For anyone who loves good food with a lot of flavor, Bangkok is your place. From local street food stands to high-end restaurants, this city brings a wide variety of options that can just about suit every type of craving. After having lived here for six months, Kyle and I have been to our fair share of restaurants. Some we loved, some we didn’t love so much, and some gave us food poisoning (I’m sorry to say, this will probably happen).
With food being at the center of all of our travel plans, we have put together a list of our favorite eateries at all price ranges. If you hit up these spots during your stay in Bangkok you are sure to not have to stress about where to eat.
PSA: Thai people LOVE their chillies and man do they put them in everything. So, be prepared to either bring on the heat or warn servers before you order about the amount of spice you can handle. I have forgotten this a few times and just about burned my insides.
I have broken down our favorite spots into different categories based on price: Cheap Eats, Midway, and Wine and Dine.
Cheap eats: $5 and under
Food courts and markets are your new best friend if you are looking for a place to get a cheap and tasty meal. Whether you have been traveling for a while and want to save a buck or just trying to plan a trip on a budget, Bangkok is the best place to find inexpensive and amazing food for travelers. Don’t be afraid to hit the streets because this is where you can find some of the most delicious and authentic Thai food in Bangkok.
Pier 21 – This food court, located in Terminal 21 Asok Shopping Mall, is one of our absolute favorites. Not only do they offer every Thai dish imaginable, but the food itself is cheap and delicious! Also, the space is huge and you will never have a problem finding a seat, unlike many other food courts in Bangkok. If you have a hard time deciding when you are given a lot of options, this is Kyle’s absolute favorite place to get Pad See Ew and Thai iced tea. I personally love the mango sticky rice 🙂
Esplanade Night Market (Rot Fai Market) – This is a unique eating experience where you can find some of the best local foods, seafood, and Thai snacks. Prepare to be surrounded by people while protecting your food with your life so it doesn’t get knocked over. You can even catch live music and cheap beer at one of the many bars surrounding the area. If you aren’t afraid of a few crowds this night market is by far the best!
Siam Paragon – Some of you may look up Siam Paragon and be scared off by all the designer stores and top notch restaurants they showcase. This was Kyle and I when we first stumbled upon this massive mall after our first day of teaching. What we didn’t realize was that the entire bottom floor was dedicated to affordable restaurants, cafes, a massive grocery store (with A LOT of free samples), and home to our favorite food court. With this being just a few minutes walk from our school, it’s safe to say we have been here more than a few times. One hundred percent recommend ordering the Pad Thai, it’s the only thing we get now. Hard to beat amazing food for less than five dollars!
Central Plaza Rama 9 – This place is basically our home away from home. With this mall being a five minute walk from our apartment, we found ourselves here on nights we just didn’t want to cook. The Tops food court is located on the bottom floor and is a very popular spot for Thai people who live in the area. If you aren’t afraid to share a table with others you can get yourself some of the best fried noodles in town! On the 6th floor, you will also find, Food Republic, another even larger food court if the options downstairs don’t suit you.
Street Food – Now I know many of you may be thinking, “I might as well just ask for food poisoning” but if you aren’t afraid to eat like the locals, you may come across some of the best Thai food you’ve ever had. I cannot promise you that you won’t get sick, but I can promise you that you will have a very different experience than many tourists and the food will surprise you! Still one of the best Pad Thai I’ve had throughout my stay was from a little stand on the street.
The majority of restaurants you find in malls and shopping centers will fall into this price category. This is definitely a nice change of pace to all the times you stand and eat in the markets, as well as, share tables with strangers in crowded food courts. Although Kyle and I enjoy the experience of eating at markets and food courts, sometimes its just nice to take a seat in a cozy quiet restaurant.
Sunrise Tacos– This is by far the best place to get Mexican food in Bangkok. No matter how long you are traveling for, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up. If you are a taco lover like me, Sunrise Tacos in Terminal 21 Mall is your spot. They have an extensive menu with just about all of your favorite Mexican dishes, including amazing soft tacos and loaded nachos. Even better, if you go on a Tuesday or Friday from 2 PM – 7 PM they have an all you can eat taco special for 350 Baht! Definitely Come Hungry.
Pala Pizza Bangkok – When getting off the MRT at Sukhumvit station, it’s hard to resist the overwhelming and captivating smell of Pala Pizza. Here you will find amazing Italian food for a decent price! The restaurant itself is a very small space, but I guarantee you the food will not disappoint. Pizza, paninis, pasta, you name it, they have it all! If you’re a Gluten Free gal like me, you can even get Gluten Free pasta. Even better, their entire menu is labeled for people with food allergies (this is hard to come by in Bangkok), so you always know what to order. If you are craving Italian food, this is our absolute favorite place to go.
AKA – This is by far our favorite restaurant in Bangkok. I know I say favorite a lot, but Kyle and I actually came here about a dozen times during our stay in Bangkok. This is basically an all you can eat Teppanyaki Heaven. You can choose from three different buffet options depending on the variety you want and the price you want to pay. Kyle and I always tend to go premium so we can get it all because as you can tell, we love food. If you are looking for a hotpot/teppanyaki restaurant, this one has the best quality and the best flavor. Not to mention the best selection of side dishes. Unlimited potato salad and kimchi, don’t mind if I do.
Wine and dine: $20 and up
Even if you are traveling on a budget, sometimes it’s nice to splurge on a meal. If you are traveling with no budget, you will definitely love these restaurants, but I still encourage you to push yourself outside your comfort zone and try the amazing local food Thailand has to offer.
Siam Paragon – This is one of the most beautiful malls I have ever been to and trust me I have been in a lot of malls. With all the best shopping, comes all the best food right? Right. Siam Paragon can just about fill every food craving you have ever had. This includes picking out the highest end meats and seafood in the top notch grocery store located on the bottom floor and having it cooked for you on the spot. Not bad if you’re getting off work and a little too tired to cook. From fancy high tea places to beautiful sit down restaurants, Siam Paragon has it all.
Long Table – Whether you want to come for just happy hour or a sit down dinner, the view from this rooftop restaurant is unbeatable. But, the view is not the only thing that sets this restaurant apart. It currently has the world‘s longest dining table at 25 meters, creating a completely different dining experience for all guests. Kyle and I visited around sunset for cocktails and the view alone made the price of the drinks worth it. If you are going for drinks and want to try something fun, I definitely recommend the Tawan.
We didn’t get the chance to try their dinner the first time, but we will be back in a couple of weeks to give it a try! If you are looking for a restaurant that has it all and offers an amazing ambiance, Long Table is definitely a “can’t miss” in Bangkok.
Dine in the Dark – Prepare yourself for a completely different dining experience! When you arrive you are asked to turn off your phones and take off all luminous accessories, as you will be entering a completely dark room. The restaurant itself is dedicated to raising awareness and money for blind people in Thailand so when you enter you will be shown to your seat by your visually impaired guide. Not to mention, with each dinner purchased, The Sheraton donates to the Foundation for the Blind in Thailand. Not only is this an amazing experience for yourself, but you can also be apart of something much bigger.
I hope this list has gotten you excited about the food in Bangkok and takes away the stress of finding a place to eat when traveling in this city.
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