It’s easy to see why Bangkok is so famous for its food. All you have to do is take a quick survey of the street food carts, markets, and food courts throughout the city that serve up everything from grilled fish to flaming hot curry.
The restaurant scene is diverse and varied, and you can spend one part of the day eating at simple noodle shops and another dining in swanky restaurants atop skyscrapers. With a large expat community and a sizable Thai-Chinese population, Bangkok has more than just Thai cuisine. Here, you’ll find some of the best Indian, Chinese, Middle-Eastern, and Western food in Southeast Asia.
When going out to eat with friends, do as the locals do and order several items to share. This way, you can enjoy a variety of flavors and dishes at once.
Above Riva $$$ — Perched on a rooftop overlooking Wat Arun, Above Riva has one of the best views in Bangkok — especially at dusk as the orange sun sets behind the illuminated temple and boats cruise along the Chao Phraya River. The dinner menu, consisting of fusion food dubbed a “twist of Thai,” has dishes like fettuccine tom yum goong and green curry duck confit that you won’t find anywhere else. Reservations recommended.
Where: 392, 25-28 Maha Rat Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Mango Tree on the River $$$ — An excellent restaurant with views over the Chao Phraya River and prices that won’t break the bank for what you’re served. The menu features over a dozen vegetarian options, plus 10 different curries and grilled meats. The outdoor seating area is the ideal place to enjoy a martini or beer at sunset before having dinner.
Where: 10200, 240 Chakkraphet Rd, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (Located on the second floor of the Yodpiman River Walk Complex)
Krua Apsorn $$ — Located near the Democracy Monument, Krua Apsorn is a traditional Thai restaurant that is also tourist-friendly. The location itself has spacious dining rooms and refreshing (and at times reviving) air conditioning. Krua Apsorn is an excellent place to try Thai curries that are packed with flavor yet not too spicy.
Where: 169 Dinso Rd, Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Pakhwan At Pakklong $$ — A riverside restaurant along the Yodpiman River Walk, located just behind the colorful Pak Khlong Flower Market. The restaurant serves Thai classics at reasonable prices in a relaxed setting. This is a great place to have a meal and a beer with a view of Wat Arun and Wat Kalayanamit across the river.
Where: 240 Chakkraphet Rd, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (At the far west end of the Yodpiman River Walk complex on the ground level)
Trok Mor Morning Market $ — Despite its location and history as one of Bangkok’s oldest running markets, this traditional fresh food market is off of the casual tourist’s radar (though it can be crowded with locals and regulars). Visit during the morning to eat noodle soup, dumplings, fried rice, roti, and other Thai breakfast items at one of the numerous stalls along the street.
Where: Ratchabophit Rd, Wat Ratchabophit, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fi Keaw Yao Wa-Rat $ — There is almost always a short wait for a table at the popular Fi Keaw, but it’s worth it for the best seafood in Chinatown. The open-air restaurant is famous for its fish, but the cashew chicken and fried morning glory are excellent as well. Service can be slow since everything is cooked on one grill, so get a drink and enjoy the street life of Chinatown while you wait.
Where: Soi Yaowarat 11, Chakkrawat, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Earsae Coffee $ — This longstanding coffeeshop is a must-visit not only for the coffee, tea, and toasts, but also for the atmosphere. Each morning, retirees from Chinatown gather in the shop, read the newspaper, sip coffee, smoke cigarettes, and talk about life in this classic cafe.
Where: 103 105 Yaowarat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Nai Ek Roll Noodle $ — This compact and casual noodle shop on Yaowarat is always packed with locals and tourists alike. Nai Ek Roll Noodle is famous for its crispy pork, which is crunchy and crisp on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside — even when swimming in soup. In addition to noodles, the restaurant serves rice and stir fry dishes.
Where: 442 ซอย 9 Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Shanghai Mansion $$$ — There are two restaurants at the Shanghai Mansion hotel: the casual Shanghai Terrace and the swanky Red Rose. The Shanghai Terrace is set on an open-air porch with street views, and it’s an excellent place for a casual meal or afternoon drink while watching the city life. Red Rose, set in a red and black dining room, serves luxe modern Chinese food that’s perfect for a fancy night out.
