This was our most expensive splurge. Chef Andrew Martin’s menu was also the most avant-garde on this list. The restaurant’s name is a reference its commitment to source at least 80 percent of ingredients locally, or at the very least from Thailand, with a focus also on Thai techniques. The other 20 percent draws from outside inspiration. You’ll need to reserve months in advance for this. The highlight: squid with mangosteen. 8020bkk.com
Chef David Thompson is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on Thai cuisine. Few others have studied the country’s foodways as intensely as him. He has written two of the most definitive books on Thai cuisine. And at Aksorn, his menus are an ode to the cookbooks of those who came before him. You’ll need to reserve weeks in advance for this. The highlight: red curry. aksornbkk.com
Long before Bangkok became one of the world’s greatest food cities, Celadon reigned as one of Bangkok’s most luxurious Thai restaurants and one of the last adherents of royal Thai cuisine. The restaurant has evolved in recent years, but one thing has not changed: the food here is really, really good. The highlight: miang kham. sukhothai.com/bangkok/en/dining/restaurant-celadon
Trendy, fun and absolutely delicious. This place serves all the Thai classics. It’s packed every night with locals, seldom a tourist in sight. The crying tiger here is an Australian wagyu tomahawk ribeye. The highlight: Beef-fat fried rice. instagram.com/colimited
After cooking Thai food in Switzerland at the lavish Bürgenstock resort (and at Hua Hin’s famed Chiva-Som resort before that), chef Chatsorn Pratoomma returned home to Bangkok in 2022 to head up Flourish at the Sindhorn Kempinski, where she introduced a terrific six-course Thai tasting menu in the fall. The highlight: Crispy fish cake with coconut and roe. kempinski.com/en/sindhorn-hotel
This Michelin-starred restaurant from chefs Bee Satongun and Jason Bailey is one of Bangkok’s original breakout stars of modern Thai cuisine. A grand, multi-hour affair, lunch here is leisurely and lovely. The food tastes more French than Thai. Nevertheless, everything is absolutely delicious. The highlight: Prawns and pomelo. pastebangkok.com
Born of the wildly popular YouTube channel of Mark Wiens, this 20-seat bolthole tucked beneath the skytrain tracks serves one thing: pad kra pow with fried duck eggs. And this is seriously some of the best pad kra pow you’ll ever eat. But heed this critical warning: The “medium” spice level here would qualify as EXTRA-EXTRA-SPICY just about anywhere else. Every dish at Phed Mark is a surreal endorphin experience. The highlight: beef pad kra pow. (Cash only)
Phra Nakhon opened at the posh Capella Bangkok mid-pandemic when international tourism was shut down, so the restaurant’s early customers (who are now loyal regulars) were entirely local. It’s an elite clientele that demands authentic Thai flavors and expects nothing less than perfection, which is exactly what chef Kannika Jitsangworn delivers. It’d be wise to reserve at least a week in advance. The highlight: Crab curry. capellabangkok.com
In the same Sindhorn Village complex as Co-Limited, next door to the Sindhorn Kempinsky hotel, this Thai seafood grill is excellent — and thronged every night of the week with a loyal, locals-only crowd. Reserve at least a day or two in advance. The highlight: pad Thai. instagram.com/rongsipochana
You really just need to know two things about the menu here. First, nobody asks how spicy you want it. They serve it the way they serve it, which usually means VERY SPICY, and that’s exactly how you want the pineapple salad to come. Second, no matter what else you order, get the sausage called sai oua. Theirs is as good as you’ll ever find. The highlight: sai oua. instagram.com/thainiyombkk
No way would I have found this place without the help of chef Kannika of Phra Nakhon. (I’ll be writing more about Ting Larbped and Phra Nakhon for OLTRE, the new luxury travel magazine I’m editing for the Global Travel Collection and Internova Travel Group.) You won’t find this place on TripAdvisor or Google Maps, and they don’t have any social media channels. It’s basically unsearchable. The restaurant operates entirely outdoors on the sidewalk, and the food is absolutely outstanding. The highlight: shrimp salad.
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