IRL short for “In Real Life” is a coffee bar inspired by the Japanese train and subway stations, located on Soi Udomsuk 25 (Sukhumvit 103).
There is another outlet at Bang Kaeo, Bang Phli District though this is considered quite far away from central Bangkok.
It is considered convenient to get to Sukhumvit 103 by car since there are a lot of parking spots next to the cafe. However, do note that the nearest Udom Suk BTS station would be about a 20 minutes’ walk away.
The IRL team did a very amazing job of simulating the subway atmosphere with this cafe.
In the front of the cafe, there are 6 bright yellow seats for you to “wait for your train”, right next to the automatic doors.
After stepping inside, cafe hoppers will definitely feel like they are entering an actual subway car in Japan.
The first thing you can see is a replica of the train head, a counter bar where you can order your favorite drinks and food.
The interior is furnished with tables and chairs made of stainless steel, complete with handrail and metal racks to make the feel more realistic.
The walls are adorned with Japanese subway maps, signs, and the cafe menu.
Even the bathroom has that similar look as the toilets inside the stations in Japan.
Moreover, one of the most awesome things is that they actually use the Japanese stations’ sounds and announcements. This place is literally a little piece of Japan in Thailand.
The menu covers both coffee and non-coffee lovers, as well as those with a sweet tooth.
The coffee beans they use are imported. You can find different types of pastries and desserts to order and match with the drinks, such as bacon twist, garlic bun, and their famous Baby Castella.
They also offer croissants with fillings of almond & cream, caramel macadamia, garlic cream cheese, and salted egg.
For coffee options, there are the usual Americano, Latte, Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Piccolo, Flat White, to Coffee Mint Latte and Dirty. Each up is priced at 80 to 100 THB.
More fanciful stuff are the Black Pink (120 THB) of coffee with soft lychee jelly, Monday Shine (120 THB) with coffee and passion fruit, Coffee Matcha (120 THB) and Coffee Aloha (120 THB) added with pineapple.
The Yuzu with Tonic (100 THB) had a lovely ocean-blue presentation, refreshing taste, though could be on the bitter side which may not please all palates.
Even though the Yuzu with tonic presents a lovely display and a pleasant and refreshing smell, it was unexpectedly bitter than usual, which might not please all palates.
On the other hand, the intensity of the Japanese Genmaicha (90 THB) tea was on point, and the combination with the chewy crystal pearls made it more enjoyable and fun to drink on a lazy afternoon.
While the Milk Chocolate Frappe (110 THB) tasted very creamy and rich with chocolate flavor, it was thankfully not too sweet.
Many come for its Baby Castella Nutella (80 THB), which quite lived up to its reputation.
The ’castella’ pieces were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the Nutella dip added a tasty hazelnut sweetness.
Even though there are a few sitting areas available, the cafe isn’t considered super spacious.
So bear in mind that it may be more challenging for those who want a ‘clean shot’ taking pictures without anyone else in it.
IRL Coffee Bar Station
Udom Suk 25 Alley, Bang Na, Bangna, Bangkok 10260
Tel: +66 83 549 6393
Opening Hours: 8am – 4:30 pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)
Google Maps – IRL Coffee Bar Station
IRL Coffee Bar
37/158 Bang Kaeo, Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan 10540, Thailand
Tel: +66 98 436 9716
Opening Hours: 7am – 4pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 4:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Google Maps – IRL Coffee Bar
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* Written by DFD’s Bangkok Café correspondent Plernz @plernz.photography who is a photographer, dreamer and hopeless romantic. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.