search

Ten of the Best Michelin-Starred Restaurants to Enjoy in Bangkok



Bangkok has been long known as a foodie destination, home to a wide range of intense spices and flavors, and home to amazing street vendors and traditional shophouse eateries. The last half decade has seen a wave of happening cuisine from around the world descend on the city, with top chefs coming in to dazzle diners. And now Bangkok is on every gastronomy tour list with the arrival of the Michelin Guide to Bangkok, which is now in its third edition. Dazzle your tastebuds at the intimate Chef's Table, run by three-star Michelin chef Vincent Thierry or the 2-star haute cuisine French Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Mezzaluna, Bangkok's highest dining spot on the 65th floor of the Lebua State Tower not only blows your mind with staggering views, but also wows your palate with star Japanese Ryuki Kawasaki's astounding French culinary skills. You'll also find two-star contemporary European cuisine served by identical twin chefs at Sühring, another member of the elite two-star club. Thai Michelin star winners include fine dining and traditional cuisine at Paste, and creative Thai at Nahm, with chef Pim Techamuanvivit taking over for David Thompson. Also highly recommended to check out is Gaa, where Michelin's first Indian female awarded chef Garima Arora utilizes amazing techniques to create Indian-Thai inspired dishes, and the creative  Canvas, where American chef Riley Sanders highlights local ingredients and serves Thai favorites using progressive culinary techniques. You'll also want to visit Saawaan, which features a staggering ten-course chef's menu of superbly crafted authentic Thai food. You can even check out the city's only starred street food shophouse, Jay Fai, where a 70 year old auntie cooks some of the city's biggest seafood over a charcoal burner. The stars really have come out for Bangkok when it comes to Michelin-worthy cuisine.


Advertisement



Famed chef David Thompson may be long gone, but Nahm still retains its Michelin star and is in good hands with chef Pim Techamuanvivit running the show now. Techamuanvivit received a star for her San Francisco restaurant Khin Kao, and has since returned to her native Bangkok to wow diners with her tantalizing creations, with creative takes on traditional Thai recipes. Nahm has also ranked in the top 10 in Asia in the annual San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna lists for the past five years. Dig in to the exquisite red curry duck with snake fruit and sour yellow eggplant, or the starter blue swimmer crab with pickled garlic and coriander served on rice crackers. The set menus, entitled Discovery, Heritage, Essence, and Botany, range from 2,500-3,500 baht, and are the best way to experience the range of dishes created by Chef Pim.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For creative presentation and taste, Nahm is a solid Michelin-starred choice.

Dave's expert tip: The 740 baht canape and khanom jeen noodles lunch (with a dessert) is s steal, and the 1600-1800 set lunch menu is a far better deal than dinner.

Read more about Nahm →




Pad kee mao, or drunkard's noodles can be found at many street stalls for 40 baht a plate, but for an experience that has been written up by food critics around the world and now even given a Michelin star as Bangkok's only starred-street food eatery, head over to the old city neighborhood of Saochingcha to Jae Fai (also spelled as Jay Fai). Stuck in one of Bangkok's last timeless neighborhoods, where skyscrapers and designer malls don't exist, Jay Fai is a small no frills shophouse eatery, but what sets it apart are the 400 baht drunken noodles that come with ultra 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, which is a close cousin of pad kee mao, made with a gravy that is thicker and nowhere near as spicy as the drunkard's noodles. It also is served with giant prawns, as well as squid and scallops.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For street eats with incredibly fresh seafood, there is only one Jay Fai!

Dave's expert tip: Saochingcha 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.

Read more about Jae Fai →




This classy French restaurant on the top floor of The Oriental Hotel is a Bangkok institution, and the second Michelin Guide to Bangkok made it one of only four restaurants to get two stars. 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. While dinner here is an absolute bank breaker, the set lunch provides a way for paupers to dine like princes and indulge in Bangkok's most sophisticated restaurant. An appetizer, entree, and dessert set menu goes for the steal of 1500 baht and introduces you to some world class cuisine.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For classy and fine French, Le Normandie is a star attraction in Bangkok.

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.

Read more about Le Normandie →


Advertisement


Classic Thai food is renowned world over, yet rarely does one find it presented in such an innovative way as at Paste. Paste Bangkok is the brainchild of Australian award winning chef Jason Bailey and his Thai partner Bongkoch "Bee" Satongun, who received acclaim for their Thai restaurants in Australia and now have received a Michelin star for their authentic high end Thai dining. Bailey now focuses on the business end and projects for Paste, while Satongun, named Asia's Best Female Chef in 2018, runs the kitchen, focusing on original Thai flavors and textures, with ingredients sourced fresh from the grower and best markets in the country. Traditional Thai food is done here with beautiful creative twists and a total attention to taste combinations enough to wow the most discerning diner. Try the exquisite Andaman lobster with crispy fish skin or the watermelon and ground salmon with betel leaves and shallots, both are heavenly.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For impeccably presented high end authentic Thai food, Paste is special.

