1.) Platoo pad krapao (stir-fried mackerel with basil, B90)
Soei, across from Samsen Railway Station, Settasiri Rd., 087-508-8402, 081-563-3131. Open Sun-Fri 11:30am-10pm
Krapao is a ubiquitous favorite, but platoo pad krapao is rare. Soei’s is well known for its unique taste and spiciness. However, this secret dish is not even on the menu. It’s a special order for connoisseurs only. Bring a book though, because the average wait for dinner is more than an hour. We think it’s worth it.
2.) Guay Jub (Chinese noodles, B40)
Guay Jub Nai Aoun, in front of Charoen Nakorn Soi 21. Open daily 6pm-10pm
Compared with the famous version served in Yaowarat, the soup here is more full-bodied and, as a result, more scrumptious. It’s peppery just the way it should be, and the odorless entrails are properly cleaned and perfectly cooked.
3.)Bok-kia (steamed flour and a mix of fruits and beans in syrup, B20)
Bok-kia Thadindang, 323 Thadindang Rd., 02-438-0574. Open daily 5pm-10pm
One of the best syrupy, icy treats in town. It’s not too sweet and really refreshing. All you have to put up with are the sharp-elbowed aunties who always cut ahead of the line.
4.) Bamee ped (noodles with grilled duck, B55)
Mandarin, 729/1 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-391-4062. Open daily 9.30am-6pm
The crispy skin on this roast duck is pretty delectable—and look at that amazing price!
5.) Guay jub yuan (Vietnamese noodles, B35)
Dang, 68 Prasumen Rd., 085-246-0111. Open daily 11am-10pm
Portions are small but the gooey soup is just amazing, plus the moo yor is peppery and fragrant thanks to the quality pork meat.
6.) Ta go (Thai dessert with coconut pudding, B15)
Maliwan Kanom Thai, 2/9 beginning of Ari Soi 1, 02-278-1179. Open daily 7am-3pm
For over 30 years, Maliwan Kanom Thai has been making fresh Thai desserts. There’s a good chance that their heavenly ta go will run out early, so make sure to get there before lunch.
7.) Kanom pang sang ka ya (toast with Thai custard, B15)
Pang Yaa Ari, across Ari Soi 2. Open Mon-Sat 5-10pm
The recipe is more than 10 years old and there’s clearly no reason to change it. This stall is packed daily with people ordering this rich sang ka ya on a slender slice of toast.
8.) Nuea kwang gata ron (stir-fried deer in hot pan, B120)
Tang Jua Lee, 70/5-8 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-861-3213, 085-859-2179. Open daily 2-11pm
Your grandma may have eaten here, as this legendary Chinese restaurant is more than 70 years old. Try their generous portions of tender but flavorful meat marinated in a secret mix of spices, and served in a sizzling hot pan. Note that their hue-zae (Chinese raw fish, B120) is also a must-try.
9.) Ped mo din (braised duck in clay pot, B150)
Buay Pochana, in front of Chula Soi 36, 201/1 Bantadtong Rd., 02-215-2075. Open daily 7am-5pm
There are so many branches for this place, but we think the best one is on Bantadtong (get ready for a fun jostle with the hungry grandmas). The ped mo din comes in many kinds, so you can eat the whole duck from beak to feet.
10.) Suki haeng (sukiyakaki without broth, B50)
Suki Elvis, 200/37 Soi Yosse, 02-223-4979. Open daily 4-11pm
The battle never ends between Suki Elvis and the next-door Suki Maverick. Both are delicious, but we think Suki Elvis is just that bit juicier.
11 Khao mun kai Singapore (Hainanese steamed chicken with rice, B65)
Boon Tong Kiat, 440/5 in front of Thonglor Soi 16, 02-390-2508. Open daily 10am-10pm
With its fatty rice and powerful sauces, we think this beats the pants off Pratunam’s version of steamed chicken.
12.) Ice cream kati (Coconut milk ice cream, B15)
Nattaporn Ice Cream, 94 Phraeng Phutorn Rd., 02-221-3954, 02-622-2455. Open Mon-Sat 9am-4pm
This half-century-old ice cream parlor is a sure bet for light and refreshing Thai-style frozen treats. Make sure you order a slice of their matum cake, too.
13.) Guay tiew moo krob (noodles with fried pork crackling, B40)
Haa Bai Tao, 1486/4 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-438-6840. Open Tue-Sun 10am-1:30pm
This recipe comes from the five sisters who gave the shop its name. What’s so special about it? The noodles aren’t too soggy and the soup is naturally sweetened from the pork ribs. And if you love pork entrails, these are to die for. Just make sure you get there before 1pm, otherwise, the moo krob will have run out.
