Rad na stalls are among the most ubiquitous in town. Here are the very best spots for some noodles in gravy. 

Jae Fai 

A favorite among many chefs in town who praise its use of top-quality seafood, the rad na (B360) here has a pretty steep price, but it’s well worth it thanks to a killer combination of seafood and crispy noodles. The highlight is, of course, the flour-coated sen yai (rice noodles), cooked over charcoal to perfection. Do note that the pad see ew (stir-fried noodles with sweetened sauce) and joke haeng (dry congee) are also incredibly satisfying.

327 Mahachai Rd., 02-223-9384. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-2am

Rad Na 40 Pee

From father to son, the faces in the kitchen may change but their star dish (B40) remains just as delicious. The super hot oil quickly fries the noodles to a beautiful golden brown with hisses and pops that speak of a job well done. Their secret, though, is their preserved pork, which is simply stunning. Do drop by whenever you have to head south as this small shophouse is a real hidden gem.

Next to 7-Eleven, Ratpattana Rd., Ratburana, 089-219-3963. Open daily 8:30am-7pm

Rad Na Saladaeng

There’s nothing too revolutionary here, just one big, super-satisfying bowl of rad na (B35). The gravy is flavorful and perfectly balanced, while the pork is well seasoned and juicy. Just be warned that the sen yai (rice noodles) usually runs out around noon so you need to get here early before the swarms of office workers clean it out.

Soi Saladaeng, Silom Rd., 081-931-3380. Open daily 10am-3pm

Kai Thong

While this list mostly sticks to a street vibe, it would be wrong not to include Kai Thong. This well-executed rad na (B150 for small) is done Hong Kong style and is simply delicious. The noodles are fried properly with nice smoky notes, while the fragrant sesame oil also shines through. The gravy is gluey good, too, just a bit peppery, and the marinated beef is totally yummy. If you make the trek there, make sure you call ahead and wear some loose pants as this place is a true foodies’ paradise.

Muang Thong Thani 3, Bond Rd., 02-981-7771-2. Open daily 11am-10pm

Leng Kee

Another fancy bowl of rad na that has us forgetting all about counting calories. Leng Kee ticks all the usual boxes, but what sets it apart is the more hi-so selection with the stand out river prawn (B300)—just heavenly. 

Chula Soi 46, Rama 4 Rd., 02-215-4324, 086-992-1231. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-8:30pm; Sat 11:30am-3pm


Jakkee is the kind of place that fancy Thai restaurants have nightmares about. Opened for more than 50 years, its committed, highly specialized kitchen serves up magnificent mee krob rad na (B100) that can’t be beaten­—fried just right, the noodles are not too brittle and capable of holding their crispiness even when soaked in flavorful gravy. The beef is some of the juiciest, most tender and aromatic out there, while the kale is crunchy with no hint of bitterness. 

1/35-36 Ratchawithi Soi 7 (Soi Wattana Yothin in Soi Rangnam), 02-245-0849. Open daily 10am-3pm (except the first Mon of every month)


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Housebound and hungry? Delivery services that offer up delicious home-style Thai dishes.

My Mom Moo Tord

It’s all about the fatty pork at My Mom Moo Tord, and that’s no bad thing. As the name suggests, the mom here takes care of the succulent moo tord (fried pork), while the son handles everything else. Order a day in advance for the juiciest streaky pork (B300 for half kg)—perfect for sharing.
tinyurl.com/okdkm9c. 081-808-1262. Order a day in advance.

Kidteungha Delivery

There’s no length menu here, but Kidteungha does straightforward Northern food showcasing the fine flavors that only top ingredients can provide. Their homemade namprik ong (chiili and tomato paste) comes as part of a delicious set menu (B399) that includes gaeng hanglay (pork curry), sai oua (sausages) and laab moo (shredded pork with herbs).
tinyurl.com/qbs9uuz. 083-010-7735. Order a day in advance.


The Southern couple behind this seafood delivery service supply only the freshest produce. Bring the party home with some blue swimmer crab (B450 for a kg) or try the delicious kanom jeen namya poo (crabmeat curry served with rice vermicelli, B70) and gung pao (grilled river prawn, B390 for 13-15). Top it all off with some khao niew durian (sticky rice with coconut milk and durian, available only weekends). Another good thing here is that they announce their daily delivery destinations, meaning you can get a discount if you’re on their pre-selected route.  
tinyurl.com/qhyvtd3. 081-340-0360, 082-474-7164 for downtown area and 081-496-0950 for Thonburi side. Order one hour in advance.


Prung’s sizeable menu takes on many Thai regional dishes and, impressively, they seem to nail them all, maintaining an authentic taste even when slightly rejigging the recipes. We really love the kanom jeen namya pak tai (fish curry served with rice vermicelli, B150-B450), with its powerful homemade paste, and the addictive khamoo (braised pork leg, B150-B350), which has been braised for almost a day to remove the fat and is served with mantou (steamed bun).
tinyurl.com/q8xt6jx. 087-352-3566. Order three hours in advance.


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A short distance from BTS Talat Phlu, in Bangkok, you’ll find a long street absolutely loaded with heavenly food stalls. 

