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Bangkok Travel & Tourism Guide

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Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road:
Food and Drink Recommendations

There is a huge selection of places to eat in and around Sukhumvit and its side sois, although prices tend to be on the high side by Thai standards. With practically every cuisine in the world represented, this is the place to break your phad thai diet and sample some of the best Japanese, Lebanese, or Indian food you will ever eat.

Where and what to eat in Bangkok's Sukhumvit district [Click here for the Drink page]:

This is a huge list - but very worth a thorough review

Thai restaurants

     Once Upon A Time, 32 Petchaburi Soi 17, tel. 02-252-8629. In a dubious-looking alley opposite Panthip Plaza, but worth hunting down despite the unlikely location. The restaurant is in an old Thai house with a garden, filled with photos of classical Thai film stars, and serves very good Thai food. Check out the special rooms upstairs on your way to the bathroom. Mains 100-200 baht.

     Lan Som Tam Nua, also known as Som Tam Paradise, Siam Square Soi 4. If Thai food isn't spicy enough or you have yet to sample som tam (raw papaya salad), check out this trendy yet very friendly and very Thai restaurant specializing in northern Isaan food. For the full-on Isaan experience, order raw mango salad (ตำมะม่วง tam ma-muang), spicy pork salad (ลาบหมู laap muu ), grilled chicken (ไก่ทอด kai thot) and sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียว khao nio) - which will cost less than 150 baht per head. No English menu, but the staff are glad to help. Warning: This is real Isaan food and thus very spicy!

     Baan Khanitha, at 36/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (Asoke BTS Station). Well-known if mildly touristy restaurant in an old Thai house, the primary concession to Western tastes being the lack of chili. On the expensive side with most mains (esp. seafood) in the 200-400 baht range, but the food is generally excellent and the presentation spot-on. Best known for their pomelo salad (ยำส้มโอ yam som-o) and red curry with duck (แกงแดงเป็ด kaeng daeng pet).

     Cabbages and Condoms, 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (between Nana & Asoke BTS Stations). Run by Thailand's Population and Community Development Association, the odd name referring to the founder's belief that condoms should be as cheap as veggies; and no prizes for guessing what you'll get after dinner instead of an after-dinner mint. The food is competent but toned down for the foreign palate, expect to pay around 300 baht for a full meal.

     Lemongrass, 5 Sukhumvit Soi 24. A very good if slightly expat-oriented Thai restaurant. Pomelo salad and tom yam kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง) are both excellent.

     Food Centre, Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station). Simple, well visited restaurant serving Thai and western food. Thai dishes are reasonably original, with little concession to the western taste. Rapid service. Main dishes around 100 baht.

     Fusion restaurants

For Thai food with a twist, the hip districts of Siam Square (See earlier) and the H1 complex on Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) are the best places to go hunting.

     Bed Supperclub, 26 Soi 11 Sukhumvit, tel. 2651 3537. One of Bangkok's trendiest bar/club/restaurants with sparsely minimalistic yet jaw-dropping decor. Visiting on weekends is recommended, as you'll be treated to a 4-course surprise meal and a weekly-changing floor show. Reservations are essential (by telephone or online), as only a single serving is served nightly at 21:00; be sure to request a bed and arrive at least 30 minutes early. Dietary restrictions can be catered for if informed in advance. But the bill for all this is steep: the 4-course meal will set you back 1000 baht plus drinks at around 200 baht a pop.

     Greyhound Cafe, Emporium 2F (Phrom Phong BTS Station) and also Central Chidlom 2F (Chid Lom BTS Station). An extremely modern restaurant of concrete and brushed steel, offering a fusionesque menu of food ranging from authentic Thai to Italian pasta to Elvis burgers. Mains usually 100 baht+, although lunch sets are quite cheap.

     Holy Pizza, Soi 7 Siam Square, tel. 2654 6373. Siam Square at its best: hip, irreverent and innovative, with Thai pop art on the walls and thin-crust Italian pizza married to ingredients that would make the Pope blanch. Try the fairly conservative Vatican's Choice (mozzarella, Parma ham, rocket leaves; 240 baht), or get more experimental with chicken larb pizza.

     Italian restaurants

Bangkok has a surprisingly large number of Italian restaurants, and the best are both very good and affordably priced (at least by Western standards).

     Gianni, 34/1 Soi Tonson, off Ploenchit. One of Bangkok's best and most authentic Italian places. Formal but romantic atmosphere with shared couches and such, you'll want to dress up a little. Try the lunch sets at 270/320 baht, as dinners are considerably more expensive (figure on 1000 baht per head.

     La Buca, Soi 1 Sukhumvit. This little Italian restaurant is possibly the most authentic in Bangkok. The Italian owner changes the Menu weekly, and a good selection of wine is available. Romantic, but on the expensive side, ranging 400-800 baht per person, without wine.

     L'Opera, 53/1 Soi 39, Sukhumvit Road,  +66-2-258-5606 (contact@lopera-bangkok.com, fax: +66-2-258-5599). 11.30AM-2.30PM, 5PM-23PM. Established 1984, this is the oldest genuine Italian restaurant in Bangkok, and most likely also in Thailand. Though long established as THE Italian place to eat amongst the Thai stars, politicians and local business elite, the atmosphere is relaxed and caters as much to the tourists and middle class. The food prepared by the Italian chef is top class and they stock a wine selection to match it.

