Bangkok's Drink Craze
Bangkokians love their drink-able snacks: bubble tea, fresh fruit juice, coffee, and various alcoholic beverages later in the evening. Wherever you go, it's nearly impossible to avoid a drink stand and soon enough, you'll certainly hop on the bandwagon.
Dozens of vendors are freestanding and independant, so you'll just have to scope out their operation to determine quality. Likewise, various recognizable brands will pop up throughout the city. Here are a few favorites to look out for:
Mr. Cup T is one of the many brands around the city that sells bubble tea, known for the round, jelly-like balls at the bottom of any given drink, sipped through a wide straw. Traditional black tea with milk and sugar is popular but every bubble tea stand has dozens of flavors, taro and local fruits especially are local favorites.
Fresh-squeezed juices are not hard to come by in Bangkok. Regional favorites include the deep red pomegranate and pineapple, but the all-time best - as kitschy as it sounds - is a straw inside a coconut. Stands around the city have stacks of coconuts ready for consumption, and vendors will chop the top off in front of your eyes. Opt for the smaller, brownish coconuts, which have smoother meat that peels out of the shell easily. Other vendors sell coconut water in plastic bags with meat that cost around 20 THB.
Caffeine addicts will be glad to know that coffee in Bangkok is not hard to come by. Street vendors make coffee to go on the spot. Yet a highbrow brewing culture exists, too, for those who want more thought put into their cup. Coffee Break @ Library has three locations and brews its coffee on-site. Ceresia Coffee Roasters is an artisanal specialty must for any coffee lover. With one location, Ceresia focuses on seasonal coffees from around the world, brewing small batches on-site.
Booze are always on the menu, particularly when it comes to the city's vibrant nightlife. As a major importer of international products, a selection of hard liquors from around the world are readily available. Singha and Chang are local favorite beers, which are higher in alcohol content than others (around 6%), so beware of what locals expats call a "Chang-over" the next day.