What are the best restaurants in Bangkok? The Thai capital is a food lover’s paradise and you’ll be hard pressed to pick just one, or two, or ten. From exquisite Thai and international cuisine to culinary experiences that defy labels and leave diners in awe, the City of Angels has something for everybody. So here, in no particular order, is our list of the 20 best restaurants in Bangkok right now. Check the social media of these fantastic restaurants for up-to-date opening hours and other changes to service that respect public health guidelines.
Thai Chefs take the Stage
In just two years, Sorn has earned two Michelin stars, a spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and more awards than you could shake a stick at, including Top Tables 2020’s Best Restaurant in Bangkok. The lavish praise is fully deserved. Ice Jongsiri and his childhood friend, head chef Yod U-Pumpruk have sourced the finest ingredients from southern Thailand and crafted a dining experience that dazzles and soothes in equal measure. Course after flavour-packed course — witness the deceptively simple crab claw — served in semi-private dining rooms showcase an unrivalled attention to detail and illicit whispers calling Sorn the best Thai restaurant in Bangkok, or even the best restaurant in Thailand. Don’t take anybody else’s word for it. Go and judge for yourself.
56, Sukhumvit 26 Soi Ari, Klongton Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Nusara is the latest project from Chef Ton Tassanakajohn, who won a Michelin star for his first restaurant Le Du. Named after his late grandmother, Chef Ton designed it to be a tribute to her memory. “She’s the one who taught me to love good food, eat good food and cook good food,” says Chef Ton. The dishes on the menu are more traditional Thai but are served in courses, in tasting menus of ten to fifteen dishes. The restaurant is located upstairs from his casual wine bar Mayrai.
22 Maha Rat Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200
The first thing that strikes you when you enter Royal Osha is the over-the-top décor, dripping in gold and gold leaf and the traditional and modern artworks that reinterpret that uniquely concept of “Thainess”, the feeling of belonging that Thai people are supposed to share. Look beyond the stunning interior and you’ll see that what’s in the plate is more than worth a second look as well. One-bite parcels called miang kham wrapped in lotus petals or lamb chops and a green curry sauce are among the excellent takes on classic Thai dishes.
99 Royal Resident Park Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Chef Vichit Mukura presided over the Thai kitchens of the Mandarin Oriental for almost three decades before opening Khao, rice in Thai, his more personal vision of Thai food. The chef’s table is worth booking in advance for a first hand understanding of a master chef at work. What you’ll get will depend on the day, and the fancy of the chef. Spicy crab egg relish, heady, mee grob (tangy and sweet crispy noodles topped with river prawns) or a humble pork in green curry are all elevated above the every day and the ordinary. Khao has just opened a second branch in Soi Tonson.
Piyaplace Tonson Building 34/1 Ploenchit Rd. Lumpini Patumwan Bangkok 10330
Saawaan means heaven, both spiritually and gastronomically. Chef Sujira Aom Pongmorn has crafted a menu that elevates ancient Thai recipes, humble home cooking and street food favourites into exquisitely rendered dishes. Her tasting menu stays true to Thai tastes while innovating in presentation and ingredients. One example: the charcoal grilled organic quail served with a garnish of papaya and tomato, a dish that is clearly an echo of som tam (green papaya salad) and grilled chicken yet stands entirely on its own. Even if you’re not teetotal, consider the carefully curated tea pairing to accompany the meal.
39/19 Soi Suanplu, Sathorn Road, Thungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Thailand
Chef Phattanant “May” Thongthong first came into the public eye for her successful stint on television’s Top Chef Thailand and then winning turns on the high-pressure Iron Chef Thailand. The Chiang Mai native opened acclaimed restaurants in her home town, but is now set to take the capital by storm. Chef May’s Maze, with its elegantly appointed dining room with a sweeping staircase entrance, is one of the newest additions to the capital’s rich and varied fine-dining scene. Expect Chef May to call on flavour profiles from the north and techniques and presentations from around the world, a combination which is her trademark.
