Bangkok revels in its status as a culinary mecca.
From shriveled street vendors performing alchemy with sizzling woks to genius chefs shaping the fine dining scene, the city lays claim to one of the most diverse food scenes in the world.
That’s why food is a common thread that runs through even a brief stay in the Thai capital.
Bangkok’s oldest enclaves include visitor highlights such as the Grand Palace and the riverside temple of Wat Pho. Other draws include neighborhoods like Chinatown and Banglamphu, both of which are rich in dining options.
For an old-fashioned start to the day, visitors can fuel up on sweetened coffee, soft-boiled eggs, and toast thickly coated in butter and sangkaya (coconut pudding made from a tropical plant called pandan). On Luke Yun.
After touring the royal sights, travelers can stop for lunch Fat bread for fried flatbread filled with spicy fillings.
Roti Mataba serves buttery, fried roti flatbread that can be stuffed, served with curry, or topped with sweetened condensed milk and sugar.
Palani Mohan | Getty Images
For a more upscale lunch there is Nusara, where Michelin-starred chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn pays tribute to his late grandmother with his interpretations of traditional Thai recipes. He said it can be challenging to please both travelers and discerning local guests, who often want different things.
“Tourists want to taste what Thai cuisine is all about — they want to taste the traditional recipes,” he said. “On the other hand, local Thai diners like to eat something that tastes familiar, but … they want something new, so it’s forcing chefs to find new ways of working with Thai ingredients and flavors.”
Snacking is a big part of Thai food culture. There’s Nai Mong, which serves Hoi Thod (oyster pancakes) near Wat Mangkon station, or Lao Tang, for tender, braised goose in the heart of Yaowarat Road, Chinatown’s main thoroughfare.
Queues form outside early in the evening Jay Fai where the Michelin-starred owner tempts foodies with dishes like pad kee mao (drunk noodles) and khai jiew poo (crab omelet).
Jay Fai is Thailand’s first street food joint to be awarded a Michelin star. In her 70s, chef and owner Supinya Junsuta covers her eyes with ski goggles to prepare her wok fried dishes in Bangkok, Thailand.
Anusak Laowilas | OnlyPhoto | Getty Images
A more sophisticated Michelin-crowned alternative in the old town is 80/20, where Canadian chef Andrew Martin reinforces the restaurant’s reputation for pioneering flair.
Highlights of its menu include “Stormy Sea,” a squid, mangosteen, and chilli dish inspired by the chef’s fishing trips in southern Thailand, and “Isaan Market,” which focuses solely on seasonal mushrooms from the country’s mountainous northeastern regions Region.
Nothing is buttoned down on the food scene in the business districts of Silom and Sathorn.
jok prince, near the intersection of Silom Road and Charoenkrung Road, is a stand famous for its smooth, smoky jok (Thai-style rice porridge). From there it is only a short walk Pour from Chef Yip, which serves some of the best — and cheapest — dim sum in town.
Visitors can meander east between Sathorn Road and Silom Road, stopping at the centuries-old Hindu shrine Sri Mariamman Temple and some of the area’s most well-known street vendors.
Two of them already have their specialties in their names. Som Tam Jay So, on Soi Phiphat 2 between Convent Road and Chong Nonsi Skytrain Station, is a must-try for som tam, or spicy papaya salad. Near the Shangri-La Bangkok, Baan Phadthai, meaning “House of Pad Thai,” is known for perhaps the country’s most famous dish.
Som Tam is a sweet Thai salad made with ripe papaya, long beans, lime, garlic, peanuts and sugar.
dontree_m | iStock | Getty Images
For an unforgettable upscale dinner, there is Saawaan, where Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn serves up beef salads, crab fat dips, grilled pork neck and spicy and sour soups in delicious-tasting portions.
For a break from Thai food, travelers can head to Yen Akat Road — one of the area’s trendiest thoroughfares — for beef tartare and truffle risotto Cagette Canteen & Delicatessen. For a different side of Europe, there’s the double Michelin star Suhring, a German fine dining restaurant run by twin brothers was ranked 6th in the 2021 “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”.
The hyper-commercial heart of Bangkok is more than just a shopper’s paradise. Breakfast here can be a healthy acai bowl or a breakfast burrito Luke in the Siri house, an elegant oasis with beautiful green grounds near the Chidlom skytrain station.
For a more formal Thai lunch there is paste – voted #38 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2020 – where traditional cuisine is served with creative twists.
Travelers can follow the office crowds Sanguan Sri on Witthayu Road to sample fragrant curries like gaeng kiev wan nuea (green beef curry) in this expatriate-friendly part of Bangkok.
Mango Sticky Rice is a simple yet famous Thai dessert made with sticky rice, coconut milk, ripe mangoes, and mung beans.
The Washington Post | Getty Images
Those looking to celebrate a trip to Bangkok in style can do so in the vibrant area my. The exquisite tasting menu highlights confit cod with shrimp mousseline and clams and Hokkaido scallop with apple and dill sorbet.
If there is still space, a last bite of Thai food can be taken Mae Varee, at the intersection of Sukhumvit Road and Sukhumvit 55. It is a fruit shop famous for serving the classic Thai dessert, Mango Sticky Rice. It is currently Ranked 10th out of 428 dessert places in Bangkok.