Thailand 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.
After 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.
Get My Complete Guide for Budget Travelers!
Looking for more in-depth coverage on Bangkok? I used to live in this city and know it like the back of my hand. My detailed guide to enjoying one of the most fun, chaotic, lively, and interesting cities in the world will help you plan the perfect trip. This guide cuts out the fluff and gives you the practical information you need to have the most fun on the least amount of money. You’ll get suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, ideas on what to see and do, off-the-beaten path activities, and authentic, non-touristy restaurants and bars. This guide contains the essentials you need.
(Don’t have a Kindle? You can get the PDF here.)