There are plenty of restaurants in Bangkok and you’re never far from some form of food outlet. Everywhere you look there are noodle stands, fruit stalls, curry shops, cafes, fast food joints, roadside barbecues and the obligatory carts selling fried insects!
Then there are countless superb restaurants serving international as well as Thai and other Asian cuisine to suit most tastes and budgets. The range of options is quite staggering and very few visitors or expats can claim to have tried everything Bangkok restaurants have to offer.
During your time in Bangkok, it’s certainly worth making the effort to seek out a few quality restaurants, and there are many throughout the city. Most of the top hotels will have at least one or two restaurants and these can be excellent, although often pricey.
But if you take to the streets, some affordable and very tasty Bangkok restaurants present themselves. In addition to Thai food you can also find Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese restaurants to satisfy Asian tastes; along with Italian, French, German, Scandinavian and British eateries.
Bangkok restaurants – Thai cuisine
Baan Khanitha: doubles up as a rib room and art gallery, so the numerous works of art on the walls add to the ambience of this superb, award winning Thai restaurant. Well worth a visit. Visit website for branches info.
Klang Soi: very affordable and popular with locals and tourists alike. Good food, good value. 2 Soi Sukhumvit 49, Sukhumvit Road, Tel: (02) 391 4988.
Vientiane Kitchen: serving Lao and north-eastern Thai food, this great Bangkok restaurant features nightly Lao dancing and sometimes even Thai boxing matches. These performances are unobtrusive, though, so you can get on with enjoying the excellent food. 8 Sukhumvit Soi 36, Tel: (02) 258 6171.
Tom Yum Goong: named after one of Thailand’s signature dishes, this is by far the best Thai restaurant on Khao San Road. Very affordable, too. 9 Khaosan Road, Tel: (02) 629 1818.
Naj Exquisite Thai Cuisine: a pricey and sophisticated venue, Naj is a good restaurant for special occasions. Features classical Thai music performances on the more informal second floor. 42 Convent Road (opposite BNH Hospital), Tel: (02) 632 2811-3.
Lanna Thai: if you’re feeling flush then this elaborate eatery can provide you with some of the finest Thai food in the city. Located in the trendy Face complex, which also features an exclusive spa, a swanky cocktail bar and another superb Indian restaurant, this is a place for extravagance and outstanding food. Sukhumvit Soi 38, Prakanong, Tel: (02) 713 6048.
Dishes from all regions of Thailand can be found here
North-eastern Thai food: (from the area known as Isaan) includes somtam – a salad made from papaya and a variety of pungent sauces and spices, and of course copious amounts of chilli (how many can you handle?). There’s also laap – minced pork fried with mint and, yes, more chillies, served with salad.
Southern Thai dishes: include gaeng som – a very flavoursome and tangy curry made with citrus essences; and massuman – another curry, this time very creamy and made with peanuts and potatoes.
Then you have the Thai classics such as Tom Yum Goong – a sour and spicy soup made with lemongrass, ginger and chilli; Pad Thai – a very popular fried noodle dish available on the streets as well as restaurants everywhere; and Gaeng Phet – the famous red curry, which can be found in Thai restaurants the world over.
Bangkok restaurants – international cuisine
Gullivers (international, pub food): very much an expat bar and restaurant, this large, air-conditioned venue has some great British-style pub grub as well as Thai dishes. A good place for nighttime entertainment, too.
Paris Bangkok (French): superlative French restaurant in Bangkok featuring the very best Gallic cuisine including classic dishes coq au vin, cassoulet and duck confit. The ambience is continental chic and the wine list one of the best in the city. A true gourmand’s dream. 120 Saladeang 1/1, Silom Bangrak, Tel: (02) 233 1990.
Outback (Australian): more of a lunchtime or post-shopping diner, expect hearty meals of burgers, steaks and ribs at this friendly, cheerful establishment. 6th Floor, Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Road, Tel: (02) 658 0201-2.
Sweet Basil (Vietnamese): great atmosphere and live piano combine with delicious Vietnamese food to make for a highly recommended city centre restaurant. 1 Srivieng Road, Silom, Tel: (02) 238 3088.
Molly Malone’s (Irish, pub food): a wide selection of British-style pub meals and Irish stews provide a hearty meal in this popular nighttime venue. Special offers and happy hours are frequent. 1/5-6 Soi Convent, Silom, Tel: (02) 266 7160-1.
Little Italy (Italian): a fun restaurant located in the busy Sukhumvit Road area, with pizza dough being thrown in the air and full-length windows looking out onto the streets below. 2 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: (02) 260 9750.
Himali Cha Cha (Indian): one of many excellent Sukhumvit Indian restaurants, Himali Cha Cha specialises in Northern Indian dishes. It’s all very affordable too.
Jasmin Hong Kong (Chinese): great Chinese food is to be had at this award-winning Bangkok Chinese restaurant. Specialising in Hong Kong cuisine, the Peking duck and suckling pig are not to be missed.
Café SWISS (Swiss): fondue, salmon steak and raclette are all excellent here and there are some Thai options on the menu too. Fun restaurant ideal for large groups. Swiss Lodge Hotel, 3 Convent Road, Silom, Tel: (02) 233 5345.
Rib Room & Bar (Steakhouse): recommended by Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants, this upmarket restaurant with intimate atmosphere and fantastic bird’s eye view of Bangkok is located in the Landmark Hotel, quality assured. 138 Sukhumwit Road, Tel: (02) 254 0404.
Volti Ristorante & Bar (Italian): located in the five-star Shangri-La Hotel, this Italian restaurant is certainly a great place to visit if you fancy splashing out. The menu is constantly being updated so that the place always feels fresh and exciting. Shangri-La Hotel, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, Tel: (02) 236 7777.
Kisso (Japanese): popular with Japanese expats and tourists, this expensive, excellent restaurant is worth the effort to sample if you can afford it. It features a sushi counter, Sunday buffet and teppenyaki tables. 8th Floor, The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, Tel: (02) 207 8000.
Masala Art (Indian): cuisine from the northern part of India and a very good, creative menu. The décor is modern, with a gentle touch of India, and the dishes are good. 205 Sukhumvit Soi 55 , 2nd Floor, Tel: (02) 713 8357-8.
Na Aroon (Vegetarian, international and Thai): set in the gardens of the Ariyasomvilla Hotel, this predominantly vegetarian restaurant uses organic ingredients where possible. It features a good children’s menu, as well as a sweets list to die for. 65 Sukhumvit Soi 1, Tel: (02) 254 8880-3.