Top 10 Restaurants in Bangkok Old City
Best places to eat in Bangkok Old City
Bangkok’s Old City has plenty of dining options, but the great ones can be a little tricky to find, so we’ve put together a list of our top ten, complete with map. Aesthetically speaking, it’s one of the most attractive neighbourhoods in Bangkok, as many of the buildings have been preserved as they were a hundred years ago. There are restaurants in old shophouses, like Seven Spoons, or with amazing views over the river towards Wat Arun, such as Arun Residence and Sala Rattanakosin. For a taste of the best local cuisine in a rustic style we recommend Roti Mataba and Thip Samai Pad Thai, both popular with foodies, and there’s a whole range of cuisines here, including Bangkok’s best burger joint, Esca, located in the Khao San Area. There’s enough variety in the Old City to find something for everyone... just remember to take directions.
In a cosy double shophouse on a quiet road that visitors don’t really frequent you will find one of the best restaurants in Bangkok. Seven Spoons is so popular that it's recently expanded, but still has the warm atmosphere and large portions of Mediterranean and vegetarian food that regulars are familiar with and first-timers will be excited by. It now opens for lunch and offers sandwiches alongside its hearty mains. The reason behind its expansion is simple; with delicious food and strong cocktails, Seven Spoons is a rare find in the city, a restaurant with real passion and prices so low that you will be doing a double-take when they bring you the bill. Seven Spoons is almost too good to share, and despite its popularity it still feels like a fantastic secret. Read More...
- Open: Daily from 18:00 – Midnight, except Mondays
- Address: 211 Chakkrapatipong Road, Intersection of Lan Luang Road
- Telephone: +66 (0) 2 628 4588 or +66 (0) 84 539 1819
Steve Cafe & Cuisine is tucked away on the riverside, far from busy streets, with no easy access and with no big signage. It's almost as if you have to be worthy to find it. Of course it's not an unknown restaurant, since it opened in 2012 word of mouth spread the good news that Steve Cafe has got everything just right, guaranteeing its success. So much so that it is now recommended that you call in advance if you come for dinner. Steve Café combines several successful key ingredients: a great riverside location with no tall buildings blocking the view, thousands of silver fish swimming around as locals feed them, and a permanent ballet of old-fashioned wooden boats floating by almost silently. The second most important thing is of course the food, which is very Thai and uses quality ingredients cooked with passion. Read More...
- Open: 11:30 - 11:00
- Telephone: +66 (0) 81 868 0744, +66 (0) 2 281 0915, +66 (0) 2 280 2989
- How to get there: by boat disembark at Dhevet pier and walk to the main road. 100 metres from the pier, cross a small bridge on your left, along small walkway next to the canal until you reach the Thevarakunchong temple. The restaurant is behind the temple.
Most visitors to Bangkok have heard that the iconic Wat Arun on the riverside is also known as 'The Temple of Dawn', but the best time to capture its beauty is at sunset. And the best place to witness the sun disappearing precisely behind the monument is from the balcony of 'Arun Residence', a great restaurant located right across the Chao Phraya River. For this exact reason, the hard to find Arun Residence is now an increasingly popular restaurant and reserving a table has become necessary. Serving excellent Thai food, it's the perfect place to dine with friends on a trip to Bangkok, or even for a romantic tete a tete. The restaurant is quite narrow but there is plenty of space over the three floors and wooden terrace. Read More...
- Open: Mon – Thurs 11:00 - 22:00, Fri - Sun 11:00 - 23:00 (top floor bar opens 17:30)
- Address: 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road
- Telephone: +66 (0) 2 221 9158
- How to get there: There are no BTS in this area so to get there, taxi is the best way.
Another restaurant that offers uninterrupted views of Wat Arun from its roof terrace, Sala Rattanakosin is part of a sleek and fun hotel, but the restaurant is definitely the highlight. There’s a deck and buffed concrete-lined dining room on the second floor (don’t worry, the floor to ceiling windows guarantee a backdrop of the temple), and a fifth floor rooftop that’s ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks and sunset photos. Make sure you book ahead as it’s extremely popular. The food is a mix of traditional Thai with a twist and western dishes with Thai flavours, and there’s a different menu for lunch and dinner. Getting there from town isn’t very easy, so we recommend taking the boat from Saphan Taksin (disembark at Tha Tien Pier, N8).
