Ahh, Bangkok, with your to-die-for desserts you are really spoiling us. Sweet-toothed families in the Thai capital should get ready for some serious sugar rushing – and some serious camera-snapping too. Bangkokians take their sweet stuff seriously, and the appeal goes way beyond merely tasting good – appearance is everything here, and that extends to that sugary confection you’re about to spoon into your mouth.
Some Bangkok desserts have made international news – the insanely huge ice cream feasts at Mo and Moshi – for one, but there are plenty of places where you and the family can tuck into those sweet treats without joining a huge queue of guidebook-wielding tourists. Whether you’re all about the ice cream or planning a treat for a unicorn-loving tot, our carefully-curated list shows you where to get your spoon into those damn fine desserts in kid-friendly settings.
The secret one: Floral Cafe
Bangkok’s vast, sweetly-scented Flower Market in Pak Klong Talad is a tourist attraction in its own right, but only a few visitors know that there’s a gorgeous little cafe hidden among the fragrant flora. Floral Cafe is accessed by a hidden flight of stairs behind Napasorn florist, and once your inside, you might find it hard to leave. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling, immaculate flower arrangements and bright blooms sit on every available surface, and the cakes and coffee are some of the best in town. The homemade cakes (from 150 baht) impress with their size and intricate icing details, and they pass the taste test too, while the frappes are heaven on a hot day. You’ll find the cafe at 67 Chakphet Road – it’s worth combining with a visit to the Flower Market.
The not-too-sickly-sweet one: Mori Dessert Bar
This is one of relatively few places in Bangkok that caters equally well to kids looking for crazily-coloured explosions of sugar, and grown-ups looking for more serious desserts. Alongside a collection of cakes fashioned into cartoon characters, and a famous range of hyper-colored milkshakes that see brightly-colored slabs of cake perched atop the shake itself (along with lollipops for good measure); there are more subtle creations such as strawberry mille feuille (180 baht) and some excellent matcha. If you’re lucky enough to visit around the turn of the year, try the Hanabira – a traditional flower blossom sweet, here made with sakura. A serious patisserie that’s also great fun for kids, this one’s a win-win.
♥ Tip: Need extra cash for your trip to cake heaven? You’re never far from an ATM in Bangkok, and most will accept all standard international cards. One word to the wise, though – the cash comes out before the card, so don’t walk off with your money and leave the card behind (doh!).
The Cuddly One: Hungry Bear Pancakes
If your little cubs’ energy levels start dropping mid-shop at Siam Paragon, treat them to a meal at this super-cute cafe. Pancakes come in all manner of guises – both sweet and savory, from 130 baht, add an extra 15 baht for DIY toppings). There’s even an opportunity to set up a teddy bears’ picnic on the artificial grass, if you get here outside the busy lunch times.
The super-chic one: Sretsis Parlor
Foodie fashionistas, step this way. This beyond-fancy tea room is the latest venture from chic Thai fashion label Sisters (yes, Stretsis is the label name backwards…) and is an intimate, immaculately-appointed ‘living room’ that looks like something straight from the pages of a style magazine. It’s a surprisingly family-friendly space (although you’ll want to come nicely dressed and tell the kids to mind their manners if they want to get their paws on those super-sweet desserts). The grownups can sip tea from bone china (or Champagne from a crystal flute), and the signature cakes (from 250 baht) are decorated with tiny frosted flowers that look (almost) too good to eat. Stretsis Parlour has a suitably grand address: It’s located on level two of Bangkok’s Central Embassy.
∴ Boxout: Candy Colored Cabs. Yep, everything from the cakes to the cabs comes brighter than bright in Bangkok. What’s up with the colorful cabs? It’s really as simple as denoting which cabs belong to which firm (like the locals, you might soon find yourself picking a favorite color ‘team’ during your stay.
The cuddly animal one: Caturday Cat Cafe
Feline-loving families can’t go wrong at this kiddie-pleasing spot, where friendly moggies wind their way around diners’ feet as they sit among colorful scatter cushions and tuck into seriously good desserts such as a rainbow crepe cake, chocolate shock cheesecake, and a deliciously gooey chocolate cake with ice cream. At around 140 baht a pop, desserts here won’t blow the budget, and simply flicking through the menu (set out like a photo album) and the ‘hall of fame’ of cat portraits on the wall is a fun activity in itself.
The Whimsical One: Perhaps Rabbits’
Just on the right side of twee, this Alice-inspired cafe remains pleasingly under-the-radar. With astonishing attention to detail, the owners have created an enchanting space where kids and parents can enjoy Mad Hatter-style tea parties, complete with colorful tea sets, dainty sandwiches and the most intricately-decorated cakes imaginable (made fresh each day at Perhaps Rabbits’ own bakery, just down the road). It can be tough deciding between so many super-sweet confections, but chocoholics can’t go wrong with the Rabbit Hole mud cake, which is rich in both chocolate and caramel, and comes decorated with cute icing bunnies.
The famous one: Unicorn Cafe
Want to feel like you’re having a tea party inside a sherbert-fueled fever dream? Even if you’ve never entertained the idea of tucking into brightly-hued layer cakes while keeping company with a whole host of My Little Ponies, chances are that at least one of your kids has. At Unicorn Cafe, everything is bubble gum bright – even the spaghetti – but it’s the rainbow-colored cakes that will have excitable kiddies fizzing with delight. Sink into a fluffy pastel-colored armchair and try to resist calls to throw on a unicorn costume for a photoshoot with the family. Tasteful it’s not, but a visit to this place will be a literal dream come true for many an excitable pre-teen. Unicorn Cafe is at 8 Sothorn, around 10 minutes’ walk from BTS Chongnosi