My wife and I love Thai food. In fact, we probably eat it 3-4 nights per week (plus a few times per week for lunch).
But at least once or twice a week we need our Western fix. Consequently, after living here for three years, we’ve probably visited over 100 Western restaurants in Bangkok.
And as self-proclaimed foodies (my wife has run the 24 Dollar Burger food blog since before moving to Thailand and I’ve always had a passion for food as well), I’d like to think we have some credibility.
Like most foodies, we like all sorts of food and all types of restaurants. We can be equally satisfied with a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant as a hole-in-the-wall dive place, so long as the food is good. In fact, many times, in our opinion, the latter has proven better than the former.
With this background, below is a list of some our favorite Western restaurants in Bangkok. While some may be household names, others you’ve probably never heard of. And while some may set you back a couple thousand baht, others can delight for just a few hundred. But all should satisfy your Western cravings. And without them, and the countless other Western restaurants in Bangkok, frankly, we’d never be able to live here.
Enjoy fellow foodies!
Mention burgers in Bangkok and most people will immediately talk about Daniel Thaiger, a food truck on Sukhumvit Soi 30/1 that’s set to open their first brick and mortar restaurant — Crying Thaiger — on Sukhumvit Soi 51 soon.
New York Style Steak & Burger, located on Sukhumvit Soi 22, is one of the fanciest, most expensive (400-500 baht) burgers in town. But it’s also one of the biggest (220 grams) and tastiest. If you’re looking for a true gourmet burger, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better one in Bangkok.
Amp Saloon, on the other hand, located on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 112, is probably the best bang for your buck burger in town. Starting at a mere 150 baht, it won’t break the bank but it will still leave you fully satisfied. Personally, I go for the one with the bacon and egg or the one with the stack of onion rings on top.
No matter what you get, make sure to also try the chicken wings appetizer, which are surprisingly some of the biggest (and best) wings I’ve ever had. The fish and chips and sides (onion rings, potato wedges, etc.) are also top-notch. With a pool table, cheap beers, and cool Western-themed setting, Amp Saloon makes for a perfect low-key night out.
Talk about the best Western food in Bangkok, and it’s hard not to start with The Smokin’ Pug, located in Silom near the Patpong Night Market.
Though it’s only a couple of years old, The Smokin’ Pug propelled onto the Bangkok foodie scene in record fashion, at one point ranking as the # 1 restaurant in all of Bangkok on TripAdvisor out of 9,116 restaurants, ahead of Nahm and Gaggan. Currently it sits at #4.
Though it won’t come cheap (a full slab of ribs costs around 750 baht), this place is doing BBQ better than anyone else in Bangkok, and it’s not even close. In fact, as a native Midwesterner and BBQ aficionado, I can confidently say that The Smokin’ Pug is not only doing BBQ better than anyone else in Bangkok, but they’re doing it just as well as some of the best BBQ places in the USA, including hubs like Kansas City, the Carolinas and Texas.
Perhaps it’s because the owners (jovial Danny and Dana) are native Midwesterners themselves, or perhaps it’s because they previously owned another Smokin’ Pug in Chengdu, China for many years before deciding to open up shop in BKK.
Regardless, if you’re looking for real, authentic BBQ with all the fixings (in addition to the world-class ribs, they also have solid brisket and sides—mac & cheese, cornbread and more), look no further than The Smokin’ Pug.
As a native Chicagoan, I’m always torn when it comes to pizza.
In my hometown, deep dish pizza (i.e., pizza with incredibly thick crust and the ingredients stuffed below, instead of on top, of the cheese) is the way to go. But having also lived in New York and traveled to Italy, I’m equally fond of thin slice and even Neapolitan pizza.
So if you’re anything like me, you want both of these options in Bangkok. Thankfully I’ve done the leg work for you.
For thin crust pizza, in my humble opinion, no one’s doing it better than Bella Napoli on Sukhumvit Soi 31 (aka Ital Thai). While most people would probably put Peppina just down the road at the top of their list, having had them both, I’d say Bella Napoli is doing it slightly better and has the better ambience.
