Hidden gems and food communes at Thapae East Ironwood Complex

Live music, healthy and creative food and fun shops in this arty complex

By | Mon 15 Mar 2021

Empty Bowl – homemade shaved ice cafe
Wednesdays-Mondays 8pm- 12pm

Beat the heat with some homemade shaved ice at Empty Bowl, a dessert and concept store newly opened this month. Formed by a group of shaved ice lovers, the shop prides itself on its fresh ingredients that vary through each season. Their homemade condensed milk is a must-try, and there is plenty of it so you can ask for more! Currently, the dessert cafe offers a menu of six exotic flavours of shaeved ice to choose from; bael, pandan and jasmine mulberry syrups at 55 baht a pop and matcha, strawberry, and butterscotch syrups are at 65 baht each. Each bowl comes with specific toppings to complement each flavour such as lemon jelly, honeycombs, strawberries, or coffee cookies. Bowls are mid-sized and perfect for one serving. In this weather, you will devour your bowl in no time at all.

Inside Empty Bowl, Ease Around

As you eat, you can peruse a selection of goods from a Bangkok-based stationery brand called Ease Around and other knick-knacks like postcards, pins, stickers, and washi tape from other artists as well. Located in the Pop Pop Store across from Barefoot Cafe. Open from noon to 8pm.

The complex, colloquially called Thapae East Ironwood Complex where Empty Bowl sits is also home to six other hidden gems worth visiting:

1) River and Roads

Wednesdays – Mondays: noon-8pm

Shop for second-hand home goods, apparel, and eco-friendly products here. From silver handmade earrings to cards, Japanese imported water bottles, or typewriters…you will never know what you are going to find.

2) Yak Ka Jon – Slow Fish Kitchen

Tuesdays to Sundays: 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm

Located across from Rivers and Roads, this restaurant buys fresh seafood directly from fishing boats down south of Thailand. The lunch and dinner menus vary each day depending on each boat’s catch. It is mostly packed during dinner, so a reservation is recommended. If you want to cook using their fresh ingredients, fish sauce, organic salt, and seafood are sold directly to customers only on Sundays.

3) Thapae East

Wednesdays – Mondays: 7pm-midnight

Closed Tuesdays thapaeeast.com/

After dinner, you can walk a few steps down to enjoy live music at Thapae East, a venue for creatives and music lovers. The lineup can be checked on their website or on Facebook. Some artists featured are Grid Banthaisong, RibbindaSky, Five Forest, King Cobra, the Peter Van Band, Top Bud Brothers, BAIN, and more. It is a great way to end the night.

Barefoot Cafe

4) Barefoot Cafe

Wednesdays – Thursdays: noon-3pm, 5pm-9pm

FB: BareFootCafeChiangMai

Barefood Cafe serves homemade pasta and pizza made right in front of you. They make dishes with organic and local ingredients for lunch and dinner. Cooking classes for pizza and pasta can be booked on Facebook. Reservations for lunch and dinner can also be accessed there.

5) Chapter 2wo

Mondays – Sundays: 6:30am-6pm

Located in the innermost part of the complex, it is easy to spot its red iron and open structure. The rustic atmosphere and unique menu are hard not to miss.

6) Bakanok- Children’s book store

Fridays – Wednesdays: noon-8pm

Closed Thursdays

Nestled between restaurants and cafes is an independent children’s bookstore called Bakanok. The fun books, tote bags, children’s toys and clothes contrast with the white shop, making it easy to be spotted. Bakanok offers many books, from English and Thai for young and curious readers. Don’t forget to ring the doorbell at the side of the shop if you need to call a staff.