Suan Pak Nam
This restaurant is run by a friendly (and healthy) uncle who started the hydroponic farm some 14 years ago, long before the practice was in vogue. Even though the venue is simple and small, with only a few wooden tables in the al fresco area, the greenery of the veggies on display makes it a real feel-good spot. As the owner likes to say, healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, and this is reflected in the recommended dishes, likes the pasta which comes with a variety of sauces like mushroom and garlic (B80) or salted fish with herbs (B80). The drink options are really refreshing; try the juices like apple and greens (B35) or beetroot and passion fruit (B35). Or just buy some butterhead, red oak or cos to take home, together with some healthy salad dressing that features a liberal amount of black pepper.
17/136 Sukhontasawas Rd., 02-907-9989, 081-816-6741. Open Fri-Sun 10am-1pm
Home Fresh Hydro Farm
Decorated in girly floral prints, the dining area here is more polished than most on this list. It overlooks a pretty large hydroponic garden where filey, red oak and green oak grow. Choose the time of your visit wisely as the place usually packs out at lunchtime on weekdays with hungry hordes coming to feast on classic nosh like Caesar salad (B185), salmon steak (B320) and pasta (from B210). Naturally, the homegrown veggies feature prominently while some other ingredients are imported.
2 Ramkhamhaeng Soi 167, 02-917-2445, 081-844-8801. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2pm; 5-9pm; Sat-Sun 11am-9pm
Bored of the city? Why not make the trek out to this charming restaurant tucked away on a small soi close to Don Muang Airport. My Home is actually part of the owners’ home and has a nicely relaxing vibe thanks to the garden and its pond where the resident geese offer a natural soundtrack. A large greenhouse sits in the middle of the front yard, and the vegetables grown here make their way into dishes like the kai jiew tod krob (crispy omelet with spicy sauce, B75) and hom kum (onion and pork sausage, B95). The hampers, in their wooden baskets, also look pretty nice and start from B350 with butterhead, green oak and cos.
17/4 Kosum Ruamjai Soi 23, 02-981-0200, 085-123-4458. www.myhomeveg.com. Open Mon-Sat 7:30am-7pm
Those more adventurous might like to set aside their weekend to visit this far-flung restaurant with a hydroponic garden out back. The place is only a few years old, but that doesn’t stop the many budding gardeners from dropping in to ask the owners for pointers on growing veggies—something the owners are all too happy to help out with. While you’re there you might as well try the dishes like mee pad pak wan (stir-fried noodles with vegetables, B70) and stir-fried cos lettuce (B70) or sample the mushrooms the owners grow. End your meal with their homemade ice cream (B45) in flavors like lemongrass. Call ahead for directions or closely consult the map on their website before setting off.
36/10 Pinklao Nakhonchaisri Rd., SamPran, 084-666-0771, 089-791-5107, 087-356-4224. www.rasbithydro.com. Open daily 10am-10:30pm