Above popular Thai resto Khao San Road, is one of the best hidden gems in the city.
Bang Sue – named after a major train station hub – is a Thai bar with phenomenal food, drinks, folks and atmosphere. You’ll never want to leave.
When one of the signature items is fried chicken and it’s one of the only bars to offer dessert – Death By Roti, no less – you know you’re in the right place.
While Chef Top Srisomphan of Khao San Road oversees the kitchen, the menu upstairs is completely different than downstairs.
From crispy vegan spring rolls ($6) and Bangkok Caramel Corn ($5) to oysters ($16) done Thai style, the offerings are fun and lively, and can be either snacks or meals – your choice.
Not wanting to be defined by Thai cocktails, there are mere hints at Thai flavours and spices in these fresh, vibrant sippers.
And prices are fantastic – the handcrafted Thai Caesar (called “Hangover Cure #1”) is $8, and was created by Greg Moar, one of their great bartenders and current Clamato Caesar world champion!
For those wanted brews, you’ve come to the right place – there’s 17 really unique draft taps featuring only local (Toronto and Ontario mostly, with a few from across the country) breweries such as Hal and Blood Bros. The crew created the round up in collab with Prud’homme Certified beer consultant, Maarten Nederhof.
And since there’s no draft beer served in the restaurant downstairs, you’ll want to come upstairs for a pint.
You just found your new local.
Fixtures & Fittings
The cozy, sexy space has a decidedly vacay/resort feel, so don’t be surprised if you get on up to the reggae or ’80s and ’90s hip-hop playing.
The tiki-esque bar adds to the laid-back vibe.
Off the Menu
Bang Sue Special ($12) The not-overly-sweet sipper of Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum, coconut crème and Thai chili syrup delivers a lot of heat of the back end.
Famous Friends ($10) Take your palate on a fascinating journey with the bold, yet never overpowering, spices of chai tea syrup and ginger beer, that mix and mingle with Olmeca Altos Tequila and cucumber.
Louis C. K. ($16) The smokey, gingery (a nod to the comedian’s locks) concoction boasting Leyenda Mezcal and Ancho Reyes feature a slight heat thanks to Thai chili tincture and ginger syrup – an ideal remedy on a sweltering day.
Mango Salad (sm $5, lg $9)The traditional Thai refresher of green mango, red pepper and long leaf gets a modern twist thanks to the Thai sauce made with fish sauce, chili and cilantro. And like everything here, it’s made to order, not sitting in a big batch somewhere.
Streetside Skewers (choice of chicken satay/chicken hearts/grilled pork $3 ea., shrimp $4 ea.) This popular snack, found piled into high pyramids on the streets of Bangkok, is a great drinking companion, no matter which you kind you choose. Moist meat gets a smoky char finish.
Sriracha Fried Chicken ($13 – Mealshare item) Thai Sriracha is very different than the red rooster we know and love. It imbues a smokiness to the crunchy, crispy boneless chicken thigh. It’s spicy (hello chilies) with a herbaceous touch (Thai basil) and the remoulade is as addictive as the chicken itself. And it’s cut into pieces, making it easier to share.
Death by Roti (milk $6, banana $7, special $8 – Mealshare item) I can’t tell you what’s in the special one (it’s a secret) but does it get any better than a sweet roti to finish the night?
The bar seats 50, and can be booked for up to 80 guests.
At the Stove: Chef Top Srisomphan
At the Bar: GM Johnny Kountouri
Head Honcho: Monte Wan
Map it: 2nd Floor 11 Charlotte St. (King and Spadina)
Visiting Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 5 pm to 2 am
Email it in: Bang Sue prefers emails over phone – firstname.lastname@example.org
How Cool is This?! This is one of the few bars in the city that offers Mealshare items (when purchasing a Mealshare item, one meal is provided to a youth in need). Khao San Road was one of the first partners with the non-profit organization.
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