Foodies Bangkok – Best Budget places to eat

After wonderful Costa Del Sol, Paris & Barcelona vacation in April, we thought of landing up at food haven Bangkok for our summer vacation! This was our umpteenth visit to one of the world’s most visited cities and this time we stayed for a week – enough to compile down a list of budget places to eat, for all you foodies.

I write on food to break some myths which readers (and friends) may have about food on vacations – that vegetarian food isn’t much available overseas, halal food is tough to get, that food at exotic locations has to be very expensive, and all types of food aren’t available in all locations!

Through my blogs I aim to filter and list only:

– multiple types of cuisines at single location

– great tasty food

– already has great reviews over trip advisor

– costs less than 10$ per person

– has vegetarian options

– halal mode of preparation (mostly)

– enough sightseeing/activity options around to spend full day

– absolute value for money

– good quantity serving

– and comfortable, decent ambience with clean toilets for refresh

It’s said, great food can only enhance a happy mind. So here’s my list of best places to eat (in no particular order) various cuisines at Bangkok, on a budget.

  1. Restaurant name – Kuang Seafood

Cuisine – Seafood 

Area – Ratchathewi

Nearby full day activity – Shop, shop, shop at wholesale markets of Pratunam, Indra Square & Platinum Fashion Mall. 

Kuang Seafood is popular, known to Bangkok taxi drivers and bang for the buck

We ordered Crab meat fried rice (medium), Tom Yum seafood (small), one crispy fried grouper fish with garlic and pepper and crab cakes. This was adequate for family of four and cost barely 1400 THB = 54 SGD = 42 USD! Air conditioned and extremely good service. Crab cakes you can give a pass, but the rest, dot on the money. Their crab meat fried rice doesn’t compromise on quantity of crab meat in it.

2. Restaurant name – Somboon Seafood

Cuisine – Seafood 

Area – Siam

Nearby full day activity – Plenty! Siam Madame Tussaud’s, Aquarium, Kidzania or just shop around.

Somboon Seafood is one of long running and best Bangkok seafood restaurants

We ordered Crab meat fried rice (medium), One signature curry crab (medium), one crispy fried grouper fish with chilli and lime. This was just filling for family of four and cost barely 1300 THB = 50 SGD = 39 USD! Somboon Seafood is a branded place and had queues even on weekday lunch. Service is exemplary – our food came within 5-7 minutes of ordering. Almost everyone ordered the signature crab curry.

3. Restaurant name – Al Husseini (Halal)

Cuisine – Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani

Area – Nana

Nearby full day activity – Shopping & adult night life. 

Al Huseini Bangkok is an absolute treasure – budget, lip smacking and great portions

Al Husseini is our hidden gem find of 2014, thanks to local friends Imtiyaz Pirani & Nirmal Kapadia there. This place serves heavenly food with large servings at drop down prices. Their spicy roast full fish (300 THB = 11 SGD = 8 USD) has to be one of the cheapest and tastiest full fish ever eaten inside an aircon restaurant. The chicken tikka masala, prawn masala and chicken keema parantha are to die for. Even in pizzas their chicken pizza and tuna pizza outdoes many branded manufacturers with thick toppings and soft base. Soft, even after you parcel and eat a day later. Ditto for their naans. For vegetarians, there is paneer masala and potato stuffed paranthas. My kids love their honey paranthas and chocolate paranthas although I wouldn’t recommend them for adults, with the other available choices. Ideal meal for four would be the spicy roast full fish, a chicken tikka masala, three naans and end with two caramel pudding sharing. This would barely cost 800 THB = 31 SGD = 24 USD! That’s 6 USD per pax. In an Aircon restaurant, in heart of Bangkok. In our 2015 trip, out of possible 14 meals, we had six meals at this place!

4. Restaurant name – After You (multiple outlets at Siam Paragon, Central World)

Cuisine – Dessert meals

Area – Siam

Nearby full day activity – Plenty! Siam Madame Tussaud’s, Aquarium, Kidzania or just shop around.

After You, Bangkok, is redefining the desserts domain. Just matter of time before it branches all over Asia

This isn’t budget place but ‘After You’ is growing to be the most popular dessert cafe at Bangkok. Weekday mornings our queue time was 5 mins, evenings it’s 15-20 mins, on weekends it goes 40-60mins. Yes, they have a token queuing system, they need it; and you need to be there with empty stomach. We aren’t fans of full meal desserts but our local friends, Imtiyaz Pirani & Nirmal Kapadia, convinced us to have a try. Their honey toast (small) has the softest toast you can ever imagine and good for a filling meal for one pax atleast! The Mango sticky rice or Strawberry cheesecake cost around 235 THB = 9 SGD = 7 USD each but enough to fill two stomachs. They melt, they sweeten, they flirt with your sweet buds and give you that heavenly feeling. These desserts you wouldn’t have eaten anywhere. This chain will likely spread all over Asia soon.

