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 Indian franchise, which opened its doors in Bangkok in May 2014, has a new menu every day that includes vegetarian and meat kebabs prepared in seven different styles. Come hungry; all the options here are served with Indian breads and salads, and all are all-you-can-eat. 

The culinary wisdom at this upscale-yet-low-key restaurant is that of its local celebrity chef, Chumpol Jangprai (who recently won Thailand’s Iron Chef competition).

Though its menu features classic Thai curries and noodle dishes, this restaurant has a truly unusual setting in an industrial loft-style space—it’s part of a compound called The Jam Factory that also includes art galleries and a bookstore.

Thanks to the success of Water Library, its popular sister restaurant, this eatery was an instant hit when it opened in January of 2014.

At this sleek fine-dining Italian restaurant, chef Christian Martena dishes up beautiful seven-course dinners for less than $60. Grab a seat at the large, wooden chef’s table and watch the kitchen churn out homemade pastas and classic preparations like risotto and Sicilian seabass.

The vibe at this mostly gluten-free and vegan eatery can be a little hippyish—you’ll have the option to eat while sitting on floor cushions—and the overwhelming menu includes everything from Thai food to Italian and Indian dishes.

Chances are good that by the time you get to Bangkok, you will already have heard of Opposite Mess Hall. The popular canteen-style venue serves up fun mix of Asian and Mediterranean foods with a menu that changes at dizzying speeds.

This quaint grocery-turned-café serves up homemade juices, along with a menu featuring locally sourced and organically farmed ingredients. But what keeps the brunch-time tables fully booked are dishes like baked quinoa pancakes, veggie-packed salads and creative egg frittatas.

While not exclusively vegetarian, this upscale eatery has an impressive meat-free menu that won’t leave vegetarians feeling like an afterthought.

Some of the best veggie food in the city is served at this restaurant, which occupies a small 1940s villa at the Ariyasomvilla Hotel.

Take a break from a day of shopping at CentralWorld, and treat yourself to the tea and cake selections at Chaho. The enormous variety of green tea-flavored items—including cakes, smoothies, and mochi confections—is both creative and a little overwhelming.

You’ll enjoy panoramic city views along with your afternoon tea at this lounge in the Grand Hyatt hotel. Settle at a table by the window, and sample from a variety of hot and cold Thai and Chinese teas—including those made with lemongrass, ginger, and roselle (hibiscus).

Serving French food and made-to-order salads to the local business crowd, this indoor-outdoor café bustles during the mid-week lunch hour (and also during weekend brunches).

Thai people have a true love of sweets, this café caters, deliciously, to their sugary addiction.

Wordsmiths and snack lovers (that should cover everyone, right?) will enjoy the traditional afternoon high tea held in this historic lounge of the Mandarin Oriental.