Where: 479 481 Yaowarat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Cabbages and Condoms $$ — You know you are in a unique and quirky restaurant as soon as you enter and see the mannequins wearing clothes made of condoms. Cabbages and Condoms, a diner with a mission to spread the message of safe sex and birth control, also has some of the best Thai food in Sukhumvit. The menu is full of Thai classics, but be sure to try mieng khum, an appetizer of dried shrimp, peanut, ginger, deep-fried coconut, chili, onions, and sweet sauce wrapped in betel leaves.
Where: 6 10 Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Beirut $$ — Sukhumvit has a sizeable Middle Eastern expat community, and dozens of excellent restaurants to show for it. Beirut, with two branches in the neighborhood, is the best — especially if you are looking for a night out. The menu has classics like shawarma and kebabs, but also vegetarian staples like hummus, falafel, and baba ganoush.
Where: Sukhumvit Soi 39, Phrom Chit Alley, Bangkok, BKK 10110, Thailand
Polo Fried Chicken $ — This local institution serves up some of the best crispy fried chicken in Bangkok. There’s almost always a crowd of tourists and locals alike who flock to the restaurant for lunch, dinner, and takeout. Other than fried chicken, the shop serves up an assortment of salads and noodle soups.
Where: 137/1-3,9 10 Sanam Khli Alley, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Broccoli Revolution $$ — It’s challenging to find vegan food in Thailand because dishes without meat often have oyster sauce or fish sauce, and most noodle dishes are cooked in an animal-based broth. Broccoli Revolution has options like pad Thai, som tum, and tofu satay but without the animal products. It also serves Western items like a broccoli quinoa burger and mashed pumpkin burrito. The restaurant is set in a bright and airy two-story building with lots of seating and attentive staff.
Where: 899 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Terminal 21 Food Court $ — Most shopping malls in Bangkok have a food court where local workers and shoppers alike get heaping plates of inexpensive Thai food. The food court at the Terminal 21 Mall is one of the best. You can get noodles, pad Thai, spicy papaya salad, and other staples for less than $3 per plate in a delightfully air-conditioned cafeteria.
Where: 88 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
The Missing Burro $$ — Do you have a craving for authentic Mexican food in Bangkok? Well, you’re in luck. The Missing Burro, made out of three storage containers set around a lawn, has a menu of options like street tacos and pork enchiladas. The bar is stocked with tequila and mezcal, and cocktails are made to order. It’s set in a quiet street off of Soi 55, and is a great place to relax over drinks and food.
Where: 145 Sing Waet Lom Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Wattana Panich $$ — A restaurant famous for its cauldron of beef noodle soup that has been simmering for more than 45 straight years. But this restaurant is more than a gimmick. It has some of the best street food in Bangkok. Bowls of soup are priced on the high side (for Bangkok) at $3 each, yet this is one spot that very much lives up to the hype.
Where: 336 338 Ekkamai Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Sit and Wonder $$ — The prices are reasonable, the portion sizes not too big, and it’s location on a side street off of Soi 55 make Sit and Wonder a gem. It’s an excellent place to order several dishes for the table and share. Be sure to order the charcoal-broiled pork neck and the stir-fried chicken with cashew, which is served in a hollowed-out pineapple.
Where: 119 2.Floor, Sukhumvit57, North-Klongtun, Vatthana, Bangkok, Thailand
The Commons Thong Lo $$ — A contemporary market with several vendors operating restaurants, bars, and cafes. The various food stalls include places like Egg My God, which specializes in egg dishes, Eastbound Vietnamese restaurant, and the Beer Cap, a craft brew bar. You can grab food at any of the stalls and take a seat at the community tables. The Commons is a great place to go with a group of friends or to connect with expats or travelers who may be hanging out.
Where: 335 Sukhumvit Rd. Thong Lo 17 Alley, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Kenshin Izakaya Ari $$ — This lively Japanese restaurant is the perfect place to go out for drinks and a meal with friends. The vibrant restaurant is decorated in kitschy Japanese art, fake cherry blossom trees, saki barrels, and red lanterns, and diners sit on cushion-topped beer crates. The menu has an excellent selection of Japanese food and some of the freshest sushi in Bangkok.
