The other week I headed up to Nhong Khai for a few days to get a bit of chill time along the Mekong River. Whenever travelling and arriving at my new or next destination, one of the first things I do is quick local search for cafes and ‘coffee shops near me’. 

Although this was probably the 4th or 5th visit to Nhong Khai, I was still keen to do my routine cafe search in the hope of finding some new treasures that weren’t around on my previous visit.

The first search for “cafes” on my phone filled my google map (of NongKhai) with red markers all over the place and most of them were names and places I hadn’t heard of before, and certainly hadn’t visited before, so it looks like NhongKhais cafe scene has had a bit of a boost since my last visit.

There were at least 6 new cafes which I’d not seen on my last visit, and they looked to be pretty popular with the local and tourists, and the photos on Facebook and other social media, ther coffee looked pretty good too.

So although I couldn’t cover all the coffee shops and cafe’s in Nong Khai in my short trip here, I thought I’d share what I thought were some of the best cafe’s in Nong Khai from the one’s I was able to visit.

ABC.D CafexGrill : Specialty Coffee

With a name like this, this cafe stood out instantly on my first cafe search, and went down as first on my list of cafes to visit. The other reason this one made top of the list was because of it’s convenient location being quite close to the hotel I was staying at for the first night.

Although the name (with “Specialty Coffee”) grabbed my attention, a specialty coffee shop isn’t always a “specialty coffee” for me. For example, pour-over coffee is very popular with specialty coffee shops, and not all of them have a milk coffee like a cappuccino or latte, rather they serve only pour over coffee or cold brews. To get the true taste of a specialty coffee you’re probably better to have it straight up to get the true flavour…without the interference of milk or creams. But for me, I like milk with my coffee most of the time, so a “specialty coffee” place might not always be so “special” if there’s no milk coffee’s on the menu.

Well this place has it all!

The place is a little disceving when viewing it from the outside as it looks like quite a large building and so you’re expecting a huge dining/seating area once you walk in the cafe, however it’s actually quite cute and cozy more than large and spacious. There’s a downstairs area that seats around 10 people and upstairs area with a few different rooms that in total would seat around 20 people. There’s also a large outdoor area at the front of the cafe which would also seat another 15-20 people. I never saw this area being occupied while I was there as it’s not very well shaded, and so when it’s hot (that’s 364 days a year), it’s not to comfortable.

There’s a good range to choose from at ABC.D CafexGrill from both their drinks and food menu. 

Their food menu consists of some pretty impressive Thai Dishes and some sweets/desserts such as waffles and ice cream. Here are some snaps from their facebook page of some of the food on offer here.

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5

The drinks menu has a good range of Tea’s, Smoothies and Coffees to choose from.

The coffee was awesome, in fact maybe the best one I had in NongKhai as all the coffee I tried after this place didn’t quite hit the senses like this cup did. Although I wasn’t able to go through their whole drinks menu, their smoothies and other drinks (like the iced chocolate) looked amazing! Check out some of their Facebook photos here.

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3

The price was quite reasonable here as well – around 60 baht from memory for a hot cappuccino. But for me it was the quality coffee that stood out the most and will get me coming back again when I do my next visit here.

What do I remember about this place?

  • My favourite coffee in Nong Khai
  • Good price
  • Greate selection of drinks (Teas, Coffees and Smoothies)
  • Impressive food menu
  • Different seating areas
  • Food menu

Location: 298 Meechai Road Muang, Nong Khai 43000

Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-19:00 & Sat-Sun 9:00-21:00

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/abcdcafexgril/ 

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/pCg4dAgyjd5n4MRq9

Baan Thuad

Baan Thuad was me second stop…straight after my coffee at ABC.D CafeXGrill actually. Although this place shows up prominently on Google maps, that wasn’t actually how I found this place. 

Baan Thuad sits more in the city centre (unlike ABC.D which is more on the outskirts of the city/town), which is where I was heading to find a bite to eat. It was just by cruising through the town I spotted this place, as it is quite inviting when you see it from the outside. I wouldn’t say it stands out, as the frontage to the place is quite small, but when you look inside from the street, there’s that nice dim warm inviting lighting with wooden benches and chairs and the quality coffee gear sitting on counter.

