Since the launch of Michelin Guide Bangkok, the spotlight has been on the city’s fine dining scene. However, the best eats are arguably the ones tucked away in the Thai capital’s labyrinthine alleys and quiet side streets.
The adage “out of sight, out of mind” couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to these nine dining spots in Bangkok.
Tucked away in alleyways and decades-old shop houses, these places attract locals and travelers alike for their authentic and delicious dishes.
1. Jok Toh Diew
Buried within maze-like alleys and concealed behind a secret door in Chinatown, this Thai-Chinese restaurant serves fresh and delicious seafood. Don’t let the modest exterior fool you; you’ll most likely need a reservation well in advance in order to get a table. The prices aren’t cheap, either, but this one-of-a-kind restaurant’s rotating menu features the day’s freshest catch, cooked in various styles. Favorites include the fried rice with crab meat and fresh shrimp dumplings with deep fried garlic.
23 Soi Isara Nuphap.
2. Kuay Teow Kua Gai Nai Hong
Also hidden away in Chinatown is what’s probably Bangkok’s best fried noodle dish, guay tiaw kua gai. This restaurant specializes in a pancake-like concoction of eggs, chicken, and wide sen yai noodles topped with squid and crisped to smoky perfection.
427 Luang Rd, Khwaeng Wat Thepsirin, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.
3. Floral Café
Deep within Old Town’s flower market is an enchanting café that also doubles as a literal secret garden. Decorated with floor-to-ceiling bouquets (which change seasonally), crystal chandeliers, and exposed brick walls, Floral Café is the ideal spot to while away the hours with friends. All you have to do is find the flower shop, Napasorn, and head up the stairs in the back. The magical ambient is further heightened by the tasty baked goods, wide array of beverages, and the sweet floral scent lingering in the air.
More information here.
4. Khao Kha Moo Trok Sung
This side street stall on Charoen Krung Road is easy to miss, but if you know where to turn, it’ll lead you to some of the city’s best khao kha moo (stewed pork shank and rice). Topped with pickled mustard greens, the meat is juicy and tender, the sweetness of which contrasts nicely with the accompanying vinegar and chilies.
More information here.
Jiw would be easy to miss if not for the pair of massive metal pots outside, used for cooking yellow rice and chicken curry. Located below street-level, the dimly-lit restaurant features just two tables. Still, locals flock here for the khao mok gai (chicken biryani) which is rich in flavors and savory. Be sure to get there before noon as they tend to run out. Still hungry? Check out Lim Yuu Hong directly across the street, a coffee and noodle shop specializing in kuay tiaw gai tun (braised chicken leg and Chinese-style broth).
Soi 43, Th Charoen Krung.
Situated in a cozy wood-paneled house decked out with vintage Thai furniture and retro paraphernalia, as well as a charming greenhouse sitting area, Sam-Rub is the closest you’ll ever get to having a Thai grandmother cook for you. This home-style restaurant’s menu comes from the chef’s collection of family recipes, with dishes like pad ka prao with crispy pork belly and khao pad pong gari muu waan (curry powder fried rice with sweet pork). Sip on single-origin Thai coffee while settling down in a snug corner with friends for a leisurely afternoon.
8/37 Lad Phrao Soi 8.
7. Hoy Tod Texas
Come for the hoy thod (oyster omelet), stay for the trippy wall art. This street stall located in a side alley in Chinatown serves what is arguably Bangkok’s most prolific street snack: fried omelet choice of oysters and mussels, usually topped with sweet chili sauce. With who-knows-how-many-spoonfuls of lard in each serving, it’s exactly not the healthiest meal despite being incredibly moreish.
Phadung Dao Rd. (Soi Texas Suki).
8. Baan Pueng Chom
At the end of a winding side street, you’ll find this charming family-style Thai restaurant surrounded by a lush garden. Baan Pueng Chom’s menu features flavorful and authentic dishes you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Bangkok, including soft shell crab and snakeshead fish with salad.
Soi Chua Chit, off Soi 7/Ari, Th Phahonyothin.
9. Jay So
Locals love Isaan cuisine and Jay So is one of the best spots to try some. Drawing brisk lunch-hour crowds, the restaurant is located on a quiet side street and is famous for pik gai yang, or grilled chicken wings. Other must-tries include the refreshing papaya salad and som tam sua with fermented fish sauce and crab.
Soi Phiphat 2, Silom, Bang Rak.