Bangkok is the ultimate destination for food lovers. From nondescript shop houses to Michelin-starred restaurants, Bangkok has a seemingly bottomless well of dining options.
Here are some suggestions on where to start your BKK eating adventure:
Offering Thai fine dining with exquisite attention to detail, the best ingredients and authenticity, Nahm provides the best of Bangkok culinary experiences. Head Chef David Thompson, who received a Michelin star for his London-based Thai restaurant of the same name, opened this branch in the Metropolitan Hotel in 2010.
If that doesn’t sell you, perhaps the fact it’s the only Thai restaurant to crack the top 10 of the world’s 50 best restaurants list will. Through recipes based on archaic Siamese cookbooks and other dishes passed down in “funeral books,” you’ll receive both perfect renditions of Thai classics such as tom yum goong, as well as fresh surprises difficult to find outside the Thai home.
Nahm Restaurant, 27 S Sathorn Rd Hotel Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok 10120 Thailand, +66 2 625 3388
Issaya Siamese Club
Issaya Siamese Club is internationally acclaimed Thai chef Ian Kittichai’s first flagship Bangkok restaurant. The menu in this beautifully restored colonial house features traditional Thai cuisine combined with modern cooking methods.
There a few misses, but for the most part, everything on the menu is unique, delicious and oh-so-pretty. We recommend the banana blossom Thai salad, chili-glazed baby back ribs and massaman lamb.
Issaya Siamese Club, 4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chue Ploeng Thung Mahamek, Bangkok 10120 Thailand, +66 2 672 9040
Bo.lan has been making waves in Bangkok’s culinary scene since it opened in 2009. Serving hard-to-find Thai dishes in an upscale, hip atmosphere, the restaurant is true to Thai cuisine’s roots, yet still manages to add a special twist.
Located on Sukhumvit Soi 24, Bo.lan stars include the smoked Chiang Mai river trout salad, green curry stuffed egg yolks and stir-fried beef with dried shrimp paste. This place is good for a romantic dinner or a work meeting with colleagues who appreciate fine food. For the especially ravenous, there’s a large set menu.
Bo.Lan, 24 Soi Sukhumvit 53 Klongtonnua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand, +66 260 2962
Earning first place on the latest “Asia’s 50 best restaurants” list, progressive Indian restaurant Gaggan is one of the most exciting venues to arrive in Bangkok in recent years. But don’t go into this place thinking you’re going to be enjoying the usual Indian dishes such as butter chicken or mutton biryani.
El-Bulli-trained chef Gaggan Anand uses molecular technology to put a funky twist on classic dishes from his native India, rendering many of them unrecognizable while giving you that “a-ha!” moment as the connection hits your taste buds. The best table in this two-story colonial Thai home offers a window right into the kitchen, where you can see Gaggan and his staff in action. Culinary theater at its best.
Gaggan, 68/1 Soi Langsuan Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Bangkok 10330 Thailand, +66 2 652 1700
Supanniga Eating Room
If you want more from Thai cuisine than green curry, pad Thai and papaya salad, Supanniga Eating Room is a great Bangkok option. It’s in a narrow, three-story Thonglor shop house, decked out with bare concrete walls, yellow booths and outdoor sofas on the top floor. Inspired by Trat province on Thailand’s southeastern coast and the northeast Isaan region, the menu has rewards for the uninitiated.
Highlights include Yum Tua Puu Goong Sod (crunchy winged bean sald with prawns and boiled egg in chilli paste dressing) and sweet and herbal moo chor muang (fatty chunks of pork in an earthy curry of sour leaves). Almost every dish here is colorful – yes, you’ll be taking pictures of it before you eat – and the mood is casual.
Supanniga Eating Room, 160/11, Soi Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok 10110 Thailand, +66 2 714 7508
At this little eatery, you get personal service and authentic Isaan-style street food without the street. The restaurant is air-conditioned, which is a good thing since dishes have plenty of spice. Chicken, pork and seafood are grilled nicely and come with sticky rice. Veggies are fresh and crisp. A great quick, flip-flop-friendly pit stop.
Somtum Der, Sala Daeng, 5/5 Sala Daeng Road Silom, Bangkok 10500 Thailand, +66 2 632 4499
Soul Food Mahanakorn
An expat favorite, low-key lighting and wood finishing define the cozy interior of this three-floor shop house. Soul Food Mahanakorn’s kitchen revolves around what’s fresh in the markets – seafood from Sam Yan one day or meat from Or Tor Kor another.
Healthy organic foods, such as rice, meats and some vegetables, are sourced from organic farmers in the northeast. Recommended dishes: everything. It’s all good here. The cocktails are fantastic, too, especially the “Bangkok Bastard,” a mojito-like drink with a Thai-style twist.
Soul Food Mahanakorn, 56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor), Bangkok 10110 Thailand, +66 2 714 7708
Shop houses and street food
Bangkok is famous for its street food and shop-house restaurants, which makes picking just one vendor difficult. To experience the best of Bangkok street food, we advise hitting some of the more famous eating neighborhoods and start sampling.
Most shop houses or street vendors specialize in one dish, whether it’s duck noodles, pad Thai or red pork on rice. Some of the best Bangkok street food zones to hit include:
– Bang Rak (between Taksin BTS station and the junction of Charoen Krung and Silom Road)
– Victory Monument (BTS: Victory Monument)
– Soi Ari (BTS: Ari)
– Wongwian Yai