From fine-dining at a fraction of the cost to stylish cafes and affordable sushi bars, BK’s got your next lunch break covered.
BBB. French. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Sat–Sun 12-3pm
Set in a grand old villa, Aubergine is all about atmosphere. The building itself, with its hardwood floors, doors and bar, high ceilings and backyard patio, is impressive. While the food features plenty of nods to France, Italy and the Mediterranean.
Prices: B390 for 3-course, B490 for 4-course.
What to expect: Caesar salad, pan-fried duck breast with orange sauce and crème caramel.
71/1 Saladaeng Soi 1/1, Silom Rd., 02-234-2226. www.aubergine.in.th. BTS Saladaeng
BBBB. French. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm
One of the best French restaurants in Bangkok, this French-imported eatery by the Michelin starred Pourcel brothers has all the finesse one might expect. Plus, it comes with a breathtaking panoramic view of Bangkok.
Prices: B950 for 3-course.
What to expect: Roasted seared tuna fillet, gratinated oyster with countryside ham.
The Dusit Thani Bangkok, 946 Rama 4 Rd., 02-200-9000. MRT Silom
BBB. Japanese. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm
Waitresses in kimonos, beautiful crockery, a glass wine cabinet stocked with Bordeaux Grand Cru and a windowless dining room flanked by two massive tepanyaki grills create a hushed atmosphere. The food here is superb, too.
Prices: B350-B480 net.
What to expect: Sets like the hamburger patty doused in a wonderful demi-glace and served with petite veggies, a tart mini-salad, a proper miso soup, dumplings in red bean sauce and a coffee.
9/26 Soi Jim Thompson, Suriyawongse Rd., 02-235-8382
BBB. Indian. Lunch served daily 11:30am-2:30pm
An open, high-ceilinged space with a view of a lush outdoor garden terrace, the décor is a modern interpretation of Indus valley civilization meets trendy Morocco. Indus serves up northern Indian favorites but with a fresh twist that manages to lighten up typically heavy Indian cuisine.
Prices: B345 for 3-course.
What to expect: Papri chaat, mutton rahra, chicken tikka masala and naan.
71 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 02-258-4900. www.indusbangkok.com.
BBB. Italian. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm
It’s probably no longer Bangkok’s best Italian restaurant, but Zanotti’s dining room certainly retains plenty of buzz. Authentic Piedmontese cuisine is whipped up from top-quality ingredients, making it a favorite haunt among power brokers and visitors from Hong Kong and Singapore.
Prices: B300 for 2-course, B330 for 3-course.
What to expect: Sweet potato soup, regular pasta or lasagna.
1/F, Saladaeng Colonnade Condominium, Soi Saladaeng, Silom Rd., 02-636-0002. www.zanotti-ristorante.com. BTS Saladaeng
BBB. French. Lunch served Mon-Fri noon-2:30pm
For years, The Oriental has set the standard for service and cuisine and the breath-taking river views aren’t bad. If you’ve ever wondered what bourgeois French families have for their dejeuner, order yourself their set lunch, which is very affordable compared to their dinner.
Prices: B1,150 for 3-course.
What to expect: Roasted frog’s legs, quail egg and stewed octopus or braised beef cheek with couscous and Burgundy wine sauce.
The Oriental Bangkok, 48 Oriental Avenue, Charoen Krung Rd., 02-659-9000.
BBBB. Thai. Lunch served Mon-Fri noon-2pm
Nahm is Thailand’s only entry in Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Led by Chef David Thompson, the set lunch isn’t cheap, but it’s the only way to sample his stellar kanom jeen.
Prices: B800-B1,100 sets.
What to expect: Kanom jeen with green curry and fish dumplings, minced quail curry or deep fried grouper with fish sauce.
The Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Rd. 02-625-3388
BBBB. International. Lunch served Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm
The fab new Sofitel So is getting in on the lunch act with its restaurant Red Oven, which runs with the concept of a world food market, meaning you get to taste all kinds of cuisine from Japanese and Thai to Italian and French. How hot is it? Some say it’s outshining the nearby Sukhothai’s similarly decadent international lunch buffet.
Prices: B900 for lunch buffet.
What to expect: Mac n’ cheese truffle and lobster daikon ravioli served with urchin foam and pressed caviar.