1. Kim Aeng

Gluay chuem (sweetened banana with coconut milk, B20) may be a mainstay at any market, but this stall’s auntie has dedicated more than 30 years of her life to serving up her delicious secret recipe. The flavor has changed little over the years, and you can be guaranteed the banana, sourced from Phetchaburi, won’t be soggy and the magical coconut milk will be so light, fresh and addictive, you’ll be licking your bowl clean.

084-971-7876. Open daily 9am-6pm

2. Tek Heng

The story goes that the owners’ great-great-grandfather once cooked the very same mee krob (fried rice noodles with marinated garlic, palm sugar and soy sauce, B120) recipe they still serve today for HM King Rama V. In any case, their use of genuine som saa (bitter orange) is a rare treat nowadays, making this mee krob the real deal—aromatic and perfectly piquant.

02-466-9170, 02-466-9037. Open daily (except the last Mon of every month) 10am-10pm

3. Sab

Right next to the railway station, you’ll find lots of yummy stalls clustered together from poh pia sod (fresh spring rolls with greens) to yen ta fo (noodles with red sauce) and guay jub (Chinese noodles). All are full of flavor but this grungy stall, Sab, is worth mention for their impressive pladuk foo (crispy catfish with salad) that’s fried to a delicious crispiness that’s so hard to find nowadays.

Open daily 9am-9:30pm

4. Ung

This shophouse offers both ped yang (grilled duck, B100) and ped palo (braised duck, B100). The ped yang is good but we find the ped palo irresistibly yummy, mildly herbed and super juicy. Sadly, the grandpa proprietor is growing tired and isn’t sure how long he’ll be keeping shop, so do be sure to drop in for a bite when you’re in the neighborhood.

081-613-6239, 02-893-3306, 083-844-1002. Open daily 6am-6pm

5. Kanom Bueng Su Arpa

Wonderful kanom bueng Yuan (Yuan pancakes, B40) are a rare treat. We’re mighty grateful that this auntie still uses the finest ingredients to come up with her delightful stuffing, especially the shredded coconut with shrimp head, that go wonderfully with her expertly prepared pancakes. There's no seating here so you’ll need to gobble them on-the-go.

086-988-5054. Open Tue-Sun 6-9pm; Sun 11am-7pm

6. Pad Thai Jay Wan

Everything at this shophouse is on the money—the noodles are not soggy or greasy, the fragrance is heavy on the tamarind juice and slightly smoky, while the shrimps are fresh and naturally sweet. Available on weekdays only, this pad Thai (B30) is simply superb, showcasing some of the very best frying techniques in town.

089-054-7214. Open Mon-Fri 4-11pm

7. Namtaohu

Unlike other namtaohu stalls, this grandma’s soy milk 

(B10) is not overly sweet. It’s naturally sweet, rich and very fragrant. A must. 

087-910-3533. Open Tue-Sun 4-9:30pm

8. Tor Janpen

With its stunning braised beef, properly cleaned entrails and super-flavorful soup (B60), Tor Janpen ranks top of every beef noodles list in the city. The place also sports a very friendly owner who’ll convince you to end your meal with their kanom Thai, such as the luscious tua kiew tom (sweetened mung bean, B12).

02-891-4042. Open daily 9am-6pm

9. Kanomwan Talad Plu

Pick up a queue card and get in line for this dynamic dessert shophouse which boasts that their kanom is preservative-free. For more than 60 years, the desserts here having been drawing in the crowds. Just brace yourself for some marathon eating. We can’t stop peeling the kanom chan (Thai custard) apart and devouring it layer by layer—a delightfully sinful dish.

 02-466-9332. Open daily 2-7pm

10. Bamee Tongleng

This stall selling yummy noodles in the Teochew style is now run by second generation owners. The homemade noodles (B40) are pleasingly chewy and egg-y, while the condiments are also tasty and evidently of good quality. The same family actually runs four branches in the same neighborhood, all with different opening times, so it’s not too hard to get your fix. Otherwise, you can just drop by for some dried noodles if you feel like cooking at home.

02-466-5168, 089-990-9200. Open daily 9am-5:30pm (another branch at the railway station is open daily 6pm-midnight)


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We uncover the very best, most authentic restaurants (not stalls) doing traditional Thai cuisine.

These past few years have seen some fantastic fine-dining restaurants serving Thai food open their doors in Bangkok: Bo.lan, Nahm, Issaya, Supanniga and Paste. But here are the veterans whose food--and prices--all hark to the good old days when fancy Thai food wasn't yet on the map.

Krua Sa Ros Jad

Krua Sa Ros Jad is designed to look like a traditional Thai house, which might make you feel like you’re having dinner at your stern, old-fashioned auntie's place. But who cares when the food is so delightful, dazzling diners with its high-quality ingredients. Here, they get almost everything right in every dish. Even basic dishes like hoy clang “disco” (blanched cockles topped with spicy sauce, B150) are just as satisfying as complex offerings like the rich gaeng kiew waan (green curry with fish balls, B280) and pla chon naa savoey (fried snakehead fish topped with sauce, B320), which is accompanied by more than 10 kinds of herbs—refreshing and bursting with flavor.
112 Wiphawadirangsit Soi 44, 02-579-0021-2, 081-496-9181. Open daily 11am-10pm (closed on the third Sunday of every month)

