10 must-try Bangkok local food via BTS

Ten must-try Bangkok local food easily accessible via Bangkok Train System Jensen Chua Photography

Bangkok is widely visited for many things, especially for it’s food and shopping. Local food in this vibrant city provides convenient, delicious and pocket-friendly meals while being one of the best ways to connect with the local culture. But it can be bewildering especially for new or the infrequent visitors, when they chose to “go local” without a guide. That’s why I put together this guide to ten great eating spots easily accessible via the Bangkok Train System (BTS). The blog also comes with the shops facade picture and map link for easier reference.

Bangkok BTS map

Prachak – Roasted duck and meat diner

Roast duck is commonly found throughout Bangkok, especially in the heavily Chinese influenced areas like Yaowarat (Bangkok’s Chinatown) and Bangrak. Prachak Pet Yang one of the most established (102 years old) and a famous Cantonese style roasted duck restaurant located along Charoen Krung Road, opposite Robinson’s department store.

Bangkok local food

Staff at Prachak preparing diners orders. Best time to dine here is during late morning or early afternoon, when the meats are freshly prepared.

Bangkok local food

We got the meat combo, with 2 types of sausages, roasted duck and pork, which came as a decent portion sliced into bite sizes pieces on bed of gravy. The sauce was on the sweeter side but it balanced nicely with the salty meats and that slightly crispy melt-in-your-mouth duck skin. Along with small serving of cucumber and pink pickled ginger, this is my usual fave order with a plate of steamed white rice.

Bangkok food scene

The restaurant facade. The interior is sufficiently ventilated by fans so you do not get too warm.

Address : 1415 Thanon Charoen Krung, Silom, Bangrak.

Opening hours : 7.00am – 10.30pm (closed during Chinese New Year and Songkran)

Budget : 60-100 bht per person (approx.)

BTS : Saphan Taksin . After alighting, exit #3, walk in the direction (7-8 min walk) of Robinson Mall. The eatery is opposite side of the road. Watch out for the red awning with the duck logo.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/8QGmYG4mdK82

 

Jok Prince – Oriental Porridge

Joke Prince is more than 5o years old and well known for its porridge. But you may strolled by Jok Prince unknowingly, as the diner does not have a prominent signboard. It’s simply two rows of tables laid out in a rather nondescript covered alley between two shophouses that used to lead to an old movie theater called ‘Prince’. At the entrance, an iron cooking counter with various pots of bubbling porridge greet constant queue of customers ordering take-aways at meal hours while the tables are healthily occupied.

Bangkok local food

The shop cook skilfully orchestrating various pots of bubbling hot porridge.

Bangkok local food

Our porridge came with tasty generous sized minced-pork balls with cilantro and julienned gingers. The porridge is smooth, soft and have a lovely smoky flavor, due to use of a charcoal stove. I would recommend  Pa Tong Ko (Thai flour fritters (yu tiao in Chinese), to be added into the porridge. Other optional ingredients include egg (raw or fermented), deep fried pig intestines etc. Just remember to sprinkle white pepper before eating for an added kick.

Bangkok food scene

The shop frontage as you stroll down Charoen Krung Road. Always a hive of activities.

Address : 1391, Charoen Krung Road, Silom, Bang Rak.

Opening hours :Daily: 6.00am – 12.00pm and 5.00pm – 11.00pm

Budget : 35bht per bowl onwards (approx.)

BTS : Saphan Taksin . After alighting, exit #3, walk in the direction (7-8 min walk) of Robinson Mall. The eatery is opposite side of the road, further down from Prachak.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/skR619CFd142

 

Charoen Saeng Silom – Braised pork leg and rice

Widely available at countless street food corners, food malls or food stalls, braised pork leg and rice (khao kha moo) is like a ‘torch bearer” of standard Thai street food dishes. However, there are some khao kha moo stalls that stand out among the crowd. In Bangkok, one of the best places (if not the best) is Charoen Saeng Silom, which has been packing in the crowd for around 50 years.

Bangkok local food

Customers orders being prepared by possibly the owner’s daughter. Friendly and obliging despite being so busy.

Bangkok local food

You can order an individual portion of rice topped with tender braised pork leg and garnishing. But you’ll be delighted if you order the entire leg, which is like a huge drumstick with a big bone, surrounded by loads of juicy meat with a thick layer of gelatinous skin surrounding it. The dish was also served with some braised pickled mustard greens on the side and garnished with fresh cilantro. Best eat it with the vinegar based chili and garlic sauce provided. One order of pork leg should be sufficient for 2 person.

Bangkok local food

The lane leading to the eatery. You know you’re in the right place when you see loads of people and cars. .

Address : 1391, Charoen Krung Road, Silom, Bang Rak.

Opening hours : Daily 8.00am – 2.00pm (usually sold out by 2pm, best come at 9.30-11.00am, if possible). Closed on Chinese New Year and Songkran.