7/F, Sofitel So Bangkok, 2 North Sathorn Rd., 02-624-0000. MRT Lumphini
BBB. Japanese. Lunch served Mon-Sat noon-2:30pm
This global chain of high-end Japanese restaurants created huge excitement. Zuma’s generous proportions and stunning decor are genuinely impressive, while they serve traditional Japanese with modern flair.
Prices: Set lunch ranges from B350-B490.
What to expect: Grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce with rice and salad.
G/F, St. Regis Hotel, 159 Rachadamri Rd., 02-252-4707. www.zumarestaurant.co.th.
JAPAN on 200 BAHT
BB. Japanese. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm
This sushi joint, named after the famed Tokyo fish market, doesn’t look that special but does some of the best sushi in town. The fish used in the super cheap lunch sets aren’t nearly as exciting as the a la carte options, but they’re amazing value for money nonetheless.
Prices: B198 for 10 pieces sushi set.
What to expect: The sushi sets come with a little appetizer, a miso soup and dessert.
62/19-20 Soi Thaniya, Silom Rd., 02-233-9698. BTS Saladaeng
BB. Japanese. Lunch served daily 11:30am-1:45pm
There are loads of Japanese eateries in this neighborhood, but not that many doing yakiniku, where you grill your own meat over a charcoal barbeque. Although Rengaya also does decent bento sets, what’s got people queuing up is definitely the grilling—and this despite the agonizingly slow service and drab, decade-old décor with posters of Asahi pretties.
Prices: Prices range from B160-B280. Each set includes rice, kimchi, fruit and tea or coffee.
What to expect: Bento boxes ranging from katsu cutlets to saba, or yakiniku sets with combinations of chicken, pork and beef.
2/F, Thaniya Bld., Rama 4 Rd., 02-231-2140. BTS Saladaeng
B. Japanese. Lunch served Mon-Fri noon-2pm
Named after manga hero Ninja Hattori, new eatery Hattori Shokudo sports a bare-bones interior that’s all about plain white bricks, vintage Japanese posters and beer crates with
cushions for seats.
Prices: Set lunch starts from B98 with rice, soup and salad.
What to expect: Japanese fare like Oyako donburi (chicken and egg over rice) and hattoridon (Japanese grilled chicken rice with teriyaki sauce).
Thonglor Art Village, 352/2 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 088-088-7800
BB. Japanese. Open daily 11am-11pm
As one of the first international franchises of famous Japanese chain, Bankara promises to bring a taste of real ramen to the Bangkok palate with four types of ramen which you can personalize with different toppings.
Prices: Ramen starts from B190.
What to expect: Kokushio ramen (ramen with pork), kakuni tsukemen (ramen with chicken and fish broth).
The Manor, 32 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 02-622-5162/3
BB. Japanese. Lunch served 11:30am-2:30pm Sat-Sun 11:30am-4pm
Located on the G/F of another luxurious condo in Japanese spot, this branch of Uomasa promises quality traditional Japanese dishes.
Prices: Set lunches from B180-B380.
What to expect: Karei mentai set (mentai fish egg with rice), rice topped with salmon sashimi or tempura set.
G/F, 39 Boulevard Bld., Sukhumvit Soi 39, 02-160-0112
BBB. American. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11am-3pm
US restaurant chain 25 Degrees, a self-described “bordello meets burger bar,” claims everything on the menu is made from scratch, including the homemade buns.
Prices: B400 set.
What to expect: The Number One (beef burger with caramelized onion, gorgonzola and crescenza cheese, bacon, arugula and thousand island sauce) with side dish and draft beer or soft drink.
Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 188 Silom Rd., 02-238-1991
BB. American. Open daily 11:30-3am
The Firehouse was perhaps the first of a slew of new places to have opened over the last year looking to use finer ingredients to elevate the burger beyond a simple fast food snack. It certainly leads by example, serving up pretty memorable burgers in a narrow, contemporary space, made all the more pleasant through the clever use of mirrors and glass.
Prices: Burgers start from B190.
What to expect: Australian Black Angus burger, Champion Chili Burger or fish and chips
3/26 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-651-3643. www.firehousethailand.com
BBBB. Steakhouse. Lunch served Mon-Sat noon-2:30pm
This contemporary, high-end steakhouse serves imported beef from Australia and Japan and comes with exceptional service.
Prices: B755 for 2-course, B795 for 3-course.
