Many of the best restaurants in Thonburi are inevitably located within the range of fine waterside hotels that loom over Bangkok’s magnificent Chao Phraya River. Some can be found on ground level, easily reachable by taxi or by taking the shuttle boat across the river, whilst others require a quick elevator ride up, presenting some fantastic views across the water to famous Bangkok sights such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun. Most of these luxurious restaurants have their foreign hotel guests in mind, so expect fine international cuisine from all corners of the world.
Away from the riverside hotels, Thonburi is a vast, generally unexplored area by tourists. If you want to venture further afield, we’ve picked out a couple of local joints where you can enjoy excellent Thai food whilst soaking up the authentic atmosphere next to friendly Bangkokians from all walks of life. Find our 10 favourite restaurants in Thonburi below.
The Never Ending Summer is true hidden gem, located on a quiet, non-descript little road leading up to the river on the Thonbrui side. Despite the eerily quiet surroundings, particularly at night, the restaurant gets packed-out every evening, serving up fine Thai classics in some ever so trendy surroundings.
Just like the contemporary and creative interior design of the place (it’s set in a converted warehouse), each dish is presented beautifully to make the dining experience that little bit more memorable. Classic, almost hard-to-find offerings include their pork and salted egg wrapped in noodles (moo sarong) as well as their long list of chilli pastes ‘nam prik’ which can be enjoyed with crispy pork ‘kep moo’ or fresh vegetables. Find The Never Ending Summer in the Jam Factory complex (which has an art gallery and cafe open in the day) near the Millennium Hilton and Klong San Pier. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Dinner: 17:00 - 23:00 (daily). Lunch: 11:00 - 15:00 (Tues-Sun)
- Location: The Jam Factory, 41/5 Charoen Nakorn Road, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 94 485-3966
For Chinese fine-dining in Bangkok, there are few other places that rival the Mei Jiang Restaurant at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel. Whilst Chinatown is the place to go for cheap Cantonese delights in slightly scruffier settings, Mei Jiang presents a more refined dining experience. Everything from the sophisticated decor to the freshness of their dim sum and melt-in-the-mouth snow fish is of top quality, just like the hotel itself.
Mei Jiang Restaurant sits the ground floor of The Peninsula. And you can look out over a garden and the stunning Chao Phraya River through floor-to-ceiling windows, making for a particularly romantic setting. Get to The Peninsula on the Thonburi (western) side of the Chao Phraya River by taking their private shuttle ferry from Saphan Taksin Pier. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 - 14:30, 18:30 - 22:30
- Address: 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 861 2888
For some luxurious riverside dining, Flow at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok is up there with the best restaurants in Thonburi. The large open-plan dining area has two sections; a brightly lit indoor space as well as an outdoor terrace that’s great for some sumptuous riverside views.
This all-day restaurant has a vast menu of international treats, as well as Thai and other Asian delights. Four open kitchens serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner and there are regular special events including riverside dancing from the nearby Patravadi Theatre Group (Thursday evenings) as well as wine and cheese events (Friday nights). Find Flow restaurant on the ground floor of the Millennium Hotel, best reached by taking the river ferry to Klong San Pier (or just ask your taxi driver for the hotel itself.) Read More...
- Opening Hours: Buffet Breakfast: 06.00 - 10.30, Buffet Lunch: 11.30 - 14.30, Buffet Dinner: 18.00 - 23.00, Sunday Brunch: 12.00-15.00
- Address: Lobby Level, Millennium Hilton Bangkok, 123 Charoennakorn Road
- Cuisine: International and Asian
Prime is one of several luxurious restaurants and bars at the five-star Millennium Hilton Bangkok. Specialising in fine cuts of meat (hence its name), Prime restaurant is probably the best place to come in Thonburi for fine beef, lamb and pork imported from across the world, including Australia, Japan and America.
The restaurant itself is warm and cosy, unlike the ‘Flow’ restaurant below which offers a more open and airy dining experience. Prime is a little more sophisticated and also has a long list of imported wines and liquors to match the ambiance. Find the restaurant by heading through the entrance of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok, best accessed via Klong San Pier or by taxi. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 18:000 - 23:00
- Address: Millennium Hilton, 123 Charoennakorn Rd.
- Tel: +66 (0) 2442 2000
Trader Vic’s is located in the popular Anatanara Hotel, and takes on a Polynesian theme with rattan chairs, masks and tiki carvings all set about the place. As for food, they do a fantastic all-in Sunday brunch (lots of seafood like fresh oysters, crab, lobster and sashimi). Their regular a la cart menu has similar seafood offerings as well as a range of Thai classics, Italian (pizzas and pastas), French (best for desserts) and various imported meats.
