This small homestyle pizzeria is a welcome addition to the Bangkok pizza scene. Chef Paolo Vitaletti of Appia and Jarrett Wrisley of Soul Food Mahanakorn fame are the masterminds behind this epicurean delight, which prides itself on serving the most perfect Neapolitan pizza to be found in Asia. To get this exactly right, the owners have flown in a pizza oven from Italy, along with bringing in an experienced baker to deal with the special pizza dough, that needs to rise for at least 12 hours before hitting the oven. Needless to say, the pizzas here are splendid, whether traditional Margheritas or the taste tingling Mantaneras which are stuffed with aged sheep cheese. There are plenty of other meat heavy selections on the menu, courtesy of the Appia expertise, and the bruschetta with asparagus, prosciutto, and imported stracciatella cheese is heavenly. The homey eatery also provides excellent drinks to go along with the food, ranging from craft beer and fine wines to some signature cocktails. You will be in good hands here, if you can somehow manage to book a table that is!
Recommended for Homestyle because: For simply Bangkok's best pizza in a homey spot, Peppina is the real deal.
Dave's expert tip: Absolutely do not come here without a reservation. Tables are often booked up to two weeks in advance, so call well ahead and reserve. Note that the restaurant is open only for dinner and is closed Mondays.
Pad kee mao, or drunkards noodles can be found at many street stalls for 30 baht a plate, but for an experience that has been written up by food critics around the world, head over to the Saochingchao District of Bangkok to Jay Fai, where a home cooked meal in a hole in the wall will leave you in awe. Jay Fai is a small no frills place, but what sets it apart are the 300 baht drunken noodles that come with fresh monster prawns made by an auntie who has been serving the faithful for 60 years. Jay Fai is also renowned for its rad na, made with a gravy that is thicker and nowhere near as spicy as the drunkard's noodles. Come around 6pm and you will be treated to the sight of Bangkok's upper crust in their Mercedes and BMW's lining up to get in.
Recommended for Homestyle because: For no frills home style five star cooking, you cannot top Jae Fai
Dave's expert tip: Saochingchao is not well served by public transport. Best to take the Skytrain to Ratchathewi and then take a taxi along Petchaburi heading west. Or if visiting Khao San Rd, you can walk down Tanao south of Democracy Monument to reach the neighborhood.
If you have an affinity for Chinese dumplings, you have found nirvana at Hong Teong Long. This tiny family style place makes you feel like you are eating in your own kitchen, with the town's best Chinese dumpling chef. Hong Teong Long 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 Homestyle because: Hong Teong Long makes the best Chinese dumplings you will find 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.
Owner Kan Markawat comes from a family of traditional foodies, and puts his love of traditional and hard to find dishes from all over Thailand on display at his lovely home style eatery, The Local, where one can dine in a 70 year old traditional teak home, outfitted with antiques, wooden bird cages, old paddles from the floating market, and bookcases full of Thai cookbooks from throughout the ages. The menu is large and varied and standouts include gaeng lun juan, which comes from the Rama V Royal Court and is made with beef or pork laced with aromatic Thai herbs and shrimp paste, highly aromatic and bursting with flavor. Another menu winner is the gaeng kua pla bai som pan kee maa, a spicy yellow curry fish with hard to find orange leaves from the south. Highly recommended.
Recommended for Homestyle because: For great renditions of hard to find traditional Thai recipes, the Local is one of a kind.
Dave's expert tip: The Local is a good 15 minute walk up Soi 23 from its intersection with Sukhumvit. Best to hop on a motorcycle taxi (20 baht) from the corner. It's located just after the first intersection.
This lovely new trattoria brings a slice of Rome to Bangkok and the homey surroundings and personal attention by the chef make you feel like you are relaxing in a Tuscan home. Chef Paolo's father was a butcher in the meatpacking district in Rome and the menu is full of fantastic fine cuts of meat such as the porchetta organic pork rolled in fennel pollen, garlic, and rosemary and then roasted on a rotisserie or the oxtail stew rolled with herb gremolata served over hand rolled fregola pasta. Antipasti include the divine caprese in Puglia, a mouthwatering blend of burrata cheese, mackerel pancetta, eggplant, and marinated tomatoes served on bread. There are plenty of wines to go with the food, and the ambience is laid back, friendly, and unpretentious.