5. Restaurant name – International Food Avenue, Level 5, MBK  mall (Halal)

Cuisine – Multi-cuisine International Food

Area –MBK

Nearby full day activity – Shop full day at MBK. This is as if you are at Chatuchak market with more polish and under an air-conditioned mall. Worth spending whole day shopping and eating at this food court twice.

 

MBK International food hall Level 5 is the best food court in the world. Believe us!

 

MBK’s Level 5 International Food Avenue is the best food court i have visited over my travels across the world. Its spacious, ultra neat, has counters ranging from Greek to Mexican to Italian to all types of Asian and Middle east. And most importantly its within closed walls, so your kids can run around without you fearing their safety – the staff don’t allow you to leave the foot court till payment for each member is made – identified by individual cards.The pricing is a bit above standard food court prices but taste is at par with the best. MBK Level 5 International Food avenue (not to be confused with a standard food court at Level 6) gives you taste of the best, with a relaxed restaurant ambience. Must visit. Adequate vegetarian and halal options.

6. Restaurant name – Food Court, Siam Paragon

Cuisine – Asian Food Court

Area –Siam

Nearby full day activity – Plenty! Siam Madame Tussaud’s, Aquarium, Kidzania or just shop around.

Siam Paragon Food Court is the best for South Asian food seekers

 

Siam food court would be the second best in Bangkok for its neatness, variety and its affinity to primarily local cuisine. So if you are not really international, then go for this food court. The spicy catfish and the tom yum fried rice are dishes I have had multiple times and can never get bored with. This is food court prices and in middle of Siam string of malls so you have plenty to explore and do there. Do they have vegetarian food? i doubt so.

7. Restaurant name – Beirut restaurant (Halal)

Cuisine – Turkish / Lebanese

Area – Nana

Nearby full day activity – Shopping & adult night life. 

Beirut Restaurant, Bangkok is easily the the best middle eastern restaurant there – with Budget and great ambience. Falafels, Kibbeh, Kebabs and the bean soup..great stuff

Beirut restaurant is probably the best middle east restaurant at Bangkok. Nadimos is another famous one but Beirut’s ambience is classy. The prices are very decent too. I got my vegetarian friend Nirmal Kapadia in and he was impressed with the lentil falafel and the bean soup dishes. The bean soup is one which we ate first time at Istanbul, guided by our friend cum tour guide Yunus Emre Kirpik – the finest and budget guide there. Having tasted that first time we have been looking to have more of it wherever we see a middle eastern restaurant. Beirut has fantastic kibbeh and kebabs too. The bill for four adults would be around 30 USD and that in a fancy restaurant.

8. Restaurant name – Suk 11 Soi 11

Cuisine – Thai (Sigh!)

Area – Nana

Nearby full day activity – Shopping & adult night life. 

Suk 11 Soi 11 is street food restaurant very popular with westerners. The food is edgy, spicy and must have!

Suk 11 at Soi 11 is one of the most popular street food restaurants frequented a lot by westerners. That is because Suk 11 is a budget backpackers hostel and very popular with westerners. We visited this place twice and it was packed and had to wait for a table. The tables are by the street and hence isn’t an air-conditioned ambience. But the look and feel of tourists walking by gives a lot of vibrancy. The food is street food preparation at a restaurant. Spicy and edgy. You will sure need some drinks to soothe the spice attack. Likely no vegetarian or halal food here. The bill roughly 20 USD for 2 including drinks.

9. Restaurant name – Chautachak market street food

Cuisine – street food/everything!

Area – Chatuchak market

Nearby full day activity – 11am – 6pm street shopping non stop on weekends 

Chatuchak weekend market has several food stalls – from Spanish seafood Paella to Coconut Icecream to cut fruits mixed with chilli and jaggery! heard that ever! and this is just a trailer.

Chatuchak weekend market has several food stalls – from Spanish seafood Paella to Coconut Ice cream to cut fruits mixed with chilli and jaggery to every other asian dish you can imagine! Its cheap, its packed (take care of your kids and wallets) and  its a wholesale street market. Open only on weekends between 11am-6pm, Chatuchak market is must visit for every tourist – if nothing, then for the 8000 odd shops lined up nestled with each other. Just coming over for a food sampling tour will take you to the essence and roots of Bangkok. Strongly recommended. Search for their big fresh tiger prawns fried and kept packed. A pack of 7-8 big (6inch long tiger prawns) will cost a mere 300 THB ie 10 USD! look no further! I will try to search for the tiger prawn pack i had taken and will update this post.

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