‘The Avenue’ is a relatively new shopping centre in town and for the first few years after opening it always seemed a little quiet to me with too many properties that were vacant. Things have taken a turn for the better though and it is gaining in popularity. For long term visitors, or for anyone that wants a taste of food from back home, the Avenue houses the best food mall in town. If you like to enjoy a bottle of wine from time to time then you’ll no doubt notice the scary prices that a bottle costs in most places. At the Avenue food mall you’ll find a decent range to choose from, and there’s usually a bottle to be found that doesn’t require a bank loan to buy it.
The bars and restaurants that are housed within the Avenue complex itself are a bit quiet, and they are of the indoor variety. I’ve found that the indoor thing doesn’t always attract us westerners when we go abroad. We come here for the weather, amongst other things, and the outdoor life style offered usually wins.
As you wander around most of the main roads in Pattaya you’ll notice lots of market stalls; most of the time it seems like the same few stalls are repeated again and again, but that’s not the case with the stalls outside the Avenue. There are some proper craft stalls to have a look at. The guy in the picture has produced some quality hand-made glassware. He was actually creating a new piece as I took the picture above.
As far as your drinking options are concerned, there’s not much that’s actually located on Second Road itself that stands out. There are beer bar complexes dotted around but most of them struggle to gain much custom; having said that there are two options that are sometimes worth a look. The first is found in the northern section of Second Road opposite the Big C shopping complex and the other is located opposite the Avenue shopping complex.
The ‘Bodega’ bar and the ‘Wonderful’ bars that I’ve mentioned on the main page about Second Road Pattaya are still going strong and pulling in a healthy trade. There aren’t too many girls working in those bars, so they aren’t the best places if you are looking for some company, but there is a good vibe, live music and cheap prices to be had.
The bars in the northern section are a better choice if you want to find some company, but prices are a little higher. If you do wander into one of the bars in this area, it is only a short excursion to head over to the bars on ‘Drinking Street’. The bars there are decent, with some good looking ladies to be found, but it only gets busy from about 10pm onwards.
There are a lot of eateries to choose from and many are cheap with good food on the menu. As you’d expect, the safest bet for quality is to go for Thai food. If you want to try something else then the level of quality varies quite a lot. You can get good quality if you go to an expensive place but getting quality from the smaller, privately run places is more hit and miss. There are some good options on Second Road at the mouth of the soi Diana arcade, but as a general rule I’d advise checking out the comments on Tripadvisor before heading off anywhere special.
The Aloha bar/restaurant is a good example of this. The reports on Tripadvisor are a bit variasble with some loving the place and others utterly unimpressed, but if you read all the comments you’ll get an idea of what to expect. In the case of the Aloha restaurant you can expect to be eaten alive by mosquitoes whilst you wait for your food to arrive! As well reading as the Tripadvisor comments, it is another good idea to start with a drink and only order food if you get the impression that quality standards are up to par.
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