Krua Apsorn

Krua Apsorn may not offer the richest, spiciest or even most flavorful Thai food, but it does whip up consistently well-rounded dishes. Among the winners here are the nuea poo pad prik leung (stir-fried crabmeat with chili, B350), which is simply delicious, while even children’s favorites like the khai foo poo (Thai omelet with crabmeat, B85) are highly rewarding—fluffy and very comforting. There are quite a few branches around town, including the one in Vimanmek Mansion where you can enjoy a view of the palace, but we think the original Samsen branch best shows off the perfect techniques of the chefs.
503-505 Samsen Rd., 02-668-8788. kruaapsorn.com. Open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7:30pm

Lai Rod

Tucked in Sukhumvit Soi 49, Lai Rod faces strong competition from another classic Thai restaurant, Klang Soi, located in the same neighborhood. But it seems that the majority vote is with this place, if you want to escape all the pretentious restaurants around Sukhumvit. This casual canteen-like restaurant is, in fact, a classic Thai institution, serving up a range of comforting dishes from gaeng kiew waan (green curry, B100) to khao pad gaeng tai pla (stir-fried rice with Southern paste, B90)—all with homemade attention to detail and fine quality ingredients. 
120/4-5 Sukhumvit Soi 49 (across from Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital), 02-391-3193. Open daily 11am-10pm

Cook Somdej

Cook Somdej’s story began more than eight decades ago with the former owner-chef of Poj Karn, who once worked for the royal family. It’s said that his recipes are derived from the kitchens of our crowned heads of state—hence its nickname, Cook Somdej (“The Prince’s Chef”). But don’t expect Poj Karn to be fancy or sophisticated—homey and tasty, yes, but not regal. This very casual, small family-run restaurant serves up traditional dishes (B60-B200) like namprik gapi (shrimp paste), gaeng som (soup with tamarind and shrimps) and saeng wa (chili paste with prawns). Among the most impressive dishes are the fluffy khai jiew (omelet), which is spruced up with chopped lemongrass, and the mee krob (sweet crispy rice noodles), which has a beautifully crisp texture and a nicely balanced sweet and sour sauce. 
443 Tanao Rd., 02-222-2686. Open daily 10am-9pm

Baan Pee Lek

Baan Pee Lek might be hidden down a sub-soi off far-flung Srinakarin but the plaudits for its moo sub pla kem (minced pork with mackerel) come from all over Bangkok. With more than 30 years of operation, the adorable restaurant is kitted out with vintage wooden furniture and a grand piano, while the friendly auntie (the owner) likes to dress up like a diva. The dishes are rich, flavorful and pay great attention to detail. Swing by for the aforementioned moo sub pla kem (minced pork with mackerel, B150), which is simply amazing. Unlike other versions of the dish, this one is lightly-fried, smoky and fragrant. Plus, it’s served with shallot, lime and chili—a creative tweak that adds an extra level of delicious complexity. The gaeng pa (jungle curry, B220), too, is one of the best around. It’s spiced to perfection, packed with herbs that encompass a wide range of flavors and perfectly cooked eggplants. Trust us, avoid the Western dishes like steak and stick with these classics. We guarantee you’ll be back for more. 
301 Chalerm Phrakiat Rama 9 Soi 9, 02-393-8839, 086-329-5339. Open daily 11am-2pm, 5-11pm


Sitting in a revamped two-story traditional Thai house overlooking over the railway, Rosabieng is all about natural flavors. With its eclectic setting that includes a miniature European town with an electric train, the place draws in diners from all walks of life: families with drivers waiting out front, bureaucrats and a few office workers in the area. They come here for pleasant vibe and decent dishes like tord mun Rosabieng (fish cakes with yolk, B180) or tom yam pla krapong (seabass in spicy soup, B220), which is perfectly balanced with fish that’s very fresh and delicious. Also note that across the street is Soei, a must-try street-vibe restaurant, which offers real deal Thai dishes, plus you can end your meal with the addictive o tueng (milk with brown sugar and lemon basil).
102/5 Sethasiri Rd. 02-271-3265. Open daily 11am-10pm

Baan Peeraka

Baan Peeraka has a strong and devoted following of home-cooked cuisine lovers. With its lush garden and pond, it’s easy to see why they flock here. The food is great, too, while the service is surprisingly friendly. The traditional dishes keep things simple but satisfying, like the wonderful senyai pad prik khee noo (stir-fried noodles with shrimps and chili, B79), which offers a slightly burnt aroma with noodles that are delightfully, chewy and moist thanks to the recipe with glutinous flour. Then you can try the rare and delicious kanom jeen sao nam (rice vermicelli served with coconut milk and shrimp, B79, available on Fridays) or mee krob (B109). Perfect for a lazy weekend, Cafe du Coq is connected to the venue and serves up decent coffee.
Rom Klao Soi 8/1, 085-554-0040, 081-734-4689. Open Tue-Sun 11am-8pm