     No. 43, At Cape House, Langsuan. A lovely Italian bistro that serves an a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. With quiet white wood floors, black and gold walls, and an illuminated open bar, the items are pleasantly affordable considering the restaurants elegant ambiance, and range from 120-220 baht for a main course dish. Quiet, reserved and gentle on the senses, this restaurant also offers great Thai food on request.

     Japanese restaurants

Bangkok's Little Japan is located near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and across the street at Soi 24, with Phrom Phong BTS Station straddling the two. There is also a smaller concentration along Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55), notably the Nihonmura ("Japan Village") in Thong Lo Soi 13. (The other major outpost of Nippon is Soi Thaniya in Silom.)

     Ichiban Ramen, Soi 24 Sukhumvit. An authentically Japanese greasy-spoon noodle joint specializing in ramen soup. A large bowl starts at 80 baht.

     Grande Teppanyaki and Grande Ramen. Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55 - on the left, a short walk from Thong Lo BTS Station). Two small Japanese restaurants facing each other, popular with Thais and Japanese alike. Sub-100 baht Lunch menus particularly good value, but the beef curry with real steak (130 baht) is a deal at any time of the day.

     Fuji. This Japanese restaurant chain can be found in Emporium, Siam Center, Central World Plaze, and Siam Paragon. A meal for two costs about 500-600 baht.

     Korean restaurants

While Korean restaurants can be found scattered throughout town, a particularly heavy concentration lurks in Korea Town, the informal name of Sukhumvit Soi 12's Sukhumvit Plaza (a short walk from Asoke BTS Station). These are extremely authentic though and you may have a little trouble ordering if not familiar with Korean food.

     Shilla. 4/10-16 Sukhumvit Soi 22, tel. 26634296. A Korean barbeque place aimed for Koreans, with self-service bulgogi grilled at your table and a large menu featuring all the Korean favorites.

     Middle Eastern restaurants

Soi 3, a short walk from Nana BTS Station, is known as Soi Arab for the heavy concentration of Middle Eastern businesses in the area; in some spots you will see more signs in Arabic than in Thai! Thanks to a demanding clientele and heavy competition, the food here is some of the best this side of Lebanon.

     Al Ferdoss, 1F Schiller's Inn, 77/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1. It may have the ambience of a motel lobby (which it pretty much is), but the food here is amazing. Dips and salads (hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, etc) 80 baht a pop, kebabs 130 baht and up, and best of all is the excellent oven-fresh naan. Air-con indoors, but move outside for mint tea and some puffs of the shisha (water pipe).

     Beirut Restaurant, Ploenchit Center B1F, Soi 2 Sukhumvit. In an unlikely location next to a supermarket in an otherwise nearly desolate shopping mall, Beirut gets negative points for ambience but serves up very good Middle Eastern fare. Basic shwarma in a pita less than 100 baht, set meals 220 baht and up.

     Vietnamese restaurants

     Le Dalat, Sukhumvit Soi 23. Two locations about a block apart and across the street from each other.

     Other restaurants

     Bei Otto, Sukhumvit Soi 20. Well-known and popular German restaurant.

     Big John's, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lo) Soi 9 +66 2-712-9712. Home made Aussie pies, pasties, sausages, burgers, pasta, pizza, etc. Satellite sports, free wi-fi.

 

     Bourbon Street, 29/4-6 Sukhumvit Soi 22 +66 2-259-0328. Surprisingly authentic Cajun food. Premium prices charged for dinner but the 2/3-course lunches at 230/290 baht are very good value. Second branch on Soi Tonson.

     Charlie Brown's, off Sukhumvit Soi 11. Excellent Mexican food, maybe the best in Bangkok. Native English is available here, but you have to find the place first. Just down Soi 11, turn left at the first tailor shop, go past Cheap Charlies bar and around the corner and you will see it. 300-500 baht.

     Great American Rib Company, 32 Sukhumvit Soi 36 +66 2-661-3801. Great southern style ribs and Mexican food. Best ribs in town and at a moderate price. 

     Larry's Dive Restaurant, Bar & Grill, Sukjumvit Soi 22 +66 2-663-4563. North American Style Gourmet Burgers, Mexican Food, Steaks and Barbeque Pork Ribs. All Day Breakfast.

     Rang Mahal, 26F Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 +66 2-261-7100. Bangkok's best Indian restaurant, offering world-class Mughal (North Indian) food in surroundings fit for a maharaja. Fairly expensive (well over 500 baht per head), but the all-you-can-eat Sunday champagne brunch buffet at 499 baht is a steal. This 26th floor restaurant also offers great views of Bangkok, call ahead for reservations and request a window view.

     Senor Pico's, Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18. Mexican restaurant.

     Ronnys New York Pizza, Sukhumvit Soi 4, tel. +66-2-255-2626. Self-proclaimed as the first New York-style pizza place in Bangkok (thin crust, like in Europe, contrary to the pan pizza of the rest of America). Bring your laptop for free wi-fi. 

     Crepes & Co., Sukhumvit Soi 12, further down the street from Cabbages & Condoms. You can take the BTS, get off Asok station and walk a little. A French-Mediterranean crepes place. Average of 250 per crepe, both sweet and savory.

 

 

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