The quality, variety and sheer abundance of food in Bangkok is legendary.
So legendary, in fact, that a newcomer to the scene might feel a little overwhelmed — hopefully, this Bangkok cuisine guide can steer you on the right course.
From street food to fine dining, Japanese to Lebanese — whatever you’ve got a fancy for, chances are Bangkok’s got it.
There are over 9,000 restaurants in Bangkok according to Trip Advisor, but we’ve broken down the most popular world cuisines, and where you can find them at their best in the City of Angels.
Let us know what favourite spot of yours we’ve missed in the comments!
- 1 Street Food
- 2 Thai
- 3 Indian
- 4 Chinese
- 5 Japanese
- 6 American
- 7 Italian
- 8 French
- 9 Mediterranean, North African, Arab Cuisine
- 10 Tapas
- 11 British
- 12 Vegetarian & Vegan
- 13 Seafood
- 14 Breakfast & Brunch
- 15 Best of the Rest
Unlike, say, tuk tuks, street food is a Bangkok institution that’s beloved by tourists and locals alike.
Through from the break of dawn to when the last club closes, chances are you’ll always find a meal on the street in Bangkok. The stalls and shophouses are ubiquitous throughout the city, although there are a few areas that are renowned for their street side custom.
- Chinatown: the labyrinth of sois and alleyways around the Yaowarat Road are absolutely teeming with some of Bangkok’s best street food — most notably Thai and Chinese cuisine, as well as a bit of Indian. Try and avoid dishes like shark’s fin and bird’s nest soup, as the ingredients are acquired in an unethical manner.
- Victory Monument: probably the busiest transport hub in central Bangkok, Victory Monument’s street vendors work every hour of the day to feed the travellers and workers that flock to the streets here. Boat Noodles are seemingly the most popular dish on offer, while Soi Rangnam in the evening is grilling up delicious meat cuts for the masses.
- Wang Lang: if you dare to cross the river, Wang Lang is the place to go for foodies. There’s a big market here and an array of street stalls.
- Banglamphu: the area surrounding backpacker Mecca Khao San Road is full of shophouses and street stalls frying up noodles and crafting khanom (snacks).
- Silom: as the main artery of Bangkok’s CBD, there are street vendors lining the Silom Road every day serving up lunch to the many office workers. Quality varies dramatically, so always follow the crowds. Soi 20 is known for delicious food. The offerings thicken the further into Bangrak and the closer to the Charoen Krung Road you venture.
These are just a few of the main clusters of street food but truthfully, there are stalls all over town ready to cater to you.
Every other Monday, many vendors are banned from selling thanks to the fortnightly street cleaning so you may need to look a little harder for treasures then.
No guide to Bangkok cuisine would be complete without a nod to the hundreds of Thai restaurants that can be found in the city.
Unlike in the West, where Thai restaurants are usually pretty generic, serving up bland interpretations of Pad Thai and Massaman Curry, in Bangkok they’re a hell of a lot more varied. We’ve got Isaan cuisine, – typically, lots of grilled meats and spicy salads – the creamy curries of the South, and the rich, tangy dishes of Northern Thailand.
Some restaurants are super specialist on a particular regional cuisine, while others offer a large and inclusive menu.
It would be a fool’s errand to try and list all the Thai restaurants in this city, so you’ll have to settle for a few of our favourites instead.
While Thai food is generally very cheap and concerned more with flavour than presentation, there are a smattering of very popular fine dining Thai restaurants in Bangkok for those after something a little more refined.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, try out:
- Issaya Siamese Club (Sathorn)
- Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin (Siam)
- Nahm (Sathorn)
- Bo Lan (Thonglor)
- Blue Elephant (Sathorn)
- Baan Khanitha (Sathorn, Asok, Thonglor & Riverside)
- Osha (Lumpini)
If you’re on a night out with friends or on a low-key date, there are a plethora of mid-range Thai restaurants serving up delectable dishes at reasonable prices too.
Here are our favourites:
- Supanniga Eating Room (Thonglor)
- Sit and Wonder (Thonglor)
- Nara (Phrom Phong & Chit Lom)
- Soul Food Mahanakorn (Thonglor)
- Le Du (Silom)
- Paste (Chit Lom)
- The Living Room (Asok)
- Lay Lao (Ari)
- Long Table (Asok)
Looking for a cheap yet delicious Thai pit stop for lunch? If you’re looking for a step up from street food (read: access to an air con), there are simply loads of cafes to choose from.
Here are just a few:
- Pier 21 Food Court (Asok)
- Chapter 21 (Phrom Phong)
- Eat Thai Food Court (Chit Lom)
- Yum & Tum (Phrom Phong)
- May Veggie Home (Asok)
- Som Tum Der (Silom)
- Tum Thonglor (Thonglor)
Thanks to a huge and growing Desi community, there’s a very well established Indian dining scene in Bangkok.