Sa Nguan Sri

Tucked in a building that looks rather like a bomb shelter, here is where Celebrity Chef Chumpol Jangprai grew up learning everything about cooking. This old-school spot is part grannie’s home, part canteen. But it serves up some truly classic fare, all of which is served up in a spotless setting and at really affordable prices. The place churns out dish after dish come lunchtime, with popular picks being the kanom jeen saonam (rice vermicelli with coconut milk and dried shrimp, B55), yam moo yang krob (crispy pork in spicy salad, B80) and gaeng ped ped yang (curry with grilled duck, B80). Desserts are also a must—order the gluay chuem (sweetened bananas served with coconut milk, B25) and don’t forget the khao chae when in season.
59/1 Witthayu (Wireless) Rd., 02-252-7637, 02-251-9378. Open Mon-Sat 10am-3pm

Methavalai Sorndaeng

This 60-year-old institution is a favorite hangout spot of grandpas and their big-haired wives. But really, you should join them. The place is proud of not having changed its recipes since its inception and is committed to using only top-of-the-line ingredients. With its old-fashioned European-style decor and jazz band playing classic Suntaraporn songs, the overall vibe is very retro and very charming. The dishes you will need to look out for are the unbelievably tasty kra thong tong (minced chicken and sweet corn in rice tartlets, B100) with its fresh ingredients that shine through the crispy and non-greasy rice cup, refreshing yam trakrai (spicy salad with lemongrass, B130) and gaeng kiew wan (B150), with its curry paste made from scratch and expertly selected herbs and ingredients. But, really, you can’t go wrong with anything off the menu. 
78/2 Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd., 02-224-3088. Open daily 10:30am-11pm

Thon Krueng

Thon Krueng is worth the queue that sometimes blocks the footpath. If you want to eat dishes like namprik kapi (shrimp paste, B180) or a very simple khao pad namprik (B95) or khao niew na moo yang (grilled pork with sticky rice, B130) in an inner city location, then this is the spot. For more than 20 years, this restaurant has served up simple but satisfying dishes that draw in hordes of Thais, plus many Japanese expats. All the recommended dishes live up to their name, but we really vouch for uncommon offerings like the tung tong (wonton stuffed with shrimps, B120) and the seasonal khao chae (fragrant rice served with condiments like luk kapi [shrimp paste], prik yuak sord sai [stuffed bell pepper] and chai pow pad wan [stir-fried sweet turnip]).
239 Thonglor Soi 13, 02-185-2873. Open daily 10:30am-11pm
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Save some serious bucks with these hotel membership cards.



The White Card for The Okura Prestige, The Sukhothai and Rayavadee Krabi

Membership fee: B16,050
Dining discounts: Depending on the outlet—25% discount available at restaurants like Up & Above (Okura) and La Scala (Sukhothai), 15% off at Yamazato and 15% off drinks at all hotels.
Perks: 25% discount on spa, complimentary one room for one night at each hotel, one complimentary lunch/dinner buffet, afternoon tea at Okura and Sukhothai.
Minus points: The most expensive of all.
Why we like it: No limit for diners at all three hotels. Do note that the deal for The Sukhothai is currently being revised.



Bangkok’s S Privilege Card for Shangri-la (free!)

Membership fee: Free
Dining discounts: 20% discount on food and drinks. Dine in a group of 10-20 people and get an extra 5% discount.
Perks: 20% discount on the deluxe room. Collecting milestones gets you more rewards like complimentary afternoon tea and Sunday brunch.
Minus points: The card can’t be used on holidays.
Why we like it: Besides the card being free, you get a 30% discount on food every Wednesday.
  89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, Charoenkrung, 02-236-7777. www.shangri-la.com/bangkok



Le Club for Plaza Athenee Bangkok,
Le Meridien Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Membership fee: B6,999 (or B10,999 with supplementary vouchers)
Dining discounts: Single diners get 20% discount, two people get 50% and four people get 25% (food only).
Perks: One free night at Plaza Athenee and pay one get one free for Le Meridien Bangkok.
Minus points: The discount only applies to some outlets.
Why we like it: 14 vouchers attached, including a set dinner at The Reflexions (2 people), a spa treatment and some half-price discounts if you bring a group of 6-12 people.
  61 Wireless Rd., 02-650-8800. www.lemeridien.com/plazaatheneebangkok



Club Marriott for hotels under Marriott

Membership fee: B7,800 (or B9,800 with supplementary vouchers)
Dining discounts: Single diners get 35% discount, two people get 50%, four people get 25% (food only). 15% discount on drinks.
Perks: Dining vouchers such as free peking duck at Man Ho (JW Marriott) and 50% discount on Sunday brunch at Renaissance Bangkok. Can be used with hotels in the group across the Asia Pacific region.
Minus points: There are limited times you can use the discounts.
Why we like it: Great deals for hotels around Thailand and they’re transferable. For example, pay only B3,499 a night for the beautiful Renaissance Koh Samui.



Hilton Premium Club

Membership fee: B7,500
Dining discounts: Single diners get 25% discount, two people get 50% and four people get 25% (food only). 20% discount on drinks.
Perks: Dining vouchers include lunch/dinner buffet and afternoon tea. Accommodation vouchers include a 50% discount at Conrad Samui. 30% discount on the spas at Millennium Hilton and Conrad.
Minus points: The discount on drinks do not apply to Hilton Sukhumvit.
Why we like it: The network includes properties in Malaysia and China.



