The 6 Best Restaurants in Bangkok

by Jack Cheng
Best restaurants in Bangkok

Putting the yum in Tom Yum!

You’ve made it to Bangkok, walked a mile on Sukhumvit Road, and took in the sights and sounds of Thailand’s bustling capital. The culinary floodgates are fully open. From gas-powered roadside kitchens to Michelin-star decorated powerhouses by the river, Bangkok’s eclectic food scene is not to be overlooked. Here’s our list of the top restaurants in Bangkok.

Bangkok Restaurant Quick Guide

1. Le Normandie

 

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Restaurant Address: 48 Oriental Ave, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand

At the pinnacle of Thai haute cuisine, and perched above the scenic water’s edge of Chao Phraya River, Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has shared the exclusive artistry of its daintily crafted amuse-bouche with Bangkok for the last 40 years. Long before two Michelin Stars studded its expatriate name and well-heeled diners flocked to its baroque, crystal chandelier halls, Le Normandie faithfully transported French countryside classics from duck foie gras terrine and pigeon de pornic to the lamplit river banks of the busy Thai capital.

The restaurant spares no detail, and imports its meat ingredients exclusively from France to ensure consistency in quality. Seated at a white-cloth table, enjoy poached blue lobster with red wine reduction served alongside Savoy cabbage, and Hokkaido caviar bathed in potato foam and champagne sauce. Ask the sommelier for the perfect wine pairing, perhaps a glass of Chateau Latour Grand Vin with the right vintage. Take in panoramic views of the river at this Mandarin Oriental Hotel restaurant by the Chao Phraya River.

2. Chim by Siam Wisdom

 

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Restaurant Address: 66 Soi Sukhumvit 31, Klongton Nua, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand

The missing link between traditional and modern Thai cuisine, Siam Wisdom’s menu captures the evolution of an entire country’s gastronomy. Offering classical Thai dishes with a contemporary spin, Chef Thaninthorn “Noom” Chantrawan’s ability to refine the basics into elegant amuse-bouche and well-crafted plates rightfully earned him and the restaurant a Michelin Star.

Whether you choose his à la carte opus, Puu nim Tod (deep-fried softshell crab with a side of julienne mango and roasted coconut salad) to start the meal, sharing a plate of red curry with roasted pork collar, or end the meal with spoonful of sweet sticky rice with mango, deciding on which incredible dish is your new favourite might be the ultimate challenge. Try Siam Wisdom’s authentic tom yums and classic curries in the Watthana District just north of Terminal 21.

3.  80/20

 

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Restaurant Address: 052-1054 Charoen Krung Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok

The rich gastronomy of Bangkok fuses with the imagination of Chef Napol Jantraget, Saki Hoshino, and Andrew Martinat at this trendy Michelin one-star restaurant. Located in the city’s booming hipster district in Bang Rak, the bold and adventurous offerings of this collaborative kitchen features inventive fusion entrées like its pan-seared squid lightly dressed with tamarind and lemongrass sauce, and glazed duck leg served with cilantro emulsion and a side of fragrant green papaya rice. Not to mention desserts like exquisitely decadent pumpkin and yogurt sorbet cheesecake to round out your dining experience.

As its name suggests, the Pareto Principle applies to this ambitious, chic restaurant wrapped in vintage Old Town wood and concrete decor. Aiming high for the 20% créme of the crop dinners with its 80% locally sourced organic ingredients from the nearby Talat Noi market, this is not your run-of-the-mill, dine-and-forget cannery. Consider this, instead, to be a culinary revolution waiting to happen on the bank of the Chao Phrayra River.

4. Err

 

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Restaurant Address: 394/35 Maharaj Road, Tatien, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang Phranakorn, Bangkok  10200, Thailand

This relaxed yet refined restaurant also earned a Michelin nod, the Bib Gourmand, what Michelin inspectors bestow upon a restaurant with great value. Err describes itself as “Rustic Thai,” but its retro-chic and somewhat off-kilter decor hints at a menu that is undeniably modern.

Both quirky and eclectic, the names and descriptions of the dishes make us giggle: Geng Kiew Wan Gai Ban: Green curry of chicken on the bone with all the best bits (sic), or do a double take when reading Sai Ouwa: Coconut smoked Chiang Rai curry sausage, or struggle to pronounce Geng Krau Sii Krong Moo: Southern-style curry with pork ribs.

Although a lesson in phonetics might not come with a tall glass of Lamai Trakai Bai Teoy (Lamai-style sugar cane spirit with pandan essence cocktail), this homestyle restaurant captures the heartiness of Thai countryside cuisine with all the flair of an urban Bangkok eatery. Experience Err’s fun but satisfying menu on Maha Rat Road near the Museum Siam.

5.  Rung Ruang Noodles

 

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Restaurant Address: 10, 3 Sukhumvit 26 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand

Although travellers scour Sukhumvit Road for Michelin Star accumulating restaurants, the locals, however, prefer to pull up a stool by the soup pots of roadside noodle houses. No-frills, unpretentious joints like Rung Ruang Noodles run on propane gas tanks to heat its aluminum cooking stations.

The beauty of Rung Ruang lies in its simplicity. From sitting in the tiled concrete dining room open to the busy residential street and traffic outside, to watching the steam evaporate from the piping broth poured into hard plastic bowls, this classic noodle house is the place to become fully immersed in authentic, everyday Thai dining experience.

Order a bowl of tom yum flavoured noodles with clear broth, topped with fish balls and cakes, and garnished with offals and chopped green onions. For sides, try crispy fried fish skins, and dip them into the soup like crackers for a touch of added flavour. Rung Ruang offers a variety of noodles to pair with different styles of broth, alongside condiments like lime juice, chilis, and crushed peanuts. Look for this popular hole-in-the-wall by the Phrom Phong BTS Station.

6. Saeng Chai Pochana

 

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Restaurant Address: 762/5-7 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand

As much as it is a place for grabbing down-to-earth Chinese-Thai cuisine, Saeng Chai Pochana is also the spot to do a bit of star-gazing. With walls plastered with pictures of Thai celebrities who frequent its humble roadside dining room, this seafood and stir-fry eatery offers “tam sang” style, ordering dishes as you dine, restaurant experience.

Known for its many wok-fried specialties such as clams with chilli paste, cowslip flowers with eggs and mung bean noodles, and chicken stir-fry with red curry paste, its bustling kitchen beckons steady streams of locals and expatriates well into the late-night hours. Seafood dishes like curry crabs, deep-fried grouper topped with crispy garlic, and Thai seafood omelette are what made stars its regulars. Search for this local staple near the Phrom Phong BTS Station.

Worked up an appetite yet? Now let’s book your Better Beach Vacation to Thailand. Contact a Thailand Expert Traveller at 1 877 967 5302, visit us in-store, or chat with us online.

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