HELP: Where Should I Eat in Bangkok?

I’ll be in Bangkok later this month. I’d appreciate any food suggestions from readers.

When I was there about 14 months ago I sampled Thai molecular gastronomy, the new restaurant from Thailand’s Iron Chef and Thailand’s most celebrated restaurant as well as some fantastic street food.


Siam Wisdom ‘Thai Ancient’ Dishes


I’ve never eat such spicy papaya salad…

I’m going to return to Nahm, a restaurant which is controversial to many. The Australian-born chef David Thompson is the first person to win a Michelin star for Thai cooking, a distinction earned for his former London outpost.

This has been called the best restaurant in Asia and one of the best restaurants in the world. But it has neither the expense nor the pretension of most of the other restaurants that wind up on these sorts of lists. I found it to be top notch, original and creative, traditional Thai food in a relaxed atmosphere with service that was rather mediocre. I can’t wait to eat their food again.


Dining Room at Nahm

There are plenty of great restaurants in Bangkok, at both the high and the low end. Besides returning to Nahm, where should I go during my 3 nights there?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Gary, if you’re in Chiangmai, please stay with us. We live in the Nimmanhaemin area, in a little enclave of lovely one family houses, yet only a few meters from the cultural, music and restaurant center of the city. We can offer you a lovely, complimentary guest room in our house. Contact me if you’re interested. Chiangmai in January is lovely….cool, and active.

  2. The places we enjoyed were :
    Tealicious – half a block from Lebua Tower
    Senor Pico – if you want some Mexican (I know Random) in the Rembrandt hotel
    Street Stalls that I do not remember the name…

  3. Hey Gary, it’s a big city with an ever expanding dining scene. I think the better question is how to choose what to eat in a short amount of time. I’d suggest making a list of experiences you want to have a go from there (i.e. modern thai, thai fine dining, street food, home cooked…).

  4. I has been 6 years since my wife and I were there, but we really enjoyed Chote Chitr. A real hole-in-the-wall type of place with only a couple tables.

  5. Another place I forgot to mention is The Issaya Siamese Club. Excellent modern Thai, great cocktails, and a cooking studio for classes at Siam Paragon. A bit out of the way, but worth it.

  6. Gary,
    Let me know if you’d like to meet up and check out a few incredible food spots that aren’t yet on the tourist map. I spend 9 months of the year here and speak Thai, so I know spots that are famous to Bangkok residents, not just visitors. If you are looking to go it alone, Tep bar is a cool spot to take in some traditional Thai music and culture and has terrific traditional food as well. For Isaan food i recomend a place near victory monument bts on soi rangnam across from King power. Green awning with Thai letters, on the same side of the street as Century movie plaza. Som tam, larb are not to be missed and if you’re lucky you might get some gai yang before they sell out.

  7. Hi. Happy New Year to you!

    I go over a lot… I’ve found way too many amazing places to eat… I tend to love the hole in the wall joints the best… Maybe because I feel closer to the culture. Either way, last trip in Oct. I found a great food blogger. I enjoyed his writings and videos so much that we searched out a few of his recommendations while in Bangkok and Ayutthaya…. and glad we did. I’m not in any way affiliated with the guy but I wanted to pass it on to you. http://www.eatingthaifood.com.

    Enjoy!
    Steven Howell
    SFO

  8. IMO… one of the best places to eat in the entire city is the Terminal 21 food court. It’s a shopping mall at the Asoke BTS station, but their food court is fantastic. My wife, who is Thai, always recommends people go there. It’s cheap, air conditioned and has a very diverse selection of Thai food. It’s crowded during lunch time since a lot of office workers in the nearby towers go there for lunch.

    Bangkok is one of the best places for sushi. It’s better than in Japan for the price, IMO. A lot of sushi places scattered around the city. Sushi Hiro (local chain) has really good specials if you subscribe to their Line App messages.

    I ate at “Eat Me” and after dropping about $100 I left so hungry. The portion sizes were TINY. Their Iberico Ham consisted of about four ice cubed-sized pieces of pork. No thanks.

  9. Seconding Bo.Lan. Excellent food that you can’t really get elsewhere, great service, and intimate/homey ambiance. It is on the pricey side (think $100pp) but a great experience that would cost 3x as much in the US..

  10. What happened to my comment?

    Do go to:

    – Chote Chitr – Banglamphu Area
    – Sabai Gai Yang – Ekkamai
    – Cafe Chilli – Siam Paragon
    – Home Kitchen – Langsuan
    – Nguan Le (Chinese Thai) – Langsuan
    – Somtam Nua – Siam Square
    – Sansab (Issan Thai) -T21
    – Huai Khwang Night Market
    – Le Beaulieu (French) – Next to the Plaza Athenee

    Avoid:

    – Bo.Lan – Sukhumvit
    – Soul Food Mahanakorn – Thonglor
    – Ruen Mallika – Sukhumvit 22
    – Tamnanthai – Ploenchit Center

  11. Totally agree with terminal 21 food court (or others like paragonwhich is 3 times as expensive, but still cheap by farang standards) or the food court at MBK on the top floor not the foreigner oriented one a floor below) or others.
    The best food is often street food where one person has been cooking 1 (or 2 or 3 ) dish for many years and really knows how to do it right, the advantage of the food courts is that you can try as many dishes as you want for a ridiculous price and discover dishes you would never experience otherwise. One of my favorites, oyster pancake (a thin crispy rice layer with an egg topped with fresh oysters,or with mussels if you prefer) on top of bean sprouts I would never have known about out I hadn’t seen it at a food court. it is an adventure, not fancy but the food courts give you the advantage of trying the food you could get on a food tour for a tenth the price with air conditioning and the opportunity to make your own choices. For example I tried the restaurant you went to for papaya salad and while it was good I’ve had much better on the street or in food courts YMMV
    The foods I like the best are getting harder and harder to find I on the street, like freshly fried chicken with a thin crackle coating that KFc can only dream about(15 to 25 baht depending on how close you are to a tourist destination!)
    Okay a long way to say that expensive restaurants are lovely and some even have good food, but when I’m in Paris or Barcelona I’d choose restaurants, but to truly experience Thai food you’re missing a lot of you don’t eat like the (mostly lowly paid) Thais who can have wonderful food for prices that are unbelievable.
    BTW I’ve been told that the prices at the food court at terminal 21are subsidized by the owners to get people to come and hopefully shop) but even at the other courts the prices (and more important quality ) are really amazing.

  12. Enoteca. Random, I know. Its my global fav Italian and I’ve been to 46 countries in the past 3 years. Amazing. The spaghetti is of particular note.

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