Pad thai, tom yum, papaya salad, crispy chicken with rice, noodle soup with beef… There are so many delicacies to eat in Bangkok that you will need several weeks to try them all.
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Are you planning a route through Thailand and feel like visiting some of the best restaurants in Bangkok? Get your bib ready because we warn you that this article will make you hungry. With an infinite variety of specialties prepared with always fresh ingredients, there are many options to please the most demanding palates for very little money.
These are the 12 restaurants in Bangkok to eat well (and cheap) that we recommend.
Kurissara Thai Cuisine
1794, Charoenkrung Road
This small place for about 20 guests is one of the restaurants in Bangkok to repeat more than once during your stay. With some options for vegetarians, the Kurissara is famous for its pad thai with prawns, pineapple curry rice, chicken satay (marinated and grilled skewers), sea bass in hot sauce or fried rice with eggs. And to refresh yourself, coconut water to be drunk with a straw in the fruit itself.
Sabai Jai Gai Yang
65, Sukhumvit Soi, 63 (Ekamai Soi, 1)
Sabai Jai Gai Yang, also known as Baan Tawan Gai Yang, is a restaurant in Bangkok that includes in its menu some dishes from the south of the country. Grilled chicken (gai yang) is the second part of their name and, therefore, one of their specialties, which they prepare juicy, toasted and with chile sauce, for only 2 euros half a piece. Shrimp cake, fried crab, pork ribs, fried sea bass, chicken soup or green curry are other suggestions to savour during their extensive opening hours: from 10 am to midnight. Don’t forget to order som tam thai, a spicy salad whose main ingredient is green papaya. And for dessert, dulce de coco.
532, Din Daeng Rd.
One of the best restaurants in Bangkok, hidden away on Din Daeng Street, does not attract many foreigners, but those who discover it, including many locals attracted by word of mouth, return again and again for its incredibly tasty food. Highlights include spicy pork soup (tom sep), grilled chicken, and any of their salads with different types of meat. Although it’s a little far from public transportation, it’s worth walking around for a few minutes.
762/5-6, Sukhumvit Rd
With more than half a century behind it, Saengchai is another of the best restaurants in Bangkok. Top quality products and more than affordable prices await you in this ‘pochana’, which could be translated as ‘Chinese-Thai family food establishment’. On its walls, the owner boasts a famous clientele from all over the world. And in his kitchen, which is open until four in the morning, such tasty portions as pla gao tod gratiem prik thai (fried grouper with garlic) or tom moo kiem chai (chopped pork soup with pickled mustard leaves) are simmered.
313, Maha Chai Road
This restaurant in Bangkok was born in 1965, almost at the same time as one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, the Thai pad. With a frantic atmosphere: pedestrians running past, cooks working the wok at breakneck speeds, dozens of trays of eggs waiting to be cooked… Thip Samai has a simple menu, consisting basically of different types of pad thai, and an increasingly famous orange juice bottled exclusively for them.
336, Ekkamai Alley, 18
Looking for typical dishes to eat in Bangkok? With more than six decades of experience, Wattana Panich has become synonymous with a delicious phrase: Thai meat noodles. There are only two main dishes: beef stew and goat stew. Both are boiled for many hours, resulting in exceptionally tender meat. Each dish can be ordered with your choice of noodles: sen yai (flat), sen lek (medium size), or sen mee (thin as a hair). Finally, order your refreshing coconut ice cream.
68/51, Soi Phetchaburi, 5
Is your eating budget no more than 100 baht? For that price, about 2.50 euros, this multi-award winning restaurant in Bangkok, without any kind of luxury, offers its customers a big, steaming bowl of rich, creamy tom yum noodles sprinkled with big pieces of shrimp. There is no menu in English, so practice your pronunciation of everything you need to order: kuay teow tom yum goong nam khon, which we just recommended, or ba mee yok gai ob, similar to the previous one, but with pork.
Baan Som Tam
Isaan is the northwestern region of Thailand and its food is as appreciated by visitors as it is by locals. Some of its best dishes can be tasted in Baan Som Tam, a Bangkok restaurant with a homely atmosphere and air conditioning. Sai krok sausages, made from spiced rice, are excellent, as is the papaya salad, or so-called larb, made from meat or fish, which, after being fried, are combined with kaffir lime, garlic, chillies, lemongrass, mint and roasted rice powder to create a delicious explosion of flavors. It has recently been included in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list for its excellent combination of price and quality.
Kamphaeng Phet, 5
Although waiting for a table can take up to 2 hours, you will not regret visiting this restaurant in Bangkok. With an extensive 10-page menu in Thai, somewhat more limited in English, and a multitude of customers that make it quite noisy, it only has one cook, its owner, who personally prepares each dish to ensure that it is of the highest quality. The star of the house is the mackerel-based portions: fried heads (kaem pla too tod), in the form of curry (chu chee pla to) or soup (tom yum pla too), plus a surprising shrimp ceviche.
Hoi Tod Chaw Lae
Thong Lor (Sukhumvit Soi, 55)
Famous for its pad thai and its mussel and oyster tortillas, served with homemade chili sauce, this humble restaurant has seats inside, although it would already fit into the so-called Street food, one of the best options to eat in Bangkok for little money.
Lang Suan Market
Lang Suan Road
Every day around noon, the small alleys leading east of Lang Suan Road become a frenzy of activity. Hundreds of street vendors selling food and other items set up their stalls and thousands of office workers come down to eat lunch on the street. The food selection is dazzling, with rice and noodle dishes and an extensive collection of desserts and sweets as tasty as pumpkin custard or traditional sweet coffee flavored with condensed milk.
431-433, Tanao Rd
Khaoniao mamuang is the Thai name for mango sticky rice, one of the most popular dishes to eat in Bangkok. Korpanich is one of its best suppliers and its owners claim that their recipe comes from the kitchen of the Royal Palace, which is where the grandmother of the clan that owns this establishment worked. Made with glutinous rice, fresh mango and coconut milk, we assure you that it will not be enough to try it just once.
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