Accor Advantage Plus (Biggest Network)

Membership fee: B5,950
Dining discounts: Single diners get 25% discount, two people get 50% and four people get 25% (food only). 15% discount on drinks.
Perks: Get another 10% discount with the Accor Super Sale.
Minus points: Not every hotel under the Accor brand offers the same discount. For example, Red Oven and Park Society offer a 20% discount on food.
Why we like it: The card can be used with many hotels such as Pullman, Sofitel So, Sofitel Sukhumvit and Novotel.



Bangkok’s S Privilege Card for Shangri-la (free!)

Membership fee: Free
Dining discounts: 20% discount on food and drinks. Dine in a group of 10-20 people and get an extra 5% discount.
Perks: 20% discount on the deluxe room. Collecting milestones gets you more rewards like complimentary afternoon tea and Sunday brunch.
Minus points: The card can’t be used on holidays.
Why we like it: Besides the card being free, you get a 30% discount on food every Wednesday.
  89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, Charoenkrung, 02-236-7777. www.shangri-la.com/bangkok



Club at the Hyatt for Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

Membership fee: B8,600
Dining discounts: Single diner gets 10% discount, two people get 50% and four people get 25% (food only).
Perks: Enjoy 20% discount at Hyatt Hua Hin and more discounts on accommodation worldwide (barring Canada, the Caribbean and USA).
Minus points: Many different levels of discounts requiring you to do some research. For example, you get 15% discount at Erawan Tea Room and You & Mee.
Why we like it: You get a cheque book to use at any of the outlets with a value of B3,500.
  494 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-254-6295, www.bangkok.grand.hyatt.com



Dusit Wine & Dine for Dusit Thani

Membership fee: B6,500
Dining discounts: Single diners get 20% discount, two people get 50% and four people get 25% (food only). 20% discount on drinks.
Perks: 20% discount for 11 Dusit Hotels across Asia with late check-out.
Minus points: The card doesn’t apply to the properites in China, Maldives and India.
Why we like it: Of course, the card includes the French fine-dining institution D’Sens, too.
  946 Rama 4 Rd., 02-200-9912-13.  BTS Saladaeng. www.dusit.com



Club Landmark for The Landmark (huge

Membership fee: B4,900/B5,900/B6,900
Dining discounts: Single diners get 40% discount, 2-4 people get 50% and 11-20 people get 25% (food only).
Perks: 50% discount on the rack rate for all room types. Premium packages get you a 75% discount on the joining fee at Fitness First Platinum.
Minus points: Can’t be used elsewhere.
Why we like it: Highest discounts of all and three nicely varied packages.
  138 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-252-6676. BTS Nana. www.landmarkbangkok.com



SPG for Starwood Hotels (FREE)

Membership fee:


Dining discounts: Depends on the outlets. Some restaurants like Sambal Bar & Grill (Royal Orchid Sheraton) and The Drawing Room (St. Regis) offer 15% discounts but with different conditions.
Perks: A variety of benefits ranging from complimentary rooms to plane tickets and special events.
Minus points: Few restaurants in Bangkok offer the discounts.
Why we like it: Of great benefit to those who travel a lot.



Aspire by Anantara

Membership fee: B6,999
Dining discounts: Two people get 50% discount, three people get 33% and four people get 25% (food only).
Perks: 15% discount on the best rate for all room types at 10 participating hotels.
Minus points: The complimentary night is only valid for the property in Bangkok.
Why we like it: More than 10 accommodation vouchers (most are transferrable) with good prices around Thailand.



The Grande Club by Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit

Membership fee: B7,900
Dining discounts: 30% discount on food and drinks with no limits on the diners.
Perks: One complimentary night (no breakfast) at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit and complimentary five-day use at their fitness.
Minus points: The card is only valid at this property.
Why we like it: You actually get the credit of B7,900 in your card. 



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Is it easy to grow your food in the middle of the city? BK talks to those who have made their own city farms right here in Bangkok, on rooftops and in backyards.

Rooftop Farm

Lak Si’s rooftop garden

Narong Jongjamfah

- Lak Si District Office

How did the project start?
Eleven years ago, the staff at the Public Cleaning and Public Park sections of the district, started growing vegetables on an abandoned plot next to the district office. But when the landlord saw the vegetables, he claimed his land back. The section director at that time then told us, OK, you can grow your vegetables on the roof of the office. Then the ex-assistant director created a website about the whole process and it became this free public education thing.
Is it difficult?
You must prepare the rooftop first. The floor has to be absolutely watertight. You have to be motivated to eat good, safe food. As for the rest, just come here and we’ll teach you. It’s free. You can even organize a field trip for your company.
Why is farming in the city important?
Our country’s food safety is not very good. There are too many chemicals used in our food. Food is man’s first medicine, it’s what keeps you healthy. I think growing your own food will be increasingly embraced in the future. It’s sustainable. When there were big floods in 2011, our district was a shelter for flood victims. We could provide them with food and vegetables thanks to our rooftop garden. Farming in the city also helps our city be greener and cooler. It increases our quality of life.
Contact: 02-576-1393 www.bangkok.go.th/laksi

Lak Si District Learning Center Free Courses

- Rooftop or concrete garden techniques
- How to produce micro-organisms for vegetables
- How to produce manure
- How to produce fertilizers for vegetables
- How to grow bean sprouts
- How to grow seeds
- How to raise earthworms
- How to grow straw mushrooms in a basket

