Foodie Guide to Bangkok
Bangkok is one of the best eating cities in the world – from street stalls to innovative fine dining restaurants, few places in the world can boast what you’ll find in my foodie guide to Bangkok.
Bangkok is justifiably famous for its fresh food markets and these ‘wet markets’ (meaning that they sell fresh meat and other fresh produce) are fascinating to visit, supplying restaurants, street vendors, and households alike. The best market to visit is Or Tor Kor. Not only is it neatly laid out and easy to navigate, there are excellent packaged food supplies such as spices and curry pastes that make great souvenirs for foodies, as well as a great food court.
Bangkok Cooking Classes
A trip to Thailand is not complete without a cooking class that generally involves a trip to the market, the class – either hands-on or demo-style – followed by lunch. In Bangkok, there is everything from comprehensive lessons with executive chefs at five-star hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, to more affordable, fun, and accessible classes like Cooking with Poo . A new addition to the scene is Chef Ian Kittichai’s Issaya Cooking Studio, which features guest chefs from around the world — as well as the Iron Chef himself.
Street Food in Bangkok
The Thai capital boasts some of the best street food in the world, but many visitors to the city struggle to find great street food in Bangkok. This is because you need to be in the right place at the right time. The area around Victory Monument is known for its tiny bowls of boat noodles (rice noodles with pork or beef, optionally, pig’s blood), served in the mornings. Another good morning area is Silom Soi 20 where you’ll find plenty of vendors selling curries and snacks to hungry city workers. At dark, head to Sukhumvit 38, where vendors sell all the classic Thai street food dishes along with icy cold beers. But the best night-time street food can be found on Yaowarat Road, Chinatown. Here it gets bustling just after sunset and continues late into the night, with everything from stalls serving roast duck with noodles to the outdoor fresh BBQ seafood restaurants offering all kinds of seafood cooked to order on a grill.
Best Restaurants in Bangkok
While many believe that there’s nothing better to do in Bangkok than sit on a small plastic stool on the street slurping a bowl of noodles, sometimes you want to dine with a wine list, some air-conditioning to fight the humidity, and not risk being struck by a motorbike when you’re ordering food. Luckily, Bangkok has some fantastic restaurants. If you’re after Thai, stylish Nahm has the most authentic old recipes, while Issaya Siamese Club has modern renditions of the classics in a beautiful old villa with beanbags on the lawn. If you tire of Thai food, funky Opposite Mess Hall does interesting modern global food in a ‘pop-up’ style setting, legendary Eat Me is best for superb steaks and cocktails and has changing exhibitions of art on its walls. Try Peppina for wood-fired pizza and for molecular modernist versions of Indian dishes, book ahead for the restaurant of the moment in the city, award-winning Gaggan.