a Japanese Sunday brunch that lasts as long as 4 hours. The longest Sunday brunch serves tempura, sashimi, sushi rolls, lamb ribs, salmon fillets, A4 beef and much more.

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A modern American twist on your usual izakaya, Jua specialises in yakitori and cocktails—which is hands-down one of the most agreeable combinations we’ve ever explored. The bar is decorated with a minimalist interior, with the photography of Jason Lang adorning the walls, and the menu is filled with delicious skewers, as well as Japanese-inspired cocktails.

Our tip: Try the shochu negroni. It’s an immaculate combination of kome shochu, a Japanese distilled liquor, and the classic negroni. As Hannah Montana says, it’s the best of both worlds.

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Teppen is a premium izakaya and Japanese BBQ restaurant, specialising mainly in succulent Kagoshima Wagyu beef and sashimi. The must-not-miss items include Teppen Omakase Mini Don, Gokujo Rosu with Wasabi and Truffle Salt as well as Fresh Oysters. With upbeat service and captivating dish presentation, customers can expect more than a quality izakaya but also surprising dance rituals and chanting for added entertainment.

Our tip: Teppen is the perfect place to visit with groups of carnivorous friends. If you’re planning for a birthday surprise, inform the staff in advance so they can prepare a special sing-and-dance show.

Kenji’s Lab describes itself as a “cosy bistro,” and understandably so. The relaxing vibes and the wonderful delicacies at this place will make you miss your time in Japan even if you’ve never been there. Their menu is not exclusively Japanese, but rather a multinational blend of dishes that go along with drinks. Thereby, it’s great if you’re here for your usual snacks, but also perfect if you’re up for some premium ingredients you wouldn’t normally find in an izakaya, such as beef tongue, oyster, and tenderloin. 

Our tip: The food here is honestly great and created with care, so don’t be afraid to try out new things. Begin your evening with some edamame beans and Sapporo beer—suddenly, you’re in Hokkaido.

Speaking of Japanese vibes, this hidden gem, Ma-Ke Inu, is a small, homey bar where you can really feel the love put into the place. The walls and shelves are adorned with the owners’ personal collections of traditional Japanese toys, vinyl records, figurines, movie posters, and more. The menu is loaded with popular homemade dishes, such as donburis, tamago, and yakisoba.

Our tip: The drinks menu may not be as elaborate as other izakayas, but Ma-Ke Inu offers happy hours and discounts on alcoholic drinks very often. If you’re looking for somewhere with good vibes to drink with friends, this place is for you.

One of the most popular izakaya chains of Okinawa has expanded to open its first (and only, so far) branch in Thailand. Roughly translating to “sharp eyes for picking out ingredients,” they sure deliver on the name. The menu is very extensive, with a large selection of shabu-shabu, sashimi, and rice dishes. You can also pair your dishes with one of their flavoured beers, from cola beer to calpis beer.

Our tip: Interestingly, this place offers each Japanese prefecture’s signature dishes. Try the Toro Toro Buta Kakuni, a traditional Okinawan dish made of pork belly braised in dashi, mirin, and soy sauce.

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