From slurpy noodle dishes to spicy soups and sizzling stir fry, these are the best dishes served in Bangkok.
Thai food often tops the list of anyone’s favourite cuisine, and for good reason. There’s something irresistible about a fresh bowl of fragrant Tom Yum Goong (spicy prawn soup), a crunchy papaya salad or an aromatic red curry (washed down with an ice-cold Singha beer of course). What better place to indulge your inner foodie than in the buzzing metropolis of Bangkok, a melting pot of Thai culture and home to a diverse and delicious culinary scene. Read on to discover the five must-eat dishes in Bangkok.
It is almost impossible to think about Thai food without envisioning a vibrant plate of Pad Thai. This moreish rice noodle dish is traditionally fried in a wok with tamarind paste, prawn, tofu, bean sprouts and green onions, and is garnished with chilli peppers and peanuts (depending on your personal taste). Aromatic, sweet and savoury, Pad Thai is widely renowned as one of the tastiest noodle dishes to come out of Asia.
Take a trip to Pad Thai Thip Samai, which is Bangkok’s oldest, and most highly celebrated Pad Thai restaurant. Here, your Pad Thai is served wrapped in a thin omelette, with five delicious variations to choose from. We recommend getting there earlier than 6pm or later than 9.30pm to beat the crowds.
Goong Pad Nam Prik Pao (stir-fried prawn)
Goong Pad Nam Prik Pao, otherwise known as Thai stir-fried prawn with chilli jam, is a local staple. This sweet and savoury dish is made with prawn, oyster mushrooms, green beans, and a glaze of fragrant chilli jam that packs a flavourful punch. This delicious dish is usually served with rice, to offset the richness of flavours in the stir fry.
Soar 100 metres above the streets of central Bangkok to the 39th floor of the Continent Hotel, where you will find Bangkok Heightz Rooftop Restaurant and Bar. Admire stunning views of the city while feasting on Bangkok Heightz’s modern spin on Goong Pad Nam Prik Pao. Usually cooked with prawn, Bangkok Heightz serves their version of the dish with Canadian lobster, boiled and fried to perfection.
Pad Kra Pao (pork & basil stir fry)
Pad Kra Pao takes the cake as the most simple and popular dish on this list. Whether it’s cooked with chicken, prawn, beef, seafood, tofu or pork, Pad Kra Pao is enjoyed throughout Bangkok by locals and visitors alike.
Make your way to Nusara restaurant, ranked 10th in Asia by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards for 2022. This speakeasy-turned-fine-dining experience is set in an exceptionally intimate space with only 10 seats available. With a 12-course set dinner on offer, Nusara will ignite your taste buds with exceptional and creative dishes. All of Nusara’s courses are remarkable, but its Pad Kra Pao, with Waygu beef cooked to perfection, is a standout.
Tom Yum Goong (spicy prawn soup)
Tom Yum Goong is one of Thailand’s most prevalent soup dishes. You will find Tom Yum Goong on almost every traditional Thai restaurant’s menu. This delightful soup manages to be sweet, sour and spicy at the same time, loaded with a combination of aromatic herbs and succulent prawns.
One of the best Tom Yum Goong dishes in all of Bangkok can be found at Saneh Jaan, where the chef’s contemporary twist on traditional Thai cuisine has earned this restaurant a Michelin star. Your tastebuds will be taken on an out-of-this-world journey and the depth of flavour from the prawns, combined with the rich broth, will leave you coming back for more.
Som Tum (green papaya salad)
A delicious (and spicy) start to your meal, som tum is a fantastic appetiser or side dish enjoyed everywhere from street markets to Michelin-starred restaurants. Crunchy, fresh, spicy and sour, this green papaya salad balances out a heavy curry or saucy noodle dish. You can find over 30 variations of som tum at Phed Phed Bistro. Phed Phed (translated from Thai to mean ‘spicy spicy’) has been featured in the Michelin Guide for its good quality dishes using locally sourced herbs from the surrounding region, as well as a punchy homemade fish sauce.
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