This post was produced by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

Bangkok is loaded with great dining restaurants, lots of which hold Michelin stars, and much more of which have actually just gathered faithful fan bases for their fine-tuned handles Thai food. The city is likewise inextricably connected with street food, thanks to the numerous carts, stalls and hole-in-the-wall that turn out flavoursome meals from early morning up until night, whether it’s noodles, curries or something else totally. It can be tough to understand which street food area to select, so we asked a few of Bangkok’s leading fine-dining chefs to inform us where they like to get a bite when they clock off work.

1. Potong

Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij
Potong has actually squandered no time at all in scooping up honors because opening in 2021, having actually made not just a Michelin star however the guide’s inaugural Opening of the Year Award (2023 ), along with an area on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Driving this success is Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij, whose ‘progressive Thai-Chinese’ food, as she calls it, integrates conventional and modern-day methods. “I was born into a Thai-Chinese household however my cooking training remained in New York and really Western-style,” she states. “When it pertained to Potong, I wished to make something more individual.”

The outcome is a reimagining of Thai-Chinese meals, such as five-spiced duck, aged for 14 days and roasted for 10 minutes to produce a crispy bird with “extreme duck flavour”, and frog meat framed in a bamboo lattice and coupled with a clear broth. It’s all provided as part of an altering 20-course tasting menu. All of this happens within a transformed shophouse– previously the head office of Soontornyanakij’s household’s standard Chinese medication service– situated on a street in Chinatown. Above the dining establishment, on the structure’s leading flooring, is Potong’s mixed drink bar, where ready visitors can attempt a ‘mixed drink omakase’ (a choice of the mixologist’s preferred productions).

Street food pointer: “I like Sai Nam Phueng Noodle Shop’s dry rice noodles with slow-cooked chicken wings. The noodles are prepared ideal, with a gooey texture and slippery mouthfeel, and the chicken wings themselves are really yummy.” Street 392/20, in between Sukhumvit Sois 18 and 20

2. Haawm

Dylan Eitharong
“Chefs take Thai food too seriously,” states Dylan Eitharong. “Thai food isn’t a legendary old guy in the mountains who can just be accessed through meditation.” Born in Florida to a Thai dad and a United States mom, Eitharong concerned Bangkok right before the pandemic to open Haawm, the dinner club he ranges from his home. With cooking for the general public briefly not a choice, he utilized the time to deepen his Thai food understanding.

One conclusion he reached: “Thai great dining is a trend”. Regardless of that, Eitharong’s meals– made generally however with a tip of saucy ‘your grandmother would never ever’ energy– are distinctly stylish. They consist of a ‘dry’ tom kha gai (coconut and galangal soup) with chicken braised in young galangal juice; and gaeng tai pla (Southern Thai-style fermented fish innards curry) enriched with roasted coconut and a dash of coconut cream.

Having actually matured with Thai-American food in the United States, “at some time I understood there was more to Thai food than that”, Eitharong states. Influenced by dishes from 1970s and ’80s Thai ladies’s publications, he’s now discovering his own design. He’s not chasing after awards or stars, however his cooking has actually won Haawm a faithful following. And with simply 20 covers, spread out throughout part of his home (he still lives upstairs), this area has actually turned into one of the city’s most popular tickets.

Street food idea:“Khao Tom Jay Suay is my number-one, particularly late night. Constantly order stir-fried pork and Chinese olives, smoked duck breast (include fried garlic), Chinese sausage salad and khao tom (rice porridge) on the side.” 547 Thanon Phlap Phla Chai

At Jay Fat, fried chicken is made to purchase, accompanied by meals utilizing Thai produce such as papayas.

Photo by Witchupol Charoensupaya

3. Nawa Thai Cuisine

Napol ‘Joe’ Jantraget
Downplayed yet stylish, with an open cooking area at its heart, Nawa Thai Cuisine is everything about using an inclusive, less official vision of great dining, where “no matter how raised, we can invite mother and father, auntie and uncle”, according to chef Napol ‘Joe’ Jantraget. Having actually opened the popular– and more casual– dining establishment Samlor in 2021, Jantraget chose to go back to great dining, having actually formerly operated at Bangkok’s Michelin-starred 80/20. “I felt my task, in regards to Thai food, is refrained from doing yet,” he states. In 2015, Jantraget opened Nawa, which he runs together with his pastry chef other half Saki Hoshino, and which has actually currently made a star from Michelin and got its Opening of the Year award.

