The South American-inspired restaurant and cocktail lounge sits just a block south of Bangkok Hospital and, despite its funky colourful decor, this place is serious about its beverages. Co-owner Florian Niessing’s deep knowledge from his time as one of the top bartenders in Shanghai (in addition to his food and beverage managerial duties) is what makes Cariocas one of Phuket’s top spots for sipping and celebrating.
The unique beverages are perfectly suited for the exotic atmosphere of the place, with Tiki mugs that come in different colours depending on your choice. Raisins infused with the good stuff sit on top of your drink as well. All concoctions are made with only premium, top-shelf choices, which makes all the difference for guests with a taste for the finer stuff.
Each sip is out of this world and that’s by design. As Co-owner Andreas Korf explains, Cariocas was meant to be a place originally meant for sitting and sipping but things took a slight turn.
“The idea in the beginning was to only do a cocktail bar, to show off the art of really putting together a great drink. But the space was too big, and plus, we had the kitchen fully-fitted and up and running, so we thought we might as well use it,” said Andreas.
With each sip, you nibble, and Cariocas has more than enough to satisfy any palate, especially with their Mexican fare, which goes perfectly with each drink.
All of their tortillas are made fresh in-house, and it shows, as the crispiness of each bite only adds to the flavour of the dish. Of course, we had an array of tasty treats including their tacos, with choices of shredded chicken, ground beef or char-grilled prawns. Each is topped with the usual fare of fresh tomato, iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese and an olive for good measure.
For families looking to indoctinrate their children in the world of cheese, meat and fiesta, you can’t go wrong with Cariocas’ quesadillas. They’re available with chicken, slow-roasted beef or even vegetarian. It’s the perfect snack to share while you’re waiting for more food, or having a simple toast with friends!
Nachos are always a big hit, and here it’s no different, the lashings of guacamole and refried beans were a beautiful touch. From the roasted corn to the jalapeños and ground beef, this was a dish that stood out, especially since the portion will last throughout your evening (unless you invite more hungry friends).
Surprisingly, the highlight of the evening was their out-of-this-world pizza. Rarely do you go to a Latin restaurant – the blue chairs, the salsa blasting – and order pizza. But this pizza is exactly what will bring this reviewer back for more.
We finished off our dinner with a ‘Waffle Loco’, that included chocolate, caramel, nuts, cream and – marshmallow! There’s even a breakfast menu to get you going in the mornings.
But Cariocas is more than just a restaurant and lounge, as Andreas and Florian are creating a community space for guests to learn and have fun. This is why they’re hosting two-hour mixology workshops, where Florian passes on his vast knowledge, every fortnight on Saturdays.
The live music on Fiesta Fridays is also expected to become a big hit with the dancing community of Phuket which is on the rise. The space at Cariocas is perfectly-suited for the sounds of Salsa, Bachata and more. Guests can join either event by checking out their Facebook page.
Caracas provides a colourful escape from the usual Phuket offering, it’s where fiesta and fun live!