The crown jewel atop the champagne tower that was the 2023 Bangkok Bar Show was the inaugural Thailand’s 20 Best Bars ceremony last night. Seated amongst the glitz, the glam, and the cocktail glasses, we attended the official gala dinner for the unveil of the first-ever ranking. Here’s what went down.
Hosted at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club to the backdrop of the infamous Henri Dunand horse-racing track, the awards ceremony for Thailand’s 20 Best Bars 2023 took place in the heart of the city last night. Following 3 days of events and build-up, Thailand’s 20 Best Bars 2023 marks the grand finale to the Bangkok Bar Show 2023. It is the first time the city sees a ranking as such, and the night set a promising stage for years to come.
[Hero and Featured Image Credit: Thailand’s 20 Best Bars]
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Bangkok Bar Show unveils Thailand’s 20 Best Bars 2023
Suvarnabhumi Airport had a busy last few days, in part perhaps as bar industry greats from the region and from across the globe landed in Bangkok for the Bangkok Bar Show 2023. Between an opening party last Thursday and a gala dinner last night, the Bar Show features a unique mix of trade show, seminars, guest shifts, parties, and now, a special awards ceremony.
Aiming to shed a spotlight on Thailand as a rising cocktail destination in Asia and in the world, Thailand’s 20 Best Bars 2023 honours the best bars, teams, and individuals in the industry. Whilst other awards follow a similar format for rankings across the region, it is the first time a listing of this caliber is published for Thailand at this level, and it is inarguably the largest celebration of Thailand cocktail culture in the country.
Thailand’s 20 Best Bars 2023
In hardly any surprise, BKK Social Club took the top spot as not only the best bar in Bangkok, but the best hotel bar in Thailand, and the best bar in Thailand in 2023. It is followed by industry favourites Vesper and Tropic City in second and third place respectively.
In total, the list sees 19 bars from Bangkok, and two from Chiang Mai, resulting in 21 bars in total. Not a mathematical error but rather a marker of fairness, this is due to Bangkok’s Ku Bar and Chiang Mai’s Bitter Truth being tied on points.
The full list for Thailand’s 20 Best Bars 2023 can be found below:
BKK Social Club, Bangkok
Tropic City, Bangkok
Asia Today, Bangkok
Bar Us, Bangkok
Eat Me, Bangkok
The Loft, Bangkok
Bar Scofflaw, Bangkok
Midlife Crisis, Bangkok
Teens of Thailand, Bangkok
Rabbit Hole, Bangkok
Villa Frantzen Cocktail Bar, Bangkok
White Rabbit, Chiang Mai
Messenger Service Bar, Bangkok
Ku Bar, Bangkok and Bitter Truth Bar, Chiang Mai (tie)
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Beyond the 1-20 ranking, a number of special awards were also presented to notable individuals and bars. These honoured important attributes to the bar experience, be it bar or menu design, as well as service and hospitality. Special awards were given out as follows:
Best Cocktail Bar in Thailand: BKK Social Club
Best Cocktail Bar in Bangkok: BKK Social Club
Best Cocktail Bar in Chiang Mai: White Rabbit
Best Cocktail Bar in Phuket/Samui: Suvarn Bar (Samui)
Bartender of the Year: Ronnaporn ‘Neung’ Kanivichaporn, Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar
Emerging Bartender of the Year: Chayanuch ‘Ning’ Yoduswan, BKK Social Club
Hotel Bar of the Year: BKK Social Club
New Bar of the Year: Bar US
Restaurant Bar of the Year: Eat Me
Bar Team of the Year: Vesper
Art of Hospitality Award: BKK Social Club
Menu Design of the Year: Rabbit Hole
The ranking and the special awards are voted on by a strong academy of over 50 members, let by academy chairs Chanond Purananda and Lisa Gries. The academy consists of industry experts, media, and discerning consumers.
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About Bangkok Bar Show
The Bangkok Bar Show was established in 2019 by industry heavyweights Niks Anuman-Rajadhon and Colin Chia. After a short Covid-19 hiatus, the show returned last year with a new home inside Henri Dunant Hall, at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. This year marks the first time that Bangkok Bar Show also hosts the Thailand’s 20 Best Bars awards ceremony.
In 2023, the Bangkok Bar Show took place from 3-5 November, with a record attendance of over 2000 visitors. Over the three days, there were also 11 seminars, 15 bar takeovers, and special activations by over 35 different beverage brands.
Find out more at Bangkok Bar Show.
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