The Michelin-star rating is the world’s most prestigious restaurant ranking system. Its elite one-, two-, and three-star ratings are awarded annually to exceptional restaurants. Coveted by international chefs and cherished by global gastronomes, acknowledgement by Michelin signifies excellence not just in the food, but in the unparalleled experience.
Bangkok has grown into a global hub for tourism and business, attracting many Michelin-merited chefs to its upscale hotel kitchens, as well as being fertile ground to open their own acclaimed dining establishments. One important note -- being a previously-awarded Michelin chef doesn’t automatically rank their current restaurant as such. The top restaurants in Bangkok that earned a Michelin star or two, are stars in and of themselves. Also notable is that the first Michelin Bangkok guide only appeared in 2018, yet was able to identify so many worthy star recipients.
The Top Restaurants in Bangkok
In Bangkok, there are an impressive 38 restaurants listed in the illustrious Michelin guide, all making the cut together, given Michelin’s recent introduction of the city to its illustrious guide. Of those listed, 17 earned Michelin stars. (To give you some perspective, care to guess how many Canada has? The answer: zero. That’s right, nowhere from coast to coast, including Canada’s wealthy, diverse and cosmopolitan cities, currently has a Michelin star.)
Bangkok Michelin restaurants aren’t just Thai. They range from elevated Indian to French fare, traditional Italian and Chinese fusion. To narrow the scope of top Bangkok restaurants, we’ve meticulously shelved them according to highest star-ranking, followed by others specializing in Thai cuisine.
You don’t need to put on your suit and Thai either; breaking stereotypes of what a Michelin-star restaurant ‘should’ be, many of those found in Bangkok are casually accessible, “hole-in-the-wall”, family-run gems. And unlike their Michelin counterparts in Manhattan, London and Shanghai, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to dine in the top restaurants in Bangkok.
Top 6 Michelin Star Restaurants Bangkok
Michelin recently awarded three Bangkok restaurants with a two-star rating, which also makes them the most decorated, as none made the elusive three-star merit. Here they are!
Restaurant Address:68/1 Soi Langsuan Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok.
Before Michelin donned two stars on this playfully progressive Indian marvel, Gaggan already boasted the title as Asia’s Best Restaurant four years in a row. Chef Gaggan Anand sets the stage for his notable 25-course tasting menu in an enchanting, whitewashed colonial property.
Here, lucky diners are presented with a true feast for the senses-- a term that may be hyperbolically overused by convention, but in this case is accurate. Take for example, “Lick It Up,” a dish which you trade utensils for your tongue to enjoy, while the Kiss song of the same name blasts from an MP3 hooked up to the plate.
Alchemy fuses with artistry in a dizzying array of tasting plates, but don’t worry about trying to remember them all -- Gaggan’s whimsical menu is composed of emojis, which you get to take home, with a short description of them. Speaking of take home, a meal at Gaggan is definitely a molecularly gastronomic masterpiece you’ll be thinking about when you return home, and for years to come.
Restaurant Address: Inside the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, 48 Soi Burapa, Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok.
The Mandarin Oriental’s flagship restaurant boasts a remarkable longevity, having been the place for traditional French fare in the Thai capital since 1958. Under the helm of Chef Arnaud Dunand-Sauthier, Le Normandie is enjoying a resurgence, with modern twists that stay true to its classical roots.
Popular options are the five- or seven-course tasting menus, with delights that may range from Oscietra caviar with sea urchin and potato, Brittany-caught fish, suckling pig and milk-fed lamb, joined by oysters and crabmeat, or porcini and cardamom. Old-world glamour meets fresh attitudes and ingredients here, the merging of which results in a beautiful backdrop and culinary perfection.
Restaurant Address: 65F, Tower Club at Lebua, 1055 Si Lom Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok
Not only is the innovative and internationally-inspired Mezzaluna ranked highly, housed on the 65th floor of the Tower Club, it is also literally Bangkok's highest restaurant. Enjoy sweeping, 360-degree views of the city as you enjoy thoughtful meals flawlessly executed by Chef Ryuki Kawasaki.
Considered one of the top restaurants in Bangkok since 2005, Mezzaluna is always seeking to up the ante. Local ingredients produced by artisans and farmers are chiefly emphasized, as well as sustainable international flavours. Homemade and organic are words that grace the menus, from 7-course tasting options to a robust vegetarian menu.
The restaurant is eponymously named after its owner and chef, and while both are something of enigmas, the food from this small eatery is known far and wide. Septuagenarian Jay Fai is a legend, partly due to her goggles-wearing, wok-wielding presence, but mainly due to her delicious, generously portioned dishes that have made her famous.
We’re talking crab-dominated omelettes, heaping curry stir-fries and signature drunken seafood noodles. The Jai Fai restaurant itself is nothing to look at, which of course is part of its hole-in-the-wall charm, befitting of the street food its unlikely Michelin chef passionately prepares. Don’t be mislead by the street vendor moniker, the sumptuous noodles and seafood dishes come at a price.
But as travellers and local followers agree, they are worth every penny -- or in this case, baht. Expect to pay about 1,000 baht ($30 CAD) for a dish, which is definitely steep but with it comes a heaping serving and happy experience.
Restaurant Address: 3rd Floor, Gaysorn, 999 Ploenchit Rd., Lumpini, Bangkok, next door to the Intercontinental Hotel
Housed in the upscale Gaysorn Mall, the minimalist, modern Paste restaurant may appear to be somewhat of an anachronism. That’s because its complex menu is in fact, pulled from ancient recipes and features traditional Thai cookery.
While the likes of Gaggan amazes diners with its science-inspired molecular gastronomy, Paste’s husband and wife team, Jason Bailey and Bee Satongun, pored through old cookbooks from the reign of King Rama V up to King Rama VII (about 1870s to 1930s.) The result is an authentic cuisine that even Thailanders may not have been able to taste in the past, combined with exotic and elusive ingredients like hummingbird flowers and betel and mulberry leaves, united with spanner cab and river prawns.
The menu also features international imports like Australian beef cheek and Canadian lobster. Paste prides itself as a culinary heirloom and is absolutely worth a visit.
The Bangkok outpost of Copenhagen’s Kiin Kiin restaurant, originally one of the few Thai restaurants in the world to be given a Michelin star, has deservingly received a similar accolade. Conceptualized by world-renowned Chef Henrik Yde Andersen, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin’s Chef Chayawee creatively transforms traditional Thai flavours into original masterpieces.
Respecting the past, with a passion for reinvention, Chayawee’s guests can look forward to modernized Thai dishes like duck breast and vegetables in tamarind and lemongrass sauce, slow-cooked beef rib with housemade oyster sauce, and green curry lobster risotto. The dress code is upscale and so is the experience.
Get a taste of Thailand
Of course, this is just a figurative taste of the top restaurants in Bangkok. In terms of Michelin accolades alone, there are 38 restaurants in the Thai capital that either bear stars or boast an honourary mention by Michelin’s esteemed inspectors. A Flight Centre Expert Traveller is ready to help you get a literal taste of Bangkok and will happily help you make reservations at these must-try places. Call us at 1 877 967 5302, visit us in-store or stay online for a Live Chat. Sawadee!