The food courts in Bangkok encompass all that is great about Thai cuisine. The sheer variety of food is sure to overwhelm visitors, and the prices are a great bonus: you can usually dine at street-food prices without actually having to sit on the streets. Here are the top six food courts worth visiting in some of Bangkok’s most popular malls.
Pier 21 Food Court, Terminal 21
Made to look like one of the many piers along San Francisco’s coastline, Pier 21 in Terminal 21 is the most decked-out food court on this list. The Golden Gate Bridge lets visitors know they have arrived at this extensive and delicious dining option. The restaurants around the perimeter serve everything from seafood to Korean cuisine. Arguably the best dining option is the Pier 21 Food Court. It is incredibly affordable (visitors will struggle to spend more than ฿100/US$3) and the stations are easily identified according to the types of food they serve, from tom yum noodles to papaya salad to vegetarian cuisine.
Almost everything about this food court will make you want to return. It does get busy during peak times, though. From 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, long lines will stand between visitors and their delicious meals. Also, the numerous tables always seem to be fully occupied. You may start to feel like the new kid in a large school, trying to find somewhere to sit. Don’t be afraid to politely linger around diners who seem to be finishing up.
This food court is located on the 6th floor of Terminal 21.
Food Land, MBK Center
Prepare to be overwhelmed at Food Island in MBK Center. This mall is popular with tourists because of its Thai souvenirs at affordable prices. The mall is like a giant, air conditioned indoor market. The extensive food court offers street food prices with the luxury of being indoors. Food Island is essentially a large square of vendors, with plenty of seating. It lacks decor or any central theme, but the food and the sheer variety cannot be beaten. Many of the vendors display their food buffet-style, so you can point to what you want. Thai cuisine, Indian dishes, street food… there are even two dedicated vegetarian stands.
Food Land is located on the sixth floor of MBK Food Island.
Sometimes, the smallest things pack the most powerful punch. This is certainly the case with the food court in Gateway Ekamai. Though the selection is small, it will impress all kinds of diners. The health conscious can opt for a salad or fruit smoothie from the stall adjacent to the large sliding glass doors. Vegetarians should head for the Kitchen by Khunta, which serves delicious stir-fried vegetables, tofu, and more. Those hoping for something sweeter can choose from many varieties of crepes.
The only downside to this otherwise amazing food court is its dearth of seating, and the shortage isn’t restricted to the lunch rush. There are only about ten tables, requiring diners to sit with strangers. Otherwise, take-out is available.
Gateway Ekamai, 982/22 Sukhumvit Road Prakanong Klongtoey, Bangkok, +66 02 108 2889
Paragon Food Hall, Siam Paragon
The Paragon Food Hall in Siam Paragon greets visitors with more restaurants and types of cuisine than they could possibly know what to do with. There is a happy balance of sit-down restaurants and to-go vendors, as well as street-like food vendors who circle the outside of the restaurants.
Those with a sweet tooth should check out the extensive bakery section, with delicious baked treats from INbake and BaanCake Homemade Bakery. Each restaurant has its own decor and theme. If its sophisticated dining and extensive cuisine that visitors are after, this is the place to go.
Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok, +66 02 690 1000
Food Republic, Siam Center
Food Republic in Siam Center is full of quality Thai, Indian, and other international food selections. The numerous restaurants sell everything from vegetarian burgers to fish ball noodles, and everything in-between. It is certainly more luxurious and stylish than the other food courts on this list. Chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, and plenty of stark metal seating is available. Street signs indicate where to find what in the small food court.
My Kitchen, Siam Discovery
Probably one of the most unique food courts in terms of decor and design is My Kitchen by Siam Discovery. The super chic eating space is made up of monochrome tables and chairs, with circular accents on the floor and ceiling. There are only six different dining options to choose from, but what it lacks in variety it certainly makes up for in its embellished dining space. Some of the tables even come with Ipads, on which to place your orders.