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.
The fiery green curry lobster with coconut milk and Thai basil is a standout from Australian chef David Thompson.
At sunset, sip a coconut cocktail at this
This restored, Sino-Portuguese style building, located in the heart of Phuket Town, is easy to spot thanks to its red exterior.
This outdoor restaurant has no English sign but is located opposite My Beauty spa. It's a dump, with wash hung out to dry and stray cats in the background but if you get past the back-alley aesthetic, you'll feast on grilled blackened shrimp or fried frog with chiles.
Behold the Slow Food version of a rarefied Thai treat at Bo.lan: a stunningly intricate layering of hand-pounded red curry paste, freshly extracted coconut milk, double-cooked beef, and aromatic grace notes of Kaffir lime and cassia leaves.
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.
Showcasing the tandoor clay oven and handi wok, Hazara serves Indian cuisine that celebrates culinary traditions found across the subcontinent.
Vino di Zanotti is a traditional Italian restaurant set away from the hectic pace of the city in the countryside of Khao Yai.
A new Sukhumvit favorite, serving Western dishes accented with Eastern spices.
Located in one of the oldest parts of Bangkok, Chinatown serves exotic foods like bird's-nest soup.