Where to go for good food in Bangkok
Bangkok is a true foodie’s paradise. From street eats and secret bars to Michelin-starred restaurants and rooftop retreats, it’s all here.
- July 2019
You are never too far from great food in Bangkok, whether you're after a gourmet experience or local gems. Whatever your taste, these are the places you need to add to your must-try list.
For fine dining…
Asia’s best female chef (according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list) and Noma alumnus Garima Arora has been wowing the crowds with her playful and elegant dishes at this Indo-Asian fusion restaurant opens in new window – think spicy duck doughnut and burnt coconut sugar ice cream with pork floss. Don’t worry about what to choose, it’s all on the tasting menu.
Acclaimed chef Bee Satongun is famed for using heirloom Thai recipes as inspiration for the menu at this Michelin-starred restaurant opens in new window. Her dishes combine locally grown ingredients with long-forgotten techniques to create layered flavours. Take time to pore over the menu that reveals the history of some of the dishes.
Issaya Siamese Club
Tucked away in a side street near Rama IV Road, you’ll find one of Bangkok’s most renowned – and prettiest – restaurants opens in new window. Within the brightly painted walls of this century-old mansion, celebrity chef Ian Kittichai puts his twist on traditional Thai dishes.
Ranked No. 4 on the 2019 World’s 50 Best Best Restaurants list, this is the home of Bangkok’s own Willy Wonka, chef Gaggan Anand opens in new window. Each dish is as pretty as a picture, which is probably why he uses emojis to represent them on the 25-course degustation menu. Right next door is Wet Wine Bar opens in new window, serving up a top selection of natural wines.
While visiting the farms of Northern Thailand, chef Monthep Kamolsilp found the inspiration for his “hyper- local” Thai restaurant opens in new window that honours the country’s unique ingredients. Try the Thai Wagyu beef tartare blended with 13 local spices and beetroot puree, or the stir-fried prawns with holy basil, torch ginger flowers and fermented fish puree.
For street eats…
Nai Mong Hoi Thod
Behind the red plastic tables at 539 Phlap Phla Chai Road, you’ll find the chefs at this street food stall cooking oyster omelettes to crispy perfection (they’re so good, the Michelin Guide awarded this street food stall a Bib Gourmand). Super plump oysters and a gooey consistency like melted cheese are their secrets to success.
Or Tor Kor Market
This is a one-stop shop for foodies. Located opposite the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market, it’s where the chefs go shopping for the freshest fruit and vegetables and where you can curb those hunger pangs with anything from stir-fried noodles and smoked duck to roasted chestnuts and steamed palm sugar desserts.
This no-frills eatery opens in new window was already a favourite with locals. Now, thanks to a Michelin star and the Netflix documentary Street Food, the rest of the world has fallen in love with the septuagenarian, ski goggle-wearing owner Auntie Fai, too. The queues for her drunken seafood noodles, dry tom yum and crab omelette are long but worth the wait. Find it at 327 Mahachai Road.
Also known as Bangkok’s Chinatown, this area is a must-visit. During the day, you will see goldsmiths and greengrocers selling their wares. Then at night, Yaowarat Road comes alive with hundreds of street food chefs serving everything from noodles to baobing (an ice dessert).
Winner of the Best Nightclub Award in BK Magazine’s 2018 Bangkok After Dark Awards, this two-storey club opens in new window is set in a renovated warehouse. Award-winning design firm Snarkitecture is behind its interior, which features Asia’s first body-kinetic dance floor that shakes the beats into your feet. DJs such as techno titan Marcel Dettmann and American producer Tokimonsta have been known to provide the tunes.
Bangkok nightlife legend David Jacobson turned a three-storey brick vintage shophouse in Soi Suan Phlu into a must-visit late-night bar opens in new window. This speakeasy offers an extensive cocktail menu but it’s absinthe that it’s famous for. On Wednesdays, live jazz bands entertain the crowds, while DJs spinning electronica and punk put everyone in the party spirit during the rest of the week.
Sing Sing Theater
Of the many small, unique bars of Thonglor and Ekamai, this is one of the coolest. Interior designer Ashley Sutton has let his imagination run wild at this Oriental-themed venue opens in new window, where hundreds of lanterns hang from the ceiling and the cocktails are served in a birdcage. It’s a popular spot for the beautiful people who you’ll find dancing the night away to international DJs such as Gilles Peterson or Instagramming burlesque-style tableaus.
Step behind a wooden door and get ready to fall down the rabbit hole at this speakeasy opens in new window that comes in at 34 on the 2019 Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. Led by the award-winning female bartender Suwincha Singsuwan, here you can enjoy the rich Cry Me the Moon white truffle martini, the dry Night Flower with lavender syrup or the refreshing Thong Lo Lemonade. If you need proof how good the drinks are, this is where other bartenders have been spotted hanging out.
Fabulous food courts...
SookSiam at ICON Siam
Check out floating market-inspired SookSiam, where vendors serve up foods from the four regions of Thailand (including mango with sticky rice) from longtail boats.
Enjoy cool river breezes and an even cooler vibe at the new rooftop bar opens in new window at Avani+ Riverside. From its lofty position on the 26th floor, enjoy panoramic views of the city as you sip on cocktails such as the delicious juicy jackfruit laden, rum and basil Sin To Be Seen, created by award-winning mixologist Mochammad Fadli.
Eathai at Central Embassy
Find Bangkok’s best street food in one spot opens in new window and don’t miss Moom Aroi, where different chefs take over the kitchen every two weeks.
Pier 21 at Terminal 21
Take the lift to the fifth floor opens in new window for cheap eats and city views. Popular stalls include Krua Thai Cuisine, loved for its tom yum kung, and Khanom Bueung Pannee for its Thai pancakes.