The ingenious menu functions Central Thai meals such as Hua Hin caviar, Surat Thani crab and natural pork from Nakhon Pathom. It isn’t scared to modify the classics, as evidenced in meals like ma hor– generally, sweet-and-salty pork paste on an acidic piece of pineapple or orange, here served with various fruit depending upon the season. “What makes ma hor is the paste. That’s something we had actually never ever touch,” states Jantraget.

Street food suggestion:“Jay Fat is an aharn tham sung (made-to-order) stall where they make fantastic deep-fried chicken with great deals of MSG. It’s so incorrect however so ideal.” Charoen Krung Soi 28

4. Khaan

Sujira ‘Aom’ Pongmorn
Sujira ‘Aom’ Pongmorn debuted on the Bangkok dining scene like a cooking supernova, ending up being the very first winner of Michelin’s Young Chef Award in 2021, while operating at high-end dining establishment Saawaan. The chef has actually now brought her skills to Khaan, an area she co-owns in downtown Bangkok, committed to “reimagining conventional Thai food”. The relocation happened after the pandemic, when Pongmorn’s “concepts and experiences were rather various”, she states. “I wished to vacate my convenience zone, get motivation from residents.”

This motivation has actually originated from journeys out of Bangkok. “Every weekend, I head out to locations like Rayong, Ranong, Phuket or Krabi,” Pongmorn states. It was on among these vacations that the chef discovered motivation for Khaan in Southern Thai food. “It’s not simply hot food– there are Muslim and Chinese aspects, blended cultures,” she states. As an outcome, a number of Khaan’s developments are peppered with components from the south. These consist of puu naa (rice field crabs) with sticky rice, which Pongmorn states “narrates about how farmers utilize whatever they can discover to develop excellent food”.

Street food idea: “Yoo Fishball is a stall open during the night in Chinatown. I constantly order sen yai nam (rice noodles in a pink fermented tofu broth).” 433 Yaowarat Road

Charmgang is a retro-style curry store, serving its fine-dining spin on traditional Thai curries.

Picture by Zuphachai Laokunrak

5. Charmgang

Aruss ‘Jai’ Lerlerstkull
At Charmgang, restaurants can hear the chefs grill, slice and grind components in a pestle and mortar outdoors cooking area. The dining establishment feels casual, even homely, however the ability that enters into the culinary is a cut above.

“The food is more casual, however we accomplish the very same quality as great dining,” states Aruss ‘Jai’ Lerlerstkull, who helms the cooking area with his partner, Atcharaporn ‘Aew’ Kiatthanawat. The dining establishment’s appeal comes down to more than simply cooking– it’s “the atmosphere, the individuals”, Lerlerstkull states.

The chef, who fulfilled his other half while they were working under David Thompson at Nahm, released Charmgang as a retro-style ‘curry store’. A turning menu of Thai classics flaunts his propensity for curries and his love of coconut. “I understand coconut cream extremely well; every season, every taste, where it originates from,” he states. Not a surprise, then, that coconut-heavy fish curry and panang curry are both completely on the menu.

While these meals appear standard– made ‘with an enthusiasm bordering on fixation’, according to one customer– Lerlerstkull mores than happy to include his own touches, such as a scattering of peanuts to a Penang curry. The ‘standard’ meals of today were the “combinations of 50 years back”, he states. “Food constantly establishes.”

Street food idea: “I like som tam (green papaya salad) stores. At Mae Nid Som Tum, in Si Phraya, I like the laab kua (minced meat salad) with sticky rice and tom saap (spicy Isaan-style clear soup) with bitter bile.” Surawong Road, near Wat Hua Lamphong.

Released in Issue 23 (spring 2023) ofFood by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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