Dave's expert tip: Paste is located on the third floor of the Gaysorn Plaza. Take the direct entrance into Gaysorn from the Chidlom BTS skytrain station. Reservations are essential.

Read more about Paste Bangkok →




Thomas and Mathias Sühring are identical twins as well as master chefs. They have converted their beautiful old villa home in Bangkok into an intimate garden restaurant where they serve German and European fare inspired by their childhood memories and family recipes. Upgraded from one to two Michelin stars in the 2nd edition of Michelin Bangkok, the restaurant is comprised of a winter garden glasshouse, which looks out at the garden, along with a "living room" elegant dining area, as well as the kitchen, where diners can sit at a chef's counter and watch the 14 course set menu be prepared. There are also a la carte standouts like spatzle, a southern German egg noodle dish served with black truffle, or Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth), made with crispy potatoes, black pudding and green apples. The tasting menus run from 3000 baht and upwards.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For standout German fare in a homey environment, Sühring excels.

Dave's expert tip: Reservations are essential. The nearest BTS station is Chong Nonsi, but you'll still need to take a taxi from here about ten minutes.

Read more about Suhring →




Canvas, awarded a Michelin star in the latest (2nd) edition of the Michelin Bangkok Guide, highlights locally sourced Thai ingredients, many of which diners may not even be familiar with, serving up superb six and nine-course tasting menus of local favorites that have been given an international twist using progressive cooking methods. The restaurant also showcases the fantastic culinary skills of Chef Riley Sanders, who together with a stellar and well-organized team, runs a dazzling open kitchen, treating diners to one of Bangkok's finest gastronomic experiences.

Sanders hails from Texas, and after a stint at the popular Uchiko Japanese fusion restaurant in Austin, went to work with 3-star Michelin Chef Laurent Gras at the renowned L20 in Chicago. But following this he eschewed climbing the traditional ladder and instead got a position cooking on a private yacht, where he was given free creative range in the kitchen, allowing him to hone his craft even more. More importantly, the job gave Sanders both the time and money to travel, his other passion, and he embarked on a trip around the world, tasting his way through markets, street food, and fine dining establishments all over the globe.

Canvas is the product of Sanders being drawn to Bangkok and its amazing culinary culture, and he's elevated local and often unique ingredients to new heights. Take the soy-smoked king mackerel prepared sous vide and served with an orgasmic paste made of ant eggs, dill, and horseradish. Sanders says that this was inspired by Western "surf n turf" menus, only here turning the mackerel into the "surf" combined with one of Thailand's most unusual inland ingredients, the ant eggs.

Sitting at the open counter here is a joy, as you get to watch Sanders and his team in action, as well as being given the story behind each dish and its ingredients as they are served. You learn that the divine frog comes from a farm in Khao Yai and that the edible flowers served with it are from Samut Prakhan (a province neighboring Bangkok), and that the most succulent honey you've ever tasted (served on fresh gooseberries in season over sorbet) comes from stingless bees that are from Chantaburi, and produce a highly concentrated sweet honey.

Dinner here is a magical event where you never know what's coming next. Take the "rice bread." Served as a humble appetizer, this is actually one of the menu knockouts and will leave you wishing you had a loaf to take home. Made from organic rice from Surin Province, it's served with a brown butter and yellow chili emulsion, and topped with salted egg yolk and toasted sticky rice. Light and ever so flavorful, Sanders says the idea behind it was to serve the Thai staple of rice as a version of the Western staple of bread.

Most appropriately named, Canvas features a chef whose artist's palette is melange of colors, guaranteed to leave your palate begging for more, and is a most deserving entry into the Bangkok Michelin guide and foodie dining scene that has swept the city.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For incredible kitchen creativity using local Thai ingredients, Canvas is picture-perfect.

Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS Skytrain to Thonglor and then either walk up Thonglor (Sukhumvit Soi 55) ten minutes to get here, or else grab a taxi. The restaurant is just after Thonglor Soi 5 on your lefthand side.

Read more about Canvas →




Mezzaluna is Bangkok's most swank restaurant, and dining up here 65 floors above the Chao Phraya River and the Bangkok skyline is one of the top experiences one can have while in town, especially as the restaurant has been awarded two stars by the Bangkok Michelin guide, and features the palate-boggling cooking of chef Ryuki Kawasaki, who has manned Michelin kitchens in France, the U.S., and his native Japan, and was named Chef of the Year by the Escoffier Society while working at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire in Las Vegas.

