Bistro M, in the elegant Marriott Executive Apartments on happening Sukhumvit Soi 24, serves up a wide array of Thai and Western bistro style dishes, with a bit of international flair thrown in as well. The menu really covers a lot of ground, ranging from an Indian section with tandoori chicken tikka and lobster biryani to Western delicacies like seafood paella and truffle fettuccine, or herbed lamb with ratatouille, to go with plenty of Thai staples like duck in red curry or soft shelled crab with garlic black pepper. The big attraction here though, is the last Friday of each month's Unlimited Wine and Tapas Night, where 1200 baht per person gets you free flow wine selections along with a staggering array of tapas dishes to go with main courses all included in the price. There's a hot kitchen where chefs tailor make pasta dishes with a variety of sauces, a pizza station which has some superb fusion varieties (try the tom yum pizza), plus roast beef, roast lamb, and whole salmon with dill cream, all of the mains being imported meat and fish from Australia and elsewhere. At the tapas bar, you'll find marinated feta and olives, bruschetta, Parma ham, tabouli, and even tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa amongst the offerings. There is even a large dessert table with probably the best homemade tiramisu you will find in all Bangkok, along with a range of cakes, pastries, and fruit. This is a popular event, especially with the local Japanese expat population, tables get filled quick, and after an hour of eating, most folks seem to hangout the rest of the night taking advantage of the bottomless glasses of wine, with several reds and whites to choose from, as well as sparkling wine to finish or start things off. The venue is homey and warm, with wood floors, orange tiled columns, and hanging lamps making for an inviting stay. The value for what one gets really is one of the best in the city, and it's been so successful, the Marriott is considering adding a beer buffet night as well.
Recommended for Tapas because: For Bangkok's best value free flow wine and tapas night, it's hard to beat Bistro M.
Dave's expert tip: The restaurant offers a free tuk tuk shuttle from the Emporium down Soi 24, saving you a ten minute walk or hard to find taxi ride, so call ahead. It also pays to reserve in advance, as the tapas night here gets very crowded.
Hola is the latest player on the tapas scene in Bangkok, bringing a bit of Spain to the trendy Thonglor area. Located in the basement of the snazzy Ei8ht Thonglor dining complex, Hola has a relaxing decor with cushy sofas to chill out on while digging into tapas like escalivada eggplant and anchovy salad or some Iberian chorizo before feasting on their signature paella, The owners of Hola are Spanish, and have brought their country's native cuisine to the City of Angels, and the Mediterranean wine list is just as extensive as the tapas menu. Hola goes over well with the relax after the office crowd that loves to eat out on Thonglor.
Recommended for Tapas because: For tapas on trendy Thonglor, Hola is your go to place.
Dave's expert tip: It is a bit too far to walk up here, best to grab a cab or motorcycle taxi from the BTS Skytrain Thonglor station.
Iberian cuisine and tapas come well recommended at Rioja, a fine dining Spanish option in central Bangkok. Chef Luis Fernando brings a wealth of experience from Spanish restaurants to Asia, and creates specialties like cochinillo roast suckling pig, foie gras with mango soup and Port wine sauce, tapas plates with pepper, ham, chorizo, and salmon roe in salsa, and plenty of other standouts like Manchego cheese or Iberian Grand Reserve ham on toast. The seafood paellas here are big on New Zealand mussels, tiger prawns, and lobster, and of course there is plenty of fine vino to go with the food, as the wine cellar contains a vast selection from Spain and around the world.
Recommended for Tapas because: For elegant tapas and fine Spanish cuisine, Rioja is at the forefront.
Dave's expert tip: Come for the set lunch here, as you get an appetizer, main course, and coffee for 300 baht from 11-2:30 each day.
El Lugar, which means "the place" in Spanish, brings a cosmopolitan and modern feel to Bangkok's tapas dining scene. The fashionable restaurant is brightly lit, with a large communal open dining space, and an inviting decor. This contemporary tapas bar serves up first class dishes, such as carpaccio de res (shavings of beef with Parmesan cheese, tomato, and arugula pesto sauce), tapas of smoked salmon and candied lemon, and even churros (Spanish donuts with lemon sorbet) for your sweet tooth. The paella here comes in tapas style, meaning you don't have to get a whole pan for 3-4 people, the mixta version with fresh seafood is tops. There are even signature cocktails at the bar, another reason why stylish El Lugar is making a name for itself in the Bangkok tapas world.
Recommended for Tapas because: For refined tapas and a creative menu, El Lugar is a great tapas choice.
Dave's expert tip: Get here by taking either the MRT Subway to Sukhumvit or the BTS Skytrain to Asok and walking over from either station. It is a bit confusing to find if coming for the first time. When you walk up Soi 23, it actually turns right after 100 meters. Take this right turn, continue to NARZ disco, then turn left and you will find it.
Where else can you find the unique combination of an American deli with a tapas bar? Only at Osito-Unique Spanish. The former El Osito has rebranded and this new launch, headed by chef Daniel Kucher, now does amazing breakfasts, brunches, and continues on to dinners with lots of Spanish touches. Dig into old treats like the Reuben deli sandwich, which vaulted Osito into CNN's top 10 restaurants in Bangkok list, or try some of the new touches, like the Spanish hotdog, a 10-inch homemade chorizo bratwurst packed with smoked Spanish peppers and organic local pork. The restaurant now has a charcoal smoker, which elevates the meats and tastes to a whole new level, and with a list of signature cocktails, craft beers, and more, there is even more reason to come linger here throughout the day and evening.