City Garden

Suneerat’s home

Suneerat Mathiim

- Home Farm

Why did you start your farm?
It’s a perk of doing my own magazine, Simply Living. I used to work so hard as a magazine writer. Closing an issue every 15 days was really exhausting. Stress finally made me sick. I couldn’t sleep at night, had headaches and suffered immune system problems. I started studying about living healthy by eating good food. It helps a lot. Starting Simply Living exposed me to more wellness research. Finally, I rented a house in Ladprao Soi 48 and transformed it into a little farm where I grow everything I want to eat.
How has it transformed your life?
Completely. I used to be an employee who spent most of her time working. Now I have time for myself, too. I wake up at 6am, take my kids to school, come back to do some gardening and then start my work as a freelance editor. I also have small coops with chickens and ducks so we can collect their eggs everyday. I don’t really need to go out from my home as I have all this food at my place. Sometimes, my neighbors also come to buy some produce such as eggs and vegetables. It’s organic and we sell it really cheap, like B5-B10 a piece. We also try to spread the word by holding workshops on growing in the city as well as recycling junk to create accessories. We are also planning on re-launching Simply Living as everything stopped due to the 2011 flood.
Why is growing your own food important to you?
Most people will only change their life if something drastic happens, such as  beign diagnosed with cancer. But why do you need to wait for problems in order to change? Choosing a healthy way of life is pleasant. Eating your homegrown vegetables is awesome and you will be so proud of what you create. It’s definitely a better feeling than eating expensive food anywhere else!
Contact: 082-520-0308 or Facebook: www.fb.com/simplyorganicsBKK

Green Leader

Raitong CSA box

Brian Hugill and Lalana Srikram

- Raithong Organics Farm

What is the goal of your CSA project, the Munching Box?
It’s a tool for converting more farmers to organic farming, and getting existing farmers to increase their organic acreage, as well as provide a stable and growing channel for suppliers. Obviously this is a bit different to how customers see it—a product in its own right—but these are mutually supportive views. We need customers to achieve our aims and customers want the Munching Box to get better and better.
What are your accomplishments regarding the Munching Box?
It is developing into a larger platform for the organic lifestyle. Our current retention rate for the CSA box is about 70-75%, depending on the season, which I believe is about average for such programs in the US. Up to July 11, 2013, we delivered 23 tons of seasonal organic fruit and vegetables. We do our best to source only local, high quality, artisanal products—using organic ingredients wherever possible and also working with suppliers to go green with their packaging.
What’s your plan in the next 5-10 years?
We’re working on improving the transparency of our value chain by building upon our rice planting/harvesting trips, hosting food events and giving lectures at schools. The next step will entail building up the agro-tourism side of things, developing a farmer-to-farmer, customer-to-farmer organic certification system, implementing random pesticide and nitrate testing, improving the nutrient density of our products, ramping up our involvement in urban agriculture (through the new BeeKK initiative, www.facebook.com/BeeKKUrbanBeekeeping) and so on. And in the longer run, we also hope to be able to expand to other locations in Thailand and ASEAN once we’re happy with our current model in Bangkok.
Contact: www.raitongorganicsfarm.com

Where to buy the good stuff

Lak Si’s basket

Raitong Organics Farm

Raitong (www.raitongorganicsfarm.com) is doing a community-supported agriculture (CSA) box under the name CSA Munching Box, which also comes with a few helpful recipes. Monthly subscription is B2,000 plus a weekly delivery charge starting from B60.

Health Me

Health Me is not only a good healthy restaurant, they also support farmers with their CSA Box (B4,200 for 12 baskets) sourced from provinces like Ang Thong. In front of Ratburana Soi 30, 086-332-8266. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm.


Located in Vipawadee Soi 22, Saijai offers various activities for kids to learn about their vegetables and how to grow them, as well as food delivery with a changing menu depending on the produce they get from the farmers and their home garden. Vipawadee Soi 22 (behind St. John University), 087-915-3440. www.saijaihealthyfood.com

Urban Goat

Pasteurized milk

Piramit Paitayatat

- Goat Milk Farm

Why start a goat farm?
I love goats. I played with goats since I was a kid as my granddad raised some in our backyard. But then he stopped, and it’s so hard to find goat milk in the city. So five years ago, I started trying to find goat breeders in the Muslim communities around Bangkok. I found two goats to start with and now I have nine.
How much do you produce daily?
We can milk about 8-10 liters per day. After we milk the goat in the morning, we will steam it at 70-80 degrees Celsius to pasteurize it. We are a big family so we normally keep about five liters to consume. The surplus we sell to our neighbors who come to pick it up every day.
Is it hard to have farm animals in the city?
Yes. We have to pay more attention to cleanliness. Controlling the smell is the most important thing. We put EM [effective microorganisms] solutions in the dung to get rid of the smell. We also clean the goat before we milk them to get rid of their strong aroma, which can get in the milk, too. We then make sure the milk goes straight into a bottle. It reduces the milk’s contact with air as milk absorbs smells quickly.
Why go through all this effort?
It’s safer. Goat milk is full of nutritional value, more than cow milk, but it’s more expensive, too. Cow milk is B25-B40 per liter while goat milk is B70-B100. Kids allergic to cow milk can drink goat milk, too. I raised my two children with goat milk. I wouldn’t give it to my children if it wasn’t good for them. You don’t have to worry about food safety if you have your own farm.
Contact: Piramit 081-689-8061

