Desserts are big business in Bangkok. Aside from delicious traditional Thai desserts that can be found everywhere from high-end restaurants to local fresh markets all over the city, there’s a seemingly never-ending choice of dedicated dessert cafés – and east-west-fusion trends that come and go so quickly it can be hard to keep up.
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth during a visit to Bangkok, here’s where to head.
Back in 2007, After You pretty much spearheaded Bangkok’s obsession with dedicated, all-day dessert cafés. The chain now has 24 branches across the Thai capital (and the first upcountry location, in Korat, is on the way), along with a cult following – meaning almost constant queues to even get inside.
After You’s signature dish is based on Japan’s famous Shibuya honey toast (and comes in nine varieties ranging from matcha green tea to cheddar cheese). Meanwhile, the rest of the menu encompasses everything from breakfast pancakes, brownies, fudge and lava cakes, and mille-crêpe, to kakigori Japanese-style shaved-ice desserts (long since widely seen in Thailand as nam keng sai, too).
There’s also an extensive selection of coffees, teas, frapes, and other soft drinks – and the new After You Durian spin-off at Siam Paragon serves nothing but desserts based on the notoriously pungent, love-it-or-hate-it fruit.
This long-running American ice-cream chain can be found in shopping malls just about everywhere in Thailand, and it remains a firm local favourite.
As well as their famous sundaes – often seemingly loaded with more cream and toppings than actual ice cream – there’s also an extensive selection of surprisingly good-quality ice creams available by the scoop, or in quart format to take home (or, even better, have delivered!), plus ice-cream-based cakes for birthdays and the like.
Tucked into a quiet square in Bangkok’s old town of Rattanakosin Island, Nuttaporn is the kind of local ice-cream shop you would neither expect to exist nor likely find yourself by chance.
For over sixty years, this humble little open-air shophouse has been turning out delicious homemade, coconut-milk-based ice cream in locally inspired flavours like mango, coconut, chocolate, Thai tea, and (for the short period it’s in season each year) durian.
Jazz up your frozen delight with traditional Thai toppings like sweetcorn, sticky rice, nuts, and condensed milk – or be extravagant and take a whole tub home.
Daily, 8am-4pm; 94 Phraeng Phutton; 092-889-6768
The likes of mango sticky rice are now famous across the globe, of course, but you can also expect sweets such as kanom krok (coconut rice flour dumplings), crispy condensed-milk-laden pancakes, taco-like soft-meringue-filled kanom buang crepes, and Chinese-influenced bua loy, sweet coconut or ginger broth loaded with sesame dumplings.
While a visit to a local market is a common component of cooking classes across Thailand, The Market Experience from Expique is based right at the heart of Bangkok’s famous 24-hour Pak Khlong Talat flower market. That means the experiences and workshops that we offer are focussed around life at the market, and the culture and society it supports. As well as discovering the produce for sale at the market – which includes not just flowers but also fresh fruit, vegetables and other produce, and even ready-made Thai desserts – you can learn to create your very own Thai dishes back at the cooking studio, including in our dedicated Desserts and Edible Arts workshop and Thai Cooking with a Twist class.
Yodpiman Market (Pak Khlong Talat); 098-398-9214; www.marketexperiences.com
At Expique, we’re experts at showing you the unique parts of Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand that most tours don’t take you to – and which you probably won’t discover on your own.
Our Bangkok Night Lights tuk tuk tour and Evening Food and Tuk Tuk Adventure both give you the chance to sample different Thai desserts, too, while at The Market Experience in Pak Khlong Talat flower market you can get your hands dirty and learn to make floral-inspired Thai sweets yourself!
Joining one of our tours or experiences (or having us create a custom tour for you) is a great way to make the most of your time in Thailand and ensure you leave with a memorable experience.
Are you visiting Bangkok? Take a look at our expert recommendations for:
Where is your favourite place for dessert in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!
Photos by After You; bfishadow; Chris Wotton; Krista; The Market Experience
Want to explore more of Thailand? Contact us about arranging to come on a custom-curated adventure with Expique.