There is nowhere else in Thailand that offers such a diverse variety of flavors all in one place. Bangkok is a melting pot of cuisines, and it offers up world class food to millions of hungry tourists every single year. In this post we have managed to narrow it down to 17 of our personal all-time favorites, but, there are so many amazing new foods that we discover every time we visit, this might be an ever-growing foodie list.
For the moment here are our picks for what to eat in Bangkok 17 essential eats.
⇒ Click Here to listen and learn about the fascinating (& surprisingly recent) history of Thailand’s National Dish – Pad Thai on our Travel & Food Podcast “The Dish”
What to Eat in Bangkok: Bangkok Food Guide
1. Crispy Pork Belly (khao moo krob)
Almost jaw-breakingly crispy but totally worth a possible trip to the dentist as this dish is absolutely delish. The best place we found it was in Chinatown on Yaowarat Road. A popular place to check out is Si Morakot Restaurant (ร้านข้าวหมูแดงสีมรกต), located on the edge of Chinatown, near Hua Lamphong.
2. Crispy Duck
Being Chinatown after all, you are going to find an aromatic fusion of Thai and Chinese cuisine and the Peking duck is absolutely a dish to try. We prefer to head to the weekend nighttime food market, wander around, and see what food stall takes our fancy. But if you are more of a sit down in a restaurant kind of person we’ve heard Siang Ping Loh Chinese Restaurant does a mean duck!
3. Tom Yam (ต้มยำ)
Restaurant: Siam Wisdom
You can get Tom Yam all over the city but our favorite is from the restaurant Siam Wisdom. This traditional Thai/Laos dish is a hot and sour soup that is often served with shrimp. With local fresh ingredients like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers, prepare yourself for a full-on taste of Thailand in one perfect mouthful.
4. Yum Woon Sen (Spicy Thai Salad ยำวุ้นเส้น)
I (Megsy) love love love this dish. It’s amazing how refreshing it is to eat, yet burns your face off at the same time. If you’re not a fan of spicy food I’d either steer clear or ask them to tone down the amount of chili they put in the dish. The spiciness of the sauce, the softness of the noodles and the crunch of the peanuts all combine to create the perfect mouthful. I just love it!
You can find this on lots of menu’s but our favorite was along Rambuttri Rd – I know this information is useless as there are a million restaurants on that road….but if you take a left leaving the alleyway that joins Rambuttri to Khao Soi rd it’s like 2 or 3 doors down. I know – useless! Or check out Soei Restaurant (ร้านเส่ย) which is highly recommended by eatingthaifood.com
5. Pad Thai (ผัดไทยกุ้งสด)
Restaurant – Thip Samai
Everyone has heard of and probably tried Pad Thai at some point in their lives….but where is the BEST Pad Thai in Bangkok? That one is easy….Thip Samai. How do we know it’s the best? Well just ask the people who are standing in the longest line in town just to get some of this super fresh and tasty pad thai. If you are in Bangkok it is the number 1 place to go for Pad Thai and has been for years. Don’t miss it!
Flower Market (Pak Klong Talad)
OK, this is something you need to try just for shits and giggles. Trust us it doesn’t taste as bad as you think – and there are plenty of locals that think chowing down a tasty bag of insects beats a packet of chips any day. While you can find people selling them on Khao San Rd you just have no idea how long those hawkers have been trying to sell them to drunk tourists. Go where the real locals shop and grab some insects from the Flower Market at Pak Klong Talad. Fresh is best!
7. Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niew moon or khao niew ma muang)
Restaurant: Sor Boonprakob
Admittedly, after the baggie of insects, you might be looking for something a little more pleasing to the palate, may we suggest the Thai dessert that’s going to rock your world forever? Mango Sticky Rice. If you haven’t tried mango sticky rice in all its sweet sticky glory, then you are in for a real treat! This dessert is totally addictive. We are not big dessert people but we Always make space for mango sticky rice.
One of the most famous places in town to try this dish is Sor Boonprakob in Bangrak. Just like the pad thai at.Thip Samai, here you’ll find people lining up for the mango sticky rice. Serious noms!
Restaurant: Karim Roti Mataba (Phra Athit Road)
While roti might not be what you would think of when you think “things to eat in Bangkok” but this restaurant has been serving Indian style roti since 1943…so it’s worth a mention. They have plenty of fillings to choose from but remember, they are made fresh to order, so they can take a bit of time to come out. We recommend trying the banana roti covered in condensed milk. You’ll find street vendors selling this all over the place, and they are good, but not 70+ years of experience good.
Looking to do more than just eat in Bangkok? Discover attractions, hotels, cooking classes and more on our Bangkok hub page
9. Awesome Street Food
While this isn’t one particular thing to eat – there are certainly some amazing options at this great local market. When in Bangkok the one thing we tell people to do is have a roaming dinner. Walk from stall to stall trying new things that look tasty, don’t get a full meal, just a taste here and a taste there to really get a feel of Bangkok street food. Here you’ll find great variety in an authentic market. There aren’t hoards of tourists here (well not yet anyway) enjoy taking in local life and sample a few new snacks along the way.
Oh! It’s also a great place to do some super affordable shopping as well!
⇒ Want more Bangkok food? Listen to our What To Eat in Bangkok Episode on “The Dish” Travel and Food Podcast HERE
10. Isaan Pork Balls – discover food of the north
Restaurant: Le Issan (Sadly Now Closed)
Thai food isn’t only one style of cuisine. Travel through the country and you’ll find local specialties like the Isaan food of the north. With influences from Laos and Myanmar (Burma) the flavors take on a very different tone and these pork balls are an absolute treat to the senses. But careful…they’ve got some kick!
11. Enoki Wrapped in Bacon
We are back in Chinatown again because, well, the food there is freakin amazing. We found these little treats while exploring some of the side streets off Yaowarat Road. on a Friday/Saturday night. These nights vendors set up their carts and bbq plates and cook the night away. If you spot these grilling on the BBQ make sure you order one and give it a try. Trust me you’ll be going back for more…one is never enough!
12. Fried Chicken
Street food – if you find it eat it!!!
There’s no particular place that is doing this around town. You’ll spot hawkers selling their fried chicken and we say if it looks good – eat it! You just can’t really go wrong with fried chicken no matter where you are in the world.
13. Quail Eggs
If you find it eat it!!!
Same as above. You’ll be more likely to find these at a walking food market, like the one in Chinatown or Pratunam market. The perfect quail egg is cooked so the yolk is firm but not overdone. Sprinkled with some light soy or maggi sauce and these are the perfect snack.
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14. Yellow crab curry
Restaurant: Siam Wisdom
Oh my! Thai yellow curry rocks my world and one of our favorite places to eat it is at Siam Wisdom. They take traditional Thai dishes and add quality ingredients and a professional cooking style to ensure you get the perfect taste every single time.
For the Vegetarians & Vegans out there we recommend checking out the yellow curry at Ethos, it’s a funky, chilled out restaurant not far from Khao San Road.
15. Green Curry
Restaurant: Queen of Curry / Smooth Curry
Coming in a very very very close second to the Thai yellow curry is the Thai green curry. This dish tends to pack a bit more punch than the yellow but at places like Queen of Curry, you have the option to choose your curry level so you don’t burn your face off on the first mouthful. But if you want your curry blazin’ remember to ask for it to be “Pet Mak Mak” (very spicy). Then they’ll know you’re serious!
16. Whole Fried Fish
There’s nothing better than fresh Barbequed fish, cooked to crispy perfection. If you are a seafood lover make sure you try the whole fish – you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find this in plenty of places around town, just look out for a place that is barbequing out the front. We’ve tried a few of the places along Rambuttri Rd and they’re all pretty decent.
17. More Seafood!!!!
Restaurant: TK Seafood
This place is an institution and a must visit if you are in Bangkok. We personally have been visiting Bangkok for years and this restaurant is always super packed on a Friday/Saturday night, but they are open throughout the week. Just a heads up you might have to wait in line to get a table.
You’ll recognize the many staff by their bright green shirts and you’ll also notice their competitor just across the road all in red shirts. It seems to be a rivalry that has gone on for years…either way both restaurants are super popular!
Try the sizzling oyster omelet – it’s delish!
Thai Fusion Tacos
Restaurant: Flow House
While most people are visiting Flow House to experience their kickass FlowRider and hitting some waves, we were there for the food. I would never have thought that I’d enjoy tacos in Bangkok…but they brought them out fresh, crispy and with their own unique Thai flavors. It totally works!
This Bangkok Food Guide is honestly only the tip of the iceberg, but we wanted to give you somewhere to start. Bangkok is a fusion of amazing cuisines and continues to evolve all the time. So whatever you do while in Bangkok, just make sure you try anything and everything – you may just find your new favorite dish!
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