Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Maite Aja
When traveling to Bangkok, you are likely to have some unfamiliar culinary experiences. The capital of Thailand is known for having a variety of food options that are interesting and distinct to the area. After spending a few days in the city, you will learn that Bangkok is not only a utopia for Thai food lovers, but for food travelers as well. From delicious eats to unique eateries, read on to learn about the top food experiences in Bangkok!
No foodie’s visit to Bangkok would be complete without going on one of Bangkok’s food tours. Based on your personal food interests, there is surely a food tour curated to your tastes. Different tours can range from several hours to multiple days with accommodations.
For what you get to experience, the price is extremely reasonable for one of these trips. The tours can take you through food markets, to street food stands, to places featuring local meals, or unusual dishes. They can occur during the day or night and will give you a historic background of wherever you visit. Some tours will even combine food with shopping for double the fun! Locals who know the area (and food) extremely well take you through all your stops, ensuring that you don’t have worry about anything but having an enjoyable time.
Many consider Bangkok to host some of the best street food in the world. Small stands crowd the busy streets all over the city, filling the air with the scent of freshly cooked meat and simple Thai favorites. Various types of curry rice, egg noodles, grilled chicken, and seafood dishes served as quick bites line the walkways.
Recently, threats of closing down these food stands have plagued Bangkok, but as a main draw for food tourists and a means of income for a lot of locals, the issue has not yet come to a resolution. As of now, there are plenty of streets that still have standing stalls, which makes this food experience a must-try for travelers before the opportunity is (potentially) gone.
Themed cafés have gained a lot of international attention recently. Popular themes such as cat cafés have even reached as far as the United States. These small coffee shops have proven to be an often-overlooked gem in Bangkok, with a variety of themes that can cater to anyone’s interests.
Cafés are not just limited to popular attractions such as bunnies, dogs, and exotic pets. Featured themes are based around nearly anything you can think of. Teddy bear and unicorn cafés focus on a bright and cuddly interior where you can dine with your favorite stuffed animal in the bunch. Other themes get a bit more specific, from a restaurant that serves you entirely based on your blood type, to one with décor completely made from condoms. Several of these cafés include a beverage or snack (sometimes both) with the price of admission. Others simply create an interactive and unique atmosphere for you to dine in.
Very few restaurants cater to being able to participate in serving your own meal. In fact, there are only two notable eateries in Bangkok where the notion of catching your own meal can apply. At Ka-tron, you can order fried chicken that is catapulted through the air. Waiters catch the meal while riding a unicycle before serving it to you. They use four large skewers to pierce the chicken and deliver it right to your table. If you are lucky enough, they might even show you how to catch your own catapulted chicken (sans unicycle of course).
If you are more interested in catching what you eat on your own, try Por Kung Pao. The buffet-style restaurant provides you with the tools to fish your own seafood in a large pool on-site. This creates a fun environment to your dining experience, but with one stipulation: you can only eat what you catch. The good news is that if you do manage to make a satisfying catch, it will be prepared into a delicious meal for you on the spot.
Adventurous eaters can face a new challenge on the streets of Bangkok. Certain street carts around the city carry only exotic bites. Scorpions, grasshoppers, and silkworms are just a few of the delectable insects you can sample. Most carts appear once the sun goes down on popular streets like Khao San Road.
If you can get past the looks of what you are eating, you will find the taste to be similar to salty chips in some insects. Make sure to research what you are eating beforehand though; there are other insects that will definitely taste the way they look. Several of the options are seasonal, but things like crickets will always be around. If you can’t dare to stomach one of these creepy crawlies, you can settle for a picture for a small fee.
Not all Bangkok has to offer comes from food stands and quirky cafés. For those who are just looking for an elegant dining experience, give a restaurant run by a Michelin-rated chef a try.
TAKEAWAY: The Michelin rating is an accolade granted by a guide of the same name. It holds prestige all over the world. In recent years, famous chefs have taken themselves and their ratings to the likes of Bangkok.
Although the Michelin guide does not yet exist for Thailand restaurants, star-studded chefs like Joel Robuchon of famed restaurant, L’Atelier, have been setting up shop in Bangkok and are here to stay. A lot of these Michelin chefs have brought their French influences to their restaurants, but there is a variety of cuisine offered by these fine-dining restaurants all throughout Bangkok.
Bangkok has meal options that cater to all food lovers. You can grab a snack on the street, have a coffee with a puppy, dine with flying chickens, and munch on some unlikely menu items for a late night snack. If that isn’t enough, you can do it all again with a guide in tow. On your next trip to Bangkok, be sure to come hungry, because these amazing food experiences won’t fit into just one day!