14.) Khao niew moon (sticky rice with coconut milk and mango, B90)
Maewaree, 1 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-4304. Open 24/7, khao niew only available 5am-11pm
A few steps from BTS Thong Lor, you can’t miss the mango displays taking up half the sidewalk. The moist sticky rice looks like a really big portion, but that’s because they sneak the mango seed underneath. Still, this remains one of our faves.
15.) Guay tiew kua gai (fried noodles with chicken, B40)
Chonticha, 63/8-9 Aumnuaysongkram Rd., 02-244-8887. Open daily 10am-9pm
Competition is fierce for guay tiew kua gai in Bangkok, but what makes this one extra special is the rumor that members of the royal family love eating here. Is it as yummy as it is famous? Not quite, but it’s clearly one of the best in town.
16.) Eggplant fries (B110)
Giew Jeen, 5/4 Soi Ngamduplee, Rama 4 Rd., 02-679-7019. Open daily 10:30am-2pm, 5-10:30pm
Don’t let being vegetarian get in the way of your love for all things deep-fried. These eggplant fries are wonderfully crispy (and slightly tangy), so you won’t be missing no chicken and potatoes.
17.) Pla muek pad prik gluea (stir-fried squid with chili and salt, B150)
Tong Taa, 52 Ladprao Soi 86, 02-539-4436. Open daily (except 20th of every month) 10:30-10:30pm
Ladies, go during the day and order this highly recommended dish because at night, the place is a bit rough, thanks to the occasional drunks. We gotta say, though, the perfect combination of chili, salt and plump squid does soak up booze incredibly well.
18.) Guay tiew nuea (beef noodles, B50)
Gate Ocha, 200 meters from the beginning of Pattanakarn Soi 53, Open 9am-1pm
Many Bangkokians rank Gate Ocha as their most favorite in town. Period.
19.) Khao mun gai (Hainanese steamed chicken with rice, B40)
Mongkol Wattana, near Paolo Memorial Hospital, 670/6 Phaholyothin Rd., 02-270-1107. Open daily (except the last Wed of every month) 9am-9pm
The walls of this restaurant have been completely covered in certificates singing the merits of their khao mun gai—all well-deserved in our humble opinion.
20.) Guay tiew yam bok (noodles in spicy salad without broth, B35)
Krob Krueng, 5 Ari Samphan Soi 10, 02-278-3279. Open Mon-Sat 9am-3pm
This is like noodles crossed with a Thai-style spicy salad, so you’ll get that typical full-on, limey sourness and the sugary sweetness combined in one hearty, yummy bowl.
21.) Giew goong naam (shrimp wonton in soup, B60)
Jaak Kee, 1/35-36 Ratwithee Soi 7, 02-245-0849. Open daily (except the first Mon of every month) 10am-3pm
Famous for its raad naa (noodles in gravy sauce), we actually go to Jaak Kee for the giew goong naam’s plump, fleshy goodness.
22.) Fried roti (B30)
Roti Poh Chang, opposite to Poh Chang College Tripetch Rd., Pahurat, 02-221-2084. Open daily 10am-6pm.
Drop by wearing your loosest pants as the paper-thin roti sprinkled with sugar and condensed milk is extremely addictive. Of course, this illusion of lightness hides a sweet, fatty bomb of carb-heavy goodness.
23.) Guay tiew kua gai (fried noodles with chicken, B30-B50)
Guay tiew kua gai Yaowarat, Trok Issaranuphap, Yaowarat. Open daily 8pm-1am
This hole-in-the-wall is so popular that the grumpy auntie makes sure everyone at the table is eating—so don’t even think about sharing. And why would you? Her chicken noodles, cooked on a small brass pan, are simply amazing.
24.) Teen gai (aka super chicken feet in spicy soup, B60)
Khao Tom OT, 16/136 Songprapa, 02-566-1326, 02-566-4926. Open daily 4:30pm-4:30am
Foot fetishists who like it spicy (and sour) look no further.
25.) Guay tiew nuea (beef noodles, B35)
Rod Ded, in front of Soi Ratchakru, Phaholyothin Rd., 02-278-1551. Open daily 9:30am-4pm
Portions are practically bite-sized but very big on flavor. Plus, their incredibly fragrant homemade chili powder is worth the visit alone.