Where: 336 Phahonyothin Rd, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Casa Lapin x Ari $$ — A cozy cafe with a wide selection of craft beer on tap, specialty coffee drinks, and fresh juices. On the food front, the menu has a range of comfort foods like pizza and breakfast burritos. It’s an ideal place to take a break from the heat and use the wifi for work or mindless scrolling to the soundtrack of lo-fi hip-hop music. Just note that in the afternoon it’s usually busy with locals having an after-work drink.
Where: Noble Reform Condo Phahon Yothin 7 Alley, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Salt $$$ — Salt is an upscale fusion restaurant that has a little bit of everything. It serves up wood-fired pizzas, Japanese sashimi, and French cuisine. Located down a quiet side street, this is the perfect place to linger over a bottle of wine in the outdoor seating areas or enjoy the air conditioning in the glass-walled dining room.
Where: 111/2 7 Phahonyothin Rd, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant $$$ — Set inside a chic dining room perched on the 37th floor of a skyscraper, the Scarlett has one of the most extensive wine menus in Bangkok. During happy hour from 6-8 pm, you can enjoy a sunset cocktail while taking in the view of the city. The food menu is mostly western, with imported beef, fish, and pasta dishes.
Where: 188 Si Lom, Khwaeng Suriya Wong, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
La Lai Sap Market $ — The food court at the La Lai Sap Market has stalls serving Thai classics at low prices. After dark, the tables fill up with locals enjoying food in the casual setting. The vendors are less focused on courting tourists than some other markets.
Where: 5 Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Blue Elephant Bangkok, Thai Restaurant & Cooking School $$$ — At some point during your trip to Thailand, panic will set in as you think, “When I leave, how will I survive without curry and ka-prow?” Luckily, there are cooking schools all over the country, so you can make delicious Thai food when you return home. One of the best is Blue Elephant, located inside the upscale restaurant of the same name. During the class, students visit the market and learn to cook eight dishes inside the modern kitchen. Those who don’t cook needn’t worry: you can just eat at the restaurant as well.
Where: BTS station, 233 S Sathon Rd, Yan Nawa Sathon, Surasak, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Unicorn Cafe $ — Entering the Unicorn Cafe is like slipping through a wormhole and ending up in the game Candyland. The unicorn-themed cafe serves up polychromatic desserts and drinks that are truly delicious. The brightest menu item is the rainbow ice cream filled with gummy bears. Although kids will love the Unicorn Cafe, most of the patrons are grown-ups.
Where: 44/1 Soi Sathon 8, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Khao San Road
The road itself $ — Khao San Road and the nearby streets turn into a night market filled with street carts serving pad Thai, pad ka-prow, deep-fried spring rolls, Isan sausage, and sticky mango rice, as well as options like grilled scorpions and fried crickets. Pick a cart displaying fresh ingredients or one that’s busy with patrons and dive in.
Ethos Vegetarian and Vegan $$ — The food at Ethos is so good that even committed carnivores will be happy with the non-meat option. Ethos has a varied menu, with items like veggie lasagna, falafel, and aloo gobi. The best part of Ethos is the desserts and shakes. The lassis are made with homemade yogurt and palm sugar, and all the desserts, like apple crumb and chocolate cake, are 100 percent vegan.
Where: 85/2 ซอย Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Karim Roti Mataba $ — This venerable Indian restaurant in a two-story shophouse across from the Phra Sumen Fort serves delicious comfort food. It’s the perfect hangover cure after a night of partying on Khao San Road. The restaurant, which has been in business over 65 years, specializes in rotis stuffed with meat but also serves staples like biryani and curry.
Where: 136 Phra Athit Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Jack Diamond $$ — The fusion menu at Jack Diamond’s has items you likely won’t find anywhere else, like a laab moo hamburger and green curry spaghetti. Otherwise, Jack Diamonds has traditional Thai, Chinese, and Western fare, plus an extensive cocktail menu.
Where: 26 Krung Thonburi 2 Alley, Bang Lamphu Lang, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
JBar $$ — This neighborhood pub has an extensive Thai food menu and attentive staff. It’s a great place to unwind after a day exploring the temples of Thonburi. JBar hosts live music on weekends and is a party spot for locals.
Where: Phetkasem Soi 28, Pak Khlong Phasi Charoen, Phasi Charoen, Bangkok 10160, Thailand