Run by the same people behind Chiang Mai organic farm and homestay Dara Dalay, this restaurant is, for many, home to Bangkok’s best khao soi (noodles in Northern-style curry). From a tree-enshrined shack in Dusit, they do a brief list of Northern dishes like kanom jeen nam ngiaw (rice vermicelli with spicy pork and tomato soup) and, of course, an addictive take on khao soi whose perfectly rich soup features a nice balance of flavors and tender chicken. Almost every dish here is made with organic vegetables grown on the farm either here or up north.
Pichai Market, Pichai Rd., 086-378-3837. Open Mon-Sun 11am-8:30pm
Having grown from humble roots as a street stall, this vibrant northern Thai food specialist now resides in a four-story townhouse on bustling Yen Akat—easily identified by its bright orange facade and outdoor dining area topped with upturned Lanna-style umbrellas. As well as classic khao soi (northern-style curry noodles) and gaeng hang lay (spicy pork belly curry) the menu offers Singaporean dishes like hokkien mee, all inspired by the Thai-Singaporean owners’ family recipes.
5/4 Yen Akat Rd., 097-265-6410. Open Wed-Sun noon-midnight; Mon noon-midnight.
When we head back to the old-school Union Mall, it’s not for the cheap clothes, but for this little place tucked away in the underground level. Han Jao Nua is run by a northerner who claims to always be on-site to guarantee the quality of her food. Her khao soi gai has a nicely balanced flavor, augmented by some very tender chicken. Other recommendations include the variety of curries in clay pots lining the counter. Try the gaeng hang lay or gaeng pakkard jor (spicy Lanna-style Chinese cabbage soup with kapi)—you’ll lick your bowl clean.
B/F, Union Mall, Ladprao Rd., 081-712-6091. Open daily 10am-8:30pm. MRT Phahon Yothin
Tucked in a modest shop-house just a hop from BTS Ekkamai, this restaurant packs out at lunchtime for its khao gaeng-style offerings (ever-changing curries over rice) and khao soi gai. Even with the dirt-cheap prices they say everything is made in-house, from the nam prik noom, to the tum kanoon (jackfruit mixed with spicy chili paste), gaeng hang lay and sai oua.
Ekkamai Soi 2, 085-037-8916. Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm.
Here you get northern Thai food made using ingredients the Chiang Mai-native owner, Chinnanan Sethachanan, sources directly from the north. These she turns into delicious staples like the intense khao soi gai (chicken curry noodles), housemade nam prik noom (green chili relish) and gaeng huang lay (northern-style pork curry).
Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 099-196-2464. Open Tue-Sun 11am-10pm.
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From a down-to-earth, country-style wooden house, Lumphon-raised owner Anchalee Prommart dishes out flavor-packed home recipes. On any given day there are 30-40 different curries and a self-service fresh vegetables station. Start your meal with the kong kao wai, a platter of Northern-style hors d’oeuvres covering sausage, crispy pork belly and minced pork stuffed in fried northern green chilli.
Sammakorn Village, Ramkhamhaeng Rd., 02-729-6275. Open Wed-Mon 10am-9pm
Sathorn’s super-slick Glowfish co-working space has unveiled a canteen that’ll be the envy of many digital nomads. This industrial-chic space, open to both paid-up co-workers and outsiders, offers lunch-friendly food from Vietnamese to comforting rice bowls. The main option to catch our eye is North Sathorn, which whips out a creamy khao soi and other northern Thai delicacies like ngam ngiaw and larb kua. The khao soi gai, a complex medley of more than 20 ingredients, is as flavorful a rendition of this northern curry soup as you'll find in this part of town.
2/F, Sathorn Thani 2 Bldg., 57 Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., 02-109-9666. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm.
The people behind Chiang Mai’s beloved Ong Tong noodle shop have sprouted up in Bangkok. The highlight khao soi gai comes with a creamy yet spicy soup and a tender chicken drumstick, while the khao soi haeng sai oua is a stir-fried version starring homemade northern-style sausages. Do also try the deliciously moist poo ong (a mash of grilled rice-field crabs’ eggs and egg).
21 Phahon Yothin Soi 7, 02-003-5254. Open daily 10:30am-8:30pm.
This grownup little bistro delivers the big, bold flavors of Chiang Mai near BTS Phaya Thai. A pot of fiery nam prik nom serves as the centerpiece of a northern tasting platter served with the works. Other regional favorites like khao soi (curry noodles), jin som mok kai (fermented minced pork with egg in a banana leaf boat) and hang lay (a heavily spiced pork belly curry) are also represented, alongside fusion-y offerings like sai oua (northern sausage) spaghetti.
69/34 Phayathai Rd., 061-464-7917. Open ThuTue 11am-9pm.
Put on your stretchy pants, forget about the macros and tuck in to BK Best Eats 2018. This is the Bangkok dining that ignores fancy restaurants and 10-course tasting menus and goes straight for the comfort food—steaming bowls of fat-rich ramen, triple-decker burgers, all-you-can-eat dim sum buffets with an extra helping of pork buns. In other words, the stuff most of us eat out, most of the time.
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