Get handsy

Tap into your creative side at craft cafes

From bustling Sukhumvit to the CBD area of Sathon to suburban Charoen Rat, Bangkok has many, "Crafes", our own portmanteau of cafe and crafts, that are tucked away and waiting to be discovered. Apart from their delectable dishes and photogenic corners to step up your social media game, they also offer workshops to pick up new skills. Whether you are a die-hard cafe hopper seeking a new route or someone looking to chill but also learn a new craft, Guru has complied a handy cafe-and-craft guide.

The Kafe' by Mha art & craft

Tucked in between a row of classic shophouses in the quaint neighbourhood of Charoen Rat, renowned for leather goods, stands a cool multi-functional cafe named The Kafe' by Mha art & craft. With eye-catching retro wood furnishings, which offer a colour contrast to the white-based structure, The Kafe's level of chic is easy to make any cafe hopper to go on a photo-taking spree for their Insta. Not that people need much encouragement these days. Coffee geeks may be surprised by the unusual take of their Americano when slurping their Pepsicano (iced Americano with Pepsi, B100) or Orangecano (B120). Right next to the coffee corner is a leather handcrafting studio: MHA Leather Work School, which has been here for generations. They offer leather crafting classes, where you can turn a sheet of premium leather into a variety of bags for the starting price of B4,700 per person.

The Kafe' by Mha art & craft, 75 Charoen Rat 4 / Open daily from 9am-5pm / Visit bit.ly/3AIsl48 or FB.com/MHAArtandCraft.


A Clay Cafe

Tucked away in one of Bangkok's CBD districts you will find an alley of white colonial shophouses. It is among these shophouses on Sathon 8 that A Clay Cafe lies. In front of this three-storeyed building are eye-catching bluish front steps with a see-through French window, showing the cosiness inside of this cafe/pottery house. From a giant counter bar filled with housemade mugs and a coffee machine to wooden shelves displaying ceramic knick-knacks, this place is the quintessence of a homelike cafe. A Clay Cafe offers six private ceramic workshops, such as one-day hand-forming with engobe painting (B2,000 per person), two-day hand-forming with engobe painting (B3,000 per person) and a wheel-throwing class (B2,000 per two-hour with an add-on option for B980 per hour). The highlight is an agateware workshop (B4,500 per person), where you will be taught how to mould colour clay by hand while making marble patterns for an aesthetic touch.

Whether you wait for your masterpieces to be baked or take a short break from an hour of clay moulding, get yourself a cup of coffee (prices begin at B60) or freshly squeezed herb juices (prices begin at B60), paired with their seasonal snacks and cakes. Craving something heavier to please your stomach? Order the Asian-fusion spaghetti: Onion shoyu, Spicy miso or Chilli basil with a selection of meats (prices begin at B125). All can be enjoyed in the indoor eatery or the alfresco dining area surrounded by the concrete jungle that is Bangkok.

A Clay Cafe, 50 Sathon 8 / Open Fri-Wed from 10am-5.30pm / Visit FB.com/aclaycafe.


Stella Art Cafe

Looking for a place to experience traditional Thai craft? Check out the Benjarong ceramic painting class offered by Stella Art Cafe. Nestled in the bustling neighbourhood of Sukhumvit 30, this flashy blue shophouse is one of the exciting craft-and-cafes where you can make a unique painted ceramic plate yourself.

They regularly host a private Benjarong ceramic painting class, with prices ranging from B900 to B1,300, depending on the size and amount of golden inlays. They will walk you through the painting process step by step, starting from drawing patterns, colouring, polishing and finishing with your signature. The fee comes with a lunch box, including a drink and snack. However, the finished product can be picked up later in the week. They also offer an at-home Benjarong painting kit (prices start at B900), which you can send back to the shop for baking, and it will be ready for pick-up a week later.

Stella Art Cafe, 1/27 Sukhumvit 30 / Open Mon-Fri from 10am-6pm and Sat from 11am-2pm / Visit FB.com/StellaArtCafe.


