At around 100 kilometers away from Bangkok, Ayutthaya is a popular destination for many travelers in search of some culture and history. They’re sure to find it too; Ayutthaya is a former capital of Thailand with several stunning temples that have to be seen to be believed. Though it has a rich cultural heritage, there’s also a rich culinary heritage too. Today, whilst its status as Siam’s food capital may have left, its culinary treats haven’t, so here’s the pick of the restaurants in Ayutthaya.
Fresh seafood features prominently on the menu | sherreenleesy/Pixabay
Seafood, as one might expect, features heavily on the menu for a place located on the banks of one of Ayutthaya’s many waterways. Ayutthaya is well known for its giant river prawns, which can grow as big as your hand, and they’re served alongside a number of tasty sauces to enjoy. The riverside terrace is a wonderful place to sit and watch the passing boats go by whilst enjoying a fresh seafood dish or one of the Thai classics they have on their menu. The menu is written in both Thai and English and has pictures of the dishes, so there’s no need to point and hope for the best. A perfect, scenic spot to refuel in.
With a location close to a large park, and to the Ayutthaya Historical Park, it’s both the perfect place to fuel up before you begin your adventures or to refuel and discuss you exploration of the city. Unpretentious and homely, it’s a cozy, comfy place to eat your usual Thai favourites, such as pad Thai, as well as a few Western home comforts too. The coffee is good, the waitresses friendly and the smaller touches, such as a flower garnish on the plate, typify the attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile that the wait staff and chefs had. Despite being simple, the dishes are cooked to perfection in an authentic manner, which will see you leave the restaurant making a note to come back again soon.
If you’re looking for an authentic restaurant in one of the most historic cities in Thailand, you should look no further than Bai Plu. Its comfy outdoor seating area features views of some of Ayutthaya awesome temples, meaning you’ll be eating your dinner in the shadow of history. Its menu is un-Westernised, meaning you’ll have the opportunity to taste real Thai food rather than the dishes that have been altered to suit the palette of the backpackers. Hidden away off the main streets with background music playing rather than the sound of traffic, it’s a peaceful restaurant with a temple view — everything you could possibly want from a restaurant in Ayutthaya.
With indoor seating as well as outdoor tables with views of the ruins, Malakor is perfect for those who wish to beat the heat as well as take in the splendor of this historic former capital. Generous servings of Thai classic dishes are served with a high level of quality — and the traditional Thai high level of spice, so be careful when insisting that you can handle the heat. You’re not on Khaosan Road anymore, Toto.
The fried rice served in a pineapple is both a visual and culinary treat, whilst there’s also an extensive coffee and smoothie menu to keep you refreshed. Its free Wi-Fi helps you to plan your next stop, but after tasting the authentic and tasty food here, you may want to stay a little longer.
Wat Mahathat's famous Buddha head in a fig tree | unserekleinemaus/Pixabay
Extremely close to Ayutthaya’s famous Wat Mahathat, Somtum Sukunya is a great dinner option for those who wish to have a bite to eat in the morning, close to the temple to beat the crowds, and for those who want somewhere to rest up after traipsing around the historical park. As the name might suggest, the spicy salad somtam is a hit here as are other Isaan dishes, such as larb and other salads. The decor is Thai and, when coupled with the fact that jaw-dropping temples are just across the road, it makes for an authentic eating experience. The usual Thai favourites can also be found here, along with coffee, to make those early, temple-exploring starts a little easier. For its proximity to the temples, its authentic flavours and the low prices, it’s a must-visit in Ayutthaya.
Sala Ayutthaya is a trendy restaurant and bar with a prime location in Ayutthaya. Located on the edge of the river, it has stunning views of the prangs and chedis that belong to the temple across from the river, which make for quite the sight when illuminated at night. With such a great view, it would be a shame if the food spoiled it — fortunately for you, it doesn’t. Freshly caught seafood is available, including the huge river prawns, as are the usual Thai dishes you might expect. It’s a little bit more up-market than most of the restaurants in the area, but for the quality of both the food and the surroundings, it’s well worth the price. Its outside deck features comfortable seats and mood lighting; there’s even an art gallery to look enjoy too. Romantic, welcoming and modern, it’s worth a look if you’re on the hunt for something a little special.
If Ayutthaya is all about heritage and history, then it’s clear that The Summer House didn’t get the memo. The Summer House is a wonderfully modern, Western-style cafe and eatery serving Thai food with a twist. It has a wide menu featuring both traditional Thai food and also interesting fusion food dishes, with the tom yum spaghetti proving to be a particular hit with its visitors. The decor is shiny and modern, whilst the outside seating areas are also up to date and comfy, with beanbags for sitting and wooden pallets serving as tables. Perfect if you’re looking for something modern, trendy, and familiar during your travels.
Kauy Tiew Pak Wan is a Muslim-run restaurant that’s extremely popular with the locals. In fact, it’s where the guides will take you if you ask for a local joint. Whilst it can get quite busy, it’s worth the struggle. As well as typical Thai dishes, it also serves an Ayutthaya specialty — kuay tiew. Kuay tiew, or boat noodles, is a dish of delicious soupy broth with an array of meats, veggies and noodles inside, and it is a must-try dish when in the region. With the meals they serve and the rustic, wooden furniture inside, it’s as authentic as they come, not to mention delicious and easy on the wallet as well. It’s halal, so perfect if you’re looking for somewhere that suits your dietary requirements and a great choice too if you’re not.