For deep dish pizza, although I’m only aware of one place which serves it in Bangkok, they’re doing it well enough to merit a shout out here.
Bangkok Betty, located on Sukhumvit Soi 22 (I guess it’s not all too surprising that most of the best Western restaurants are located in Sukhumvit, though for the record, I often frequent other neighborhoods as well) serves both traditional options and surprisingly even tastier unique configurations, like pulled pork stuffed pizza. And if you go on a Sunday, you’ll save 30% off all deep dish pizza orders.
Bangkok’s Mexican scene has exploded in the last few years. While they’re used to be only a few options, now it seems like there’s a few options in every neighborhood.
If you’re looking strictly for margaritas and standard Mexican fare, it’s hard to beat Coyote on Sukhumvit (I swear I go elsewhere too!) Soi 11, particularly for their buy one get one free happy hour special on all 75 of their margaritas. And the last time I went there, I even scored a couple extra free margaritas for ordering the jalapeno margarita and adding extra chili peppers to it!
If you’re looking for a more unique Mexican dining experience, however, check out La Monita Taqueria in Phloen Chit. It’s a little pricier and fancier, but also has some more unique offerings in addition to the typical standard Mexican fare.
They also do an excellent weekend brunch with adjoining Osito, the latter known for its paella and Spanish tapas. At brunch, you can order off either restaurant’s menu.
My wife and I LOVE chicken wings, and like The Smokin Pug’s stranglehold on BBQ in Bangkok, nobody’s doing wings better than Sway, located just off Thonglor Soi 10.
With over 50 different flavors and a frequently changing menu, my wife and I visit Sway every couple of months and it never disappoints. Even better, if you go on a Thursday or Sunday, for 300 baht, you can eat as many wings as your stomach can handle.
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Alternatively, if you go on a Monday, you can order 5 wings for 50 baht (they’re typically 6 for 150 baht). In case, like me, you’re not very good at math, Monday tends to be the better deal unless you can throw down 30 wings (I tend to eat a lot but typically can only eat about 20 of their wings, with a couple of beers and carrots/celery to wash it down).
Food wise, perhaps the hardest thing to find in Bangkok is a good sandwich.
While my wife and I have searched high and low and spent many a baht at numerous brick and mortar (and food truck) establishments, in our opinion, you can’t beat the “make your own sandwich” at the grocery store in the basement of the Central department store in Chitlom.
Though the grocery store itself is worth visiting for the abundance of Western favorites, the prepared foods section and make your own sandwich bar are the real standouts, in my opinion. In fact, on several occasions, my wife and I have spent our Saturday or Sunday mornings perusing all of the plethora of brunch options available in nearby Central Embassy — Rocket, Dean & Deluca, Paul, etc — only to eventually return to the Central grocery store and create our own sandwich, for less money and more size.
Sticking with the grocery store theme, there’s likely not a better steak deal in town than the Gourmet Market’s “you choose it, we cook it” concept in Siam Paragon.
Instead of paying a markup of 1,000-2,000 baht for an imported US or Aussie steak, for a mere 100 baht per piece of meat, the Gourmet Market will cook any cut you choose and buy from their abundance of steak options in their truly gourmet market. Whether it’s a ribeye, NY strip or the granddaddy of them all, a kilogram tomahawk for 1,200 baht, you won’t find a better priced steak in Bangkok.
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And for those of you skeptical of dining in a grocery store, I urge you to visit on a weekend afternoon when it’s almost guaranteed to be packed with the Bangkokian elite.
Equally impressive as the aforementioned grill concept is the adjacent seafood bar which serves up fresh seafood and imposing seafood towers. For anyone who’s ever badmouthed Bangkok as being a dirty or less than world-class city, I tell them to take a stroll through here and then let’s revisit the conversation.
Where’s your pick for Western food in Bangkok?