Taking over the helm at Mezzaluna in 2015, Kawasaki has combined his superlative French cooking techniques with some of the most exclusively sourced ingredients to be found in Asia. Take the Niigata Murakami Wagyu beef for example, which Kawasaki brings exclusively to Thailand from Japan. The beef comes from a small breed of carefully selected, high-quality calves from Niigata Prefecture, which are raised on rice straw, hay, and premium compound feed, giving the beef a silky texture and absolute melt in the mouth taste. It is served here at Mezzaluna with black truffles and grilled over binchotan charcoal, and is the signature dish headlining an incredible seven-course tasting menu

Everything about the dining experience at Mezzaluna is done to utmost perfection. A bevy of staff hover around your table, never failing to notice whether you need more bread or water, constantly bringing palate refreshers before dishes, and giving detailed explanations of all the captivating creations. An expert sommelier comes out to explain each wine pairing served with the food, not only giving the origins of each bottle, but complimenting its highlights and flavor profiles, and the cellar here is one of the finest in all Bangkok, with several of the wines served being exclusive to Mezzaluna.

The menu at Mezzaluna is seasonal, changing every three months, although dishes like the Wagyu beef are always featured. Chef Kawasaki says, "My passion is to create experiences that inspire and leave lasting memories for the people I share them with, and our culinary journey at Mezzaluna consists of various textures, flavors, artisinal seasonal products, and cooking techniques."

This is an entire dining experience at its finest, from chef to server to table to ambience. At this point, the sky (and possibly even a coveted third star) is the limit for Mezzaluna and its all star chef.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For literally "high" end Michelin cuisine, Mezzaluna towers above the town.

Dave's expert tip: Reservations are essential here, and it is worth coming early for a sunset drink at the Sky or Distil bars, located just below the Mezzaluna. Note that there is a dress code, and that singlets, shorts, and flip flops are verboten.

Read more about Mezzaluna →




Three-star Michelin chef Vincent Thierry (he led Caprice in Hong Kong to three stars) who hails from France's Loire Valley heads the team here at Bangkok Michelin's latest starred attraction. Set up on the 61st floor of the Lebua State Tower (now the only hotel in Bangkok to boast two Michelin-starred restaurants, the other being Mezzaluna), the showpiece here is a domed open kitchen set in the middle of the room, where 46 lucky diners each evening get to enjoy elegant modern French cuisine, all the while interacting with the chef as he bases dishes on diners' palates. Thierry sources fine quality ingredients from both France and Thailand, whether it be chocolate from Chiang Mai or fine langoustine lobsters from the Atlantic. There is no gimmickry here, just well prepared quality dishes, and as Chef Vincent states, "it is a fine dining theater with a fully open kitchen." The views are to die for, as is the cuisine, and it's both romantic and incredibly intimate.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For Bangkok's most intimate Michelin experience, Chef's Table certainly excels and charms.

Dave's expert tip: Reservations are essential here, and it is worth coming early for a sunset drink at the Sky or Distil bars, located up on the roof. Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and walk up Charoenkrung Rd 5 minutes to the corner of Silom, where you'll find the Lebua.

Read more about Chef's Table →




There's a reason why Saawaan has been awarded a Michelin star by the prestigious Michelin Bangkok guide. Yes, the name of the restaurant means "heaven" in Thai, and yes, you are going to feel closer to the stars after a meal here, but you also can count on an intimate fine dining experience that features authentic and creative Thai cuisine that is simply some of the best in Bangkok, prepared by a wildly talented chef.

Saawaan's 10-course tasting menu is divided into dishes that represent all of the concepts and techniques found across the board in Thai cooking. You'll get to sample raw, fermented, dip, boiled, grilled, stir fried, curry, and sweet here, and the fun starts before you even get to the menu. The complimentary starter, an amuse bouche of "kai luk koei," a sous vide egg served with cream, tamarind sauce and chili oil, that comes served as if in a bird's nest. It's small and delicate, but packs such a wildly wonderful array of flavours, and sets the tone for what lies ahead.

Chef Sujira "Aom" Pongmorn, who runs a skilled kitchen team, has an incredible knowledge of Thai cuisine, and has put in time with some of Bangkok's most noted dining establishments, such as Sra Bua, Issaya Siamese, The House on Sathorn, Lord Jim at the Mandarin Oriental, and more recently running the show at the Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded Baan Padthai. Here at Saawaan, she showcases regional dishes found at street level that have been elevated to some of the most delectable tastes you'll find across the country.

Take the "nam pu ma", served as the "dip" dish. This comes from rural Thailand, where farmers would make grilled paddy crab fat into a "nam prik" chili dip and eat it with sticky rice. Here, Chef Pongmorn has mixed the paddy crab fat with Thai herbs and grilled them in the crab shell, and it gets served with coconut steamed sticky rice.

