Bangkok is one of the greatest cities in the world for cash-strapped food lovers. From the city’s best Pad Thai to an entire food court dedicated to veggie Thai food, read on for our pick of the best 15 budget restaurants and food stands and know where to eat in Bangkok!
1. Khao Neow Dam Sangkaya
You’ll find this little stand on the street corner of Silom Soi 20 morning market, serving one of Bangkok’s best versions of black sticky rice with custard. When you order a portion for just £0.30, you friendly lady will scoop some black sticky rice into a banana leaf, top it with creamy egg custard and a splash of coconut cream, and wrap it up like a little gift.
Address: Silom Soi 20, Silom, Bangkok
Open hours: From about 6 am – 8 am (possibly closed on Monday)
2. P’Aor Kuay Teow Tom Yum
Although you’ll find a few dishes on the menu at P’Aor, the owner’s signature dish and claim to fame is a version of tom yum noodles that includes richly creamy and flavorful tom yum broth, paired with a couple of jumbo shrimp. For just £1.50 per bowl, the value for what you get is a pretty good deal.
Address: 68/51 Soi Petchaburi 5, Between Soi 5 – 7, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok
Open hours: Daily from 10 am – 10 pm
3. Daniel Thaiger Burgers
Along with Thai food, Bangkok is also an international melting pot. One of the best burgers you’ll find in Bangkok, or maybe anywhere, is from Daniel Thaiger. The always fresh, never frozen beef used in their burgers makes all the difference. The signature Thaiger burger costs £3.
Address: Sukhumvit Soi 30/1, Bangkok, Thailand
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) from 4 pm – 9 pm
4. Wattana Panich Kuay Teow Neua
When you see the swimming pool sized pan of eternal simmering cubes of beef at the front of Wattana Panich, your mouth will start to water. Their broth has a wonderful aromatic Chinese spice taste, with tenderly braised chunks of beef and rice noodles that soak up all the juices. A bowl of beef noodles costs £2 for the special size.
Address: 336-338 Ekkamai Soi 18, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Open hours: Daily from 10 am – 8:30 pm
5. Lookshin Tongchai
One of the local Bangkok favorite street food snacks are grilled meatballs. Lookshin Tongchai, located on the corner of Soi Rambuttri, handmakes their meatballs, grills them over hot charcoal, and serves them with a sweet and spicy sauce. Each skewer costs a tiny £0.15 and it makes a wonderful snack on the go.
Address: Soi Rambuttri (right in front of Swensen’s ice cream shop)
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm (closed on Monday)
6. Kaiton Pratunam
Especially at lunch time, people flock to Kaiton Pratunam, located on the edge of Pratunam, one of Bangkok’s biggest street shopping districts, to eat Thai chicken rice. You’ll get a plate of fragrant rice, topped with sliced boiled chicken, served with a gingery sauce on the side, all for £0.60.
Address: Soi Petchaburi 30, New Petchaburi Road, Makkasan, Ratchawithi, Bangkok
Open hours: Daily from 5:30 am – 3:30 pm and 5 pm – 3 am
7. Pad Thai Thip Samai
Thip Samai is one of the most legendary restaurants in Bangkok that serves Pad Thai, and it’s frequented by both tourists and locals. What stands out about their Pad Thai is not only the balance of sweet and savory flavors, but also the fact that they cook their Pad Thai over flaming hot woks using charcoal, giving the gooey noodles a nice smoky flavor. Order a plate of Pad Thai Haw Kai Goong Sod (with fresh shrimp and wrapped in an egg) for £1.35.
Address: 313 Maha Chai Road, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10500
Open hours: Daily from 5 pm – 3 am
8. Doy Kuay Teow Reua
Boat noodles are a Bangkok local favorite, usually a pork blood enrichened soup broth, that’s combined with rice noodles, water morning glory, and a few pieces of pork or beef. The bowls of noodles are served in small portion sizes, but they only cost £0.30 each.
Address: Ratchawithi Soi 18 (Wat Makok), Thanon Ratchawithi, Bangkok 10400
Opening hours: Daily from 8 am – 6 pm
9. Kuay Jab Nai Uan
This Thai-Chinese soup that includes rice noodle rolls and all sorts of tender pork organs, has such a peppery broth that it will tingle your throat going down. If you get the big bowl with everything included, it will cost you £1.
Address: Yaowarat Road Soi 11, Bangkok
Open hours: Daily from 6 pm – Midnight
10. Chamlong Asoke
One of the greatest places in Bangkok to eat vegetarian Thai food is Chamlong Asoke, which is an entire vegetarian food court. You can find everything from rice and curry to fresh spring rolls and green papaya salad. Each dish ranges in price from about £0.40 to £1.
Address: 586 26 586/26 Kamphaeng Phet 1, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday from 6 am – 2 pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 6 am – 3 pm
11. De Yai Chuan Cheem Hoy Tod Kata Ron
Located in the back streets of Wang Lang Market, De Yai Chuan Cheem serves a dangerously tasty sizzling fried oyster omelet on a hot plate. The crispy egg and batter, combined with the melt-in-your-mouth tender oysters, is outstanding. Order the oyster version for £1.50.
Address: 25 Thanon Phra Nok Bangkok Noi, Siriraj, Bangkok 10700
Open hours: Daily from 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
12. Prachak Bet Yang
Right across the street from Robinson shopping mall in the heart of Bangkok’s Bangrak district, Prachak Bet Yang has been selling roast duck with rice and noodles for decades. I like to order the bamee bet yang, egg noodles topped with roast duck, for £0.90.
Address: 1415 Thanon Charoen Krung, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand
Open hours: 7 am – 10:30 pm Daily (Closed during Chinese New Year)
13. Hai Som Tam Convent
One of the longstanding Isan (northeastern Thai) restaurants, conveniently located in Silom, is Hai Som Tam Convent. What you’ll want to eat here is the combination of spicy tangy green papaya salad, juicy grilled chicken, and sticky rice. A plate of green papaya salad costs £0.45 and a big plate of chopped grilled chicken will set you back £2.30.
Address: 2/4-5 Soi Convent, Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok
Open hours: Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday) from 10 am – 9 pm
14. Laab Udon
The extensive menu at Laab Udon includes every Isan salad you can imagine, but one of the must eat dishes is pla pao, a salt crusted grilled fish. Due to the salt crust, the fish inside remains juicy and fragrant, and it’s served with a garlicky chili sauce. You can order a whole grilled fish to share for £4.80.
Address: Thanon Charoen Rat, Yannawa, Sathon, Bangkok 10120
Open hours: Daily from 4 pm – 1 am
15. Nai Oo Restaurant
Khao gaeng is the Thai word that refers to restaurants that serve all sorts of Thai curry with rice. At Nai Oo, you have a choice of nearly every Thai curry you can imagine, and both the green curry and penang curry are delicious. Order by the bowl for about £0.75 per dish.
Address: 198 Chula Soi 11, Bangkok, Thailand
Open hours: Monday to Friday from 6 am – 6:30 pm, Saturday from 6 am – 2 pm, Closed on Sunday
Mark Wiens is a full time travel eater, who is based in Bangkok and obsessed with Thai food. Check out more of his delicious Thai food reviews on Eating Thai Food and his travel food discoveries on Migrationology.