Neighbourhood Guide: Ari
Numthong Gallery. Ari's hippest gallery showcases some of Thailand's most visionary contemporary artists. Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Vasan Sittikhet – well-known in the local modern art world – mingle with budding newcomers.
Vick’s Weekend. Thai designer Vickteerut’s flagship is as quirky-yet-accessible as his sleek womenswear designs. Besides seasonal basics evoking his boho-trademark "I woke up like this” via Glasto vibe, he offers collections such as "Happy Farm" (hipster Amish) and "Vick's Base Camp" (grown-up Girl Scout), plus sleep- and swimwear.
Salt. Opened a few years ago to instant popularity, Salt struck a chord with Thais drawn to its industrial aesthetic, Italian-Japanese menu, and glam clientele. Today, it’s a fixture on the Ari food scene, with queues to nab a seat inside Salt's glass-and-concrete dining cube. Skew towards the Mediterranean-inflected specials like pizza, arguably the best in town.
Or for a dash of local flavour, hit up Baan Pueng Chom. A hideaway for in-the-know Thai foodies, it offers respite from the area’s glossy enclaves. The menu rotates, but find stomach space for the glass vermicelli salad "pad sam men" (with three smells), and stir-fried shrimp with cowslip creeper blossoms. Prices are crazy affordable. Enquire about the specials or risk missing out.
Aree Bar. Owned by the family behind culinary institution Salt, hot nightspot Aree Bar draws the same chic, hi-so crowds, but boasts a more laid-back, "local" feel conveying a sense of "Thainess". Think wood and brick accents, bottles of whiskey, a casual Thai "tapas" menu and a live band. The food just outshines the drinks – go for the fried chicken.
Numthong Gallery / 72/3 Ari Soi 5 / +66 2 617 2794 / 11am-6pm Mon-Sat / gallerynumthong.com
Vick’s Weekend / Ari Soi 2 / +66 2 279 1260 / 10.30am-8.30pm daily / vicksweekend.com
Salt / Ari Soi 4 / +66 2 619 6886 / 5pm-midnight daily / see also teeny hole-in-the-wall sis Salt Smoke for juicy burgers / saltbangkok.com
Baan Pueng Chom / Phahon Yothin Soi 7 / +66 2 271 2206 / lunch & dinner daily / facebook.com
Aree Bar / Ari Soi 4 / +66 87 511 4466 / 6pm-1am Tue-Sun