Budget : 250-350bht (for 2 person)

BTS : Saphan Taksin . After alighting, exit #3, walk in the direction (7-8 min walk) of Robinson Mall, to Lebua State Tower. With your back facing the Tower Club at Lebua entrance, you will see a boutique hotel Silk Suite across the road. Go straight into the lane,  just about 30 steps away, the shop is the right.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/6xCZDcbVNF62

 

Je Niao Boi Kia – Iced dessert

In a spacious shophouse at the corner of Charoen Krung and Si Wiang, just steps away from a streetside fried banana cart, is a stall selling iced multi-ingredients dessert. This dessert features glutinous rice flour strips and so many other things from cooked beans to water chestnuts to Chinese grass jelly to sweetened tubers to fresh jack fruit— all served in the same bowl with brown sugar syrup and crushed ice.

Bangkok local food

Stall lady preparing our iced dessert. Certainly a refreshing way to cool off the Bangkok heat.

Bangkok local food

Looks inviting and the various ingredients excite you with it’s range of texture and sweetness. It’s like the Chinese version of Cheng Tng, found in Singapore dessert stalls

Bangkok local food

You can’t miss the stall frontage with many pictures of happy customers (possibly Thai celebrities) displayed all over the the yellow signboard.

Address : 439 Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak

Opening hours :Open daily, 11.00 a.m.-9.00 p.m.

Budget : 30-40 bht per bowl (approx.)

BTS : Saphan Taksin . After alighting, exit #3, walk in the direction (7-8 min walk) of Robinson Mall. The eatery is opposite side of the road, further down from Prachak.  At corner of Charoen Krung Road and Si Wiang Road

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/SP5WdLg1YGn

 

Pranakorn Noodle Restaurant – Small bowl Noodles

One of the key food attractions at Victory Monument is “small bowl noodles”.  This is sort of  “concept dining” as they are fun to eat. This dish got their name from being originally served from boats floating in the city canals. While there are boat noodle vendors serving big bowls of the dish, the diners at Victory Monument stayed faithful to tradition by serving small bite sized servings – a practice that was formerly used to prevent the noodles from spilling out of the bowl on the choppy canal.

Bangkok local food

Staff at Pranakorn Noodle Restaurant, dishing out never ending bowls of noodles to diners out to “create” records who ate the most bowls.

Bangkok local food

Each bowl can be slurped up in just one mouthful. There are several types of noodles and noodles-mix variations combo to choose from. The rice noodles are quickly blanched in piping hot soup before being tossed into a bowl along with a few pieces of water morning glory, some slices of either pork or beef and a pork meatball. The bowls are served in brisk manner , so you just eat and stack it higher and higher as you dine.

Bangkok local food

The fun in eating boat noodles is to see your bowls stacked ever higher, like a foodie’s ‘trophy’. There is even a TV screen in the restaurant showing diners who stacked entire tables as they eat for the record.

Bangkok local food

The eatery facade viewed from the main road. There are a few other boat noodles restaurants further down the lane.

Address : Phahonyothin Alley Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai.

Opening hours : Daily 9.00am – 9.00pm

Budget : 12 bht per bowl. Average for 2 person (12 bowls, 1 side order plus 2 drinks) about 200bht .

BTS : Victory Monument. Exit the station (towards the Victory Monument), walk all the way around the skywalk and use the canal as a general direction, where the restaurant is located.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/jDAmqsb2yXv

 

Hoi-Tod Chaw-Lae Restaurant – Oyster Omelette

This humble diner is famous for its phad thai, stir fried mussel and oyster omelette.  Judging by the numerous television show features as seen from the cut-outs on the wall, you are assured a great meal ahead. Although the phad thai and fried egg with seafood grills are priced higher than elsewhere in town but in upmarket Thong Lor, its still wallet friendly. The signature dish is their oyster omelette, which will please lovers of this dish.

Bangkok local food

Restaurant staff frying the delicious oyster omelette on the hot-plate. Ingredients are placed over a bed of ice to maintain freshness.

Bangkok local food

Plumb oysters on a bed of ice. Handling of the ingredients gives diners confidence.

Bangkok local food

The oysters omelette batter are spread thin at the edge for that crispiness.

Bangkok local food

The restaurant facade as you strolled down the lane.

Address : Thong Lor, Sukhumvit Soi 55.

Opening hours : Mon-Sat 11.00am-8.00pm

Budget : 250-300bht (for a plate of phad thai and oyster omelette)

BTS : Thong Lo. After exiting station, exit via #3, look Soi 55 Sukhumvit and walk along the left side of the lane.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/zJrwq9G1o3S2

 

MaeVaree – Mango Sticky Rice

There are countless places in Bangkok selling Mango Sticky Rice. At every turn at food courts in major shopping centres, street stalls, restaurants, you may find this popular dessert being sold.  But if you settle for nothing but the best, there is only one place-  MaeVaree.