What to expect: Braised short ribs with caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms or seared tiger prawns with broccoli, sundried tomatoes and lemon cream sauce.
Four Seasons Hotel, 155 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-250-1000. BTS Ratchadamri
BBB. American. Lunch served daily 11.00am-3pm
Located on the corner of Suriyawongse and Rama 4, Roadhouse Barbeque takes pride in its BBQ ribs, which are hickory smoked for over six hours.
Prices: B275 for 2-course, B345 3-course.
What to expect: BLT sandwich with French fries or their amazing BBQ ribs with corn and a great key lime pie.
942/124, Rama 4 Rd., 02-236-8010
Let Them Eat Cake
Open Sun-Thu 10am-11pm; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight
Run by the same people as W by Wanlamun, Chiang Mai’s coolest dessert eatery, Let Them Eat Cake serves up homemade pastries and sweets that wouldn’t be too out of place in a French patisserie.
What to expect: St. Honore Rose-Framboise (B175), dôme au chocolat (B130), éclair à la vanille (B160) and flavorful chocolat chaud (Valrhona hot chocolate, B180).
G/F, Mille-Malle, Sukhumvit 20, Bangkok, 02-663-4667
Crepes and co.
Open Mon-Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 8am-11pm
Bangkok’s favorite crepes place has been doing this dessert crepe for years now, but we’ve yet to get tired of it, even though they have moved to the new location in an old house in Langsuan.
What to expect: : Besides from their lovely savory crepes, try Banana Bailey’s Crepe (crepe stuffed with vanilla ice cream, bananas and Bailey’s Irish Cream, B280) and Jospehine (crepe stuffed with banana, vanilla and chocolate sauce, B240).
59/4 Langsuan Soi 1, Ploenchit Rd., 02-6533990
Open daily 10am-7pm
Masatomi blends very classical French training with Japanese influences. For example, their Mont Blanc is made with sweet potato instead of chestnut puree. But what’s most exciting at Masatomi is the carefully crafted macarons infused with different flavors from real flowers like lavender.
What to expect: Lavender white chocolate (B45), citrus cream cheese macaron (B35).
3/F, The Portico, 31 Soi Lang Suan, Rd., 02-652-1977
BB. Fusion. Open daily 11am-10pm
The small yet stylish café specializes in homemade cakes and desserts. But the owners keep introducing savory dishes with a focus on simple fusion.
What to expect: Spaghetti with bacon, garlic and chili (B180) and choc lava (B110).
Ari Soi 4, Bangkok, Thailand. 081-495-1555, 089-047-7506
BBB. European. Lunch served 11:30am-2:30pm
Set in the luxurious Oriental Residence on Wittayu, right next to the US Embassy’s leafy compound, Café Claire is an elevated diner that works for any time of the day. (Our full review page 22)
Prices: B650 for 3-course. (Mon-Fri only)
What to expect: Miso-glazed snow fish or braised wagyu beef cheek.
Oriental Residence Bangkok, Wireless Rd., 02-125-9000
BB. French. Open daily 8am-8pm
While some may picture French food as incredibly complicated, this smaller café does amazing sandwiches, soups, quiches and salads. Tips, don’t skip the delicious dessert.
Prices: Sandwiches start from B180 and salad’s from B200.
What to expect: Croque madame, sandwich reuben and cold cut.
Athenee Residence, 65/2 Wireless Rd., 02-168-5464. www.cafetartine.net
GASTRO 1/6 (RMA Institute)
BBB. International. Open Tue-Sun 8:30am-3:30pm
This adorable garden café with loads of hanging greenery has become very popular among Thais and expats alike. The rustic, comforting menu and the attention to detail paid in the mismatched iron and wood furniture and the reused Bonne Maman jam jars all make Gastro 1/6 adorable—too bad for the terrible service.
What to expect: All-day breakfast like full English breakfast (B380), Spanish tortilla with Iberico ham (B180), poached eggs with asparagus and truffle oil (B320) or fettuccine with tomato sauce, mussels and chorizo (B380).
Soi Sai Namthip 2, 238 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 080-603-6421
BB. International. Open daily 10am-10:30pm
As with an old friend, you always know what to expect at Kuppa. Whether this is a strength or a weakness depends on what you’re looking for in a restaurant. If it’s consistency, Kuppa is ideal.
