Eat Like a King in Bangkok

Food in ThailandThailand is known for its delicious food. Bangkok has some of the best Thai and international food in the world, and there’s nothing you can’t get (except Ethiopian as that restaurant recently closed). Whenever I leave Bangkok, I miss the variety of food I can get in the city. Within walking distance of my apartment is delicious local food, great Mexican, good Italian, and one of my all-time favorite sushi places. You can eat like a king in this city. The downside is that some of this great, world-class food also comes with world-class prices.

Now one of the best Thailand tips I can give you is to eat lots of Thai food when you visit, though sometimes you might want to mix it up. Variety is the spice of life, after all. If you find yourself in Bangkok looking for some international and local food at a reasonable price, there are plenty of places to do it.

Thai food may be all over the place, but if you’re looking for great areas of Bangkok to eat in, you’ll find great local markets at:

Soi Rambuttri in Banglamphu– At the far corner of this street is a night market that offers great food at local prices. The guy in front of the 7-11 has delicious food but watch out—it’s spicy!

Sukhimvit Soi 33– Right across the street from me, I get to choose from every Thai food imaginable. I walk away stuffed for less than a dollar. Make sure you have the Pad Thai. Even my Thai friends were impressed with how good it is.

Sukhimvit Soi 38 (Thong Lo)– This corner has some amazing local food. You’ll find everything you want here. It’s a very popular area for dinner. The vendors begin to set up around 5pm and go until about 2am. Just exit BTS Thong Lo and you’ll see it.

If you’re looking for a good guide to street markets in Bangkok, this page is the ultimate resource.

outdoor market in ThailandAfter gorging on Thai food, you might want to get something else. Unfortunately, all the really good international food is pretty expensive. Compared to back home, it’s not expensive, but by local standards, it’s pricey. I love good food as much as the next person, but I hate paying a lot for it. So after a few years living in Bangkok, I’ve managed to find a few good deals. Here are some ways to eat like a king at good restaurants in Bangkok without blowing your budget:

Tapas– There is a good tapas restaurant called Tapas on Sukhimvit Soi 11. Go there before 7pm for two-for-one Sangria and three-for-two tapas. There’s a new restaurant called Catalina at the end of Soi 11. It’s nicer and has a bigger menu but does cost a bit more. I’d recommend it over Tapas.

Japanese– The Japanese area of town has great sushi that is ridiculously overpriced. Maru is probably the best restaurant in Bangkok for very traditional Japanese food, but a meal will cost around $100 USD. For sushi that’s just as good but half the price, head to Isao. It’s some of the best sushi I have ever had! Down in Silom, Zen is also good.

Italian– The best-value Italian food is Bella Napoli on Sukhimvit Soi 31. Pizzas are only a few hundred baht, and the pasta’s cheap too. Best of all? It’s all delicious. Limoncello on Sukhimvit Soi 11 is also really good.

Arab food– Head down to Nana and Sukhimvit Soi 5 for amazingly delicious and cheap Arab food. Get some great shwarma for only 40 baht. The whole area is filled with good Middle Eastern food.

Mexican– Head to Coyote’s in Silom or Sukhimvit 31 for margaritas on Wednesday (free for girls and 1/2 price for guys) and 200-baht lunch courses. If you want to spend a lot of money, head to Senor Pico’s on Sukhimvit Soi 20. Sunrise Tacos offers good late-night snacks. They aren’t the best, but when it’s 4am and you’re a little drunk, they taste delicious.

English– If you’re really in the mood for English food, head to the Londoner Pub for lunch. They offer specials and two-for-one drinks. There are also about four other English pubs in that area if you don’t like the Londoner.

Chinese– Head to Chinatown and find everything your heart desires for less than 100 baht per meal.

Israeli– Shoshana’s is the best place for Israeli food. Located in the street next to Khao San Rd, this place makes mouthwatering falafel and other Israeli food. A meal here will cost you less than 200 baht.

Vegetarian– The best vegetarian food in Bangkok is Mai Kaidee’s. This place is behind the Burger King near Khao San Rd. Everything’s made fresh, and it’s all about 80 baht. They even offer cooking classes.

Indian– There’s a lot of Indian food in Bangkok. A lot. Overall, it’s all fairly cheap. The problem comes in finding good Indian food. Moghul Room on Sukhimvit Soi 11 is the best value for your money and very tasty. I bring everyone who visits me there, and no one’s been disappointed. Indus is also really good if you’re looking for something a bit fancier.

Bangkok has an amazing variety of food. From local to international, this city’s got it all. It’s one of the reasons why I like living here so much. I eat very well. Now the next time you visit, so can you.

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  1. Mhmm. Indian food. Have you tried Dillii Haat or Hazara? I’ve heard the former’s food tastes fantastic, and the atmosphere of the latter is supposed to be pretty cool. Nice post.

  2. This makes me want to go out for thai food. Maybe I’ll suggest to my work that we all go for thai for my goodbye lunch. But that food will probably be no where as good as what you are eating out there!

