Bangkok’s Old City has plenty of dining options, but the great ones can be a little tricky to find, so we’ve put together a list of our top ten, complete with map. Aesthetically speaking, it’s one of the most attractive neighbourhoods in Bangkok, as many of the buildings have been preserved as they were a hundred years ago. There are restaurants in old shophouses, like Seven Spoons, or with amazing views over the river towards Wat Arun, such as Arun Residence and Sala Rattanakosin. For a taste of the best local cuisine in a rustic style we recommend Roti Mataba and Thip Samai Pad Thai, both popular with foodies, and there’s a whole range of cuisines here, including Bangkok’s best burger joint, Esca, located in the Khao San Area. There’s enough variety in the Old City to find something for everyone... just remember to take directions.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Steve Cafe & Cuisine is tucked away on the riverside, far from busy streets, with no easy access and with no big signage. It's almost as if you have to be worthy to find it. Of course, it's not an unknown restaurant thanks to word of mouth spreading the good news that Steve Cafe has got everything just right, guaranteeing its success. So much so that it's now recommended that you call in advance if you come for dinner.
Steve Café combines several successful key ingredients: a great riverside location with no tall buildings blocking the view, thousands of silver fish swimming around as locals feed them, and a permanent ballet of old-fashioned wooden boats floating by almost silently. The most important thing is, of course, the food, which is very Thai and uses quality ingredients cooked with passion. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 11am to 10.30pm
- Location: 68 Soi Sri Ayuthaya 21, Wachira Phayaban, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 280 2989
In a cosy double shophouse on a quiet road that visitors don’t really frequent you will find one of the best restaurants in Bangkok. Seven Spoons is so popular that it's recently expanded, but still has the warm atmosphere and large portions of Mediterranean and vegetarian food that regulars are familiar with and first-timers will be excited by. It now opens for lunch and offers sandwiches alongside its hearty mains. The reason behind its expansion is simple; with delicious food and strong cocktails, Seven Spoons is a rare find in the city, a restaurant with real passion and prices so low that you will be doing a double-take when they bring you the bill. Seven Spoons is almost too good to share, and despite its popularity it still feels like a fantastic secret. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 11am to 3pm and from 6pm to 11.30pm
- Location: 22-24 Chakkrapatipong Road, Wat Sommanat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 629 9214
Most visitors to Bangkok have heard that the iconic Wat Arun on the riverside is also known as The Temple of Dawn, but the best time to capture its beauty is at sunset. And the best place to witness the sun disappearing precisely behind the monument is from the balcony of Arun Residence. a great restaurant located right across the Chao Phraya River. For this exact reason, the hard to find Arun Residence is now an increasingly popular restaurant and reserving a table has become necessary.
Serving excellent Thai food, it's the perfect place to dine with friends on a trip to Bangkok, or even for a romantic tete a tete. The restaurant is quite narrow but there's plenty of space over the 3 floors and wooden terrace.. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Monday–Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday–Sunday from 11am to 11pm (top floor bar opens 5.30pm)
- Location: 36 Maharat Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 221 9158
Another restaurant that offers uninterrupted views of Wat Arun from its roof terrace, Sala Rattanakosin is part of a sleek and fun hotel, but the restaurant is definitely the highlight. There’s a deck and buffed concrete-lined dining room on the second floor (don’t worry, the floor to ceiling windows guarantee a backdrop of the temple), and a 5th-floor rooftop that’s ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks and sunset photos.
