Bangkok can hold its own on the list of international foodie cities, and our favorite restaurants are a testament to that fact. These are my current favorite places to eat in Bangkok.
Appia (Upscale Italian)
20/4 Sukhumvit 31 (it’s about a 10 minute walk up the street with minimal sidewalks, so be prepared to walk a bit or hop in a tuk-tuk at the top of the street) (BTS: Asoke or PromPong)
Appia is serving some seriously good, rustic Italian food. Fresh pastas, excellent ingredients, and a short, but thoughtful selection of wines by the glass. The whole restaurant smells like the porchetta cooking in the rotisserie and it’s impossible to go wrong with the short and sweet menu. That porchetta is fantastic as are all the pasta dishes, and Frank waxes sentimental about the “lemon cappuccino” dessert. We take most visitors here and it never disappoints, though note that the prices are steep.
Bankara Ramen (Japanese/Ramen)
32/1 Sukhumvit Soi 39 (BTS: PromPong)
Bankara Ramen’s Facebook page
There’s plenty of ramen in this town, but Bankara Ramen is probably my favorite. Oversized bowls of rich broth arrive at the table steaming and fragrant and full of springy noodles and a soft-cooked egg that is not to be missed. The other nibbles are equally as good – I love their crispy seaweed salad and Japanese-style fried chicken that is so crispy, juicy, and flavorful that I could eat a couple plates of it all by myself. But then I wouldn’t have room for ramen. Life is hard. I always go for the Signature Bankara ramen in “thin” broth (it’s not actually “thin” at all).
Bao & Buns (casual Taiwanese)
27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS: Asoke – though a bit of a walk up Soi 33)
Open 7 days a week 10:30am-9:00pm
This tiny, casual spot serves “bao” – addictive steamed buns filled with saucy meat or veggies – also known as “Taiwanese Burgers.” It’s a great place to grab a quick lunch, but they’re open for dinner as well. The tiny menu fits with the tiny space, but the food keeps me coming back. I wrote more about our first visit here.
Bo.lan (Upscale Thai)
Sukhumvit Soi 26 (it’s about a 15 minute walk from the station, so taking a taxi is the easiest way to get there) (BTS: PromPong)
For an upscale, authentic Thai dinner, this is the place to go. The menu changes frequently, and aims to use local, sustainable, organic ingredients to create unique Thai dishes. There is an a la carte menu from which dishes are best ordered to share, but if you are up for an all-out dining experience, go for the set menu (about $60/per person last time I checked). Reservations are a good idea, as this is one of the few spots in Bangkok that Frank and I have not been able to get into when we’ve called at the last minute.
Bo.lan also has a great Farmer’s Market on the First Saturday of every month and a cooking class.
Bon Chon Chicken (Korean/American)
Thonglor Soi 13 (walk a block and a half down Soi 13 – it’s on the second floor) (BTS: Thong Lor)
Okay, so it originated in the US and has locations all over the world, but it’s clear why Bon Chon has been so successful. If you don’t have one near you, it’s worth checking out the venue in Bangkok. The menu is simple, but tempting. Several cuts of chicken come fried twice to make them extra crisp, tossed in your choice of sauce and served with creative sides like kimchi coleslaw and pickled daikon. The atmosphere is casual and fun. Just downstairs from the restaurant is Brew Beers & Ciders – a great (mostly outdoor) space to grab…well, beers and ciders (open late).
Read more about Bon Chon Chicken here.
Cabbages and Condoms (Casual Thai)
10 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (it’s a ways down the street, on the right side) (BTS: Asoke)
This spot is in all the guidebooks for its quirky condom-themed decor, but it’s hard not to love a place that serves dependably good Thai food and is connected to a non-profit that has been working in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia for 30 years. If you don’t mind a live-size model of Tiger Woods sculpted out of condoms when you arrive (no, really), the atmosphere is quite nice with bubbling waterfalls, huge trees, and lots of fans to keep diners nice and cool.
Cafe Tartine (Casual French)
65 Wireless Road Athenee Residence (Entrance Soi Ruamrudee) (BTS: Ploenchit)
This little spot is situated next door to Hyde and Seek (below), but offers French bistro food in a bright, cheery space. The food is reliably good, and they offer a number of specials on different nights of the week with good deals on a bottle of wine and a cheese plate (hard to come by in Bangkok).
Din Tai Fung (Chinese/Dim Sum)
7th floor of CentralWorld Mall (BTS: Chit Lom)
Din Tai Fun is a Taiwan-based noodle and dumpling chain that I read about long before the location opened in Bangkok. The dumplings and other dishes are dependably delicious, although the lines to get in are always long. Read about some of my favorite dishes at Din Tai Fung here.
