Blew all your cash on cocktails and club covers? Luckily there’s more to the neighborhood’s exciting food scene than the hip and pricey. Here is our guide to its classic, even legendary, cheap eats.
You need build up some pre-club energy, but don’t want to get your hair all smokey at those tam sang stalls that are everywhere on Thong Lor. Consider Niyom Pochana (125 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-3911517. Open daily 4pm-12am) for a wide variety of standards, even if they aren’t always that cheap. Get the real-deal poo pad pong kari (yellow crab curry, count B1,000 for a big crab) or the tom yam kung mae nam (tom yam with river prawns, B600). Less pricey but equally delicious is their moo satay (B80 for small). The place is situated in an old shophouse and is perpetually packed with local families, so do come early. Further up is the Vietnamese Nam Nueng (400 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-714-9575. Open daily 8am-10pm). Try their recommended dishes like the guay jub yuan (Vietnamese noodles, B60) and gung pun aoi (sugar cane wrapped with minced prawns, B100 for small).
So you’re done partying, you’re all out of cash and you need a late-night eat. Paikiew (081-826-9352. Open daily 12pm-5pm, 6pm-midnight) is located in front of Family Mart, Thonglor Soi 17, and attracts lots of people like you, so you can sometimes have a long wait. But it’s worth it for their tangy roasted duck which comes in a bamee ped (noodle soup with slices of duck, B40). Or, if it’s really late, you can go to the famed 55 Pochana at the beginning of Soi Thong Lor (1087-1093 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-391-2021. Open daily 5pm-3am). The must-orders are the or-suan (oyster omelette, B150) or dok kajon pad kai (stir-fried flowers with egg, B80). Be warned, though, the service can sometimes be a little gruff. But if you’re drunk and hungry, you won’t care. Just a few steps away is the hidden treasure Khao Tom Prung (1083 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-391-8433. Open Tue-Sun 4.30pm-10.30pm), with its diversity of toppings. A quality khao tom pla (rice soup with fish) dish is only B80. It’s fresh and tastes homemade. If you’re a real fish fan, there are also fish eggs and fresh fish maw, but for those, you have to show up before 7:30pm or call ahead to reserve.
It’s so hot and trendy, it’s hard to remember that Thong Lor has its army of classic cateries that folks flock to from all parts of the city. Our favorite among them is Hoy Tod Chao Lay (25 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 085-128-3996. Open daily 9am-9pm). They do hoy tod (crispy oyster omelet, B60), or-suan (B100), and pad Thai (B80) and are very generous with portions. Further up, on the same side, is the legendary Mandarin (729/1 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-391-4062. Open daily 9.30am-6pm). A dish of khao naa ped or bamee ped costs you only B55, and the crispy skin on the roast duck is pretty delectable, but weekends do get crazy. And who can not love Khao Mun Kai Boon Tong Kiat (440/5 in front of Thonglor Soi 16, 02-390-2508. Open daily 10am-10pm). Their khao mun kai (B65) comes with lovely, fatty rice and strong sauces. Finally, for dessert, there’s Maewaree (1 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-4304. Open 24/7, khao niew only available 5am-11pm), whose vast mango displays take up half the sidewalk and where you can order khao niew moon (sticky rice with coconut milk) with chunks of sweet mango for B90. (Sometimes they do sneak in the seed, though.)