search

Restaurants with the Best Value in Bangkok

The 10 Best Good Value Restaurants in Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok is known for its outstanding food options not only for fantastic taste but as well for exceptionally great food for the price. While many Thais will tell you that the cheapest food is found at specific street vendors, there are also plenty of no-frills restaurants that have great value dinners with tables and chairs and a bit of air con. 

If it is Thai you are after, why not try some hearty northeastern Isaan fare at popular spots like Baan Som Tam, winner of a Bib Gourmand from Michelin for its tasty food at a fair price. The oyster omelets at Nai Mong Hoi Tod also got a Michelin Bib and are of great value and taste. For Thai-Chinese, Pochana 55 may be a hole in the wall, but it has been serving satisfied customers for years and consistently providing excellent meals at a pittance. 

If it is Chinese dumplings and a bit of northern Chinese cuisine that tickles your fancy, not only does Hong Teong Long have the best in the city, but they are half the price found elsewhere. For duck, pork, and noodles, make sure to check out the cheap market stalls in the atmospheric Nang Loeng Market and eat the duck at Sor Rungroj while you are there, or else go sample a bowl at the 100 plus-year old Prachak duck noodle joint.

Back across town, Thong Lor is not known for cheap restaurants, but Supanniga Eating Room is quite reasonable, and the hard to find Thai dishes make it well worth a visit. Japanese food also isn't cheap, but Bankara Ramen makes the best ramen noodles in town, and it won't empty your wallet. Other excellent options include the ever-popular Pad Thai Thip Samai, where diners brave hour-long lines for the cheap and tasty pad thai, and the dirt cheap breakfasts at the legendary Took Lae Dee.


Advertisement

Took Lae Dee means cheap and good in Thai, and its long food counter, which can be found inside any branch of Foodland supermarkets, has appeared in countless numbers of Thai movies and thus is well known throughout the country. The food is nothing over the top, but its regulars swear by it, and many visitors to Thailand end up spending days and hours here, lingering over the big American breakfasts, consisting of of toast, eggs, bacon, ham, sausages, orange juice and tea or coffee. Think of that local cheap hangout diner back home and you can see why Took Lae Dee is a success, not to mention that you can go shopping in the supermarket while you are there. They also have posted this review up on all their outlet walls, which we certainly get a kick out of!

Recommended for Best Value because: For cheap breakfasts and other value-laden meals, Took Lae Dee lives up to it cheap and good moniker.

Dave's expert tip: There are 9 branches of Took Lae Dee in the 11 Foodlands in Bangkok, a large proportion of tourists seem to frequent the one in Sukhumvit Soi 16 and also Soi 5. From 5-9am, breakfast goes for 49 baht!

Read more about Took Lae Dee →


Bankara Ramen
Photo courtesy of Bankara

This is the first international branch of the famed Ikebukuro ramen house, and while it is a bit more expensive than other ramen spots nearby, is it authentic and still of great value. The interior and decor, along with all the ravenous Japanese expat regulars make one feel like one is in Tokyo, and even more genuine is the food, which features huge portions of the four signature ramen dishes that Bankara puts out. You can choose from the original Bankara ramen, Tonkatsu (stewed pork belly), Tsukemen (cold noodles dipped in soup) and Miso Ramen, and you can personalize your dish by choosing additional toppings such as egg, pork, seaweed, etc. Individual garlic presses are given to each diner, so you have a lot to say as to how your dish will taste. The gyoza dumplings are superb and make an excellent compliment to the ramen, and there are other dishes on the menu as well, but the ramen bowls are so huge and filling, you will be hard pressed to find the extra space.

Recommended for Best Value because: For outstanding ramen at a reasonable price, Bankara Ramen is superb

Dave's expert tip: the Tonkatsu ramen is either loved to death or a bit much for individual diner's palates, so be forewarned. The stewed pork belly, bones and all, are simmered in soup broth until they dissolve, and the taste is strong and heavy, which will make some ecstatic. Try the Bankara ramen if you want it slightly milder.

Read more about Bankara Ramen →


While many Bangkokians will argue that Thip Samai is overrated and that there are better places to eat pad thai in the city, one thing is for sure, this place commands a following, and does combine decent food with affordable prices, and a great vibrant atmosphere. You better be prepared to wait in line, as by 6 pm, the lines here are down the street each evening. But nobody seems to mind, it's all part of the experience, and there are visitors from all over the world here every night, even more so now that Michelin has given the eatery a Bib Gourmand award signifying good food at a reasonable price. The restaurant is a wild flurry of non-stop busy-ness, from the flames, woks, and cooks making up huge batches of pad thai, to the brisk take out business that competes with the dine-ins for attention. There are a variety of pad thai dishes to choose from, the best of which is probably the one made with shrimp head oil. Just don't savor it for too long, as the waiters hover nearby, ready to bring in the next group of hungry diners to this legendary establishment.

Recommended for Best Value because: For Bangkok's most popular and fun pad thai joint, Thip Samai is a longstanding winner.

Dave's expert tip: Get here by 5 or 530 if you want to beat the crowds. The most convenient way to get here is via the Klong Saen Sab canal boat to its Phan Fa terminus and then walk down Mahachai Road five minutes to the restaurant, which is on your left.

Read more about Pad Thai Thip Samai →


Advertisement
Pochana 55
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Pochana 55 is a plainly decorated simple and cheap great value street-side restaurant that has been serving thousands of customers for over 20 years. Initially famed for its khao tom rice soup, served to clubbers coming home at 4 am, the restaurant now serves up several varieties of sizzling iron platter fish and beef dishes, and hundreds of other Thai Chinese favorites, all of them guaranteed to please. The tom yum here is a benchmark to set the standard for Thailand's most famous soup. During the rainy season, make sure to try the dok krachon "little flower" salad. 55 is constantly mentioned by locals as one of Bangkok's most consistently good restaurants by those in the know.

