Have you ever wondered where to go and what to eat if you only had two nights in Bangkok? In a city over of 10 million people, the choices can seem endless, but our food experts have taken all the anxiety out of the equation and have compiled our ultimate food lover's guide to the city. Join us as we recommend some of our favorite places to "sink your teeth" into the diversity of Thai and international cuisine Bangkok has to offer. It's an eclectic food scene, so we will give you a mix of cuisine, budgets and venues. You will discover everything from gourmet dining at 5 star resorts to street food and local favorites that take you off the beaten track.
Friday Night: Friday nights in Bangkok are often defined by non-stop noise population, mind numbing congestion and a crushing sea of humanity squeezing onto the BTS sky train all at once Take the stress out of your night by making a reservation when you arrive at your hotel for a late night dinner at 8PM or 9PM at celebrity Chef Ian Kittichai's flagship Thai restaurant Issaya Siamese Club. Next, avoid the Bangkok rush hour by taking refuge at Tapas Y Vino in Asoke at the Grand Millennium Sukhumvit for some tasty Spanish tapas and wine before dinner. This richly appointed venue cleverly puts a modern twist on “old world style and charm” and is a wine lover’s dream. In addition to their impressive selection of over 200 bottles in their collection, they offer 36 old world and new world wines by the glass. Be sure to take advantage of their Free Flow Red or White House Wine which is available daily from 6PM until closing for under 700Baht per person. Next catch a taxi to Issaya which is located in a charming historical 1920s Thai house. The menu features soulful Thai food that is seasonally driven by the produce from their onsite organic garden. We recommend the Banana Blossom, Heart of Palm, Crispy Shallots, Roasted Peanut Salad in Chili Jam Dressing along with the fork tender Mussamun Lamb Shank with Pickled Cucumber served with the earthy Mushroom & Garlic Multi-grain Fried Rice and Wok Fried Brussels Sprouts with Chili. After dinner head to the Nana neighborhood for some Middle Eastern and Indian street food. Don’t be surprised to find grasshoppers and insects among the street food being sold; as well as fresh fruit carts, a wide variety of grilled meat on a stick and kebabs. This area is one of the few places in Bangkok where you can find Shawarma, which is chicken or lamb slow cooked on a rotisserie. It is shaved off and served with fresh veggies and yogurt sauce and usually priced under 100Baht. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself drawn by the exotic aroma of Shisha smoke from one of the numerous 24 hour "open air cafés" and decide to end your night smoking from decorative Egyptian water pipes called Hookahs.
Saturday: For a hearty breakfast make your way to La Monita Taqueria in Ploen Chit. This unuasuming and cozy restaurant is famous for their high quality ingredients and authentic Mexican cuisine. They have kick ass Breakfast Burritos and Tacos and breakfast dishes are priced around 200Baht each. Our favorite is their stunning Huevos Rancheros Con Chorizo which is a spicy masterpiece of layered tortillas, eggs, beans, rice, homemade chorizo and a choice of toppings including guacamole, house made salsas and sour cream. For lunch you may want to head to the trendy Thong Lor area which is a veritable foodie hotbed and just a short hop from Ploen Chit on the BTS Skytrain. Treat yourself to an upscale meal at Four Garcon's, which was conceived by four Thai friends who traded their professional careers as lawyers and doctors to become restaurateurs and chefs. You will discover authentic home-style French cuisine in an inviting and sophisticated venue. We recommend the French Onion Soup served under a melted cheese cap of Emental and Gruyère cheeses and the Moules au Safran et la Moutarde which is a generous portion of imported mussels from France that are steamed in white wine, garlic, Dijon mustard and saffron. Next take a taxi to historic Chinatown for great Thai and Chinese street food finds. Hong Kong Noodle is tucked away on a side street inside the seafood market. They are famous for their steaming hot bowls of duck or pork noodle soup and their amazing variations of steamed pork and seafood dumplings which are priced at less than 50Baht per bowl. If you are feeling adventurous, you may want to opt for a "controversial" bowl of Sharks fin soup. We like the Sharks Fin w/ Crabmeat in Red Soup from Hua Seng Hong Shark Fin which is a tasty steal at 300Baht a bowl. The focus on food intensifies as the sun sets and hawkers seemly appear out of nowhere to sell endless food options. If you are hankering for seafood; your first stop on Yaowaraj Road should be the corner of Thong Supon, where you can become a willing pawn in the ongoing “seafood wars” between the two dueling restaurants situated literally across from each other. Lek Sea Food (staff in red shirts) and T & K Seafood (staff in green shirts) both serve up countless varieties of crab dishes, man-sized portions of giant grilled prawns, aromatic Pla-pao (salted grilled fish), fresh squid (either stir fried, deep fried or grilled), whole snapper (either steamed in chili and lime or fried with garlic), steamed and grilled mussels and cockles, and even voluptuous raw oysters on the half shell. It doesn't matter which "side" you choose as you are always a winner, even if you sample a little of each as you try to decide for yourself who is the victor.
Sunday: In Bangkok, the oppulant boozy Sunday Brunch is an institution and competition is fierce. Our pick for a lasting impression is Flow at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok. Located along the iconic Chao Phraya River, they offer an unparalleled full day brunch that opens up the entire hotel to you as a diner. It begins at 11AM with a cocktail and champagne hour at the Three Sixty Lounge on the 32nd floor where you will discover unobstructed awe inspiring views of the Bangkok skyline. At 12Noon, the buffet begins downstairs at Flow where you can dive head first into an international bevy of gourmet delicacies highlighting signature dishes from their award winning steakhouse Prime, their first class Thai restaurant (Maya) and their Chinese restaurant (Yuen). The beer and house wine is free flowing and you can enjoy sushi, prime rib, foie gras, Alaskan King Crab, Oysters, Caviar, Roasted Sea Bass, and Indian favorites, in addition to a stunning Cheese Room. At 3PM they invite you next door to The Lantern coffee shop which they transform into an all you can eat dessert venue with house made chocolates, cakes and confections that will boggle the mind. Dessert is served till 400PM, but your day isn't over as you are next invited to chill out and relax at The Beach. This is their unique pool and deck, which is a surreal experience in which a tropical sandy beach and a cool dip in the pool meets the river as it flows through the city. No trip to Bangkok is complete without the obligatory Thai dinner show, and the one with the best cuisine is Sala Rim Naam at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel. It's just a short trip down the river from the Hilton, and you can choose to dine ala carte or pick from a selection of set menus. It's beautifully presented traditional Thai cuisine that is only made more memorable by the evocative Thai dance and theater performance that takes place in their breathtakingly ornate pavilion. There is no better way to end your Bangkok culinary adventure then at this riverside venue.