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May 3, 2006 04:41 PM

Best restaurants in Bangkok

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We are going to Bangkok in June and are looking for the very best (though sanitary) food. Would anyone have any suggestions? Probably Thai cuisine primarily. Thanks for your help!

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    Peter Cherches

    I was there too long ago to recommend specific restaurants, but I always recommend taking the day trip up the river to Ayuthaya that the Oriental Hotel puts together with a fantastic Thai & western buffet.

    I never got sick from eating at night markets in Thailand.

    Off topic, one of the great deals in the world is a massage at the massage school near the palace.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Peter Cherches

      I stayed at the Oriental not too long ago and they did not have a tour like this - the Shangri-La however did.

    2. Cabbage and Condoms is a must visit every time I go.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Larry

        I also recommend Celedon and Spice Market

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        Curt the Soi Hound

        Rarely will the "best" full service restaurants compare to many of the stalls and carts. Full menus mean they have to be all things to all people. Carts do the item that they do best.

        Just because your food is cooked in a "proper" kitchen, out of sight, doesn't insure good sanitation. I walked by a fancy Silom eatery, with granite walls and smoked glass windows. In the adjacent alley, the cooks were doing the prep work!

        I eat from Bangkok's carts and stalls, almost daily, and rarely become ill. Just keep to busy carts with cooks that follow some sanitation practices. I try for hot-off-the-grill/wok, and avoid vendors who touch the food with bare hands.


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          Eric the Law Student

          To all who have already posted, thanks. Could you help me out - I'll be in Bangkok next week for a day and will have time for exactly one meal!

          The catch is that I will be wearing a suit while I'm there (it's a business meeting). So I'm not only looking for a great place, but somewhere that at least has napkins and a table.

          Any recs for me will probably help us both - so thanks in advance!


          4 Replies
          1. re: Eric the Law Student
            Curt the Soi Hound

            Where in Bangkok will your meeting be? Will this be lunch break or afterwards?

            Also, many places have air conditioning and tables; will tissues from a dispenser suffice as napkins?

            1. re: Curt the Soi Hound
              Eric the Law Student

              Sorry if this is too late...

              The meeting will be downtown, so I have to go into the city. Tissues, etc., for napkins are fine - I'm coming from Vietnam, where I live on and off, so I'm used to that kind of thing. I would just rather not have to sit on little plastic stools and spill on myself!

              So all I'm really looking for is a "sit-down" restaurant. If you have some suggestions, I am all ears...


              1. re: Eric the Law Student
                Curt the Soi Hound

                On the south side of the Chitlom Skytrain stop is a little place called Amarin Foodhouse (Amarin Plaza).
                The food is Thai/Chinese and pretty good.
                It's popular with area businessmen.

                If you like food courts, Central Chitlom has its "Food Loft", an upscale version of a Thai tradition.

                The Emporium also has an interesting new food court, featuring restaurant fare, including such things as Tony Roma's ribs.

            2. re: Eric the Law Student

              I never got sick from eating street food every day for 9 days in Thailand, but that obviously doesn't work well in a suit.

              The best dish we ate on our trip was a bannana blossom salad at the Sukothai hotel restaurant. If I remember correctly, it's in the embassy district which is near downtown. The restaurant is beautiful, surrounded by a water garden. The meal was by far our most expensive in Thailand, at $50 for two people, but we enjoyed it anyway. Things there may have changed, however, as our trip was in 2003.

              As someone else mentioned, a massage at one of the temples near the palace is the perfect way to begin a day in Bangkok, especially if it's your first day after being on the plane for 20 hours. We went first thing in the morning, had the first pad thai of the day from a street vendor who was just setting up, and had our massage in the outside pavilion before the day's heat arrived. Meal + massage for two was perhaps $12.

            3. I'm with Curt. I've never gotten sick from street food in Thailand, even outside the big cities.

              Link below leads to 2 suggestions for kanom jeen, a delicious dish of rice noodles with your choice of curries, not often on Thai restaurant menus outside Thailand - one is a restaurant if you're more comfortable with that. Go to the 'Thailand' link in the sidebar.


              3 Replies
              1. re: foodfirst

                My favorite non-stall place in thailand is called hemlock. I haven't been there since 1999, so it may have changed...but I hear it is still very good. It has great bannan flower salad and mango salad. Everything here is good and it's dirt cheap. About twice the price of a street stall...This was some of the best food of my life

                it's on 56 thanon phra athit...02-282-7507

                1. re: vittus

                  I'm happy to vouch that Hemlock is still there, and still serving great food. And for vegetarians out there, they have a menu that makes vegetarian versions of dishes that I've never seen before, like the banana flower salad (very yum) and miang kam.

                2. re: foodfirst

                  Time flies... the link to the kanom jeen story (or is it khanom jin?) is here:

                  I ate this a lot in Southern Thailand. You get used to ground fish curry for breakfast after a while, although when the vendors saw my pale American skin they sometimes urged me to get the mild peanut sauce instead. ;-)