Recommended for Best Value because: For consistently great Thai-Chinese fare at local prices, 55 has been pleasing those in the know for years.

Dave's expert tip: Many of 55's tables are located outside on the street, however, save for the dead of winter, most visitors will find it too hot (as well as too noisy with the passing traffic) to sit out here. There is a comfortable air-con section to the restaurant, which remodeled some years ago.

Read more about Pochana 55 →


If you like oysters this little hole in the wall serves up some of the best street fare to be found anywhere in Bangkok, and it has been awarded a Bib Gourmand listing by the Bangkok Michelin Guide for its great food at fair prices. Inside the small kitchen, the chef whips up divine plates of fried oyster or mussel crepes that have fans of the small shop lining up to get their fix. You have a choice here of ordering regular or super crispy, and the super crispy oyster plates seem to be the winner in popularity. There are only mussels and oysters made into crepe/omelets here, so don't expect anything else, and English is not spoken, although there is now an English menu to help deal with all the foreign foodies who make the pilgrimage here. The oysters are served up fresh off a hot griddle and a dipping sauce made of sweet chilies is served up alongside each portion.

Recommended for Best Value because: For cheap and delicious oyster and mussel omelets, Nai Mong Hoi Tod is the best.

Dave's expert tip: It can be a challenge to find this place. From Yaowarat Road and Pleng Nam, head up Pleng Nam, cross Charoen Krung and look for the small shop about 50 meters ahead on the right, hidden under an awning.

Read more about Nai Mong Hoi Tod →


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. Best yet, it is dirt cheap and one of Bangkok's top places to eat great traditional food on a budget. It's 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 Best Value because: For long-standing duck noodles and duck and pork dishes at great value, Prachak is an institution.

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.

Read more about Prachak →


The quaint three-story shophouse on Thong Lor is easy to miss it looks so small from the outside, but once through the doors, and while not as cheap as some of the other's on this list, still very affordable for the excellent food and chic atmosphere (and especially great value for Thonglor). The owner serves up his grandma's hard to find recipes that he grew up with in Trat, a town on Thailand's eastern seaboard, and the menu is extensive, with many hard to find old school recipes that will have you ready to come back before you've even left! The absolute standout that one can see on just about every diner's plate is the moo chamuang, a stewed pork stew dish made with leaves from the Guttiferae tree and Thai herbs, so tender and flavour filled that you'll be begging for more rice to soak up all the juice. Even more amazing is the plainest looking dish you'll ever come across, ka lum tod nam pla, which although it might sound fancy, is basically a plate of cabbage. But oh what a cabbage it is, stir fried up with a super high-grade fish sauce from Trat Province that makes it taste, unlike any other cabbage you've ever had.

Recommended for Best Value because: For classy hard to find Thai dishes at a fair prices, Supanniga Eating Room is tops.

Dave's expert tip: Try the cabbage. Yeah, that's right. You'd never think a dish of plain cabbage could be so good, but this old recipe with high-grade fish sauce will change your opinion on cabbage and keep you coming back for more!

Read more about Supanniga Eating Room →


Isaan, or northeastern cuisine, is probably the most common food eaten in Thailand, by both visitors and locals alike. Some of the best Isaan food is found at corner street stalls, which most tourists find too hot and uncomfortable to sit at, whereas the food in fancier digs often leaves a lot to be desired. Baan Som Tam creates a very happy medium with fantastic fresh northeastern cuisine in a homey air-conditioned environment with good value prices to boot. The restaurant received a Bib Gourmand listing from the Michelin Bangkok Guide, but this hasn't resulted in a price increase. The sai krok spiced sausages made with sticky rice are superb here, as is the namesake papaya salad (som tam), with all of the ingredients tasting so fresh and flavor-packed you will think they are organic.

Recommended for Best Value because: For the freshest vegetables and simple, spicy Isaan fare, Baan Som Tam is a winner.

Dave's expert tip: Isaan cuisine is big on larb, which often translates on menus as salad, yet larbs usually consist of fried meat or fish, which is then combined with kaffir lime, garlic, chilies, lemongrass, mint, and roast rice powder to create an exquisite burst of flavors, usually eaten with copious amounts of sticky rice.

Read more about Baan Som Tam →


Hong Teong Long
Photo courtesy of Hong Teong Long

If you have an affinity for Chinese dumplings without breaking the bank, 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 xiaolongbao 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 Best Value because: For the hands down best dumplings in all Thailand, you have to experience Hong Teong Long.

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.

Read more about Hong Teong Long →


1
Ratchathewi

Few visitors to Bangkok make it over to the Nang Loeng market area, but its a local foodie paradise, with some of the best value cheap eats in town. There are a slew of famous single dish vendors inside the old covered market, but Sor Rungroj is an actual sit-down shop, complete with air con. They've been in business since the 1960s, when they started out as a duck noodle street stall, but have since upgraded a bit. The roast pork is good here, but most diners come for the boiled duck with Chinese herbs, or else braised duck served with egg noodles. At around $1.50 a bowl, the price and tender stewed meat may have you ordering a second serving.

Recommended for Best Value because: For stewed and braised duck at incredible value, choose Sor Rungroj!

Dave's expert tip: The nearest BTS station to here is Ratchathewi, but you'll still need to taxi over. If you can't pronounce the restaurant name (so roong roj) or the driver doesn't know it, just tell him Talat Nang Loeng (Nang Loeng Market), and walk west down Nakhon Sawan Road from there.

Read more about Sor Rungroj →


Map

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

×