Herbal Haven

Duangkamol’s garden

Duangkamol Vephula Waagensen

- English Herb Garden

What inspired your rooftop garden?
I like English-style herb gardens. I have so many vegetables and herbs like rosemary, holy basil and eggplants and you can always mix them with flowers to make the garden more colorful.
What’s the best thing about growing your own vegetables?
I get to create new dishes all the time, which nowadays I share on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/praekitchen), too. The new recipes are dependent on our new produce; just recently, I did baked rice in grape leaf. It was fantastic, very aromatic. I never knew that grapes grew so easily. Our dog, Herky, also loves eating all the vegetables and herbs.
What’s your favorite easy-to-follow recipe?  
For a nice refreshing drink, I always pick out rose petals from the garden. You take two rose buds, 170 grams of lychees, one teaspoon of rose syrup and four pieces of peach. Mix them in the blender and you’re done.

DIY Farmer

Nakorn’s garden

Nakorn ‘Prince’ Limpakuptathavorn

- Thai City Farm

What got you started?
Even though I studied agriculture during my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, many of the classes taught us to use chemicals to grow vegetables. But there was a class about sustainable agriculture which sold me on the idea of being self-reliant. It’s good for our health and for the environment. I wanted to buy land out of town and grow food there but my family still lives in Bangkok, so I had do it another way.
What are the benefits?
It’s more than just the feeling of achieving something. It’s a journey where you meet new friends and a new community. The vegetables are definitely more delicious, sweeter and crispier. My mind is free when I’m in the garden. I grow so many vegetables that often I have to give them away to others—and that’s a source of joy.
What’s the most important thing about growing vegetables?
Everything matters. But what people might not is the importance of soil. Natural soil produces the most beautiful plants. It’s like in the jungle where everything grows and fertilizes itself.
What are the difficulties of vertical planting?
It gets very dry real quick. But if you have good water management, it will be fine. The important thing is to cover the soil with the leaves to maintain moisture and to protect the soil when you water them. Some plants love their soil a bit dry and it is fun observing the different conditions that different vegetables prefer.
Do you think Thai people still relate to the pak suan krua (literally “vegetables from garden to kitchen”) ideology?
This was more noticeable during the government of Plaek Phibunsongkhram when the economy was not at its best and people still had their own land. About 20 years ago, bio-organic consumption boomed along with Lemon Farm shops. As time goes by, we sometimes forget but, hopefully, places like the Lak Si District Office prove that we can still grow our food in limited spaces.
Contact: www.thaicityfarm.com

Health Boosters


Charina ‘Aom’ Nguansamang

- Saijai Healthy Food

How did you start growing your own food?
My husband and I always thought we could control our lives before my husband found out he had cancer. The doctor said that there was no need to change his lifestyle, but we disagreed. We took issue with our food. Cutting out chemicals from your diet is easier said than done, so we started building networks among people who shared similar ideas and began to grow our own. We then started a food delivery service with produce from these farmers and from our own farm.
What are your tips for growing vegetables?
It’s about having a heart, to start with. There’s actually not much to learn. Just don’t expect too much and let nature do its job. The fun is ing experiencing it for yourself. If vegetables grow in their proper season, they will turn out beautifully. Also, grow vegetables that encourage you—for some, growing a whole cabbage, eating it and then having to start again is too much, so plant things like holy basil and watercress where you can grab a few leaves and let it grow on. For budding farmers, the best time to give planting a try is around the end of rainy season.
Why are you focusing on teaching children to grow vegetables?
We have courses for children as we think they can change their attitudes more easily than adults. I think that when kids learn, parents also learn. I think we can all change and lead more balanced lives.
What’s a good diet for those living in the city?
Eating what you grow brings you happiness but supporting the farmers who turn their back on chemicals is just as important. The money you pay for their food empowers them to work harder and stay on the right track.
Contact: www.saijaihealthyfood.com


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Fashion boutiques with cafés is the latest trend sweeping Bangkok.


The place: Feast café is proving a draw for the young and chic. Connected to the Kem Issara Studio, the café, owned by Kem’s friend, Pakorn Damrongwattanapokin, sits amid a beautiful garden. Sip some coffee in the lovely house, with its large black-framed windows and pretty decorative items including colorful fabrics from Kem Issara. The café is hidden down the soi, so it may take some finding.  
The food: Typical café-style fare. Coffee starts from B65, while an affogato (espresso and vanilla ice cream) will set you back B130. Enjoy your brew along with some pancakes with ice cream (B145) and breakfast waffles (B190). Lunchtime offers specials of the day, such as khao moo tord (rice topped with deep-fried pork, B145) and panini with ham and cheese (B75).
1029/49 Ekkamai Soi 22, 02-713-3261. Open Tue-Sun 10:30am-8pm

