Bangkok's hippest place to eat is the area around Phahonyothin Soi 7,
better known as Soi Ari (or Aree), and Soi 5, Soi Ari Samphan. Just
out of the BTS Ari station. These busy streets are divided into their
own sois, with Ari Soi 1 featuring a bustling market packed with food
stalls and the trendier/more expensive joints around Sois 2 and 3.
Monument area has the usual collection of Western & Thai fast-food
favorites and a busy street market as well, especially in the
Where and what to eat in
Bangkok's Phahonyothin district
Leeo: Phahonyothin Soi 19
(Around the Corner from the British Council and Index). Exceptional
Thai curries and other dishes with a friendly, English speaking staff.
Shady trees and a fairly subdued side soi make evening outside dining
pleasant. Closed Sundays.
Khreung: Ari Samphan Soi 10.
Famous for its kuay tiow yam bok rice noodles with fresh vegetables,
topped with pork or shrimp (30 baht). Also serves up Thai-Chinese dim
sum, muu stek pork satay with peanut sauce, and a wide range of other
side dishes. No English sign or menu, but pointing should do the
Thai Aree: Phahonyothin Soi 7
(Soi Aree). This small, unassuming shophouse, located on the right
side of the street as you turn down Soi 7 from Paholyothin serves up
some delectable pad thai (and many variations) at slightly more than
street stall prices (around 40-60 baht).
Bangkok: Soi Ari 3, tel.
+66-26198659. Tucked down a leafy soi further down the street, this
place is named after its showpiece som tum (green papaya salad, 45
baht and up) but features all your other Isaan favorites too, with
mains in the 50-70 baht range. Seating indoors and outdoors, open from
11 AM to 11 PM.
food: Phahonyothin Soi 7 (Soi
Aree). Just off the BTS and around the corner on Soi Aree are a
multitude of street stalls selling some of Bangkok's best street food,
from Chinese-style wonton noodles, Isaan specialities such as som tom,
larb, gai yaang, as well as pad thai, Thai deserts and stands that can
whip up basically the entire repetoire of Thai cuisine, all for around
20-30 baht per dish.
Cafe: Phahonyothin Soi 9. In an
unlikely location down a soi near Shinawatra Tower 2, this is a
surprising little oasis of greenery (outside) and clean white lines
(inside). Mains around 50 baht, a fancy cup of coffee around the same
Mid-range to Upscale Eateries
BTS Stop Ari - Soi Ari (Phaholyothin Soi 7). Italian food with
especially enticing pizzas (try the Rianata) and a good selection of
decently priced wines by the glass and bottle.
Mae Yui: Soi Areesamphan 1,
(10-15 minute walk from BTS Ari or short motorbike/tuk tuk ride).
Tucked away in a quiet, narrow residential Soi, this tiny gem has
become a neighbourhood favourite (you may have to wait for a seat on
weekends). Features a small menu of home-style Thai favourites
(including some more old-fashioned dishes that are harder to find
these days), and a daily specials menu. Dinner menu and Sunday lunch
also features some quite good Western dishes as steaks, pastas and
roasts, and the bakery items and homemade ice creams are worth taking
Lad Phrao Soi 35. Just inside the soi, this restaurant is a huge
refurbished house and quite popular with young mobile Thai
professionals. Features full band with 8 violinists, wine glass
chandelier and several international beers.
Chlorophyll: Lad Phrao Soi 64.
Just inside the soi, this Bali inspired restaurant features outdoor
dining in a quaint garden setting. Thai and Japanese fare.
Phahonyothin Rd (Between Sois 7 and 9). Chinese-style seafood
restaurant that is always bustling well into the wee hours of night.
Not much on atmosphere or service, but the crowds can attest that the
food is terrific and the price is right. English menus available.
La Villa Shopping Complex,
Phahonyothin Rd (at Ari BTS) houses several mid-range dining options,
from the Japanese chain favourite Fuji to Korean barbecue, steakhouse,
Thai and other dining venues. Also a Starbucks here and a Villa
55 Ratchawithi Soi 2 (10-15 min from Victory Monument by tuk-tuk),
tel. 22463036. Deep down a small soi in Din Daeng, this hip but
relaxed lounge-cum-restaurant is neither factory nor has any pickles
on their menu: instead, it's a modern residential house (complete with
swimming pool) offering competent pizza (160/300 baht small/large),
pasta and Thai favorites (90-150 baht).
Soi Ari, tel. 1344. Authentic Italian pizza made with imported
ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Pizzas from 220 baht,
free delivery in northern Bangkok.
Soi Areesamphan (10-15 min walk from BTS Ari or short motorbike/tuk-tuk
ride, at the corner of Areesamphan 7). Surprisingly chic setting and
menu, drawing in a constant crowd of Bangkok hipsters and "Indie"
music fanatics, this restaurant cum bar features live bands on
weekends, a happening bar and a creative menu focusing on fresh fish
prepared in some creative fusion styles. A bit more of a splurge for
this neighborhood, with dishes easily topping 200-300 baht.
Ari Soi 3, tel. +66-22703344. Two-floor restaurant decorated in
kitschy primary colors packs in a good crowd nightly with its
excellent Thai food. Dishes from 50 baht, although live seafood costs
considerably more. About 300 meters down Ari Soi 3.
Gularb: Soi Areesamphan, (10-15
minute walk from BTS Ari or short motorbike/tuk tuk ride). An Ari
neighborhood institution, popular with both neighbourhood locals and
downtown dwellers in the know. Features a surprisingly vast menu of
Thai and Chinese favourites, all terrific and priced at approximately
80-150 baht per dish (seafood more expensive).
Where to Drink in
Bangkok's Phahonyothin District
Several bars aimed at young Thai socializers have sprung up at the
Aw Toh Goh market area, near Chatuchak. A stone's throw from the
Kamphaeng Phet MRT station (exit #1), are at least 20 small pubs, bars
and restaurants which are open every day of the week.