Normally, if you want great tasting food, it’s likely to equal more bucks out of your pocket – and that applies to a lot of places in the world. One thing to know: not in Bangkok. What this capital city of Thailand offers leave visitors wanting to come back. Think about it, ten dollars a day with a heavenly delicious meal, hard to beat right? Just forget those expensive high-end restaurants, and start eating like a local.
With no further adieu, let me introduce you to the areas of Bangkok where dinning offers endless choices from restaurants, cafes, to street vendors. These places allow foodies to experience a unique kind of food experimentation. Key thing is to try out street vendors. It is highly understandable that many of us are used to eating in restaurants, but the food these Thai street vendors provide is truly flavorful, even air conditioned restaurants seem finding it hard to match. Moreover, some of these vendors open until early morning. Whatever time of the day, rest assure, starving is out of the question. Keep in mind it’s not about which place to try specifically, it’s about trying as many as you can. The following areas are worth checking out:
If you ask anyone who lives in Bangkok what the best area for great street vendor eating is, they would all say Chinatown, known for Thai food with a heavy Chinese influence and fresh selection of seafood. Walk along this street and you will find multiple vendors as well as upscale Cantonese restaurants. Go for the ones you see busy, it is unlikely that you’ll be disappointed. Certain Chinese inspired food requires an adventurous mind to try. Most visitors have the habit of picturing how the stuff on their plate would look like alive. Don’t, you’ll miss out on trying something unavailable at home. “It’s an extreme place. You go from something really cheap to something really expensive” said Saisawat Iamlaoir. Certain ingredients used in upscale Chinese Cuisine are hard to find, and because of that, they are obtained at such a high price. Shark fin soup and bird nest in sugar syrup are the area’s delicacies. Dim sum restaurants and noodle stands are also worth trying.
This location makes it very convenient for visitors to The Grand Palace and various temples around the area. The old town is an attraction in itself, but what many don’t realize is, it is also an excellent authentic local food scene where 300 baths (equivalent to $10) can go real far. Old town is the kind of place you go with an empty stomach and take advantage of the small plate portion, allowing you to try a few different dishes. Thai noodle soup, curries, sautéed dishes are recommended by the area expert.”Also, there are many bakeries and coffee stand in the area. Thai iced tea here is made from original recipe and it tastes wonderful.” said Saisawat Iamlaoir.
Now comes contemporary dinning with a modern atmosphere, a melting-pot of international cuisine with a big mixture of Thai flavor. and Sukhumvit. Italian, French, American, Japanese, and Korean cuisines are to be found throughout the area. Grayhound, for example, is a small hip franchised restaurant featuring fusion Thai cuisine and famous international dishes, has two locations in the area, Emporium Mall and Central Chidlom. Keep in mind this is a business and a main tourist area, higher price tag for each dish is expected.
Siam, the “it” area of Bangkok where young people shop, eat, and hangout with their friends. This eccentric corner of the town ranged from simple Thai restaurants to fashionable, vibrant cafés. For many of us, it’s hard to not stop by a small ice-cream stall or to get a cup of bubble tea on the sidewalk. A few places to try out in the area include Som Tum Nua (Siam Square, soi 5), Northeastern eaterie famous for dishes such as traditional papaya salad (som tum), grill sliced pork, and pork salad. Chabuton Ramen (Siam Square, Soi 3), opened not too long ago, offered the authentic taste of Japanese noodle soup (Ramen) with an award winning recipes.
These are just a few examples of what Bangkok has for food lovers. With countless choices of dinning and great food diversity, even the local find it hard to choose where to eat. I asked Chulee Songsilp, a Bangkok resident, to recommend me one spot best for foodies and her respond was “It’s impossible to pick one. There are just too many good places out there”. Well, it is.