- Open: 07:00 – 22:00
- Address: Sala Rattanakosin, 39 Soi Ta Tien, Maharaj Rd. Bangkok, Thailand
- Telephone: +66 (0) 2 622 1388
Sheepshank is hidden down a small alleyway but arrive by river boat and the welcome is warmer, with the restaurant lights shining onto the water (disembark at Phra Arthit Pier, N13). For those who are familiar with American cuisine, there are plenty of comforting dishes on the menu. The food is not only easy on the eye, but it has the kind of spirit and flavour combinations that leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. The restaurant is run by Joke, a chef who seems to have an instinct for what people want. He’s also a bit of an interior designer, taking the abandoned boat shed and turning it into the dining room you see now. Read More...
- Open: Tues - Sun 18:00 – 00:00
- MRT: Hua Lamphong
- Address: 47 Phra Arthit Road , 10200
- How to get there: MRT Hua Lamphong , Boat Pier Pra Athit (Number 13)
This pretty Indian restaurant is tucked along Soi Rambuttri towards Chao Fah Road, and is a favourite with locals and visitors. Take off your shoes and relax back in their sumptuous cushions, this place is all about deep-red velvet and silk. There is a great choice on the menu with amazing mutton curries, and homemade rotis and naan bread, and if you’re not hungry sit outside on the terrace enjoying a jug of beer and a shisha pipe. On Saturdays Bombay Blues plays host to local Indians who are more than happy to teach you some Bollywood dance steps. Bombay Blues is a great value place for a romantic date or a low-key supper. Read More...
7Thip Samai Pad Thai (Ghost Gate)
- Open: 18:00 - 01:00
- Location: At the far end of Soi Rambuttri, Chao Phra Road
- Telephone: +66 (0) 2 629 3590
Possibly the most famous (and the best) phad thai joint in the country. With over 50 years’ of experience, Thip Samai offers seven types of delicious phad thai ranging from 30 baht to a little over 100 baht per dish. The signature version, 'pad thai song-kreung' consists of shrimp roe, prawns, fried egg, fresh crabmeat, ground cuttlefish and sliced mango – very delicious. Beside phad thai, Thip Samai is also known for its freshly squeezed orange juice and ice smoothies with pieces of sliced coconut.
- Open: 19:00 – 03:00
- Location: Mahachai Road
- Telephone: +66 (0)2 221 6280
This retro restaurant is located on the smart boulevard that leads off Democracy Monument. The whole atmosphere 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.
- Address: 78/2 Ratchadamnoen Bowonniwet
- Telephone: +66 (0) 2 221 2378
The majority of Escapade is taken up by a long bar offering the best cocktails in the Old City, with an award winning mixologist creating custom blends. They also offer a limited but mouthwatering range of burgers, with the Angus beef burger being a popular option at only 180 baht. From the outside, this tiny burger bar looks like a house built for an eel, so the interior of this shophouse surprises with so much style in such an ultra narrow place. There is plenty of interesting artwork haphazardly displayed on the charcoal grey walls and a small garden area out back. A chalk board promotes running specials. When the craving for a juicy burger hits, instead of heading over to one of the fast-food chains on Khao San Road, check out the bespoke burgers at Escapade – they are so superior it’s beyond comparison.
- Open: 12:00 – 24:00 (closed on Monday)
- Address: 112 Phra Athit Road (opposite Santichaiprakan Park)
Whoever said first impressions count had obviously never been to Phra Atit Road because the most run-down restaurant on the whole strip is also one of the most delicious. Roti Mataba has a reputation that spans the whole of Bangkok, and yet the hand painted sign, well worn kitchen and absolute lack of style make it seem like a place to avoid. Thankfully, this well-established shophouse continues to prosper thanks to word of mouth praise from all the inquisitive souls who step inside to order delicious curries and flavoured roti bread, including mataba (fried and folded roti bread with filling inside). There is limited seating upstairs and a few tables and stools on the pavement outside, but if you are only having a roti, take your rich, flavoured bread to the park over the road and enjoy your snack with the Chao Phraya River flowing in the background.
- Open: 09:00 – 22:00 (closed on Monday)
- Address: 136 Phra Athit Road (opposite Phra Sumen Fort)