The Balco Bar and Bar B-Q is a rooftop bar in Bangkok very different to the other upmarket, chic rooftop bars of the city. Set on the riverside of the Chao Phraya river, the Balco Bar offers a much more casual atmosphere, with reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere. The Balco Bar isn’t just a rooftop bar, it offers an authentic, Thai dining experience with stunning cityscape surroundings.
A typical night at the Balco Bar
I don’t mean to generalise, but let’s face it, Thai people LOVE barbecues. Not barbecues as we know them in the west, but barbecues as in the Thai style of cook-it-yourself grilled meats. And shit loads more meats. That’s a Thai-style barbecue restaurant. And so the Balco Bar and Bar B-Q offers a pleasant, laid back atmosphere of contented Thais, grilling the crap out of their big, proud piles of meat.
Despite it’s rather exclusive location above the expensive River City Shopping Centre, there’s no need to worry about a dress code at the Balco Bar and Bar B-Q like at the other Bangkok Rooftop bars. Just turn up in flip flops and a t-shirt and no-one will bat an eyelid – they’re all too busy drinking their beer towers and incinerating their bacon.
Despite this chilled out atmosphere though, the service is superb and the charming staff are always on hand to help you with their superior barbecuing expertise.
A view from the Balco Bar
The Balco Bar and Bar B-Q is set among a myriad of foliage and hidden amongst it’s own rooftop garden. Being on the 5th floor of the River City Complex, it’s not as impressive as other Bangkok rooftop bars such as the 65th floor Sky Bar, however the Balco Bar does boast a different perspective with tranquil views of the river.
It’s a pleasant experience to sit and watch the boats go by amidst the cityscape backdrop along the Chao Phraya river. The Balco Rooftop Bar does however seem to have quite a few obstructions that hinder this romantic riverside view. On top of that, the bar area features live music in a popular Thai fashion; an entertainer in a sequin dress and cowboy hat, singing unpleasantly out of tune in a karaoke stylee – You get the picture. It does kind of ruin the mood a little, but it’s all in good fun.
Balco Bar and Bar B-Q Menu
The Bar B-Q menu at the Balco Bar Bangkok is very reasonably priced for a rooftop bar in the capital city. Prices start from 120 baht for your typical Thai dishes, however, as you may have guessed from it’s name, barbecue style food is more of it’s specialty. You can order sets for the barbecue or individual items such as bacon, seafood, steak, chicken, prawn, noodle and vegetables.
Individual items cost between 40 baht and 80 baht for a small portion (perhaps 4 or 5 pieces of meat, for example). Sets start at 245 baht for one person or 450 baht for two people. This includes a variety of meat, noodles and vegetables. In keeping with the authentic Thai style of dining, beer towers are also available at a very fair price as well.
How to get to Balco Bar & Bar B-Q
You can catch a ferry to River City from Sathorn Central Pier; take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and follow signs for the ferry. If you wait at the middle pier, you can catch a public ferry to River City for just a few baht. Make sure to get off at pier number 3, Si Phraya – on some ferry lines this is sometimes the first stop.
When you get off the boat, walk down the lane and turn left at the end, then walk past the Sheraton Hotel and you will see the River City complex. Alternatively, you just catch a taxi straight to River City. You will need to take the elevator inside River City to the 5th floor.