Recommended for Tapas because: For combining an American deli with a Spanish tapas bar, Osito-Unique Spanish is one of a kind.
Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS Skytrain to Ploenchit and walk into the Mahatun Plaza from here.
Spanish on 4 is the new sister restaurant to the old favorite Tapas Cafe on Sukhumvit, and it is nice to have easy access to tapas now available on this side of town. Spanish on 4 sits smack amidst all the Silom nightlife, near the Patpong night bazaar, strip clubs, and the raucous bars of Soi 4, making for an excellent opportunity to fill one's stomach before or after partying. Spanish on 4, like the Tapas Cafe, presents an extensive menu featuring plenty of fine cured meats; from chorizo to salchichon to ham, and they do a mean paella, meant to be shared with several people. There is now a large party room upstairs for groups, or you can opt for the snazzy black terazzo bar downstairs while nibbling on your tapas.
Recommended for Tapas because: For tapas in a party location, you can't beat Spanish on 4.
Dave's expert tip: Before 7pm everyday there is a happy hour featuring specials like 3 tapas dishes for 195 baht or glasses of Sangria for 95, so come early.
The Thai chef here at Bangkok's newest tapas and Mediterranean restaurant spent ten years working in Spain, and surely got quite an apprenticeship into real Iberian cuisine. Taburete dishes out some of the finest tapas and fresh meat and fish creations you will find anywhere in Bangkok. Try digging in to a plate of salchichon Iberico (Iberian salami) or some of the divine tuna tataki served with roasted paprika, pan fried leeks, and red pepper sauce, topped with black olive paste and balsamic reduction sauce. The cured meats here, especially the giant leg of jamon, are simply divine, have a few plates washed down with Spanish Estrella beer, a hard to find brew in Bangkok. This cozy eatery will bring you back time and time again.
Recommended for Tapas because: For Bangkok's best smoked meats and tapas, Taburete is tops.
Dave's expert tip: Try the buy one get one free Sangria nights, Tuesday-Thursday from 5-11, or the daily lunch sets which go for 259 baht.
Knock yourself out with some sophisticated tapas and great wines at Tapas y Vino, the elegant tapas eatery located in the fashionable Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Hotel on Asoke. Indulge in various cured meats, capers, and Manchego cheese, along with favorites like scallops laced with beetroot caramel and walnut crust or Joselito ham, made from acorn fed free range pigs. There are plenty of special events here weekly, such as tapas, pork, and beer parties or Ibiza nights with mystery food, where free flow drinks and food are all combined. The wine list here is one of the biggest in town for tapas, and there are just as many creative twists on your nibbles as there are traditional ones.
Recommended for Tapas because: For Bangkok's most elegant tapas bar, Tapas y Vino cannot be surpassed.
Dave's expert tip: The free flow wine and all you can eat tapas specials (usually on Friday nights) for around 900 baht are a great affair.
Not only do you get to nibble on some great tapas at Uno Mas, but you get to pair the fine Spanish food with one of Bangkok's most superlative views. The restaurant is split into three zones, the Wine Cellar, Tapas & Raw Bar, and Open-Air Dining Deck, and you can take your pick of top city skyline tables, cushioned divans, or leather upholstered bar stools, surrounded by chic Chefchaouen-blue and warm Mediterranean tones. While it is hard to take your eyes off the city panoramas, do so for at least awhile, feasting on colorful huevos rotos (quail eggs with piquillo peppers and sobrassada), gambas pil pil shrimps in olive oil, and deep fried charcoal Presa Iberico pork. The paella should also be on every sharing table, filled with a bounty of fresh seafood. Marvel at the 8 meter wine tower that contains over 2000 bottles from around the world, or else opt for selections of sangria or signature cocktails. Once the sun goes down, there is live music, and if the views aren't high enough for you, head up another few flights to either Red Sky or the CRU Champagne Bar for more breathtaking panoramas.
Recommended for Tapas because: For tapas with a view, Uno Mas is unrivalled.
Dave's expert tip: Take the BTS to Chitlom, walk the Skybridge to CentralWorld, and use the entrance from the back of the mall into the Centara Grande. Take one elevator to the hotel lobby on the 23rd floor, then another up to the 55th floor.
El Chiringuito is the real deal when it comes to tapas. The owner lived in Spain for six years and knows her stuff. The tiny and homey eatery is located near Chinatown in an old shophouse that has wooden furniture, a retro vibe, and oozes atmosphere. There's a blackboard with daily specials written on it, Spanish favourites like pinto tortilla, patatas braves, or pizzas with chorizo. There is also sangria, Xoriguer gin, and other Spanish drinks to complement the bites. This old school neighbourhood just off of Charoenkrung Road has become an artsy revival spot in the past months, with several low brow and charming little drinking spots to spend the evening in, and it's well worth the rather long schlep over despite the lack of public transport.
Recommended for Tapas because: For Bangkok's best pinto tortilla, atmospheric El Chiringuito charms.
Dave's expert tip: Best to find a taxi up Charoenkrung to get here, it's a long way from either the skytrain or metro. Note that they are usually only open Thursday-Saturday.