I poked my head in for a quick look and could see they had a large selection of coffees available and very large and spacious inside area with plenty of seating options. I figured why not have another coffee and get a few things done on the notebook as I wasn’t starving for food, so I figured I’d get a bite to eat after chilling for half an hour or so.

Upon walking in I asked if they had any food available, but other than some sweets and cakes, it’s only drinks here. You can check some of their photos on Facebook for some of the sweets etc. they have on offer.

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4

So coffee here too is also a quality coffee, probably a little on the weak side for my liking, but still a good strength. I think that’s what made ABC.D’s coffee so good. It wasn’t just quality coffee, but it was the perfect strength as well. One thing that made these guys different from the others was their 4-5 biscuit snacks they give you on the side of your coffee tray. OK, they’re not going to fill you up, but always nice to get a little something extra to nibble on with your coffee.

The prices here are around the 60 baht mark as well, and one thing I can say that this place has above most other places I visited it’s comfortable and spacious seating options. It’s not just the number of seating options that make this place a comfortable place to chill, it’s the whole vibe you get when inside the cafe with the combination of lighting, wooden chairs and tables, and HEAPS of space.

What do I remember about this place?

  • Nice relaxing space
  • Little biscuit snacks with your coffee
  • Good price

Location: 298 Meechai Road Muang, Nong Khai 43000

Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-19:00 & Sat-Sun 9:00-21:00

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BannThuad/

Map:  https://goo.gl/maps/jLaorBRvwCFUasfz8

Silsopa

This place didn’t actually appear on Google maps search, however I had seen it show up a number of times when searching for accommodation as it’s a hostel/hotel as well. They’ve been around for a while operating the hostel/hotel business, but the cafe is a recent addition and hence why it probably didn’t show up on my cafe search. I just happened to see a photo of the cafe when it popped up in my accommodation search.

So this cafe stop was a bit of a “stab in the dark” as I hadn’t read or seen anything on Google or Facebook about their cafe, in fact I wasn’t even sure if they did coffee. The place itself was impressive enough though (from the outside), so I figured even it were a glass of water I was sipping back while chilling out in their quaint setup. I’d be pretty content for the next 30 mins or so.

Well I was in luck, they had all the coffee options you’d expect from a quality cafe…well…that I’d expect anyway. 

The inside design of the cafe has an antique but homey feeling to it, as there things you’ll find placed around the cafe that you  find in someones home, and maybe your own, like a piano, some guitars, arch shaped doors and windows, and old european type wooden window shutters.

Silsopa has some popular Thai dishes to choose from, including

  • Phad Krapow
  • Phad Kee Maow
  • Phad Thai

As well as some cakes and sweets such as Bingsu with some interesting toppings, cheese cakes, chocolate cakes, and others. Check out their photos on Facebook for their food pics.

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5

The coffee here was quite good, in fact I was quite impressed with it as I was expecting much when arriving at this place and figured that just having a coffee on the menu I would be in luck. But is a nice a drop and up there with the other great coffee shops around town.

What do I remember about this place?

  • Quality coffee
  • Good price
  • Nice homey feeling and a little antique
  • Food menu

Location: 897/1, urban city, Nong Khai 43000

Hours: Thur – Tues 10:00 – 20:00 and Wed 10:00 – 18:00

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Silsopa-Cafe-1107226319436557 

Map: https://g.page/silsopa?share

For Rest Cafe

As its name suggests (or sounds), this cafe is all about the man made for-rest they’ve built around the cafe. Infact “around” might not be the word, because the cafe IS basically the forest. 

Other than the main indoor counter area where the kitchen is located and where you place your order, the rest of the dining areas in this place are scattered throughout it’s miniature forest full of plants, ponds and man made waterfalls.

Some of the seating areas are simple outdoor tables with 4-5 chairs around them and a lot of shading provided by the plants and surrounding landscape such as rocks and waterfalls. Most tables have an umbrella to offer that extra protection from the sun where the landscape doesn’t offer shade.

There’s also 3-4 wooden looking huts or bubbles that each have around 5 tables and seat around 3-4 people. These huts have a fan located above each of the tables (attached to the ceiling) and also a cooling system / airconditioner that keeps the hut cool. 

The coffee here is above average, and is served in a take away paper cup…but I wouldn’t put it up their with my favourite coffees in Nong Khai. For me this place is all about the setting and forest surrounding it.

There isn’t too much on offer food wise other than a few cakes/sweets available in the front counter display.

