Bangkok Restaurants

Thais are passionate about food, and love discovering out-of-the-way shops that prepare unexpectedly tasty dishes. Nowhere is this truer—or more feasible—than in Bangkok. The city's residents always seem to be eating, so the tastes and smells of Thailand's cuisine surround you day and night. That said, Bangkok's restaurant scene is also a minefield, largely because the relationship between price and quality at times seems almost inverse. For every hole-in-the-wall gem serving the best sticky rice, larb (meat salad), and som tam (the hot-and-sour green-papaya salad that is the ultimate Thai staple) you've ever had, there's an overpriced hotel restaurant serving touristy, toned-down fare. In general, the best Thai food is found at the most bare-bones, even run-down restaurants, not at famous, upscale places.

If you want a break from Thai food, many other world cuisines are represented. Best among them is Chinese, although there's decent Japanese and Korean food as well. The city's ubiquitous noodle shops have their roots in China, as do roast-meat purveyors, whose historical inspiration was Cantonese. Western fare tends to suffer from the distance, although in the past few years many upscale and trendy western eateries have opened, some of them quite excellent.

As with anything in Bangkok, travel time is a major consideration when choosing a restaurant. If you're short on time or patience, choose a place that's an easy walk from a Skytrain or subway station. The easiest way to reach a riverside eatery is often on a Chao Phraya River express boat.

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  • 1. Gaggan

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Indian

    Named Asia's best restaurant in 2015, Gaggan is an absolute must for serious food lovers. Chef Gaggan Anand worked under the renowned Ferran...Read More

  • 2. Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Thai

    Luxurious and utterly unique, this restaurant upends the conventional wisdom about Thai cuisine and technique. Having dinner in this amazing...Read More

  • 3. Zuma

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Japanese

    A posh eatery with branches from Dubai to Miami, Zuma serves innovative Japanese fare. Working in an open kitchen, the chefs prepare signature...Read More

  • 4. Ban Khun Mae

    $ | Pratunam | Thai

    Casually upmarket and aimed at tourists, this Siam Square restaurant serves authentic Thai cuisine in an atmosphere a few notches above that...Read More

  • 5. Big C

    $ | Pratunam | Thai

    The food court on the fifth floor of the Big C shopping mall offers a staggering selection of authentic Thai (and a few Chinese) dishes at rock...Read More

  • 6. Genji

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Japanese

    It's not uncommon for newcomers to find the atmosphere chilly at Bangkok's many fine Japanese restaurants, but Genji is the happy exception...Read More

  • 7. Home Kitchen

    $ | Pathumwan | Thai

    A true hole-in-the-wall where friends gather to celebrate the simple act of enjoying meals together, this restaurant turns out well-made local...Read More

  • 8. Jojo

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Italian

    A romantic, candlelit outdoor patio and a sleekly contemporary indoor dining space set a stylish tone that's echoed in the equally refined Italian...Read More

  • 9. KiSara

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Japanese

    Upscale KiSara serves superb sushi, and the sake selection will please almost everyone. The service is almost uncomfortably deferential, but...Read More

  • 10. Liu

    $$$$ | Pathumwan | Chinese

    You'll want to be spotted at this Chinese restaurant whose concept and design come from the creator of the equally snazzy Green T. House in...Read More

  • 11. Once Upon a Time

    $$ | Ratchathewi | Thai

    Period photos of the royal family, movie stars, and beauty queens cover the pink walls of this restaurant that occupies two old teak houses...Read More

  • 12. Polo Fried Chicken

    $ | Pathumwan | Thai

    Though not everyone agrees that the fried chicken served here is Bangkok's best, this place is legendary, always packed with Thais and foreigners...Read More

  • 13. You & Mee

    $$ | Pathumwan | Thai

    Hotel restaurants in Bangkok often disappoint, but this casual spot surprises with high-quality food at reasonable prices. Come for the good...Read More

  • 14. Sara Jane's

    $ | Pathumwan | Thai

    How surprising to find a hole-in-the-wall Isan restaurant inside a fancy office tower across from the U.S. Embassy. Then again, Sara Jane's...Read More

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