114/3 Setsiri R, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Cosmopolitan Bangkok has something for everyone
Chef Henk Savelberg has probably earned more Michelin stars in different restaurants than anyone else in Bangkok. His eponymous Savelberg is the chef’s fifth establishment in a row to earn the honour. Expect a quintessential fine-dining experience inspired by the French masters, in which no detail, no matter how small, is overlooked. Chef Henk may be Dutch in origin but his exacting eye means he can lay a serious claim to running the best French restaurant in Bangkok. The amuse-bouche Pearl, with lobster and caviar and a perfect translucent sphere garnished with edible butterfly pea and cowslip creeper flowers on the half-shell encapsulates his gastronomic philosophy.
110 Wireless Road. Lumpini. Pathumwan Bangkok 10330
Chef Garima Arora found a circuitous route home. She owes a lot to her years at world-famous Noma in Copenhagen but it was her time in Bangkok that led her to reflect more on her culinary roots in India. She has affirmed her Indian identity at GAA (her initials) with creations like her steak of grilled jackfruit served with pickles and chutneys all crafted in-house. Along the way she picked up recognition including the title of best female chef in Asia. She founded and now spearheads Food Forward India, a movement that promotes better knowledge of the cuisines of India and encourages youth to embrace their food heritage.
68/4 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Phathumwan, Bangkok 10330
La Bottega di Luca
When the conversation turns to the best Italian restaurant in Bangkok, La Bottega di Luca always rates highly on the list. Luca Appino and head chef Andrea Ortu offer a pan-Italian menu that features star ingredients from all over Italy. But when the constantly changing menu includes a selection from Chef Andrea’s native — and often overlooked — Sardinia, seize the opportunity to indulge in a rare treat like fregola, a distinctive pellet-shaped pasta from the windswept island. Dine inside or opt for a seat on the wooden deck outside to catch an evening breeze, a welcome respite from the balmy Bangkok air.
Sukhumvit soi 49, Building Terrace 49 2nd fl, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
With over twenty years of experience in Berlin and Bangkok, German Chef Mirco Keller hung his own name on the door earlier this year and stepped into the spotlight. The door is that of dramatically lit townhouse down a quiet lane in Suan Phlu, an area of Bangkok that strikes the right balance between village-y and buzzy. The interior is a reflection of the food, classic yet sleek, with just a touch of whimsy. Duck Duck Duck, a duck-neck dumpling with smoked breast, braised tongue, sprouts and peas epitomises Chef Mirco’s take on east and west, technical and ultimately comforting.
31 Suan Phlu 2 Alley, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
After a highly publicised falling out with his now ex-partners that led to him and his team walking out of internationally acclaimed Gaggan, larger-than-life Gaggan Anand, arguably the only chef in Bangkok with first-name recognition around the world, bounced back quickly, opening Gaggan Anand in record time. The new restaurant boasts a chef’s table and a private function room. Expect more of what Gaggan does best: razzle-dazzle, emoji-menu, sphere-popping, plate-licking showmanship that don’t detract in any way from the commitment to endless creativity and most importantly delicious food, informed but by no means beholden to the chef’s native India.
68 Sukhumvit 31, Sukhumvit Rd, Klongton-Neu, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Conveyance isn’t so much moving from one place to another, says Jutamas Theantae better known as Chef Som. Rather, it’s about being receptive to the unexpected. The almost cryptic tasting menu featuring dishes like Motion or Wealth is designed to take the diner on a journey of discovery that reflects the chef’s own story, from her days as an art student, to honing her cooking craft in America, to a desire to pass on her experience to others. Save your questions for the end of the meal. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
1 1/1 Klang Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Ginza Sushi Ichi
The Thai outpost of Ginza’s renowned Sushi Ichi is the only Japanese restaurant in the capital to rate a coveted Michelin star. Loyal customers return to what they say is the best Japanese restaurant in Bangkok and for the select ingredients sourced at Toyosu Market including hairy crab, sea urchin and abalone. Ginza Sushi Ichi is most proud of its wild tuna, always sourced from the respected distributor Hicho, who guarantees the quality of the highly prized fish. Set menus are available, but ordering omakase leaves you in the skilled hands of the chefs who will provide you with the ultimate sushi selection.