Singha Life

The place: Singha’s men’s clothing store just opened its first cafe in Siam Center. And the décor is all very masculine—think industrial style with plenty of black steel and wood.
The food: The place takes advantage of its family restaurants, Est. 33 and Farm Design. So you’ll have your pick of all the familiar fusion dishes which take up about half of the menu. Try the grilled pork sandwich (B180) or one of the mouthwatering cheesecakes like Choco Mooooo (B105). And, of course, it’s hard to go past a sip of Singha beer during your shopping break.
3/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-1177. Open daily 10am-10pm


The place: Local designer WWA just moved to a new address in the same old ‘hood, Siam Square. The cool, loft-like space has an unfinished feel to it, with plenty of bare cement, exposed steel and traces of the old structure. The café is actually a few years old, but is mostly the domain of WWA’s loyal customers who come in to shop and drink tea on the furniture all covered in black fabric. It’s definitely worth a visit, though—just make sure you wear the right dress to the party.
The food: The one-page menu is dominated by exquisitely presented desserts from English pastry chef Davina Pickering whose signatures include the delicious rum chocolate brownie served with cream shot (B160) and homemade tamarind and mascarpone cream with bread (B150). You can also get English faves like the scone with clotted cream (B150) and Welsh rarebit (B200). Have it with the refreshing summer tea (B90). Keep an eye out for their brunch menu coming soon, too.
428 Siam Square Soi 7 (next to Swensen’s), 02-658-4686. Open daily 1-9pm

BoYY Café

The place: One of the pioneers of the Thai fashion accessory scene, BoYY finally has its own flagship store at Grass. Even better, downstairs is dedicated to a café which couple Wannasiri Kongman and Jesse Dorsey have decked out in a classy vintage vibe. The crowds that flock here are fun to watch, with bicycle hipsters sitting side by side with well-heeled women and well-dressed guys. If people-watching isn’t your thing, you can always admire the beautiful tiles from Italy.
The food: Mainly comfort food that harkens back to the couple’s time spent in places like New York and Italy. Dishes include the sandwich with chicken, roasted peppers and parmigiano (B200), a plate of salami (B500) and spaghetti puttanesca (B250). But don’t skip on the salad—the shrimp and avocado salad (B300) comes with a tangy vinegar-based dressing mixed with their secret ingredients. As a bonus, you can enjoy solid cocktails like The Passionate One (B280) or Jimmy’s Old Fashioned (B280) out on the handsome long wooden table on the terrace. Topped off with a cool soundtrack selected by Dorsey, BoYY Café really is a great chill-out spot.
Grass, Thonglor Soi 10, 02-715-9412. Open Sun-Thu 7:30 am-midnight; Fri-Sat 7:30-1am


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Learn to whip up global cuisines at one of these inter-focused cooking schools.

Bread and Western: Tinee Eatery

The course: After many years spent running a café in Melbourne, Chef Sutinee Suntivatana has returned home to open the Aussie-inspired venue Tinee Eatery. Bare brick walls and some chalk drawings lend the place a loft-like vibe, while upstairs there’s space for cooking workshops. The courses cover basic tips and techniques Chef Tinee has learnt from her time at various hotels. What we’re really looking forward to are the bread-making courses coming up soon. Lessons are taught in Thai and English.
The price: B5,900 for 3-course menu lesson featuring dishes like Moroccan shrimp skewers and pork tornado with potato wedges and red wine glaze.
1213/45 Town in Town, Sriwara Rd., Ladprao Soi 94, 083-015-4555

Italian: Dusit Thani College

The course: The school was originally reserved for professional courses, but lately they’ve staged many interesting short programs in collaboration with international institutions. Currently they’re running seven courses with Italian Publishing Company Gambero Rosso specializing in Italian cuisine. Taught by an Italian chef in English with Thai translation.
The price: B18,000 for two days. For example, Jul 20-21 is all about pasta while Aug 17-18 is Roman cuisine.
1 Soi Kaengthong (next to Seacon Square), 02-361-7811. www.dtc.ac.th

Chinese: Je Ngor

The course: Thai-Chinese food ain’t the cheapest, so to save some of your dining-out budget, head to this well-regarded seafood establishment to try their short courses that allow you to pick any dish from its menu. Taught in Thai.
The price: Depends on your selection and the ingredients used, but anywhere from B3,000-B12,000.
527 Mahaset Rd., 02-268-0801-2, 02-234-8275. jengor-culinary.com

Asian: V School

The course: A bit far out of town but this school is a fun spot for those of you who want to roll some fusion sushi or make some of the dishes you’ve seen in your fave Korean TV series. The Peranakan owner, Walter Lee, has been operating the place for more than 20 years and there are courses for kids, too. Taught in Thai (English translator is available upon request).
The price: Japanese desserts course is B4,500, ramen is B16,000 and Korean is B13,000.
238 Ladprao Soi 1, 02-939-2172. www.thevschool.com

Indian: Hazara

The course: This beautiful restaurant is not just famous for their yummy Indian food and exquisite antiques. They also offer short (two-hour) Indian cooking courses that teach you how to whip up favorite dishes like Punjabi samosa, murgh makhani (butter chicken) and saag paneer (spinach and cheese). Classes are mostly held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and are taught in English.
The price: B3,000 for four dishes with lunch. Minimum of six people.
Sukhumvit Soi 38, 02-713-6048-9. www.facebars.com


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