Travel to the end of the line for these top stalls around Hua Lampong—even if you don’t have to catch a train.
1. Laap Paak
1 Rong Muang Road, Gate 3 MRT Hua Lamphong, 02-613-9661. Open 10:30am–9pm.
If you’re going to cheat on your diet regime, then Laap Paak, with its cozy backyard-style atmosphere, situated just outside Exit 3 of MRT Hua Lamphong has just the dish to make it worthwhile: goong grabuang. A mince of chicken and shrimp deep-fried to a thick, crunchy pancake, the version at Laap Paak does an even more sinful mayo garnish, along with a bed of crispy-fried bai makrood (B95). They also do a hearty tom saep gradook moo (isaan-style pork rip spicy soup, B99), that is a great complement.
336/3 Rama IV Rd., 02-236-1772. MRT Hua Lamphong. There are also branches in Emporium and Siam Paragon. Open Tue–Sun 5-11pm.
Ignore the Hong Kong Noodles sign outside MRT Hua Lamphong Exit 3, and walk across the street to the more unassuming, family-run and pretty famous noodle shop. You’ll know you’re at the right place because Sawang is always packed with people waiting for their freshly pulled noodles drenched in a delicious broth that’s not too sweet and not too sour (B100). If you’re feeling extra hungry, get them to throw in some fresh crab for an added B100. They also specialize in Cantonese delights like kanom jeeb. There are other branches now, but the Hua Lamphong location is where it all started.
3. Cheng Simey
Noi Market on Khao Lam Rd., 081-620-1788. Open 7pm–11pm.
Down Khao Lam Road, opposite Wat Tri Mitr Witthayaram, is a street vendor that serves 10 different kinds of ruam mitt nam gatthi—another family-run business that keeps Hua Lamphong foodies happy. The classic myriad beans, water chestnuts and gelatins in all shapes and colors go for B35 a bowl—cheap enough to try out a couple different flavors in one sitting.
Gate 3 MRT Hua Lamphong, 1 Rong Muang Rd. Open daily 24hrs.
If you’re just hungry for some simple Thai dishes you could find on your soi, like som tam and khao pad, check out this small tam sang place that serves all the essentials. Their kapow gai is a local favorite (spicy stir-fried chicken with basil, B39). The small restaurant is perfect for a quick fix if you’re stuck waiting for a train, but don’t go out of your way to eat here.
5. Pa Lek Pa Yai
Maitri Chit Rd., Wongwien 22, 303. 084-935-2935. Open daily 9am–8pm, during Feb-Jul.
Named after two aunties, this little shop has been in the mango biz for 72 years. Their kao niew mamuang (B70-B80 depending on the price of mangoes) is worth the trek if you’re feeling adventurous. Take a walk across the green bridge to the left of Exit 1 of MRT Hua Lamphong and walk down Maitri Chit until you hit a roundabout. The little shop is on the left, but unfortunately it’s only open during the mango season, from February until the beginning of July, so you better go today.
80-82 Soi Sukon 1. 081-567-9006. Open Daily 9am–8pm.
Another family-run business that serves one thing and one thing only: bountiful plates of juicy pork, smothered in a delicious pork sauce (B42). Cross the magical green bridge (see above), hang a left and look out for Soi Sukon 1. Walk down the soi for a little bit and try to resist the temptation of the other stalls on this street.
Soi Sukon 1. Open daily 9am–8 pm.
If you’re feeling extra carnivorous, the store right beside Simalogot serves pork and liver satay. What’s the difference between these and the sticks you can get anywhere else? Their dipping sauce is a cultural hybrid, they say, a combination of Thai and Chinese flavors, with lots of peanuts (B60 for 10 sticks).