10 Best Restaurants to Enjoy in Bang Rak in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangrak District, which encompasses Silom Road, Charoen Krung, and places along the Chao Phraya River is one of the city's greatest spots to indulge in a night of eating. Not only is it diverse in terms of types of cuisine, but the variation also runs the gamut from some of Bangkok's best street food vendors to hole in the wall eateries, to upscale and posh hotel establishments.  For great value and superb biryani, try Home Cuisine Islamic, which is cheap, delicious, and packed each night with locals. To dine in fine style, consider the Mandarin Oriental's luxurious French Le Normandie or its Thai Sala Rim Naam, both set right along the banks of the Chao Phraya. For a great combo of food and atmosphere, the superb French-style bistro Scarlett should not be missed, both for its tasty food and sky high city views. Alternatively, if you fancy Bangkok's best burger or 24/7 breakfasts, head down to 25 Degrees. If you just want plain knockout great food without the views or the fancy tablecloths and napkins, try Bangkok's best dumplings at Hong Teong Long or the superb duck at Prachak, a hole in the wall eatery that has been serving to the masses for over a century, and still sells out almost every day. Other stellar spots include the best biryani in town over at the Home Cuisine Islamic Restaurant or the nouvelle Asian fusion at Iron Chef Ian Kittichai's latest venture, the Namsah Bottling Trust.


Hong Teong Long
Photo courtesy of Hong Teong Long

If you have an affinity for Chinese dumplings, you have found nirvana at Hong Teong Long. This hole in the wall with red lanterns hanging outside, and waitresses who can barely speak Thai inside, specializes in Shanghai cuisine, and boy do they get their dumplings right. Look on every diner's table and you will see plates of xiao long bao dumplings, both steamed and fried, that are filled with delicious juice, not too heavy, not overcooked, and will have you already scheduling your next visit. The menu isn't limited to dumplings either. There is a wonderful spicy cucumber and seaweed salad, a red pork dish to die for, and the drunken chicken will make you dizzy from joy. It may be a hole in the wall, but Hong Teong Long is full every night and for good reason.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: Hong Teong Long may be a hole in the wall but makes the most knockout dumplings in Bangkok.

Dave's expert tip: the best way to find this out of the way location is to Skytrain to Chong Nonsi, walk north up to Silom, cross the road and go through the ITF Tower building, turn right, walk 100 meters to the next corner, and then left, you will see the red lanterns hanging across the street from the Ocean Insurance Building.

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Sala Rim Naam
Photo courtesy of courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Sala Rim Naam is one of Bangkok's classiest dining options. While the food may be spiced down for foreign palates, it is still a great spot to enjoy a wide range of royal Thai cooking, with classics such as tom yam goong spicy seafood soup or khao soy northern style noodles in yellow curry. The location of Sala Rim Naam is its big draw, set on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and the restaurant is housed in a traditional Thai pavilion in the northern Lanna architectural style. Additionally, classical Thai dance performances that are featured with dinner here each night are an excellent accompaniment to an elegant night out.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: For classical Thai food accompanied by a dance show, Sala Rim Naam cannot be beat.

Dave's expert tip: The best way to get to Sala Rim Naam is to take the Mandarin's free hotel ferry boat from the pier outside the Saphan Taksin Skytrain station, and then take their cross river shuttle to the restaurant.

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This little cafe has upgraded from a vendors cart to a small shop with air conditioning, but its khao niaow mamuang, mangoes and sticky rice, have not changed, and have patrons lining up daily to sample a recipe that has being going strong now since World War II through three generations of family owners. The mangoes here are the sweetest in town, topped with crispy mung beans and served with portions of creamy and perfectly sweetened sticky rice, and portions are large and rich enough to make a meal of their own. You certainly wont be going out to dinner after this. Boonsap also serves good coffee and has a selection of other sweet Thai desserts well worth trying.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: for the best mangoes and stick rice in town, Boonsap has been receiving raves for three generations!

