What is the best way to get to know a certain country? For many people, it is through food – local dishes, unique products, must-try drinks, eating traditions, and so on. So I am here to help you discover Bangkok through food and share my favorite places where to eat in Bangkok.
Bangkok has a great mix of local dishes, affordable street food, western restaurants, and healthy options. The local food comes with endless flavors and I am here to help you discover all of them.
Below you will find a complete food guide and the best places where to eat in Bangkok for every taste and every budget.
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Things to know about restaurant culture in Thailand
Before we talk about where to eat in Bangkok, I want to share restaurant etiquette in Thailand.
When it comes to utensils, Thai use chopsticks only for noodle dishes. You can use a spoon or a fork for any other dish, but you won’t see many knives in the local restaurants. Another unusual tradition is to keep the spoon in the right hand and use it for eating. The fork is there to help you break the food and put it on the spoon.
Unlike other Asian countries, in Thailand, you are not obligated to finish your meal. I don’t suggest you waste food, but just keep in mind that you won’t offend anyone if you do.
Time to pay? Tipping is not mandatory in Thailand, but you can certainly do it if you had a nice meal and good service. Modern and fancy restaurants most probably will add VAT up to 20% to your bill, but that is usually indicated in the menu.
Also, most of the local restaurants and street stands don’t accept cards, so it is always better to carry some cash around.
Thai dishes that you shouldn’t miss in Bangkok
Traditional Thai cuisine loosely falls into four categories: tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (pounded foods), and gaeng (curries). Deep-fried, stir-fried, and steamed dishes derive from Chinese cuisine.
As we already discussed, Thai food comes with a lot of flavors and most of the dishes are spicy. No, not a little bit spicy, but mouth-burning spicy. Tom Yum soups, curries, Pad Kra Pao Moo, Green Papaya Salad, and Laab are some of the most popular spicy Thai dishes.
However, if you can’t tolerate spicy food, you should try Pad Thai, Khao Pad, Pad See Ew, Khao Pat, and of course, Mango Sticky Rice. From my experience, you can still get some of these nonspicy dishes with chili flakes inside, so it is always better to point out that you don’t want spicy.
Thai cuisine is great for vegetarians and vegans as it is rich in vegetables and tofu. Local fruits are affordable and delicious as well.
I will add the exact location on Google Maps for every location – just click on the link to find it.
Where to eat in Bangkok?
Somsak Claypot Crab @Lat ya
Leave at least one meal for Somsak Claypot Crab @Lat ya to try their delicious crab or prawns served with flavorful glass noodles on a clay pot. If you are a seafood lover, you cannot miss this restaurant in Bangkok.
The place is filled with locals and that is exactly the kind of place that I am looking for when I want to try the best of local cuisine. Despite that, the staff speaks English. We went for an early dinner and got one of the last free tables available. So be prepared to wait.
A meal here is pricier than in many other places in Thailand but the quality of the food justifies every baht. Having dinner here is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
Location: Somsak Claypot Crab @Lat ya
Specialty: crab and prawns.
Polo Fried Chicken
Polo Fried Chicken is a famous restaurant in Bangkok, especially among locals. This place also won a Michelin star award in the past. Their specialty is deep-fried chicken with fried garlic flakes, but they also have fried fish, papaya salad, and other Thai specialties on the menu.
Be prepared to share half of the chicken with 2 people… 3 if you order some papaya salad or rice. This is another great example of using high-quality products to achieve the best flavors. The place is simple and prices are moderate.
This family-owned restaurant has been serving people for more than 50 years and there is a good reason for it. Make sure you stop by and see it for yourself. I am sure you won’t be disappointed!
Location: Polo Fried Chicken
Specialty: fried chicken and papaya salad.
Pad Thai Fai Ta Lu
Pad Thai Fai Ta Lu is a 5 Years Michelin Bib Gourmand and one of the best places where to eat in Bangkok. Especially if you are on the hunt for some of the best Pad Thai.
For the first time ever, I decided to give up my favorite Pad Thai with shrimp and try their famous pork option. Coming from someone who doesn’t eat a lot of red meat, it was absolutely fantastic. We shared some more pork dishes and I left impressed.
This is not cheap eat in Bangkok, but considering the high-quality products that are used here and Michelin status, I can justify the price and want to suggest this restaurant to you as well.
Location: Pad Thai Fai Ta Lu
Specialty: Pad Thai.
Home Cafe Tha Tien
If you are looking for a large variety of Thai dishes and affordable prices, Home Cafe Tha Tien is a great solution for you. It is one of the top-rated restaurants in Bangkok on TripAdvisor.
This is another family-run restaurant where they welcome you with a big smile and make sure that you are satisfied once you leave. They cherish local Thai traditions while keeping the prices low. Make sure you finish your meal with Mango Sticky Rice and thank me later.
