If you are looking for some respite from the scorching Bangkok heat after wandering around famous temples, Wat Arun and Wat Pho, look no further than Elefin Coffee on Maha Rat Road. Located directly opposite The Temple of The Reclining Buddha, Elefin is the perfect spot to grab yourself some aircon and recharge the batteries before heading onto the next tourist attraction in the Old City.
The cafe sources its coffee beans from the finest farms in northern Thailand, at a place named Doi Chang (Elephant Mountain) in Chiang Rai. They support the local ethnic communities by buying directly from the farmers, which ensures that they receive the highest price for each coffee harvest. Reading this before we ordered seemed to make the coffee taste even better!
An espresso starts at 70 THB (£1.75 / $2.25) while a bottle of cold brew will set you back 100 THB (£2.50 / $3.20). The cafe also serves Thai snacks at 105 – 140 THB (£2.60 – £3.50 / $3.30 – $4.50), salads 125 – 140 THB (£3.10 – £3.50 / $4.00 – $4.50), as well as a few Western options like sandwiches and toast.
Coffee-wise, we would advise you to go with the latte at 95 THB (£2.40 / $3.05) as the ‘latte art’ is incredible! We got a cat etched into our foam but they also do bears and elephants if you’re lucky. Aside from the fact that you can get cute animals scribbled into your froth, the coffee itself is wonderfully roasted and the texture of the milk is perfect. This is one of the best coffees we’ve tasted in Bangkok.
On to the food and we tried the Gai Tod (fried chicken) – 140 THB (£3.50 / $4.50) with Thai herbs and it was absolutely delicious. The fried chicken here is made from boneless thigh, meaning it stays nice and moist without the hassle of chewing around a bone. It’s served with sticky rice and a Nam Jim Seafood sauce made of chilli, garlic, sugar, lime and fish sauce.
We finished off with Khao Niew Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice) THB 90 (£2.30 / $3.00) which was again, top quality. The rice had just the right amount of sweetness and was well prepared. The mango was juicy and perfectly ripe and the sauce was the right balance of creamy and salty.
Everything at Elefin is well presented and reasonably priced. The staff care so much about what they do here and that really shows in the quality of the coffee and the food. The shop’s interior has a classic Thai but at the same time, modern feel to it; plenty of teak wood and marble but also contemporary art covering the walls.
There is also a lovely guesthouse on site. If you are thinking of staying in the old city, it’s well worth checking out for the price. Click here to view on Booking.com
Here is a map with directions and opening times for the coffee shop:
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