Make sure you book ahead as it’s extremely popular. The food is a mix of traditional Thai with a twist and western dishes with Thai flavours, and there’s a different menu for lunch and dinner. Getting there from town isn’t very easy, so we recommend taking the boat from Saphan Taksin (disembark at Tha Tien Pier, N8). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 10pm
- Location: 39 Maharat Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 622 1388
Err Restaurant Bangkok is a casual dining concept where delicious Thai food and snacks can be enjoyed with a collection of tasty cocktails. The menu runs through expertly prepared street-food favourites, single dishes and some more filling curries, and with cheap prices (the most expensive item on the menu is 360 baht) if you come with friends you can pretty much eat your way through the menu. Developed by renowned Chefs Dylan and Bo, the couple behind incredibly popular fine-dining Thai restaurant Bo.Lan, Err Restaurant is very different in scope. Kooky graffiti on the bare brick walls, tin plates, soul and funk tunes on the stereo – the vibe is a nostalgic look back at Thailand of the past. It’s really well done and makes a cool ambience for dinner and drinks. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 11am to 4pm and from 5pm to 9pm (closed on Mondays)
- Location: 394/35 Maharat Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 622 2292
Sheepshank is hidden down a small alleyway but arrive by river boat and the welcome is warmer, with the restaurant lights shining onto the water (disembark at Phra Arthit Pier, N13).
For those who are familiar with American cuisine, there are plenty of comforting dishes on the menu. The food is not only easy on the eye, but it has the kind of spirit and flavour combinations that leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. The restaurant is run by Joke, a chef who seems to have an instinct for what people want. He’s also a bit of an interior designer, taking the abandoned boat shed and turning it into the dining room you see now. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 5.30pm to 12am (closed on Mondays)
- Location: 49 Phra Athit Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 629 5165
This pretty Indian restaurant is tucked along Soi Rambuttri towards Chao Fah Road, and is a favourite with locals and visitors. Take off your shoes and relax back in their sumptuous cushions, this place is all about deep-red velvet and silk.
There's a great choice on the menu with amazing mutton curries, and homemade rotis and naan bread, and if you’re not hungry sit outside on the terrace enjoying a jug of beer and a shisha pipe. On Saturdays, Bombay Blues plays host to local Indians who are more than happy to teach you some Bollywood dance steps. Bombay Blues is a great value place for a romantic date or a low-key supper. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 5pm to 2am
- Location: Soi Rong Mai, Chao Fa Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)9 5520 1515
Thip Samai Pad Thai (Ghost Gate)
This is possibly the most famous – and the best – pad Thai joint in the country. With over 50 years’ of experience, Thip Samai offers 7 types of delicious pad Thai ranging from 30 baht to a little over 100 baht per dish. The signature version, pad Thai song-kreung consists of shrimp roe, prawns, fried egg, fresh crabmeat, ground cuttlefish and sliced mango – very delicious. Beside pad Thai, Thip Samai is also known for its freshly squeezed orange juice and ice smoothies with pieces of sliced coconut.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 5pm to 1am
- Location: 313-315 Maha Chai Rd, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 226 6666
This retro restaurant is located on the smart boulevard that leads off Democracy Monument. The whole atmosphere transports you to another world, one where the waiters are dressed in a suit and tie and the service is excellent. A live string quartet and pianist play classic tunes at a volume that makes conversation easy. The food served here is in keeping with the surroundings – traditional Thai royal cuisine with just the right amount of spice and a decent variety of dishes.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10.30am to 10pm
- Location: Methalavai Residence Bangkok, 78/2 Ratchadamnoen Rd, Wat Bowonniwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 224 3088
The majority of Escapade is taken up by a long bar offering the best cocktails in the Old City, with an award-winning mixologist creating custom blends. They also offer a limited but mouthwatering range of burgers, with the Angus beef burger being a popular option. From the outside, this tiny burger bar looks like a house built for an eel, so the interior of this shophouse surprises with so much style in such an ultra-narrow place.
There is plenty of interesting artwork haphazardly displayed on the charcoal grey walls and a small garden area out back. A chalk board promotes running specials. When the craving for a juicy burger hits, instead of heading over to one of the fast-food chains on Khao San Road, check out the bespoke burgers at Escapade – they are so superior it’s beyond comparison.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 3pm to 9pm
- Location: Warehouse30, Charoen Krung Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)8 1406 3773