It is located right next to Wat Pho, so you can enjoy a meal after visiting this iconic temple of Bangkok. However, it gets busy during lunchtime, so be prepared to wait.
Location: Home Cafe Tha Tien
Specialty: Pad See Ew, Pad Thai, and other famous Thai dishes.
Wang Lang Market
Wang Lang Market is a playground for every foodie lover. It is a perfect place to try some of the best street food in Bangkok and the options in the market are endless. I suggest you take small portions from different stands and try as many things as you can.
I heard that this market is famous for sweet roti, smoothies, and coconut pancakes. You should consider trying Pandan Kuehs, Teriyaki Pork, Sweetmeat, and Grilled Bananas. In the middle of the market, you will find a huge place for sushi that had an endless line to even get close to it.
You won’t find this market in most travel guides, but this is a popular place for Thai people. Especially students who come here for a quick meal. And where are locals, there is some of the best Thai food that you will ever try.
Also, it is a great place for shopping since the prices are cheaper than in other markets around Bangkok.
Location: Wang Lang Market
Specialty: street food and roti.
Thipsamai is a must-visit restaurant as they claim to have the best Pad Thai in Bangkok. I suggest you give it a try and see if it is worth the hype. I am a big Pad Thai lover and this place certainly didn’t disappoint. It has a unique touch, so it is up to you to decide.
Keep in mind that Thipsamai is open for dinner and without a reservation you most likely have to wait a while before getting a table. They do takeaway service during lunchtime, but that just takes away part of the magic.
Specialty: Pad Thai.
Nang Fah is one of those places that I found by accident when visiting Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha). It is a small street food stand with not so many tables around, but they really know how to keep their customers happy and how to cook their food.
If you are looking for cheap places where to eat in Bangkok, Nang Fah is your number one option. You will see the entire family running the food stand and the youngest one can communicate in English. It can be very useful if you have some special requests. I still dream about their shrimps!
Note! Street food in Bangkok can be risky, so it is always better to check reviews online. Actually one of the local guides said that you should avoid street food for a couple of days after your arrival to let your body adjust to the new environment.
Location: Nang Fah
Specialty: street food, shrimp, rice, and noodle dishes.
Yes, that is how local this place is. The only name that you will find online is Thai and I have no idea what it stands for. None of the people in the restaurant speak a word of English, but The family who owns the restaurant is lovely and accommodating.
We spent a month in Bangkok and lived nearby this restaurant, so we often ended up for lunch there. It has a wide variety of Thai dishes and we tried almost everything off the menu. It was delicious! This is another affordable restaurant in Bangkok that you should try.
Specialty: local Thai dishes.
Not Just Another Cup
Maybe you have been in Thailand for a while and want something different? Perhaps some healthy Western style options?
In this case, Not Just Another Cup should be your number one choice. Everything from the rainbow in the dish to keto pizza options topped with unique smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.
The prices are a bit high for Bangkok standards, but healthy meals are always worth the money. There are many similar places in Bangkok, but the menu of Not Just Another Cup is fantastic and has something for everyone. I just cannot wait to go back and have some of that tasty Açaí bowl.
Location: Not Just Another Cup
Specialty: healthy meals, juices, smoothies.
Mae Varee Mango Sticky Rice
If you are wondering why Mango Sticky Rice deserves a separate restaurant, you clearly haven’t tried it before. And if you do, you are probably on the hunt for some of the best options out there. Mae Varee Mango Sticky Rice is probably the one you need!
For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, Mango Sticky Rice consists of sticky rice and mango and it is all topped with coconut milk. It might sound like a weird combo, but it is a must and one of the highlights of Thai cuisine.
Mae Varee Mango Sticky Rice is a bit out of the central area but it is worth the ride. If not, you will find many other opportunities to try this Thai delicacy and Home Cafe Tha Tien was one of them, remember?
Location: Mae Varee Mango Sticky Rice
Specialty: Mango Sticky Rice.
Bonus location! Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar is one of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok. It is located on the Skytrain line and your stop will be BTS Thong Lor Station. First, you arrive at the restaurant and then you can take another lift that takes you to the rooftop bar. Be prepared because 360 scenic city views will take your breath away.
The best time to visit is certainly sunset time and making a reservation is highly recommended. They claim to have a dress code, but I saw some girls with crop tops and flip-flops. Maybe they are more strict once the bar is overbooked.
I personally suggest coming here for drinks so I didn’t want to include it in the list of restaurants, but under the rooftop bar, you will find a restaurant as well. It is a great spot if you like fine dining and want to end your day in Bangkok with a blast.
Location: Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
Further reading for where to eat in Bangkok
Other useful tips for visiting Thailand
🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Thailand? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo
I think by now you already know that I have a passion for food and I like to explore it the local way. I really hope that after reading this article you have a list of places where to eat in Bangkok and I cannot wait to hear your feedback once you actually get to try these restaurants.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.