Thailand

Restaurants in Thailand

Western palates have long become familiar with Thai cuisine, and if once pad thai and massaman curry were exotic and strange, they are now almost familiar comfort foods for many. But needless to say, it just tastes better at the source, especially if you search out the local specialties—seafood in the south, meat dishes in the north—and you'll also get to sample curries and salads that aren't on the menu at your local Thai place. Options range from night markets where you can eat for a few dollars, to white tablecloth restaurants in Bangkok. In many cases, you won't need to leave your hotel to experience some of the country's best cuisine, like at the Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, as popular with locals celebrating special occasions as it is with travelers.
Especially in Bangkok, you'll find that restaurants in Thailand serve international fare. There are plenty of restaurants in Chiang Mai that serve western food and many Thailand restaurants serve Chinese and Vietnamese food, popular with locals and visitors as well. The best restaurants in Thailand, however, serve Thai cuisine, in all its many spicy, regional variations, which should be no surprise to travelers.

This trendy chain—seven Bangkok restaurants and another in Hong Kong's IFC Mall—pays homage to Thailand's 'Greyhound' fashion label.

This humble place, with a fast-food sheen that could be at home in any L.A. strip mall, features Isan food, from Thailand's northeast. From raw mango to spicy pork salad, the dinner is a fiesta of strong chile and onions, everything moist and perfect, waiting to be sopped up with sticky rice.

At this lantern-lit spot, young Dutch chefs make everything from tapas and Turkish dips to mojitos and steamed mussels.

This Michelin-starred French restaurant at the 517-room Dusit Thani Hotel is the creative collaboration of brothers Jacques and Laurent Pourcel.

Ruen Mallika, with a menu as thick as the Talmud, is as much a restaurant as a veritable encyclopedia of Thai food. A traditional nobleman's teak house, where overweight carp make the rounds of a peaceful outdoor pond, Ruen Mallika graces a poverty-stricken stretch of the Asoke neighborhood.

At this open-air restaurant and cooking school, visitors learn to prepare dishes such as curries and mango salad.

Fashionistas gather here to feast on Thai-fusion dishes like bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin in red curry amid dramatic black metal wall sculptures and gold-hued portraits of elephants and tigers.

Housed inside the upscale Ma Du Zi Hotel, La Truffe serves southern French cuisine crafted by chef Yuya Okuda.

The fiery green curry lobster with coconut milk and Thai basil is a standout from Australian chef David Thompson.

The unassuming Chote Chitr, located near Wat Suthat, is a century-old, family-run establishment popular with locals for its authentic, flavorful takes on traditional Thai cuisine.