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Bangkok Magazine

  • 10 Really Popular Thai Restaurants in Old City

    The Best Casual Thai Dining in Bangkok Old City

    Popular Thai restaurants in Old City Bangkok are plentiful, particularly down by the Grand Palace and the nearby backpacker enclave of Khao San Road. In fact, there are so many restaurants you can easily miss an outstanding meal in a great Thai restaurant.

    Another issue for first-time visitors is that Bangkok Old City is so…old. Streets are narrow and leading off in all directions so finding your way can be challenging. That’s why our guide of the best Thai restaurants in Old City Bangkok is so useful. It can help you find a delicious, everyday meal whether it’s your first day in Thailand or you are a regular visitor and you want some genuine Thai food in a casual atmosphere.

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    Sitting on a beautiful teak decking over the Chao Phraya River, Steve Café and Cuisine is one of the most charming restaurants in Bangkok. Fortunately, the food is as impressive as the views. Here you will find home-cooked Southern Thai cuisine which changes with the seasons. Expect such classic Thai dishes as wing bean salad, Panang curry and plenty of fish options, which can be fried, steamed or baked. To add to the homely vibe, you even have to remove your shoes before you enter the wooden decking which sits over the river.

    One word of warning, finding this restaurant is difficult! Follow the instructions in the full page review. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 11.30 am -
    • Location: Si Ayutthaya 21 Alley (Opposite Thewet Pier)
    • Tel: +66 (0) 81 868 0744
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    Err Restaurant is a casual dining concept where delicious Thai food and snacks can be enjoyed with a collection of tasty cocktails. The menu runs through expertly prepared street-food favourites, single dishes and more filling curries. Prices are very competitive with many dishes in the 100-200 baht range, so if you come with friends you can pretty much eat your way through the menu. Developed by renowned Chefs Dylan and Bo, the couple behind the popular fine-dining Thai restaurant Bo.Lan, Err features kooky graffiti on the bare brick walls, tin plates, soul and funk tunes on the stereo – the vibe is a nostalgic and fun look back at Thailand of the past. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 11:00 – late (closed Monday)
    • Location: 394/35 Maharaj Road (behind Wat Pho on an unnamed small soi leading down to the river).
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 622 2291 2
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    Tom Yum Kung

    Named after the Thailand’s signature soup, Tom Yum Kung is arguably the best and the most famous Thai restaurant on Khao San Road. The menu consists of strictly Thai cuisine, and highlights include, of course, our favourite, tom yum kung (spicy and sour prawn soup), fried minced shrimp and scallops, spicy seafood salad and papaya salad with crab. Located in a traditional wooden house, the restaurant features beautiful décor and a cosy atmosphere along with good service and English-speaking staff. If you are looking for a first meal on Khao San Road, Tom Yum Kung Restaurant comes highly recommended.

    • Opening Hours: 12:00 – 01:30
    • Location: 18 Khao San Road
    • Tel: + 66 (0) 2 629 1818
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    Arun Residence is located on Maharat Road, just behind Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and started a trend for Thai restaurants with amazing views of Wat Arun illuminated on the opposite bank of the river. Food at Arun Residence is prominently Thai, elaborate without being too sophisticated, and definitely keeping an authentic Thai flavour. Some dishes can be spicy. Recommended selections include their pomelo salad, fried frog legs with peppercorn and duck confit with green apple, finishing up with the classic mango and sticky rice. Prices are a little above average at Arun Residence, but you will know why when you experience the views and ambiance. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs 11:00 am 10:00 pm, Fri - Sun 11:00 am 11:00 pm (top floor bar opens 5.30pm)
    • Location: 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 221 9158
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    Sala Arun

    Sala Arun is literally next door to Arun Residence so the riverside ambiance and clear views of The Temple of Dawn are similar, except this al fresco dining experience is on the ground floor only a metre of so above the river, and the food is cheaper and less elaborate. The menu is a mixture of western comfort food, Thai classics, and fusion dishes and, together with the more casual dining style, this is a great place to bring large groups who want to dine with an iconic view.

    • Location: 47-49 Soi Ta-tien, Maharat Road
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 622 2932
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    Pad Thai Thip Samai (Pratu Pee)

    Renowned as the very best pad Thai in Bangkok – which pretty much makes it the best pad Thai in the world – Pad Thai Thip Samai is a local restaurant with a world-class reputation. The menu consists of different styles of this famous Thai noodle dish, along with freshly squeezed orange juice which is delivered from their very own farm in the countryside every day!

    Open since 1966, this restaurant is packed from early afternoon until it closes around 01:00. Often you will have to wait for a table and it’s fascinating to watch the cooks surrounded by the many charcoal cooking stations and decades old woks, whipping up plate after plate.

    • Opening Hours: 17:00 – 03:00
    • Location: Mahachai Road
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 221 6280
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    Jae Fai

    Street food that costs up to 400 baht per plate, Jae Fai Restaurant confounds conventional wisdom, but one meal of the famous crab omelette or seafood in thick Chinese gravy (rad naa) and you will understand why people are so happy to fork out ten times the cost of standard street food. There are other dishes available from Jae Fai, but it’s the two options mentioned above that you should, no, must order. Located next door to Pad Thai Thip Samai (the famous pad Thai place), you often have to wait for a table and the owner is renowned for rushing you off the table as soon as your last bite is done, but it all adds to the experience.

    • Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
    • Location: 327 Mahachai Road, Old City (next door to Thip Samai Pad Thai)
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    Methavalai Sorndaeng

    This retro restaurant is located on the smart boulevard that leads off Democracy Monument. The whole atmosphere in Methavalai Sorndaeng transports you to another world, one where the waiters are dressed in a suit and tie and the service is excellent. A live string quartet and pianist play classic tunes at a volume that makes conversation easy. The food served here is in keeping with the surroundings – traditional Thai royal cuisine with just the right amount of spice and a decent variety of dishes. Just like the ambiance around Bangkok Old City, dinner here feels like stepping back into the past for an evening.

    • Opening Hours: 10:00-23:00
    • Location: 78/2 Ratchadamnoen Bowonniwet
    • Tel: +66 (0) 2 221 2378
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    May Kaidee's Vegetarian Restaurant

    May Kaidee serves purely vegetarian food at excellent prices. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Thai Cozy House hotel on Thanao Road, just behind the Burger King at the top of Khao San Road. Recommended items include vegetarian massaman curry, spring rolls, and freshly prepared fruit shakes. May Kaidee also offers Thai cooking lessons that receive excellent feedback from the many ‘vegies’ who descend on Khao San Road and surrounds.

    • Opening Hours: 09:00 - 23:00
    • Location: Ground Floor, Thai Cozy House, Tanao Road
    • Tel: +66 (0) 2 629 5870-4
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    Savoey is a genuine Thai restaurant that has a wide menu of classic dishes. There are several branches all around Bangkok, but the Savoey Restaurant in Maharaj Lifestyle Mall is our favourite thanks to the excellent riverside views. Choice dishes include crab in yellow curry and squid and salted egg salad. The food is well prepared, the variety included on the menu means there’s something for everyone and the well-trained staff speak excellent English. Plus, it’s somewhere you can turn up in shorts and T-shirt and not feel out of place. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 11:00 – 21:00
    • Location: 2nd Floor, Building G Tha Maharaj Lifestyle Mall, Maharaj Road
    • Tel: +66 (0)2 024 1317
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