Erawan Bangkok LG Fl Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Twin chefs Mathias and Thomas Sühring serve up a version of the German food they grew up on that displays both playfulness and polish. Sure a meal is likely to include the much Instagrammed Currywurst in its own takeaway box, and a dainty shot of grandma’s egg nog, but there is also Frankfurter Grüne Soße, the homey, cold herb-based sauce presented here in an elegant version that is definitely not what grandma used to whip up. Irreproachable food and service in a relaxed setting: it’s easy to see why Sühring was named the best restaurant in Bangkok several years running.
10 Soi Yen Akat 3, Chong Nonsi, Yan Nawa, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
The building has retained the minimalist aesthetics and capacious volumes of its former life as a respected art gallery and framed works of acclaimed Thai artist Somboon Hormtientong hang on the walls. What keeps people coming back is Chef Christian Martena’s personal rendition of the cuisine of his native Italy, from a classically executed sage and brown butter dish of gnocchi to a primo that is anything but classic, making use of pasta, banana blossoms and cacao nibs. The restaurant, named for the chef’s partner in business and at home Clara del Corrso, has only been open for a few months but is already jostling for the title of best Italian restaurant in Bangkok.
69 Soi Prasat Suk, Chong Nonsi, Yan Nawa, Bangkok 10120
Nan Bei, north and south, in the Rosewood Bangkok hotel, covers a lot of ground in Chinese cuisine. Five masters of their craft work under the guidance of Executive Chef Matthew Geng, like Chef Max Li and his textbook rendition of Peking duck, served in courses tableside. Salted egg tiger prawns with asparagus and other creations have recently made their appearance on the menu. Though Nan Bei only appeared on the dining scene last year, for many connoisseurs it has breezed its way to claim the title of best Chinese restaurant in Bangkok. You can host a small event in one of the private dining rooms, decorated with silk panels that illustrate Chinese legends.
1041, 38 Phloen Chit Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Chef Dan Bark cut his teeth on Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago before coming to Bangkok. He won a Michelin star for his contemporary American menu at Upstairs at Mikkeler and is now ready to spread his wings even further. World Travel Magazine got a sneak peek at his new twin restaurants. Fine-dining Cadence, described as Chef Dan’s Personal Cuisine, shares his memories like Ocean, a walk on the beach represented by a trio of bites of oyster, salmon and a piña colada in a white chocolate shell. More casual Caper will focus on cocktails and American bistro fare. Look for Cadence to open on June 15.
225 Pridi Banomyong 25 Khlong toei Nuea, Bangkok, Thailand 10110
A champion of urban farming, Chef Deepanker Kholsa transformed the garden of this house into a model of a hydroponic and aquaponic ecosystem. Fish and a dizzying array of greens like Indian borage are all cultivated just outside the restaurant windows that Chef DK will be happy to guide you through after dinner. The menu embraces the chef’s Indian heritage and turns it on its head, like Pulissery, a heady centuries-old recipe that hails from Pondicherry and inspired French bouillabaisse. The tasting menu, with both veg and non-veg versions, is a veritable culinary expedition and a lesson in sustainability.
231 3 Soi Sukhumvit 31, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Mahanakhon Bangkok Skybar
Thailand’s highest restaurant is perched atop the King Power Mahanakhon, the striking façade of which looks like an old pixelated computer monitor. Among the highlights from Chef Joshua Cameron’s menu are the shared dishes like the whole roasted free-range chicken served on a bed of straw, and the whole sea bass from the Andaman Sea served with Thai garnishes. Diners also have access to the Sky Walk two floors above the restaurant, the best rooftop in Bangkok particularly for those who love the thrill of walking over the glass-floored observation deck.
114 Naradhiwat Rajanagarindra Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
The restaurants of the Athénée Hotel in Bangkok are an overlooked culinary treasure in the middle of Bangkok. Among them, Allium stands out for its approach to contemporary French food. It’s sustainable, with some of the aromatics growing right outside the restaurant and much of the produce locally and organically sourced. It’s interactive, sitting at the chef’s table that offers ringside seats to the cooking action. And it’s seasonal, reflecting the best products available whatever time of year it is. The Thai Mud Crab and the Calamansi from Our Garden are dishes that seamlessly blend regional produce and that French touch.
61 Witthayu Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand ◼
Subscribe to the latest edition now by clicking here.
© This article was first published online in May 2020 – World Travel Magazine.