Phahurat is the neighbourhood commonly referred to as Little India, complete with homely dhabas, while streetside roti can be found all over the city — particularly in the Nana area.
Indian restaurants are often thought of as at the more expensive end of the Bangkok dining scene, and there are a handful of fine dining and high-end restaurants that attest to this:
- Gaggan (Langsuan) – continually voted the best restaurant in Asia
- Charcoal (Nana)
- Indus (Phrom Phong)
- Punjab Grill (Asok)
- The Great Kabab Factory (Nana)
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and are in the Nana area, head to Soi 11/1 which is chokka with Indian eateries, including What’s On Sukhumvit favourite, Mrs Balbir’s.
Check out our guide to Desi culture in Bangkok if you want to explore the community more fully.
When you don’t fancy trekking to Chinatown for street food, fear not, as there are plenty of excellent Chinese restaurants sprawling across the rest of Bangkok.
Whether you fancy some upper-crust Dim Sum or just a nosh on some Peking Duck, you’ll have the pick of the city in front of you.
Here are a few of the best Chinese restaurants in Bangkok:
- Lin-Fa (Phaya Thai)
- Fei Ya (Chit Lom)
- Tim Ho Wan (Asok & Ekkamai)
- Chefman (Ratchadamri)
- Silk Road (Phloen Chit)
- Hong Bao (Phrom Phong & Phloen Chit)
If you’re peckish for some Japanese while you’re in Bangkok, your best bet is to head to Sukhumvit, specifically around Phrom Phong, Thonglor and Ekkamai, where the city’s Japanese expat population congregate nightly.
Ramen, sushi and barbeque restaurants are two-a-penny in these neighbourhoods, and you can usually judge quality from the size of the queue outside.
Let’s break down the best on offer according to sub-cuisine:
Sushi – typically a variety of small plates of cold cooked rice, vegetables and raw fish – is what most people think of when Japanese food comes to mind.
- Isao (Phrom Phong)
- Lord Jim’s (Riverside)
- Zuma (Ratchadamri)
- Fatboy Sushi (Silom)
- Tsu (Nana)
- Mugendai Penthouse (Phrom Phong)
Ramen restaurants serve up steaming bowls of wheat noodles in creamy meat or fish broth, with a soy or miso flavouring, usually topped with some thin slices of meat.
Izakaya pub-style restaurants are great for an after-work drop-in, serving up all manner of popular Japanese food, as well as bottle after bottle of sake and pints of Asahi.
- Teriyaki Bar Kelly’s (Thonglor)
- Kushikatsu Daruma (Thonglor)
- Karatama Robatayaki (Thonglo)
- Shakariki 432 (Phetchaburi)
- Sekai no Yamachan (Phrom Phong)
Shabu-shabu refers to Japanese hot pot – usually with ingredients picked and cooked at the table by the customer.
- Ryu Shabu Shabu (Siam)
- Shibuya Shabu (Thonglor & Rama IX)
Kaiseki is traditional Japanese cuisine, served up in multiple courses. They’re more of a special occasion restaurant.
Teppanyaki restaurants see the chefs cook up various dishes on a huge iron griddle in front of diners, who usually sit around the grill in a horseshoe shape.
It’s easy to find a taste of the West and American home comforts when you’re in Bangkok, thanks to the plethora of US eateries catering to the many Western expats and tourists that live here.
It’s not all about North America, however, with a handful of Central and South American cuisines on offer too.
Here are a few of our favourites across a range of eats:
- Daniel Thaiger Van (Phrom Phong)
- Firehouse (Nana)
- Orn The Road Van (Mobile!)
- Burgers and Bangers (Asok)
- 25 Degrees (Silom)
- El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse (Asok, Nana & Thonglor)
- The Smokin’ Pug (Silom)
- The District (Thonglor)
- New York Steakhouse (Nana)
- The US Steakhouse (Asok)
- Bourbon Street (Ekkamai)
- Smith (Phrom Phong)
- Little Beast (Thonglor)
- Coyote (Nana)
- Mejico (Chit Lom)
- Charley Brown’s Mexicana (Nana)
- La Monita Taqueria (Phrom Phong & Phloen Chit)
- The Mexican (Nana)
- Hemingway’s (Asok)
When the craving for pizza or pasta hits, Bangkok’s swathe of Italian eateries will be more than happy to welcome you in.
Italian restaurants can be found all over the city, although there are a notable concentration in the Phrom Phong soi of Sukhumvit 31: Peppina, Appia, Bella Napoli, Antonio’s and Enoteca all have a home here.
Outside of Soi 31, check out the following joints:
- Pizza Pala (Asok)
- Theo Mio (Chit Lom)
- Lenzi (Phloen Chit)
- Angelini (Riverside)
- di Vino (Thonglor)
- Medici Kitchen and Bar (Langsuan)
- Zanotti Il Ristorante Italiano (Silom)
Bangkok has a full and varied offering of French restaurants.