The original Trader Vic’s restaurant in California wash where the famous ‘Mai Tai’ was invented, so be sure to sample one of the finest mixes of this cocktail in the whole of Bangkok. Every evening from around 20:30 they also hold some superb live bands which change on a nightly basis. Expect everything from blues, jazz, funk and soul all with the backdrop of the Chao Phraya River in the back ground. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 01:00 Daily
- Address: 257 Charoennakorn Road, Anantara Bangkok Riverside, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2476 0022
Fang Thon Thaphra
This quaint little restaurant is set in a beautiful old teak house, and specialises in north-eastern (Isaan) Thai cuisine. That means plenty of fresh som tam (papaya salad), zesty laab or nam tok (beef or pork salad), and spicy soups.
Fang Ton Thaphra doesn’t enjoy a particularly convenient location, not really near any major landmarks and it sits next on the busy Petchkasaem Highway. However, the mix of local Thais and in-the-know expats that fill the place every night are testament to the quality of the food, warm and friendly service and altogether charming atmosphere. Beers are cheap and they also have the occasional live music jam at the weekend. A restaurant that’s well worth the extra effort to find it!
- Opening Hours: 16:00 - 01:00 Daily
- Location: 367/12 Petchkasaem Road, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0)84 921 5012
Meehay Pub and Restaurant
This sizeable pub is a great place to hit in Thonburi for a night out with a few beers and live music, but don’t forget that they serve a large and tasty range of Thai pub classics, as well as some Chinese and international flavours thrown into the mix too.
When we say Thai pub classics, we’re talking fried chicken wings, som tam, laab salad, yam salad, tom yam soup, and steamed fish – all great for sharing. You can also grab a steak at their onsite ‘Steak Out @ Meehay’ eatery. After you eat, enjoy their pool table, regular live music events, cheap beer deals and promos on whiskey, including Jonnie Walker Red Label for 980 baht with five free mixers. Meehay Pub and Restaurant is on Thonburi’s Ratchadapisek Road (Soi 8), just a short walk down from The Mall Tha Pra.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 - late (daily)
- Location: 199/4 Rachadapisek Road (Thonburi)
- Tel: +66 (0)8 9477 000
Ruam Tai restaurant
Ruam Tai restaurant is just a short walk up from Thonburi’s Wang Lang Pier and the vast Siriraj Hospital. The main reason to come here is for their devilishly spicy, delicious and incredibly cheap southern Thai food served up canteen-style.
The dishes at Ruam Tai restaurant are cooked in advance and scooped up from the trays straight to your plate, accompanied by some white rice. You can go for one curry portion with rice (about 40 baht) or pay about 10 baht more to mix and match. The place is need of a whole refurbishment (it’s been going for over 30 years), but the setting matches the ultra-low prices. However, this is one Thonburi restaurant that doesn’t really care about how it looks, but rather how its famously-good sweet, sour and spicy curries taste. From Wang Lang Pier, walk up Wang Lang Road and look for the red sign (with Thai characters).
- Opening Hours: Around lunch time – 21:00 daily (varies)
- Location: 375/4 Thanon Phrannok
- Tel: +66 2 411 0842
The Cafe Beer Park and Restaurant
This trendy restaurant and beer garden is on the first floor of the Krungthon Complex, a multi venue building on Thonburi’s popular Ratchadapisek Road.
Owners of The Cafe Beer Park and Restaurant have gone for the whole garden look, with the bright, open-plan area dominated by a garden-style lawn made of plastic grass. Seating options are spread around the lawn, with ample cushions and small tables creating an indoor- alfresco kind of vibe. It’s a bit odd and gimmicky, but also kind of cute and fun to be dining in a huge indoor garden. The food is mix of Thai, with some western favourites like spaghetti, salads and fish and chips thrown into the mix too. They also have a music stage for the live bands in the evening.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 - 01:00 Daily
- Location: Krungthon Complex (Ground Floor), 371 Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 2 476 5700
Whilst the rooftop bar at the delightful Baan Wanglang draws in more of a crowd, the hotel’s main restaurant, Olive Tree, has similarly impressive views over the Chao Phraya River and serves up a great range of Thai classics.
The food here is generally cooked for western palates. For example, their Tom Kha Gai soup, whilst superbly creamy and rich, might lack a little lacking on the spice – compared to what you’d find in a more local joint. So, our advice – if you like your Thai food to burn your tongue – is to ask for some extra chilli! Elsewhere on the menu, Thai curries are popular, such as Massaman chicken, as well as some delightful north eastern salads like laab and som tam. Find it on the second floor of Bann Wanglang (turn left from Wang Lang Pier on the Thonburi side of the river). Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 01:00
- Location: Baan Wanglang, 342 Soi Wat Rakang (Arun Ammarin 18), Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 802596207