Recommended for Homestyle because: for fine home style Italian dining, you cannot beat Appia
Dave's expert tip: The dish of the day is always a worthwhile menu selection. Appia's is located a fair stroll up Soi 31, so you might want to hop on a motorcycle taxi from the Sukhumvit intersection.
Pochana 55 is a plainly decorated family style streetside 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 4am, 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 yam 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 Homestyle because: For consistent good local food at great prices, Pochana 55 is always one of Bangkok's best choices.
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 isn't overly visible from the street, just inside past the kitchen.
Simply put Lung Yai is hands down the best local Isaan eatery in Bangkok, which is saying a lot. The homey place, packed with families and hidden off the street on Din Daeng, does not get a lot of foreigners, but those in the know come back here again and again for its incredibly tasty food. Everything on the menu is good, but highlights include the spicy tom sep pork soup, the fragrant grilled chicken, and any of the various larb meat salads. There is beer, whiskey, and plenty of good cheer to wash down the spice with, and the locals will be impressed that you have found this gem. Its only drawback is its slightly out of the way location via public transport.
Recommended for Homestyle because: For family dining and the best Isaan food in town Lung Yai is excellent.
Dave's expert tip: Getting here is a challenge. From BTS Skytrain Victory Monument Station, take a taxi down Din Daeng Rd to the Thai Wiwat Insurance Building, and Lung Yai is relatively opposite this. Better to call the restaurant and have them tell the driver where drop you.
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 and cheap little hole in the wall home style 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 Homestyle because: For home style Indian and Thai cooking and Bangkok's best biryani, one cannot beat Home Cuisine Islamic.
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.
The name of the restaurant translates to "like it used to be," and it really is a humble affair, serving old school Thai recipes up on the second floor above a futsal field. The owners here are a father and son team, and they are committed to preserving traditional Thai dishes, shared usually between large families over long and slow meals. Standouts include the pet palo stewed pork belly with duck eggs in a gravy stew, as well as the stuffed peppers in sweet curry, and the delicious red curry with pineapple. The menu selections are quite large and many of them are vintage family recipes. This is homestyle Thai dining with no frills at its best, and worth navigating the narrow lane the restaurant is in to find it.
Recommended for Homestyle because: For old school Thai homestyle meals, Yang Gao Gorn is the real deal.
Dave's expert tip: The nearest BTS skytrain station is Ari, and from here you have to navigate inside of Soi Sailom 1 to find the restaurant, located above the Frank and Release futsal field.
Krua Apsorn doesn't look like much from the outside or inside, but foodies in the know recognize it as one of Bangkok's most venerated institutions. This is homestyle Thai cooking at its absolute best, no frills delicious using some superb ingredients. The menu isn't all that large, and almost everyone who comes here does so for the two standout signature dishes, which are the crab in yellow curry, along with the stuffed crab omelette. The omelette is stuffed with juicy crab pieces that really explode in flavor, and the same goes for the curry dish, where the pungent yellow curry is really sucked up by the crab meat. The green mussels with basil leaves are also renowned here, and plenty of famed 5 star chefs call in here for a meal in their free time. There are actually four branches of the restaurant now scattered through Bangkok, but we recommend going to the original one in the historic Dusit area of Old Bangkok.
Recommended for Homestyle because: For homestyle cooking with the best crab curry in Thailand, Krua Apsorn rules!
Dave's expert tip: The best way to get here is via the Chao Phraya River Ferry to the Thewet pier and then grab a taxi, or else get a taxi going up Samsen Road from the Khao San Road area in Banglamphu. Do note that the restaurant is closed on Sundays, and does shut at 7:30, so make it an early dinner or else lunch.