Food to eat in Bangkok: a comprehensive foodie guide

FEAST!

Last updated on March 20th, 2020 at 04:34 pm

Bangkok is a huge city and although finding a place to eat is not hard, whether you are looking for a new unique street food or just some hearty Thai fare. But finding the best place to eat can be a lot harder, especially since the city is such a big place! Having visited Bangkok a few times and lived in different parts of the city, here are some of my favourite dining options across the board:

Bangkok Food Tours

Note: all tours are subject to change as food stalls opens and close at different time but these are my personal experience!

Royal Thai Cuisine in Bangkok

I was hosted for the tour but all opinions are my own

Nam

Have you ever had Royal Thai cuisine? The answer is probably a no, since it’s not like they have a street food stand of that. However, there is a food tour you can take that would take you straight into the home of a royal’s chef’s family. In fact, you can also try your hands at making them, too!

kudeejeen-skyline-bangkok-thailand-laugh-travel-eat
Head to Kudeejeen for some delicious food in the heart of Bangkok

The entire tour starts at 9am at Taksin Sapan BTS and we first explored the community’s culture and history through its temples. Before we dived into the Royal Thai cuisine, we visited a local cupcake factory to sample a pastry unique to the region:

Farang-Kudeejeen-bangkok-thailand-laugh-travel-eat

Farang Kudeejeen – a Portuguese-Siamese cupcake that can only be found in Kudeejeen, it’s fluffy yet crispy, with raisins inside and sugar sprinkled on top.

making-Jeep-Nok-royal-thai-cuisine-Kudeejeen-bangkok-thailand-laugh-travel-eat
Doubling up as a cooking class too – making Jeep Nok

We arrived at the house of our gracious hostess, who is the related to a royal chef. She had married into the Kudeejeen community and also runs a cooking school. For the cooking class portion, she taught us how to make the Jeep Nok and the key is to make it into a duck shape. Presentation is key when it comes to Royal Thai cuisine and fortunately, we did a decent job! The rest of the feast we had was cooked by the lady chef herself and here are the delicious treats:

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FEAST!
  • Jeep Nok – duck shape dumpling made from potato, sticky rice, and rice flour. Fillings are made of minced chicken stir-fried with garlic, palm sugar, and salt. This is by far my favourite with the sweet and tangy filling and chewy dumpling skin.
  • La Tiang – minced shrimp stir-fried with coconut and lettuce in egg net, it’s a refreshing salad dish that makes for a great appetizer
  • Tung Thong – akin to a fried wonton, the fillings are minced pork stir-fried with garlic pepper and coriander root. The satisfying crunch and the meaty filling makes it a more filling dish.
  • Dragon bite grass – mandarin slice topped with tapioca mix (pineapple also possible). The contrasting juicy and tart texture with the chewy tapioca makes it almost addictive.
  • Rice noodles with red chicken curry – cooked with the perfect balance of spice and coconut, the red chicken curry is accompanied by homemade rice noodles!

We continued the tour by visiting a local museum on the Portuguese-Siamese history of the region as well as an 100-year-old teak wood house.

A Chef’s Tour Lunch Old Town tour

I was hosted for the tour but all opinions are my own

Nam

The perfect food tour for those who want to go off the beaten path, a Chef’s Tour’s Bangkok lunch tour takes you into a local market and its surrounding north of the heart of the old town. Not only do you get to sample delicious food that you otherwise won’t try or encounter, it’s also a great insight into the local transport and life.

curries Nang Loeng Market bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

The tour starts at 10am at the Platinum Mall in Pratunam, easy to reach and locate. We were greeted by our friendly guide Nutt and his nephew, who acts as helper to the tour at the counter right by McDonalds. There were only 5 of us, a perfect size for a food tour! We were ushered to the Pratunam Pier where we boarded the local ferry towards the old town.

Nutt led us through the market right at the pier we got off expertly, chatting to a vendor by the canal who sold tiny banana leaf wrapped snacks. They are sticky rice snacks with taro jam – cooked over a grill and surprisingly tasty. We also got to sample some jackfruit on our way to take the bus – which some can mistake for durian!

The bus took us to a bustling local market and we ducked into the first shop that Nutt frequented since he was a boy. It’s a Cantonese style roast meat joint and I was curious to try it coming from Hong Kong.

crispy pork belly jib kee bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

A plate of roast duck (pun intended) and pork belly was served with green peppers in sweet soy sauce, the latter I had definitely never seen before. Both are very tasty and different with the dip.

Kanom Bueang Yuan Nang Loeng Market bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat-2

We then hopped over across the road to a small street food stand that serves a Vietnamese-Thai snack: Kanom Bueang Yuan. It’s akin to Bahn Xeo being a mung bean fried pancake, and surprisingly sweet with stir fried fillings like tofu, bean sprouts, ginger. It has a with and without egg version, and personally I prefer it with egg.

