With gastronomic choice galore, eating out in Bangkok is fun, amazing and inexpensive. In this remarkable city, visitors can experience a cosmopolitan feast of diverse cultures and styles. Eatingplaces range from five-starrestaurants to food shops, cafes and street-side stalls and food carts. Thai food, both authentic and nouvelle dishes, can be found almost everywhere -atsmall, sparingly decorated restaurants or lavishly ornate ones, along the pavements, and in the markets. In Bangkok the food is good everywhere. After all, it's the taste, and not always the place that really matters.
Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown never sleeps. The area houses some of the best and most expensive Chinese restaurants in the city, along with many of the best and cheapest food stalls, especially at night. The restaurants mostly specialise in southern Chinese cooking, with noodles, seafood and, at lunchtime, dim sum dumplings dominating the menus. Large restaurants line the bustling Yaowarat Road, but venturing into sois, or lanes, will lead you to less impressive yet equally enjoyable establishments. At night the neon glow from hundreds of hawker stalls electrifies the atmosphere of the streets. Ad hoc seafood stalls line the sidewalks, drawing such crowds that late-comers have to wait for seats.
Known as Bangkok's Little India, the confined alleyways around Pahurat area accommodate a number of authentic Indian restaurants, particularly those offering North Indian cuisine. Alternatively, other subcontinental foods such as Punjabi and Pakistani are also plentifully available. The atmosphere around Pahurat is less chaotic than Yaowarat, yet the vivacity can still be felt in this small but thriving neighbourhood.
Cosmopolitan cuisine is the theme of Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok's most stylish thoroughfares. There is no shortage of eating places on Sukhumvit Road. European, American, Italian, French, British, German, Mexican, Japanese, Indian and Thai restaurants lining along the road and presenting a variety of options in terms of menus, atmosphere, and prices. Sukhumvit 55, also known as Soi Thonglor, and its labyrinthine branches are also full of restaurants of every kind. Sukhumvit Sois 23, 24, 47, 49 and 63 are typically sophisticated restaurant streets.
Several food streets are linked to this road in Bangkok's busiest area. Many restaurants are found along the main thoroughfare, but there is an even greater number tucked away in its side alleys. As if awakened by street lights, seafood stalls sprout along the section near Saladaeng Intersection after sunset until late at night. The nearby Convent Road offers everything from Italian, Swiss, Californian to an Irish tavern. Opposite, a crush of Japanese restaurants makes Soi Thaniya into a lively walkway for Japanese visitors and sushi lovers of all nationalities. Thai food is available in palace style and street style, side by side. The best selection of the former can be found in Soi Pipat. Dozens of vendors sell quick meals such as ktaai tiao noodle and khao kaeng curry rice.
This shopping area is crammed with medium to high-priced eateries as well as American fast-food outlets. Whether you crave for Thai, European, or Chinese foods, there is a place for you somewhere in this fashionable area. Traditional Thai restaurants are flanked by gaudy fast-food franchises and Japanese suki parlours. Soi 1 has conventional Chinese restaurants. Bangkok's branch of Hard Rock Cafe is just up the street. Dozens of food stalls sell meatballs, grilled squid, and fried bananas along the walkways that connect the main streets.
SOI LANG SUAN
Fashionable restaurants in Soi Lang Suan present interesting eating possibilities at medium to high prices. Also home to some of the most popular jazz pubs in the city, the street's flashy atmosphere attracts the money crowd in droves after sundown. Like Sukhumvit Road, Lang Suan offers a diverse mix of Thai, Asian, and European influences aided by specialised venues such as the vegetarian-oriented Whole Earth restaurant and the Chinese favourite Nguan Lee.
Shoestring travellers flock to Bang Lamphu, especially the area around Khao San Road. Most eating places in this area cater for budget-conscious diners. Many guesthouses on Khao San Road have open-air cafes serving standard Thai and Chinese dishes. Other decent possibilities include Indian, Jewish, and Muslim restaurants. Many unassuming Chinese dim sum and noodle places may be found along the adjacent Phra Athit Road. Bold exploration is advised in this interesting neighbourhood.