What do I remember about this place?

  • The Forest!!! 
  • Beautiful and peaceful atmosphere
  • Fresh country air (out of the town)
  • Good prices

Location: Saiderm Rd, Pho Chai Subdistrict, Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai 43000

Hours: Everyday 9:00-18:00

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/theforrestcoffee/ 

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/kzWiv7ZxfqAGq3mS8

Dragonray Cafe

Dragonray is another cafe that’s a bit like “For Rest Cafe” in that it’s a few Km’s out of the main city/town, and it has it’s own rather large property to offer the “touch of nature” feel you don’t get from these inner city cafe’s.

What’s good about these cafe’s (or any cafe for that matter) that’s out of the city, is that they have a quieter and more relaxed vibe as they’re away from the main hustle and bustle of the city and they generally have a larger property, more gardens and nature around, and more seating options. 

Dragonray has its own “natural” rainforest thing going on with its lakes surrounding the building and large green trees that offer natural shading around the whole property. 

To the right of the building, there’s also a rather large dragon type altar which is rather impressive. I have a couple of photos of this in the gallery below.

I’d have to say that both Dragonray and the For Rest cafe are all about the location and atmosphere of the place. 

There’s not much food on offer at the Dragonray cafe, only cakes and desserts, so if you’re feeling hungry, so best to plan somewhere either before or after your stop here for your food. Dragonray does have a good selection of drinks though and they do a good good coffee…very good coffee actually! I’d have to say that would be the difference between Dragonray and For Rest cafe, here they do a quality coffee, however I think “For Rest” have pulled off the whole nature / rainforest thing better.

I’d definitely recommend planning this into your stay while in Nong Khai as it’s a part that you don’t see in any of the brochures or Google searches online, so it’s a unique and non-touristy experience.

What do I remember about this place?

  • The ambience, vibe, nature…..
  • Quality of Coffee
  • Good prices
  • Fresh country air

Location: 288/1 Moo.10, Soi, Suktalod Hadkham, Mueang Nong Khai District 43000

Hours: Everyday 9:00-18:00

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dragonraycafe/?ref=page_internal 

Map: https://g.page/DragonrayCafe?share 

Bruce Coffee

Bruce is another awesome coffee stop, and as the name suggest (Bruce Coffee), it’s all about the coffee here.

There are some light meals on offer here such as 

  • Fruit Salads and Crab stick salads
  • Rice paper salad/crab stick rolls
  • Pastries and desserts

One advantage of this place is its river frontage, so you get a nice view of the Mekong river whether you’re sitting inside or out. The place is a little outside of the town centre, but for good reasn. To get the river frontage that these guys have and the large property, it wouldn’t be easy to find in towards the centre of town.

Bruce Coffee have themselves a nice large block and possibly the biggest cafe/building out of all the cafes on this list. It could just be because of the huge two story high ceilings and glass walls that make the outside feel like inside that makes this place look so big, but either way, that’s the feeling you get when walking into this place….”impressive”, “large”, “spacious”, “light”.

The back wall is all glass, which is what brings the outside, in. You really don’t need to be sitting outside in this cafe to take in the views of the Mekong, they’ve designed this place so that even taking a comfy sofa type seat on the inside with comfort of airconditioning, you can still feel like you’re sitting on the decking.

So the name is what got me here, and so that was what I ordered (one of “Bruce’s Coffees” – If that’s even the owners name?).

The coffee here is easily one of the next, and perhaps matches my favourite ABC.D coffee, however it was late in the afternoon I visited this place and so the coffee just doesn’t hit the spot like the first one in the morning. But yes, the quality here is TOP quality, and well priced as well.

Although being out of the city, this place isn’t too far from the center…perhaps not walking distance, but only 5 minutes in a taxi or Tuk Tuk. However, if you are up for a walk, well then this place is a perfect stop, because you can walk the river, and make this your halfway stop, before turning around and walking the your way back to the city centre along the rivers edge.

What do I remember about this place?

  • The place – Size, Ambiance, View….it has it all
  • Quality of Coffee
  • Good prices

Location: 69 Moo 1 Rd., Soi Kaew Worawut, Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai 43000

Hours: Everyday 9:00-18:00

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brucecoffeenongkhai/ 

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/cAdZqFj8xcdgf8wP7

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