As well as a slew of European fusion brasseries, there are plenty of traditional French eateries in the city, bolstered by the many French chefs who pass through Bangkok to acquire new skills and hand down theirs to aspiring local cooks.
As is common throughout the world, French restaurants in Bangkok tend to be at the higher end of the pricing spectrum.
Here are a few of the city’s best:
- Le Normandie (Riverside)
- L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Silom)
- JP French Restaurant (Phrom Phong)
- L’Appart (Asok)
- Cocotte Farm Roast & Winery (Phrom Phong)
- Water Library Brasserie (Phloen Chit)
- Chez Pape (Nana)
- Savelberg (Ratchadamri)
- J’aime (Sathorn)
For foodies after the Mediterranean-cum-Arabian flavours of Greek, Cypriot, Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian and Moroccan cuisine, you’re in luck in Bangkok.
The city’s Arab quarter is centred around Sukhumvit Soi 3/1 in the Nana neighbourhood, but there are plenty of stand-alone restaurants in the city too.
Here are a few of our favourites:
- Olive (Ekkamai)
- Avra (Phrom Phong)
- Nadimos (Phrom Phong)
- The Connection (Banglamphu)
- Beirut (Nana, Silom)
If you’d prefer a more European taste of the Mediterranean, there are a number of Spanish restaurants serving up tapas in Bangkok. Perfect for a sociable meal with friends or a long, drawn-out eating and drinking session.
Try these on for size:
- Spanish on 4 (Silom)
- Tapas Cafe (Nana)
- Taburete (Phrom Phong)
- El Chiringuito (Chinatown)
- Viva 8 (Chatuchak)
- Taberna Jamon Jamon (Asok)
Sure, the Brits aren’t known for their incredible native cuisine, but sometimes you just can’t beat a good pie and chips.
Or a massive roast dinner.
Here are a few pubs and restaurants serving up cracking British fare night after night:
- The Royal Oak (Phrom Phong)
- No Idea (Phrom Phong)
- London Pie (Ekkamai)
- Huntsman Pub (Nana)
- Author’s Lounge (Riverside) – Afternoon Tea!
There’s no doubt that Bangkok is a meat-loving city (no matter what you hear about the tenets of Buddhism…) but there are still a few options for our Bangkok friends choosing to eschew animal produce.
- Broccoli Revolution (Thonglor)
- Veganerie (Phrom Phong)
- Na Aroon (Nana)
- Ethos (Banglamphu)
- Mango (Banglamphu)
- Bonita Cafe and Social Club (Silom)
- May Kai Dee (Banglamphu)
- Tealicious (Riverside)
Many of the restaurants we’ve already listed serve up delicious seafood iterations, but there are a few Bangkok restaurants that specialise particularly in this fishy niche.
We’ve included the best here:
- Harvest (Phrom Phong)
- Raw Bar (Thonglor)
- The Oyster Bar (Yan Nawa)
- Laem Charoen Seafood (Chit Lom & Siam)
- T-Pochana (Phrom Phong)
- Snapper New Zealand (Nana)
- Crab & Claw (Phrom Phong)
Brunch and breakfast food is really the nectar of the gods — and thankfully, Bangkok delivers.
There are some pretty epic all-you-can-eat brunches on offer in most of the city’s big hotels, but if you’d prefer to go to a neighbourhood eatery, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some of Bangkok’s best brunch spots:
- Roast (Phrom Phong & Thonglor)
- Simple (Phrom Phong)
- Dean & Deluca (Phrom Phong & Sathorn)
- Cafe Tartine (Phloen Chit)
- Chu (Asok & Silom)
- Rocket (Sathorn, Thonglor & Phloen Chit)
- Tiny Cup Cafe (Phloen Chit & Thonglor)
While we’ve covered the major cuisines on offer in Bangkok, truthfully we’ve barely scratched the surface on the city’s unparalleled food scene. The best way to discover more is simply to get out there and start eating; don’t fall into a restaurant routine!
Here are a few other worthy mentions for this Bangkok cuisine guide…
Between Sukhumvit Sois 12 and 14 in Asok is Sukhumvit Plaza — the city’s official Korea Town, filled with bibimbap, kimchi and barbeques by the bucketload.
Outside of Korea Town, try out:
If northern European food is more your style, there are a few German institutions that might tickle deine pickle:
- Bei Otto (Phrom Phong)
- G’s Bangkok (Silom)
- Tawandang German Brewery (Rama III)
- Deutsches Eck (Asok)
- Old German Beerhouse (Nana)
Who can resist a steaming bowl of Pho? You don’t need to venture over to HCMC for your Vietnamese fix with these bad boys in town:
What Bangkok cuisines do you think are worthy of a mention?
Featured image is by Kim Seng (Creative Commons)