Next up is a small eatery just down the street where we were served pork stir fried in red curry paste and thai fried radish cake. It’s interesting to try the dry curry stir fried with pork and long beans. I’m no stranger to radish cake as it’s a Chinese New Year and dim sum staple, but having it fried in cubes is new and I like the mix of texture.

Nutt then took us into the market food court. He weaved through the different stores and vendors, pointing out the sweet treats seller and ordering us some Thai Chinese style spring rolls.

spring roll Nang Loeng Market bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

His nephew also managed to find a seat for all of us (no easy feat!) and we settled down and got a flurry of food. I got a thai milk tea while the others got longan or roselike tea, and a dish of shrimp paste fried rice and sticky rice noodles with pork sausage also arrived. 

We then hit the road again and tried some interesting rice flakes and two types of fried bananas before finishing it all off with four different types of curry!

So don’t forget to turn up to the tour hungry!

A Chef’s Tour China Town dinner tour

I was hosted for the tour but all opinions are my own

Nam

A Chef’s Tour also runs an evening tour in China Town. I followed the instructions to meet at the Shanghai Mansion bar at 4pm, you won’t miss it because it’s a beautiful high ceiling art decor hotel!

chive dumplin china town bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

Our guide grew up here and we’d actually be visiting his mother’s stall! But our first stop is to try some Chive Dumplings. It’s a curious mix of tapioca flour and chives, and served with dips.

The next is arguably my favourite, an unassuming street side stall run by a lady who sells pork leg stew with peanuts in five spice soup. The meat is very tender and you add raw garlic and spicy sauce or chilli as well. While I have had similar dishes in Hong Kong, I’d never add raw garlic on it and it’s divine.

We then finally made it to our guide’s mother’s stall! I love the set up since it’s a group of stalls sharing a seated space – almost like a hawker center but streetside style by a Cantonese Temple. We had chicken satay with peanut sauce, which has a different flavour to Malaysian’s; Glass noodles in soup with the noodles being made with mung bean and the soup with morning glory, celery, chicken and egg in a Japanese style pork broth.

clown fish cake china town bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

Last but not least, a fried fish cake that is not what I expected. It’s more like a piece of fish, clown featherback fried in a chilli paste, kaffir lime and long bean.

pennywort juice china town bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

Then it’s time for some refreshing drink and that came in the form of pennywort juice served in a plastic bag. It’s a distinctive grass green with a very earthy taste, but much needed in the Bangkok heat.

Another contender to my favourite is the visit to the oldest noodle shop in the area. It’s at least a century old with the owner still making the egg noodles by hand, which are served in pork broth with pork. It’s so tasty that we all finished our not so small portion!

One of the highlights on the trip is our stop at the Netflix Street Food curry place. While I won’t say it’s the best curry I’ve ever had, I like that it’s less spicy and served with dried pork sausage as well as chicken. Another unique point is that everyone sits on a plastic chair in the courtyard!

thai style wonton china town bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

We then started to walk back to the main street of China town, stopping for some shrimp wonton – topped with fried garlic and vinegary sauce – and into a shop that serves soy sauce ice cream! It actually tastes more like caramel in my opinion, but you top it with sweet soy sauce and it’s surprisingly delicious!

shrimps and spicy soup china town bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

The food adventure is not yet over as we got ushered up to the attic of a seafood restaurant. The dishes presented to us are fried morning glory, mango green with sauce, Bobdek- the original tom yum, and grilled shrimps with dip! As we are all starting to get full, I didn’t think I’d finish but I do have a weak spot for shrimps!

yaotiu china town bangkok thailand - laugh travel eat

As the saying goes: there’s always room for dessert. My top favourite is the Michelin Recommended street food stall that serves Yaotiu with pandan custard. The former is of Chinese origin, usually a breakfast staple, but pairs oh-so-well with the thai custard that I single-handedly finished a third of the bag. We rounded it all off with the classic mango sticky rice and mango juice.

Best local Thai restaurant in Bangkok

One of the biggest struggle for me in Bangkok is finding a good restaurant close to where I was at the time. The city is pretty spread out and going out of the way to eat before returning back to the schedule at hand isn’t convenient. On my first trip, we did end up eating at random places here and there. Now that I’ve visited again, I’m happy to say that I’ve a few good place to recommend in most major areas:

Around Nana BTS

Prai Raya

Prai-Raya-restaurant-bangkok-thailand-laugh-travel-eat

I discovered this gem via googling restaurants in the area and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the meal was. Prai Raya is a famous small chain in Phuket that has expanded to Bangkok, and I’m super glad they did. The restaurant itself looks like a colonial villa with Portuguese tiles.