Sané Café & Workshop Studio

Khanom Thai-dedicated cafe Sané Café & Workshop Studio invites all with a sweet tooth to savour an authentic taste of homemade Thai desserts. A whiff of fragrant candle smoke drifts along with the wind, betokening a new batch of yummy goodies ready to be served while inciting people who walk by to make a quick stop to get their sugar fix. The cafe offers a lovely atmosphere with Thai-inspired decors, like traditional Thai wood utensils displayed on a wall, with a standalone white-tile counter bar topped with wooden glass cabinets shelving small bite-sized Thai desserts.

There are more than 15 kinds of homemade sweet treats on offer, plus daily specials like auspicious Thai desserts and a pairing set (B159), all of which are served on Benjarong plates and woven wood trays. Thong ake (B70 for six), Sane chan (B70 for six), Sommanus (B150), and their signature Khanom thuay kai dao (B75 for six) are just a few examples of rare yet affordable Thai desserts that you can enjoy. They also invite foodies to join their private Thai dessert-making class, with rates starting at B2,200 per person. You can check the class schedule on their Facebook page.

Sané Café & Workshop Studio, Itsaraphap Road / Open Tue-Sun from 11am-7pm / Visit FB.com/sane.workshop.


Bigknit Cafe

With an allure of colourful yarns orderly displayed, cafe and knitting store Bigknit Cafe tickles knitters' and cafe hoppers' fancy on Sukhumvit 49. The relaxing and down-to-Earth vibe of this place will make you want to spend an afternoon knitting something nice for yourself or your loved ones. Having gathered more than 5,000 types of yarn and equipment from all over the world, the Bigknit Cafe offers basic knitting and crochet workshops for customers without charge after purchasing their products.

Don't worry if you don't know where to start because their staff, who have been trained by the Japan Knitting Association, are willing to assist you to choose proper needle sizes and yarn that match your preference. They also host advanced workshops such as embroidery, punching needles and weaving classes. You can check for an available seat on their Facebook page. Beyond crafting, the cafe also serves up savoury homemade dishes like River prawn omelette with rice (B185) and Mixed shrimp paste fried rice (B250), and some sweets like Coconut cake (B165).

Bigknit Cafe, 1st/Floor, RQMall, Sukhumvit 49 / Open daily from 9am-9pm / Visit FB.com/bigknit.


Fun Café Bangkok

The modern-looking building, where Fun Café is, stands out among the classic shophouses when you are on Mahaphruttharam Road. It may look like a typical renovated building in the old neighbourhood of Hua Lamphong but its giant wood door serves as an interstice, separating reality from the realm of imagination. Once you enter the house of Fun, be ready to be amazed by its ethereal all-white interiors, intended as a blank canvas waiting for cafe hoppers to splash their colours of liveliness on. This double-height eatery is decked out in minimalist decor, under the "Daydream" theme, with a flat disco ball hanging on the wall that offers a photogenic spot for all Instagrammers.

The name is derived from the Thai word for dream, which also can be interpreted as "Fun" in English. A must-try is the Fun Signature Canvas Cake (B145), which is a layered cake composed of lime, passion fruit and strawberry. If that doesn't catch your fancy, try the Dunking Fun Canvas Cake (B145), a chocolate cake served with a paintbrush and food-colour palette. Yes, you read it right! These sweet treats are layered cakes with a smooth white surface, a canvas for you to paint before getting your sugar fix. So while the cafe doesn't offer workshops, you can still learn how to paint a cake. If you're looking for caffeinated drinks to keep you focused while painting, order their Coffee or Tea ahhhhhhhhh…honey! (B120). You're encouraged to order them using the right tone as denoted by the exclamation mark.

Fun Café Bangkok, 419 Mahaphruttharam Road / Open Wed-Mon from 10am-10pm / Visit FB.com/funcafebangkok.

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