Bangkok local food

This shop has been in business for about 20 years and the mangoes used are of top quality which have the right sweetness and juiciness. The sticky rice are of best quality and coconut milk sourced from different provinces of Thailand. This gave the sticky rice a pleasant and smooth chewy texture. It is available in a variety of flavours using natural colours from Thai flowers and herbs. The accompanying crispy mung beans and slightly salty coconut cream, when drizzled on the mango, combine to give you a taste quite unlike any you have tasted before.

Bangkok local food

The shop frontage at Soi 55 Suhumvit. The only downside is that the shop does not offer dine-in so you buy it and eat it elsewhere or back in your hotel.

Address : 1, Soi Thong Lor Road, Sukhumvit Soi 55.

Opening hours : Daily: 6.00am – 11.00pm

Budget : 130bht (1 pack of sticky rice mango with 2 types of sticky rice flavours)

BTS : Thong Lo . After exiting station, exit via #3, look for Soi 55 Sukhumvit. The bustling shop is the first unit on the lane.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/mRJnstZcbDA2

 

Daniel Thaiger – Premium Hamburger

The amazing hamburger from this food truck is simply too good to be missed and warrants a mention here. The food truck’s owner is Californian Mark Falcioni, who first moved to Bangkok from Los Angeles in 2003. The food truck was opened in 2013 by him and his wife, Honey and named after their oldest son, Daniel Thai. The rest like they say, is history.

Bangkok local food

You can choose from either beef or pork patty and four burger style – Mr. Steve, Thaiger, Sumo Oats or Cowboy, each with it’s dressing and taste, with customizable option like extra cheese or patty etc. The hamburgers are cooked on order and will take slightly longer waiting time during peak hours.

Bangkok local food

Our Mr.Steve burger (180bht). Daniel Thaiger only use fresh beef and and the taste is definitely unlike any hamburger you have tasted. So juicy and tender, it just melts in your mouth. You will frown at the usual fast food joints burgers after this. I recommend the beef patty cooked medium and be accompanied by a bottle of icy Coke (20bht).

Bangkok local food

Their fries were smothered in a mixture of toppings that included fried onions, jalapeños, bacon pieces and lots of tangy thousand island style and their their own version of creamy dressing. They were pretty good but I recommend to eat them on the spot.

Address :Sukhumvit Soi 30/1, Bangkok

Opening hours : 4 pm – 9 pm from Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Mondays)

Budget : 150 – 200bht per burger, depending on option.

BTS : Phrom Phong / Thong Lo . Once exiting the station, go in the direction of the Philippines Embassy. The food truck is located at the side lane, close to main road. About 7-8 min walk.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/Xz5bvNtATxy

 

Centralworld Food Mall – Pan Asian Food

Gone are the days when visitors think of food malls being synonymous with MBK or Platinum Mall. This bright and sleek food mall with its wide range of restaurant-grade food at food court price will certainly bring a smile to diners who want the best of both world. A section of the food hall gives you a city view of Wat Pathumwanaram temple and Siam Paragon shopping mall in the distance.

Bangkok local food

Modern and comfortable mall interior, away from the street level hustle and bustle.

Bangkok local food

This seventh floor 200-seat food court draws its inspiration from local food, serving a broad selection of pan-Asian foods at reasonable prices.  For once, there is no need to buy coupons for the food purchase. Simply get a bar coded card, scan by each food stall that you patronized and pay for what you ate on the way out. Easy .

Bangkok shopping mall

Use the escalators to access the food hall, as the 2 lifts in the lobby takes a long time to come.

Address : 999/9 Rama 1 Road Khwaeng Pathum Wan

Opening hours10.00am –10.00pm

Budget : 70-150bht (depending on type of food)

BTS : Siam. Alight at this station and follow the station directional sign. About 10min walk from the station. Food Hall is at the 7th floor.

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/8oyJsR3cAYx

 

Hokkaido Cheese Toast

The EmQuartier is one of the most gorgeous shopping malls in Bangkok. It was here that we make a chance discovery of Hokkaido Cheese Toast at the mall basement food hall. Not the cheese tarts that was the rave months ago but cheese toast. This outlet offers a variety of toasts and we tried the charcoal toast version . While not cheap at 120bht per piece, it’s certainly a novel experience to savour the crisp toast and chewy stringy ‘chiizu’.

Bangkok food scene

Address695, 693 Tan Nuea, Watthana,

Opening hours :  10.00am–10.00pm

Budget :  120bht per piece.

BTS : Phrom Phong. Easily located at basement of EmQuartier

Map : https://goo.gl/maps/YAph2YbtVrS2

 

Conclusion

I hope readers find the article interesting and helpful should they be planning a food trip to Bangkok. All the food are paid for and not hosted by the food vendors.  Please note that in conjunction with Canon Imaging Academy, I will be leading a “3D2N Food and Street Photography trip” to Bangkok on the 12 August 2017. Group size will kept small for a better experience. Please drop me a message for more details.

P.S – All pictures used in this article are all rights reserved and copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and Jetabout Holidays.

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