Here’s how to get the best of both worlds – shopping while getting the best of eating in Siam and Pratunam. #noFOMO
Bangkok is known for being a food and shopping heaven and there are so many must-eat lists floating around the internet. However, what do you do when you are pressed for time on your 4D3N trip and cannot cover it all? Some sacrifice their shopping, some their sleep, and some, their meals. If your itinerary is filled with items like this: Pratunam, MBK, Siam Paragon, Chatuchak, you’ve got your priorities right and we’ve got you covered.
1. SABX2 WANTON MEE & PIGS TROTTERS
No bkk food list is complete without Sabx2 wanton mee. This not-so-hidden gem is located in a small alley in Soi 19 in Pratunam, just opposite Platinum Fashion Mall, right beside GLOW Pratunam Hotel. It is an ideal place to head to for breakfast to power up for your compulsive shopping in Platinum or for a lunch break. There are 6 versions to choose from: Soup or dry, big or small, regular or special. Order the dry, big and regular version. It looks unassuming, there is nothing about the dish that specifically stands out but the first bite will have you placing orders for 2 more bowls. You’ll burn the calories walking through platinum anyway.
We also recommend ordering the pig trotters rice (Ter Kar Png) even if you don’t normally eat this or are adverse to pig trotters.
Where: 6, 2/6 Soi Phetchaburi 19, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Opening Hours: Daily 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
2. POMEGRANATE DRINK
Available in food carts along the street in Phetchaburi Road, the main road where Platinum Mall is located, pomegranate juice is both extremely rich in anti-oxidants and very refreshing, especially in Bangkok’s hot and humid weather. There are also other options available such as orange and lime, but the pomegranate version is the best for quenching your thirst while shopping.
Where: along Phetchaburi Main Road, Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours: Usually 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
3. PANDAN CAKES / KUEHS
Also available along the main road are food carts selling little pandan keuh snacks. The stall we recommend is the one right beneath the main overhead bridge linking Platinum Mall to the other side where Pratu Nam Market is. So convenient – on the way from one shopping stop to another. Eat this snack while hot, and the pandan aroma is more than satisfying.
Where: 50, 745 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Thanon Phaya Thai, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand
Opening Hours: Random, till late
4. PLATINUM FOOD COURT
The great thing about eating at this food court is that it is an ideal way to fill your stomach with authentic and delicious Thai food while shopping. There are many stalls to choose from and you will not go wrong with any of the stalls at Platinum Food Court. However, there are some stalls that have found fans in us.
MANGO STICKY RICE
Located in the middle of the food court. Mango Sticky Rice is one Thai dessert you need to eat in Thailand. Thai mangos are exceptionally sweet and goes very well with glutinous rice.
CLAYPOT KWAY CHAP
Not the usual Kway Chap you can find in Singapore. The rice noodles are rolled up and the soup base is more flavourful and herbal than it’s Singaporean counterpart.
Some have said that this is the best Pad Thai in the whole of Bangkok. The queue is always long at this stall, even at close to 8 p.m. You should also try the fried oyster omelette.
VEGETARIAN FOOD STALL
Vegans and Muslims rejoice! This amazing but underrated vegetarian stall serves a great vegetarian variety, ranging from Tom Yum Soup to Pad Thai and many mix-veg dishes that go with rice. We recommend trying their spicy vegetable dishes even to non-vegans and meat lovers.
Where: 6th Floor, Platinum Fashion Mall Food Court (Platinum Mall 2)
Opening Hours: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
PRATU NAM MARKET
5. FRIED BANANA PRATA / PANCAKE (ROTI GLUAY)
Having this prata is a great way to end your shopping at the night Pratunam market. There are many street food stalls that sell banana prata around this area, but the one you should hunt down is sold by this distinctive prata man:
Famous among Singaporeans for being friendly and entertaining, he also sells the cheapest, most delicious banana prata at the night market.
Where: in the alley between Blutique Hotel and Citin Pratunam Hotel
Opening Hours: 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
6. GRILLED PORK (MOO PING)
Looks innocent, smells heavenly, and there is no way you can stop at one. This can be found almost anywhere, be it at Chatuchak, Pratunam or Siam, and they taste about the same wherever you buy it.
Where: anywhere along the Pratunam Night Market.
7. THAI FRIED CHICKEN (GAI TOD)
This can also be found anywhere in Bangkok, with some markets even having two or three replicates of Gai Tod stalls in different sections. Way better than KFC and Korean fried chicken, we urge you to drop by the street food carts outside Central World along the main road to buy one of this if you are shopping in the malls.