Another total standout is the "gai kati khao luem pua," a chicken curry in which free range chickens from Nakhon Pathom are flavored with a Central Thai curry sauce and served with pineapple and bamboo shoot, alongside of what is known as "forget the husband" rice, so called because it is so good that the housewife serving it would forget her husband was also at the dinner table while she was eating it! From presentation to the creamy curry and perfect spice balances, this is the final course prior to dessert, and pretty much sums up the entire experience here, one of total dining bliss.

You'll also want to leave room for dessert, as Bangkok's most noted pastry chef, Arisara "Paper" Chongphanitkul, a graduate of the French Gastronomicom culinary school, lends her expertise to the sweets here, serving up pumpkin and coconut custards alongside of durian-flavored chocolate petit fours to close out the evening.

Add to this Bangkok's best wine pairings to be found, attentive service, and the intimate surroundings, which feature just six tables, dim mood lighting, and an open kitchen, and you've got all the trappings of one unforgettable "heavenly" evening.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For Bangkok's best combo of authentic and creative Thai cooking, intimate ambience, and Michelin-starred cuisine, Saawaan really does mean "heaven."

Dave's expert tip: There are only 24 seats here, so best to reserve in advance. Note that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and that last orders are at 930pm. The closest BTS and MRT stations are Sala Daeng and Lumphini, but you'll still need to grab a taxi for the short ride over to Suan Plu. Saawaan is just on your left as you head down Suan Plu.

Read more about Saawaan →




Innovative, elegant, and delectable fine dining has reached new heights in Bangkok with the 2nd edition of the Michelin Bangkok guidebook's 2019 release. Heading the list of newcomers awarded one star is Gaa, which features unique and eclectic takes on both Indian and Thai fare, served up with exquisite presentations and creative techniques by head chef Garima Arora, who is the first Indian woman to receive a Michelin award.

Arora hails from Mumbai, and left a career in journalism, opting instead for enrolling in Le Cordon Bleau, France's prestigious culinary academy, and then working at the esteemed Noma in Copenhagen as well as a stint with chef Gordon Ramsay at Verre in Dubai. She then came to Bangkok to work alongside of Gaggan Anand, whose 2-star Michelin Gaggan provided a launching pad for honing her unique and uber-creative techniques which she has put to full use at Gaa.

Set in a leafy side street in a beautiful refurbished house, where comfortable rooms have soft lighting, dark wood, and large windows, diners have their choice of tables. Several rooms are suitable for private groups, while the main dining area looks out into the trees and foliage. One room features a table set under a painting of the home's former owner, who appears to look out in watchful gaze at the fabulous feast appearing in front of her.

Gaa offers both a 10 and 14-course tasting menu in which modern techniques pair with age-old recipes, all of which are made using only fresh locally-sourced ingredients. While the entire evening is a real visual and tactile knockout, there are a few dishes that really stand out. The duck "donuts" are a play on Japanese takoyaki; small pastry balls that are stuffed with duck meat and vindaloo sauce, and just incredibly melt-in-your-mouth succulent (you'll want to see a daily food cart of these outside your house once you try them). Another winner is the signature young corn, in which baby corn is grilled with lime and chili and presented here with its charred skin, that peels away to some of the sweetest corn you'll ever have. The corn is served with a sweet corn and ghee emulsion dip, and Arora took inspiration for this from the grilled and spiced "bhutta," a popular Indian street snack.

While many Michelin restaurants serve up fine Wagyu beef or try to bowl you over with foie gras presentations for their main courses, Gaa again bucks the trend, instead opting for unripe jackfruit, served here with jackfruit roti and a variety of pickles. As opposed to the sweet fruit, the unripe version is thick and meaty, and will make a believer of any carnivore. And for those who can't live without their flesh, the caramalized sous vide pork belly served with a tamarind glaze, shallots, coriander, and pomegranate, is not just the best piece of pork you'll have in Bangkok, but possibly in all Asia if not elsewhere.

For the finale here, several desserts seal the deal. One is a deconstructed banana bread, a bitesized morsel that will have you thinking you are in a fine patisserie, and then another great take on Indian habits, that of chewing a stuffed betel nut leaf (known as "paan") after eating, although here at Gaa the leaf is half covered in 85% dark chocolate, with the other side having crumbled cardamom dust.

In addition to the amazing culinary creations, there are superb wine pairings to go with the dinner, and even juice pairings for those who want to remain completely sober for one of Bangkok's most outstanding feasts.

Recommended for Restaurants with Michelin Stars because: For Bangkok's most innovative and artistic Michelin cuisine, Gaa is a standout.

Dave's expert tip: Reservations are a must at Gaa. To get here, the closest BTS station is Ratchadamri (not Ploenchit). You can cut across Mahatlek Luang 3 Alley from the station directly to Langsuan, then turn right, and Gaa is just down the street on your right side.

Read more about Gaa →


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

×