Go overboard on the Pad Thai? Or just need a break from testing out your personal chili pepper tolerance? Check out these incredible Western dining options in Bangkok, from the finest of French cuisine to SoCal-inspired taco trucks, and every flavour in between.
Le Normandie Bangkok
Bar, Restaurant, French, Fusion, Contemporary, $$$
Le Normandie Bangkok is a culinary institution in the Thai capital. It has been hailed as the best fine dining experience in the city, offering waterfront views from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, itself draped in vintage crystal chandeliers, flower arrangements, and elegant decor. The two Michelin Star-rated menu focuses on modern French flavours brought to life through a combination of locally-sourced and quality imported ingredients.
Sensi takes the view that all five senses are needed to truly appreciate a meal. From presentation to taste to olfactory attack, Sensi doesn’t apologize for the way they approach cuisine. It takes traditional dishes and adds a gastronomic twist, like a traditional homemade gnocchi in a gorgonzola, green apple rocket and red wine sauce. What’s more, the edgy, art-deco setting makes the ambiance perfect for a multi-course meal that has conflicting yet somehow perfectly aligned flavors.
With its wide, open-floor restaurant, Goji Kitchen + Bar takes its guests on a journey through an enormous variety of international cuisine, featuring more than 10 stations of buffet options that includes freshly-shucked oysters, professionally-rolled sushi, made-to-order pasta and suckling pig roasted on a parilla grill.
A cosy and casual neighbourhood haunt, Papa’s Kitchen doles up the most mouthwatering Western comfort food in the city. The “Guv’nor” beef burger and Buffalo chicken wings have cult-like followings, while homesick British expats rave about Papa’s perfectly beer-battered fish and chips. Finally, don’t leave without grabbing a slice of their homemade pecan pie.
This Silom hotspot opened to the tune of its founding mantra: “to break the mold of what contemporary cuisine can be in Southeast Asia.” Their New York-trained chef has delivered on this promise, combining unique and creative taste combinations delivered in minimalistic ways, with all focus on the food. The latest new menu item is an incredible dish of Angus short ribs with candied sweet potatoes and Korean BBQ sauce, or its five-course “Sustainable Market Menu” for which all produce is sourced directly from local, sustainable organic farms and paired with natural organic wines.
With a homey, inviting atmosphere, the chefs at Bangkok’s only true German restaurant bring a contemporary feel to classic dishes, without relying on the staple street wurst that’s become synonymous with German fare overseas. Its Himmel and Erde – or Heaven and Earth – dish is a medley of black pudding, green apples, and crispy potatoes paired with a decadent pasta unique to southern Germany. Or try the lamb imported from Holland, cooked in an aromatic broth with seasonal greens, paired with one of their selection of excellent German and Austrian wines.
Eat Me is a stylish restaurant with an on-site art gallery featuring edgy young, local artists, serving an enticing selection of international cuisine. Dishes include spicy rabbit ragu, lemongrass chicken, grilled squid, roasted lamb, king salmon, and sea urchins with rice, and there’s a good choice for vegetarian diners too. There’s an extensive selection of enticing desserts, wines, and cocktails. For something completely different to the norm, try the Thai-inspired Laab-Moo cocktail – it contains shallots, cilantro, roasted rice, and ham.
Located in the Patpong Market area, this restaurant does one cuisine and does it well: barbecue. Its interior is dimly lit, with high ceilings acting as acoustic boosters to the slow croon of jazz and blues music, and the sporadic array of photographs lining its brick interior give a polished vibe to its BBQ-shack ethos. Almost all of its menu items revolve around its top-of-the-line smokers, resulting in intense flavours packed into its slow-cooked brisket, lamb, ribs, and even mac ‘n’ cheese portions. Be sure to give its namesake pugs Basil and Su a bit of love!
The race for the best tacos in Bangkok has been underway for years, with plenty of worthy contenders included in the mix. La Monita Taqueria pulls just ahead with its Mexican Urban Cantina flare, offering a number of unique specialties like their New Zealand rib eye steak burrito filled with melted cheese, pinto beans, fresh salsa, delicious guacamole, and sour cream. The menu is seemingly endless, packed with creatively designed gorditas, quesadillas, toratas, burritos, nachos, tacos, and an impressive cocktail list to boot. The flagship store is in Sukhumvit, with a satellite near Lumphini Park – but for the full Tex Mex experience check out its food truck parked right in the middle of Siam Paragon Megamall.
A list of the best Western food in Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without the one dish that supersedes cultural barriers – pizza. Bangkokites have an ongoing love affair with the Italian classic (or Italian-American, depending on who you ask,) and the huge variety of options for a cheesy feast indicate just that. Sole Mio is as authentic as it gets in the City of Angels – with a quirky, rustic decor, authentic dishes and a lively atmosphere. With a team from Turin and Rome, Sole Mio’s pizza comes with a thin, crispy base topped with delicious ingredients such as black olives, mushroom and artichokes. If you are in the mood for something else, the restaurant cooks outstanding pastas and delicious deserts.