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. The Mayflower

    $$$$ | Silom | Chinese

    Regulars at this top Cantonese restaurant include members of the Thai royal family, heads of state, and business tycoons. These VIPs favor the...Read More

  • 2. Dynasty

    $$$$ | Chatuchak | Chinese

    This restaurant has long been a favorite among government ministers and corporate executives, both for its outstanding Cantonese cuisine and...Read More

  • 3. Hong Kong Noodle

    $ | Pom Prap Sattru Phai | Chinese

    This famous noodle shop would be at home in Tokyo or Hong Kong, with its three narrow floors, the top one a no-shoes-allowed tearoom with sofas...Read More

  • 4. Hua Seng Hong Restaurant

    $$$ | Samphanthawong | Chinese

    This expensive but worthwhile Chinatown classic takes you straight to Hong Kong with its excellent Cantonese roast meats—try the sinfully fatty...Read More

  • 5. Jade Garden

    $$$$ | Silom | Chinese

    You won't find a better dim sum brunch in Bangkok than the one at Jade Garden. The decor is more understated than at many expensive Chinese...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Prachak

    $ | Bang Rak | Chinese

    This little place with bare walls and tile floor serves superb pet (roast duck) and moo daeng (red pork), making it a favorite of many locals...Read More

  • 8. Tang Jai Yoo

    $$ | Samphanthawong | Chinese

    An open-air ground-floor seafood restaurant, full of festive round tables, Tang Jai Yoo is a great find. Whole crabs, lobsters, or sea leech...Read More

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