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. Zanotti

    $$$$ | Silom | Italian

    Everything about Zanotti is top drawer, from the attentive service to the extensive menu focusing on the regional cuisines of Piedmont and Tuscany...Read More

  • 2. Celadon

    $$$$ | Sathorn | Thai

    Lotus ponds reflect the city's beautiful evening lights at this romantic restaurant. The upmarket Thai food is good, with elegant touches that...Read More

  • 3. Horizon

    $$$$ | Bang Rak | Thai

    The buffet dinner cruise aboard the Horizon departs each evening at 7:30 pm. ...Read More

  • 4. Le Normandie

    $$$$ | Bang Rak | French

    Atop the Mandarin Oriental, this legendary restaurant commands an impressive view of the Chao Phraya. France's most highly esteemed chefs...Read More

  • 5. Mezzaluna

    $$$$ | Bang Rak | European

    This blockbuster restaurant soars above the rest of Bangkok in the massive State Tower. A string quartet serenades you and the city's nouveau...Read More

  • 6. Salathip

    $$$$ | Bang Rak | Thai

    On a veranda facing the Chao Phraya River, this restaurant has a setting that practically guarantees a romantic evening. Be sure to reserve...Read More

  • 7. Supatra River House

    $$$ | Siriraj | Thai

    Its Chao Phraya River location across from the Grand Palace makes this restaurant worth a visit. A free ferry from Maharaj Pier shuttles diners...Read More

  • 8. Yok Yor

    $ | Klong San | Thai

    Departing each evening at 8 pm, the Yok Yor is a little like a floating restaurant. The boat ride costs B160, and the food is ordered à la...Read More

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