What to expect: Salads, soups, pizzas, pastas and tarted-up Thai favorites like somtam.
39 Sukhumvit Soi 16, 02-663-0495, 02-663-8806 or Asoke Towers, Sukhumvit Soi 21, 02-664-2354
B-BB. Italian. Open daily 11:30am-10pm
Pala is buzzing with Italian gentlemen tucking into pasta, and everyone else enjoying the thick, bread-like pizza and some house wine. It’s all very authentic, and the glass showcase packed with antipasti, cold cuts and obscure dolce is stunning. All the more amazing considering it’s sat beneath BTS Asoke, and has only precarious stools for seating.
Prices: B190-B290 for pasta and B40-B95 for a slice of pizza.
What to expect: Linguine with pesto, classic margarita pizza or some five cheese pizza.
1 MRTA, Asoke Rd., 02-259-1228-9. MRT Asoke
BB. International. Lunch served Mon-Fri 11am-2pm
Welcome to hipsterville, where media execs and fashion designers nosh on solid classic bistro food. The décor is cool, with hints of New York and Paris and the dishes go for safety and comfort.
Prices: B260 for 2-course, B360 for 3-course. B40 extra for dessert of the day.
What to expect: Trio crispy potato pancake, angel hair with corned beef and rigatoni Italian sausage.
37/7 Citadines Bangkok, Sukhumvit Soi 23, 02-261-5533.
BBB. Spainish. Lunch served noon-2pm.
Like the name suggests, this cozy, stylish eatery pairs up an extensive wine list with an equally comprehensive range of traditional tapas dishes and their Asian spin-offs.
Prices: B400 for three selections of tapas plus dessert and coffee.
What to expect: Green salad with Serrano ham and scallops with walnut crust and beetroot caramel.
2/F, Grand Millennium, 30 Asoke Soi 20, 02-204-4158. MRT Asoke.
SPANISH ON FOUR
BB. Spanish. Open Mon-Fri 11-1am; Sat-Sun 11-2am
Good tapas should be simple, affordable and comforting, and Spanish on 4 certainly ticks all those boxes. Add in decent, efficient service and very affordable lunch, it’s really worth the trek.
Prices: B220 for three tapas.
What to expect: Barcelona includes serrano ham, tortilla and pan con tomate.
78-80 Silom Soi 4, 02-632-9955. www.spanishon4.com. BTS Saladaeng or try Tapas, 1/25 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-651-2947
BB. German. Lunch served daily 11:30am-4pm
What could be a German tavern stands behind a small courtyard on Soi 20, where they offer a remarkable selection of sausages, sauerkraut and other homemade delicacies with little grace but with great efficiency and authenticity.
Prices: B295 for 3-course.
What to expect: Hungarian fish soup, pork goulash, grilled salmon or trout with vegetables and baked potato.
1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, 02-262-0892, 02-260-0869
BBB. Swiss. Lunch served Mon-Fri (except holidays) 11am-2:30pm
This humble restaurant serves consistently good food, its menu is filled with traditional dishes that delight with their attention to detail. The well-trained and amiable staff add to the comfortable vibe.
Prices: B380 for 2-course, B410 for 3-course.
What to expect: Beef goulash, trout fillet with dill cream sauce, spinach cannelloni and veal sausage.
5 Sukhumvit Soi 20, 02-261-6650. www.chesa-swiss.com
HEALTHY & Hearty
BBB. International. Lunch served Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm
Nahm might get all the plaudits, but Glow is a rare find in Bangkok, too, due to its focus on healthy, organic and macrobiotic foods. (Their newly-launched Sunday brunch is also worth a try.)
Prices: B590 for 3-course.
What to expect: Prawn and pomelo salad, seven-grain burger, fruit salad with sugarcane and lime ice.
The Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Rd., 02-625-3366
B-BB. Vietnamese. Open daily 10:30am-10pm
Dalad is modest and soulful, reminiscent of the old spirit of the neighborhood. The homey Vietnamese food here is that hard-to-find blend of comforting, dependable and hygienic at dirt-cheap prices. And a lot of the menu, can be ordered vegetarian.
What to expect: The vegetarian version of the round noodles (B80) in thick soup feels hearty with all the meaty, chopped mushrooms and savory peppered broth.
36/7 Phahon Yothin Soi 7 (Ari), 02-271-2109
B - Under B150
BBBB - B500 and up