Hyde and Seek Gastro Bar (Upscale European)
65/1 Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee (BTS: Ploenchit)
Hyde and Seek feels like an upscale GastroPub in London or New York. Filled with dark wood and tall tables, there is little indication of a Thai influence on the restaurant or on the menu, but if are visiting and want a night out sans Thai food, this is a great option. There is a fun vibe here on weekend nights when the bar is busy and the bar snacks on the menu are great for late-night dining. The lunch specials offer an appetizer and main dish off the dinner menu for 290 Baht. The outside courtyard is spacious and sociable for enjoying cocktails that come in a variety of sizes – including one that is big enough to serve you and 10 friends.
Issaya Siamese Club (Upscale Thai)
4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn (it’s seriously hard to find, but totally worth the trouble – print a map off the restaurant’s website and take a taxi)
This somehow both vibrant and laid-back spot for innovative Thai food is not new to Bangkok, but it is new to me. From the moment we sat down in the cool courtyard for cocktails laced with ginger and kaffir lime, I couldn’t believe we had waited so long. (Okay – full disclosure – we waited so long because Issaya is a little off the beaten path, but our taxi driver found it easily and part of its charm is the garden setting and quiet street traffic. Rookie Bangkok dweller mistake to have waited so long.) The force behind this operation is Thai chef Ian Kittichai and, as much as I love his other restaurants in town, Issaya is easily my favorite. The food is loaded with house made curries and chili jams and the freshest produce, and is all served in creative ways that hint at classic Thai roots. This is a must-visit on any trip to Bangkok.
Long Table (Cocktails)
48 Column Building, Sukhumvit Soi 16 (BTS: Asoke)
Long Table is lots of fun and provides breathtaking (there is no other word to use here) views of Bangkok. The dinner menu is pricey and disapointing, but it’s hard to beat the views and ambience at the outdoor bar. Stop by early evening to enjoy a spectacular view of the sunset over Bangkok and sip on refreshing cocktails (be prepared for American prices, but they offer a 2-for-1 special before 7pm every night of the week). Between the view and the lemongrass-basil mix of nuts they bring to every table, it’s my favorite spot in Bangkok for a pre or post-dinner drink.
26 Ekamai Soi 10 Yaek 2 (take a taxi – the BTS is far away)
Open every day from 5pm-midnight (and from 3pm onwards on Sundays)
While this taproom with 30 beers for tasting clearly speaks most loudly to the beer-lovers out there, it offers great food too. So if you’re looking to spend an evening with some tasty brew, the food is a definite bonus attraction. Read about our first trip to Mikkeller here.
Quince (Upscale European)
Sukhumvit Soi 45 (BTS: PromPong)
Since Quince first opened in 2012, I’ve been a fan of the restaurant’s emphasis on locally sourced products and, most notably, vegetable-focused dishes. The specials at this cozy, chic, and moodily-lit spot downtown mirror the produce we see at the farmer’s market which gives me as much confidence in its quality as do the vibrant flavors of the food. Over the past couple months, Quince welcomed a new chef and a completely re-vamped menu. It’s better than ever, and the dishes remain creative, fresh, and perfectly portioned for sharing.
Som Tam Nua (Casual Thai)
392/14 Soi Siam Square 5, Rama 1 Road (BTS: Siam)
Som Tam Nua is a fun place to try my very favorite Thai salads – Som Tam. There are at least 10 types of Som Tam, served with sticky rice and fried chicken. The spot is casual and usually busy. I recommend trying to arrive a bit early to beat the lunch rush, as there is often a line out the door.
Read more about Som Tam Nua here.
Soul Food (Upscale Thai)
56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS: Thong Lor)
I love everything about this place – the music, the atmosphere, the food. The dishes are small plates that are a blend of Western and Thai cuisines, so you find dishes like traditional spicy papaya salad (som tam) alongside my favorite from our last trip – sticky tamarind ribs (these did my Kansas City roots proud). To top it off, the service is great and the cocktails are not to be missed. The restaurant is casual and cozy, so it’s a good idea to call for a reservation in advance.
Tong Lai Shun (Casual Chinese)
Sukhumvit Soi 41 (take the first right past the Miracle Mall shopping center on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 41; Tong Lai Shun is on the left – look for the red lanterns outside) (BTS: Asoke or Phrom Pong)
I wrote a little about the spot here.
When we first came to Bangkok, a Chinese-American friend told me that this spot had the most authentic Chinese food in Bangkok. The restaurant is not particularly noteworthy inside or out, but the food is fantastic and cheap. Some our favorites are fresh noodles with black bean and pork sauce, scallion pancakes (my personal favorite), pork dumplings, and pork rolls with an egg-enriched dough. They recently added a picture menu with english translations (useful for those of us…ahem me…who are clueless).
Austin Bush – Easily the best resource when it comes to Bangkok’s hidden gems. Austin takes beautiful food photographs, can explain every ingredient in the dishes, and seems to know every
mom-and-pop noodle stand casual spot to grab a bite in this city. He even pins the spot on a google map which is handy for those of us who are hopeless less proficient at speaking/reading Thai.
My Sous-Vide Life – This Bangkok blogger visits most noteworthy spots in town shortly after they open, so her site is excellent for finding new, tasty places to eat.