Where: along Ratchadamri Rd and Rama 1 Rd
Opening hours: 7 p.m. to late
8. SALT COATED BBQ FISH / GRILLED TILAPIA FISH (MIEANG PLA-PLAO)
Unassuming and a little repulsive looking, this is one dish you can not miss for dinner if you are shopping or staying in the Pratunam / Siam area. The fish is coated generously in salt (hence the white bits on the fish) before being slow roasted. You are supposed to peel back the skin and only eat the fresh, sweet, tender meat. Some stalls peel it back before serving it to you. Wrap the meat in the leafy vegetables, throw in some herbs and chilli sauce and eat it whole.
This famous area is a congregation of similar stalls selling the same menu. Here’s where you can also have your fix of authentic Thai dishes such as green papaya salad, green mango salad, Tom Yum Goong, etc.
Where: right outside Central World, opposite Big C, along Ratchadamri Rd
Opening hours: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
9. ZEN JAPANESE RESTAURANT (SIAM CENTRE)
Not as famous as ISAO, but no one on a shopping frenzy has the time to travel all the way to Sukhumvit Road (30 minutes be it by BTS rail or taxi) for cheap and good Japanese food. Zen Japanese Restaurant is good enough and has fans flocking to the restaurant upon arrival to Bangkok, though we would recommend specially making a trip down to ISAO if you are on a food hunt.
Where: ZEN Japanese Restaurant, Siam Center 415-417, Central World
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
10. AFTER YOU
After You is extremely famous for their Shibuya Honey Toast and they have many outlets in Bangkok. We have tried other flavours but reckon the original is still the best. It is best to have this sinful dessert after lunch, for tea or after shopping. For supper, you can head over to the Siam Square branch which is open till midnight – perfect for an energy burst after a night of shopping at Siam Square Night Market.
Where: Siam Square One, Ground Floor, Siam Square Soi 7
Opening hours: daily, noon – midnight
Where: Siam Paragon, Ground floor
Opening hours: daily, 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Where: Central World, 7th Floor
Opening hours: daily, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
11. SOM TAM NUA
Highly reviewed and raved, especially for their papaya salad (som tam), Som Tam Nua serves Isaan (Northeastern Thai) dishes and you can find both locals and tourists frequenting the restaurant. The queue is always long, so be there early if you are planning to shop after lunch or dinner.
Where: 392/14 Soi Siam Square 5, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
12. BAN KHUN MAE
Another famous restaurant with a long queue, Ban Khun Mae is a great Thai food sampler place where newcomers can be introduced to popular Thai dishes such as Tom Yum Goong, Som Tam, spring rolls, basil chicken, mango sticky rice, young coconut, Thai milk tea, baked glass noodles, etc.
Where: 458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan District, Bangkok 10330
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
13. SIAM SQUARE BOAT NOODLES (KUAY TEOW RUA)
Not as popular as the Victory Monument congregation of boat noodles at the Boat Noodles Alley (20 minutes away from Siam Square by taxi), but authentic and good enough. Siam Square Boat Noodles is just perfect for those on a shopping spree but want a taste of the traditional Thai noodles.
These are called boat noodles because they used to be sold on boats. As waters are choppy, serving sizes are kept small so they don’t spill over. Each bowl of noodles are sold at around 10 Baht, so people usually eat a couple of bowls for a meal.
Where: Siam Square Soi 10
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
14. MONT NOM SOD
Mont Nom Sod is a great place for taking a short tea break while shopping and is famous for their variety of toasts and milk. We definitely recommend trying the toasts as they are fragrant, soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The milks are a tad too sweet for our liking as Thais really love their drinks sweet but it’s worth sharing with your companions.
Where: 2nd Floor, MBK Centre
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Not in the Siam or Pratunam area, but worth a bonus mention as it is the most popular shopping market tourists visit. It is also an area where street food is really, really abundant – the epitome of eating while shopping.
15. COCONUT ICE CREAM
Lastly, the recently popularized coconut ice cream. Not as impressive as some of the items on this list, but a must try for all the hype it’s getting on social media. Not worth travelling down to Chatuchak if you have priorities shopping elsewhere. You might also be able to find similar food carts at Pratunam or Siam’s night markets. However, if you are in the area, these coconut ice creams are extremely refreshing in the hot weather especially in Chatuchak, so you’ll be more than grateful for snacking on this. After all, Thailand is not just the land of smiles but also the land of coconuts.
Where: Chatuchak. Abundant in different sections of the market.
Bangkok simply has too many food choices to offer. It would take you more than a short 4D3N trip to cover it all, even if you take 5 meals a day and even more so if you have got other purposes (like shopping) on your itinerary. We hope this cheat sheet above allowed you to get the most out of your shopping and eating (and possibly up to date for your social media).