Dave's expert tip: It gets very crowded here during the lunch hour from 12-1, and later in the day, they actually do sell out of some items. We recommend coming here either at 11 or around 1-2

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Yes it is expensive, but you wont complain if you are expecting top notch haute cuisine.This classy French restaurant on the top floor of The Oriental Hotel is a Bangkok institution. Fois gras and roasted Sisteron rack of lamb are just some of the menu highlights prepared by the visiting French master chefs in residence here, all taken in amidst elegance with views of the Chao Phraya River to boot. The wine cellar is extremely well stocked, and you will dine in the company of celebrities, politicians, and even the Thai royal family in one of Bangkok's classiest establishments. Dinner jackets are a requirement for gentlemen here.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: For top notch French food at the city's most elegant and stylish location, Le Normandie is tops.

Dave's expert tip: Reservations well in advance at Le Normandie are essential. If you aren't staying at the Oriental, the best way to get here is to take the Skytrain to the Saphan Taksin station and then hop aboard the Mandarin Oriental's free boat service along the Chao Phraya from the ferry pier.

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The Indian and Middle Eastern specialty of biryani (rice that is mixed with a combo of meat and vegetables that have been cooked in a spice hearty assortment of cardamom, bay leaves, coriander, mint, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, garlic, and onions), is known in Thai as khao mok gai, and nowhere does it better than this rather refined little hole in the wall restaurant. The mutton biryani is superb, no surprise, as the owner of Home Cuisine started out as a goat butcher, and obviously had a pretty good sense of what a top cut of meat was. While the chicken and fish biryani are also excellent, the mutton here is on another level of degustation, and makes the khao mok a lot closer to the form of the dish that one finds in India and on across to Iran.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: The biryani here, especially the mutton, is the best in Bangkok and well worth a trip

Dave's expert tip: Home Cuisine Islamic is slightly hidden and tricky to get to if you are coming for the first time, and most taxi drivers don't know the area either. Your best bet is to go down the soi off Charoen Krung where the Mandarin Oriental is located and turn right just before the hotel and river, onto a small soi that runs up to Soi 36 and the restaurant. If you get lost, just ask for the French Embassy, as Home Cuisine is just across from its parking lot.

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The China House
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

If you want a Chinese splurge in Bangkok, head for the China House, the Mandarin Oriental's offering to Cantonese high end cuisine, located in a beautiful refurbished colonial house that has been decorated to resemble something out of the Shanghai roaring twenties. But you don't just come here for the architecture. The chef is a Michelin 5 star honoree, and the dishes are sublime. The Peking duck is cut and served by a master chef at your table, wrapped in a pancake with plum sauce after you watch the skin delicately removed. The har gau shrimp dumplings are tender and moist, and the maitre d is happy to tell you the secrets behind successful Cantonese cuisine.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: As with all Mandarin Oriental restaurants, the China House excels in quality and surroundings, and the Beijing duck is excellent.

Dave's expert tip: the weekend dim sum brunch is highly recommended, with items being prepared as ordered.

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25 Degrees is Bangkok's premier burger house, winner of recent awards for the best burger in town. The restaurant is named after the precise temperature difference between a raw and well-done hamburger. Step into the chic diner, outfitted right out of Hollywood with leather upholstered bar stools, marble floors, vibrant red wallpaper, and old black and white photos on the wall, and kick back to some great stylish variations as well as classic burgers. The signature offering takes a thick U.S. beef patty and doles it up with bacon, Prelibato gorgonzola, caramelised onions, and Thousand Island sauce on a homemade bun. If you are feeling more adventuresome, you can try a yellowfin tuna burger with aoli sauce or go for the slightly zestier Thai-flavored larb moo pork burger that comes with Thai hot basil. You are also welcome to craft your own, choosing from a variety of cheeses, sauces, and extras like avocado, arugula, Canadian bacon, or eggs. 25 Degrees also serves up delicious imported craft beer to go with your food, with a few taps rotating each month and a good selection of top imports stocked in the fridge. The restaurant also does a burger, fries/onion rings, and drink happy hour special every day from 3-7pm.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: For Bangkok's best burgers, 25 Degrees sizzles!

Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS to Chong Nonsi, walk up to Silom Road, turn left, and you'll find the restaurant downstairs at the Pullman G just a few minutes walk up the road on the right hand side.

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This hole in the wall has been packing in the customers for over a century now, and it's all about one thing; duck, duck, and duck! Prachak's roast duck is legendary, such that customers often line up outside (and have been doing so since Prachak opened in 1897!) The "pet yang" tender meat is served on rice, with egg noodles, or just plain, and there are also other items to choose from on the menu such as a delicious won ton soup or fried egg noodles with sauce. Not a place to linger, as the crowds keep coming and wait staff is harried and rushed, nevertheless, you aren't here for the service, and yes, the duck is well worth the trip across town for. Come early if you want dinner, they Prachak closes at 8 and often runs out earlier than that.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: Prachak is well renowned as the best and most affordable duck in Bangkok.

Dave's expert tip: Avoid 12-1 as Prachak goes ballistic with all the office workers coming in for lunch. The shop is small, not well signed, and easy to miss, but is across the street from Robinsons on Charoenkrung. Take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin and walk up from there 10 minutes.

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This colourful and innovative eatery is the brainchild of restaurant-chef guru Ian Kittichai (of Issaya Siamese and Iron Chef fame), and is set in a bright pink mansion with a colourful retro interior that served as a soldiers residence, then as the headquarters of a soda water bottling company, and finally as a trust bank, hence the restaurant's name (Namsaah is an old Thai word meaning soda or sparkling water). The food here is Thai-Asian, but completely nouvelle and fusion laced, with enticing small bites a la tapas the likes of salmon tartare wonton tacos, pad thai with foie gras, and larb soft shell crab, served up with coriander and roasted rice dressing. The dishes are meant to go with the mean lineup of signature cocktails created by master mixologists such as the Sangsom salted caramel whisky sour, or the Aide De Camp's Choice, made with Beefeater gin, lychee, krajeab juice, and elderflowers, and the venue is just as chic as the food and drinks, with soft colorful decor, comfy sofas, and an array of colorful rooms to relax in. Hidden down an alleyway away from the bustle of Silom, this is an excellent spot to unwind, eat creative food and stellar drinks in, all the while forgetting that you might be in Bangkok.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: For hip nouvelle Asian cuisine in a stylish place, it's hard to beat Namsaah Bottling Trust.

Dave's expert tip: The best way to get here is to take the skytrain to the Chong Nonsi station and walk up to the first alley, turning right here, then the next left, which will bring you to Namsaah.

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Scarlett simply amazes, both for its dazzling city views, with sweeping panoramas of Bangkok's Central Business District, the Chao Phraya River, and all the skyscrapers across town from each side of the 37th floor eatery. You have your choice of sitting outdoors on the terrace facing the river, or indoors where the best tables are surrounded by large glass windows and overlook all of the city center. While anyone wanting to impress friends, a date, or have a laid back business meeting will be a winner here, make sure you are hungry, as the food is just as spectacular as the cityscape. The cuisine is French bistro fare, and depending on appetite, you can go as simple as a charcuterie platter of imported meats and cheeses, paired with a vast selection of French wines, or else go for a dry aged Australian wagyu steak, Kobe wine beef, or fresh seafood entree. Besides the fantastic choice of meats, menu highlights include Le Crabe Royal de Alaska, which has Alaskan king crab all dressed up with Dijon mustard, avocado, and mango, or the L'Os a Moelle bone marrow served with shallots and black pepper. Despite feeling like a fancy place, the number of affordable wines by the glass makes it worth coming in even if you're full, and the wine cellar is truly astounding, with one of Bangkok's best selections of French wines, along with plenty of other New World vintages. The helpful manager navigates between diners to suggest the best pairings, and it's hard to choose what to pay attention to, as yours is most likely divided up between the mouthwatering delicacies in front of you and the bright lights far below.

Recommended for Bangrak's Best Restaurants because: For superb French bistro fare combined with one of the city's best view, Scarlett absolutely shines.

Dave's expert tip: Check their website for regular promotions and events, like the annual visit of GĂ©rard Poulard, France's official cheese ambassador to the world.

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Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave