The Pratunam area of Bangkok divides opinion: to some it is hot, cheap and overcrowded, while others claim its one of the most charismatic and fun districts in the city. In fact, both opinions are justified and it really depends on personal preferences. Either way, there is no doubt that Pratunam is one of the ‘go to’ areas in central Bangkok for wholesale shopping and makes a great, budget base for exploring this exciting metropolis.
When it comes to eating in Pratunam, there are an exciting number of restaurants and vendors catering for tourists from every corner of the globe. You will find speciality cuisine from across the Indian sub-continent as well as Chinese, Thai and many International restaurants too, usually located inside many of the hotels found in the area. A common problem for first-time visitors is how difficult it can be to find just what you’re looking for amongst all that commotion so here we have compiled the ten best restaurants in Pratunam:
Once Upon a Time
Occupying the ground floor and garden of a pink wooden house, Once Upon a Time is an attractive and quirky setting in which to enjoy many of the dishes that made Thai cuisine famous around the world. With a clientele of mainly foreigners and tourists it’s understandable that the flavours of dishes have been modified for the Western palate. Dishes like pad Thai and green curry are made according to authentic recipes, perhaps on the sweeter and creamier end of the scale, but the tom yum kung seems to lack the requisite chilli and lime kick – if you like your Thai food spicy, we would suggest asking for ‘Thai style spicy’. Once Upon a Time also serves some Western dishes making it a good option for a group who want to enjoy the best of east and west.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
- Address: 32 Petchburi Soi 17, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2 252 8629
Chili Hip Bangkok Restaurant is one of Pratunam’s hippest restaurants with a roofttop location, laidback vibe and chic décor, fine foods and excellent views of the city. Located in Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok on the 20th floor, Chili Hip Restaurant is famed for its great value food and drinks. Honestly, this is probabaly the cheapest rooftop dinner you can find in Bangkok! Dine alfresco and enjoy watching the sun set over Bangkok or the bright lights of the city at night with 360-degree panoramic views. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily: 17:00 – 23:00
- Address: 487/26 Phetchaburi Rd, Pratunam
- Tel: +66 (0)2 625 1234
Henry J Beans Bar and Grill
For a delicious steak or giant rack of ribs, Henry J Beans is a classic all-American bar and restaurant. It isn’t the cheapest place to eat but the portions are massive and really deliver with high quality ingredients. The restaurant is located underneath the Amari Watergate Hotel, opening at 17:00 and carrying on until 01:00 in the morning. As well as belly busting grilled dishes, there is live music from 21:00 (except Sunday) and an impressive range of cocktails. The dark polished wood interior, live sports on TV and high chairs surrounding the bar are all tried and tested elements of Americana that is unlike anything else in Pratunam.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
- Location: Basement Floor, Amari Watergate Hotel, 847 Petchaburi Road
- Tel: +66 (0)2 566 1020
Novotel Platinum Bangkok Buffet Lunch
For those of you who want to cram in as much shopping as humanly possible, The Square Restaurant in Novotel is actually connected to Platinum Shopping Mall so you never actually have to leave. The restaurant offers great views over bustling Bangkok and the sleek, modern dining area is complemented by interesting lights and wall designs, all created out of fishing baskets especially for this hotel. The international buffet offers a range of Thai, Japanese and European dishes all for the bargain price of THB 449++ excluding drinks. Furthermore, on Sunday they have a special brunch with additional meat options and free flow fruit juice for 699++.
- Opening Hours: 11:45 – 15:00
- Address: 220 Petchaburi Road, attached to Platinum Shopping Mall
- Tel: +66 (0)2 160 7100
Kuang Heng Kaiton Pratunam
Ask any local what to eat in Pratunam and their first answer would be steamed chicken at Kaiton Pratunam. Originally a Chinese dish, ‘khao man gai’ is a firm favourite in Bangkok for locals and tourists alike. This legendary shophouse serving fresh and succulent chicken is opposite Palladium World Shopping Mall on the corner of Petchburi Soi 30. It’s an open fronted shop so there’s no air conditioning, and there’s a lot of commotion going on out front with chopping and ordering, but don’t let that deter you. The chicken served here is really memorable, laid out in strips on oily rice with a hint of garlic, and garnished with some crunchy cucumber. Alongside your chicken and rice, you will receive a chilli dipping sauce that delivers a lovely tingle and a soup made from the chicken stock that is a lovely and light accompaniment... and all for just 30 baht.
- Opening Hours: 05:00 until 02:00
- Address: Petchburi Soi 30. Close to the intersection with Ratchaprarop.
To really experience Bangkok you should eat as the locals eat, and that is exactly the experience you get at this famous noodle shop on Petchaburi Soi 19. This no frills shophouse has been serving tasty egg noodles and wontons – with a choice of either pork, crab or shrimp – for many years and has gained popularity as one of the ‘go to’ place for a quick lunch. The restaurant is easy to find directly across the main road from Platinum Shopping Mall, just a few meters down Soi 19. Look out for a shiny display cabinet and a packed restaurant with both Thais and foreigners taking a break from their shopping missions.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:30
- Location: Soi Petchaburi 19 (across the main road from Platinum Fashion Mall)
For something a little different we recommend lunch or dinner at the only dedicated Filipino restaurant in Bangkok: New Mabuhay. ‘Mabuhay’ means ‘welcome’ in the Philippines and a warm atmosphere is what you can expect at this ground floor restaurant on a small side street off Petchaburi Soi 19. The owner, Miss Delia ‘Pinky’ is always on hand to recommend authentic Filipino specialities such as the delicious Kaldertang Baka, a beef and vegetable dish that is rich and flavoursome but without any spice, and fried crispy pork called Leehon Kawali. The interior of the restaurant is cosy with a yellow and red colour scheme and decorative parasols adding an interesting touch. Dishes cost in the region of 200 baht so a meal here is both unique and great value. There is also a small mini mart onsite, selling Filipino groceries and freshly baked treats such as coconut bread.
- Opening Hours: 08:30 – 22:00
- Address: 1/31 Petchaburi Road Soi 19 (take the first left from the entrance of Petchaburi Road Soi 19, the restaurant is a few metres down)
- Tel: +66 (0)2 255 2689
Baiyoke Sky Hotel International Buffet
All you can eat rooftop dining! Bangkok Sky Restaurant is located on the 76th and 78th floors of Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper. The restaurant has recently added a seafood buffet on its lineup. You can enjoy river prawns, rock lobsters, scallops, grilled salmon, fried crab in curry paste, as well as a selection of popular dishes from around the world. The buffet is inclusive of admission fees to the observation deck on 77th and Revolving View Point on the 84th floor – spectacular and romantic
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 22:30
- Location: 76th and 78th floor, Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Rajpraroj Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 2 656 3000
Tae Chew Chinese Restaurant
Tae Chew Restaurant on the eighth floor of the Grand Diamond Suites Hotel is well known to Bangkokians who want a great value dim sum buffet lunch. Located in between Platinum and Pantip Plaza shopping malls, the restaurant is convenient for shoppers and offers many Cantonese specialties prepared by their chef from Hong Kong. A range of dim sum treats are complemented by perennial favourites such as roast duck, braised spare ribs and hot and sour soup. The restaurant serves their all-you-can-eat buffet from 11:00 to 14:30 and stays open until 23:00 with an extensive a la carte menu.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
- Address: 8th Floor, Grand Diamond Suites Hotel, 888 Petchburi Road
- Tel: +66 (0)2 656 6888-98
Uno Mas is an upmarket Spanish restaurant that has stunning views from the 54th floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld, high above CentralWorld shopping mall in Siam. The menu is a collection of intricate tapas plates, premium seafood, including a selection of lobsters, oysters, shrimp and clams. The cured meats on display at Uno Mas must be the most diverse and well stocked in Bangkok. Although expensive, we would take a portion of Joselito Ibirico ham (790 baht), sliced straight from the leg, over any other cold cut – from Spain or anywhere else.
Uno Mas was designed to bring you the best Mediterranean flavors coupled with stunning views from the (almost) rooftop where you will get to look over the iconic Bangkok skyline as you dine. The famous Red Sky rooftop bar is just one floor above the restaurant. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 14:30 and 16:00 – 00:00
- Address: 99, 999 Rama I Road, Pathumwan
- Tel: +66 (0)2 100 1234