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We ordered their signature crab meat yellow coconut curry noodle, a pepper sauce slow cook ribs and rice, and a coconut to share. The portion sizes are very generous, with big chunks of crab meat in the curry and crispy pork ribs. The total came to 883 baht for 2, all in all not bad for a meal.

Address: 59 Soi Sukhumvit 8, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110

Opening times: 10:30 – 22:30

Terminal 21

san-francisco-terminal-21-bangkok-thailand-laugh-travel-eat
San Francisco floor with food court

If you are stuck on what to eat, Terminal 21 might or might not be the answer since you will have a million choice, but you’d still have to make a choice. The food court in the airport-themed shopping mall is legendary for its affordable prices and variety, with crowd favourites like chicken rice, mango sticky rice, and pork knuckles.

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I had ended up there more often than not if I’m in the urban downtown, because who can say no to mango sticky rice? They do have a system to order, with patrons paying for credits in a card and using it for purchases. Once you are done, simply go back to the counter to get the remainder.

Address: next to Asok BTS

Opening times: unsure of exact time but likely 10:00 – 22:00

Around Pratunam

Kaiton Pratunam 紅大哥水門雞飯

Kaiton-Pratunam-bangkok-Thailand-laugh-travel-eat

One of the most famous place for chicken rice is Kaiton Pratunam. Expect to be queueing for a while because it is a popular spots for local and tourists alike. However, the restaurant has kept the price of chicken rice at 40 baht, which is extremely affordable.

Opening times:05:30-14:00 17:00-02:00(周日公休)

Bamee Sawang

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Only a few shops down from Kaiton Pratunam (and less if you are standing in the queue), Bamee Sawang is equally affordable. Although the portion size is on the small side, the food is delicious. I had a wonton dry noodle and my friend had a pork knuckle rice at 120 Baht altogether. It is also air-coned, unlike Kaiton Pratunam.

Address: 982 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Makkasan, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400泰國

Opening times: 11:00 – 23:00

Around Old Bangkok

Krua Apsorn

For a comprehensive Thai menu and dishes of all budget, Krua Apsorn near the Democracy Monument is perfect. The air-conditioned interior is a reprieve from the heat outside and was a great rest point between temple hopping.

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I ordered garlic shrimp with rice, while my mum ordered pad thai and they are both delicious. They also have curry dishes and other Thai fare, they are more pricey and suited for sharing.

Address: 169 Dinso Rd, บวรนิเวศ, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Opening times: 10:30 – 20:00

Thipsamai Pad Thai

Thipsamai-Pad-Thai-restaurant-bangkok-thailand-laugh-travel-eat

The Pad Thai place to visit, Thipsamai Pad Thai spots a long queue just like Kaiton Chicken Rice. With cooking stations placed outside, diners can take in the mouth watering scent of Pad Thai and watch the skillful chefs work the wok to dish up the food. The restaurant only opens during the night from 5pm, so make sure you plan your visit and budget in some time to queue.

Address: 313 315 Maha Chai Rd, Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Opening times: 17:00 – 02:00

In Chatuchak

345 By Yorwor

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On my first visit to Chatuchak, we ended up eating at a random vendor and my fried rice was kind of meh. On my second visit, we opted for 345 by Yorwor at section 3 for some quality food. It is, however, more expensive.

We ordered their Pad Thai which was amazing, but their other signature of pork with rice wasn’t very good. But there is good seating area and the indoor portion has air-conditioning too.

Address: Section 3 Soi 45 in Chatuchak Market

Opening times: unclear

Around Ekkamai

Sit and Wonder

sit-and-wonder-bangkok-Thailand-laugh-travel-eat
It’s on the second floor of this beautiful building

We found this restaurant when we was staying at Ekkamai. It’s a great affordable and atmospheric choice, with a Thai and western menu. I ordered a Thai sausage fried rice and lemongrass drink and they are both delicious.

Address: 119 ถนน สุขุมวิท 57 Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110泰國

Opening times: 11:00 – 23:00

Nearest station: Thong Lo BTS

Bangkok is a huge city and although finding a place to eat is not hard, whether you are looking for new unique street foods or just some hearty Thai fare. But finding the best place to eat can be a lot harder, especially since the city is such a big place! Having visited Bangkok a few times and lived in different parts of the city, here are some of my favourite dining options across the board: #Bangkok #food #Thailand
Pin me!
Bangkok is a huge city and although finding a place to eat is not hard, whether you are looking for new unique street foods or just some hearty Thai fare. But finding the best place to eat can be a lot harder, especially since the city is such a big place! Having visited Bangkok a few times and lived in different parts of the city, here are some of my favourite dining options across the board: #Bangkok #food #Thailand
Pin me!

Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.

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