  3. Ah.. Made me homesick. There is no place like home especially Thai food. And don’t forget that we don’t just have Pad Thai. Thai food is more diverse than most people is aware of. Enjoy eating!

  4. I only spent a few days in Bangkok so I didn’t get a chance to try most of these great places. Someday I will return and travel Bangkok and the rest of Thailand right proper. During the short time I was there, however, I got a chance to visit the night market. Easily one of my favorite places with plenty of food options, cold beer, and live entertainment.

  5. Wow. That is one big review of the eating places in Bangkok! I am impressed. Sadly, I won’t be going anytime soon, but this would be very useful to someone who is!

  6. Glad to see the amount of work put into this food review. I’ll bookmark this in my Thailand Travel folder, I can honestly say the main reason I’m heading there is to eat. I’m thinking of a good solid 4 day fast before I land followed by some binge eating. lol Thankfully my health has a good 6 months before I attempt to ruin it. Mmmm…Soi Rambuttri in Banglamphu. I’ll have to map that.

  7. i seem to remember the chatuchak market (only open on weekends) having really yummy fresh fruit drinks and things. this was 4 years ago now… so maybe it’s just the yummy SHOPPING i remember. but i had to have eaten something; i spent an entire 8 hour day there!!

    great post!

  8. Monna

    Hey Matt! This post was really helpful. In just six weeks we’ll be living in the same Bangkok neighbourhood where several of there restaurants are located. Yipppeeee! (We’ll be working… not just eating!)

  9. Tom

    Good list! I’d add one of my favourite places to it: the Huay Kwang night market for it’s dazzling mix of seafood stalls and restaurants. Some of the freshest and most unusual seafood dishes can be snapped up here inexpensively. Will definitely check a couple of the places on your list I’m yet to try….

  10. Having lived in the city for over 10 years, I am happy to offer a couple of recommendations. Best Indian food in the city in my opinion is Himali Cha Cha on Charoen Krung in Bang Rak. Doesn’t have the high prices that come with the other Indian restaurants; Hazara and Rang Mahal are great but expensive.
    For Thai I would recommend Hua Pla Ching Nonsi on Rama III. Massive place and the seafood is excellent at local prices.
    The best Mexican must be Tacos and Salsa on Sukhumvit Soi 18. Run by a Mexican; the food is authentic, delicious and prices are reasonable.

  11. Thanks for the useful post. We were in Bangkok for 3 days and all the food we ate was great. The market food at Chatuchak was good and cheap.

  12. If you want some of the best food in Thailand and you are in Bangkok I suggest checking out my friend’s restaurant called Krua Rabiangnam.

    It is in Lad Krabang area, not too far from the airport.

    GREAT people, AMAZING food, and REAL thai culture and atmosphere.

  13. I found the food 😀 Can I add boat noodle alley area at Victory Monument and the Isaan barbecues beside Central World. Great eating experiences. To be fair every street in Bangkok has great eating experiences. Also check out the Wine Connections for cheap international food. Some of the best value meals in Bangkok. Also don’t forget mall food. Beside food courts, places like Jim Jum in Jum Zaap Hut (BBQ Plaza), the Korean Barbecues, spicy salad restaurants (Yum Zaap).
    Isao Japanese Yes, Limoncello Italian Yes. Arabic food is better on Soi 3 (Nana Nua) and backstreets connecting 5. Coyotes Suk 31 now closed. La Monita Taqueria (Ploen Chit) the new big name in Mexican. Indian is hard to chose Indus amazing but pricey same with the (overpriced) Masala Art. My picks here would be Himali Cha Cha (suk 31 opposite Isao) and Mrs Balbir’s (Suk 11). For Indian food thought I’d prefer prefer crossing the border to Malaysia. Penang easily has some of the best Mamak food in the world. Roti, Tandoori, Biryani’s all half the price of any you will find in Bangkok.

  14. April

    I’ve been reading all of your blogs about BKK mad in one of the articles you mentioned rent costs… I moved to BKK in October and found a studio apartment off of Sathorn for 10,000b a month, but I have to walk about 1 mile to the BTS and taxis won’t come this way after 3:30 because of traffic. Can you suggest other apartments that you have stayed in? I’ve bookmarked many of your blogs because they have great info! Thanks!

  15. Thanks for the post.

    Eating Thai food in markets such as Suan Lum Night Bazaar and Chatuchak generally is very good. I have tried Italian food a couple of times, getting tempted by the pizzas, but every time I have been so disappointed, and it has been one of those “never again” experiences. Eat Thai when you are in Thailand :)

    • If you really want pizza, and are out On Nut way, try GJ Leckers stall at the night market. which variety they can actually make on any one night varies (sorry, no have **** ) but the chorizo I had the other night was as good as any pizza I’ve ever had anywhere, certainly better than any other in Thailand.
      or there are 20 other stalls selling all sorts of stuff, thai, Japanese, farang, etc

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