Best budget restaurants in Bangkok: 40+ best eats in 2019
October 4, 2019
Searching for the best cheap places to eat in Bangkok in 2019
Up to date October 2019
The best budget restaurants in Bangkok are both easy and difficult to find.
In fact, the ‘best restaurants in Bangkok’ depend a lot on your definition. In a city obsessed with food, there are restaurants to suit every budget and taste, yet the very best places to eat take a bit of finding.
Since moving to Bangkok, we’ve been on something of a mission to find the best cheap food in the city – especially in the Sathorn area and out into Klong San, and here are some of our results on a handy map.
Hunting for the best budget restaurants in Bangkok
Eating out is a national sport in Bangkok. Many kitchens don’t even have ovens or hobs, and some condos forgo kitchens altogether. Given that cheap eats in Bangkok are so easy to come by, it’s often far cheaper to eat out than to cook at home! Cheap restaurants in Bangkok are on every corner of every street.
You can easily spend hundreds or thousands of baht on food in Bangkok, but you need not. For us, a great budget restaurant ticks the following boxes:
Obviously! Tasty eats are the name of the game here, but they aren’t the only show in town.
The best budget restaurants in Bangkok have to offer great value. That doesn’t have to mean cheap, although it very often does here! For somewhere like Smokin’ Pug or Supanniga, you’re going to top 1000 baht for two people, which in Thai terms is a fair amount, but the quality is excellent.
Equally, the vast majority of places on this list can feed you heartily for under 100 baht (or $2.50), offering exceptional value for excellent food.
Call us old-fashioned, but we prefer to eat surrounded by walls and a roof. There are lots of great street carts in Bangkok, but this list is primarily for restaurants. We prefer the gentle hum of air conditioning (or at least a fan) to a plastic stool and the roar of a passing bus in most cases.
We also love classic shophouses and markets that have been around for decades serving the same great food for peanuts, so there are plenty of those here too.
The map of the best budget restaurants
Here it is then, our official (and evolving) pick of the best budget restaurants in Bangkok. All of these are tried and tested by us recently, most are pretty darn cheap, and all will feed you really well. All are up to date as of August 2019.
See the list below for full descriptions, or click on the items for the same info. We’ve also included some great cafes for the coffee lovers (but see the detailed post on coffee as well!).
As a guide on what you’ll pay at these budget restaurants (all of which, in the grand scheme, are laughably cheap):
$ – Cheap and delicious. Get fed comfortably for under 100 baht
$$ – Expect to pay between 100 – 300 baht per head
$$$ – Anywhere between 300 – 1000 baht per person
$$$$ – Splash territory – 1000+ baht per person, but exceptional eats and settings
Got a recommendation? Great! We’re always looking for great new food in Bangkok and beyond. Let us know in the comments, and happy eating!
For more great food, drinks and things to do in Bangkok, we always post top tips on Instagram and Facebook:
Good restaurants in Bangkok
Prachak Roasted Duck
$ - Amazing roast duck and pork for around 60 baht a plate in a shophouse restaurant that has been running for over 90 years.
Chamlong's Asoke Vegetarian Restaurant
$ - A veggie treat of a market. Actually part of a religious community, all of the food here is vegetarian/vegan. Swap your cash for paper tickets and grab plates of whatever takes your fancy! Particularly good are the 'satay' skewers, the fermented mushroom pastries, and the crispy leaf salads. Order adventurously and be rewarded.
$ - Criminally underrated on Google. Ignore the expensive options and slurp a bowl of duck and chicken noodle soup for 70 baht.
$ - Dependable, wide range of Thai Chinese and other dishes in the 70-100 baht range.
Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice
$ - Khaomungai or chicken rice. This is the pink one of an array of shops along the main road. They've also just opened up in The new Market mall opposite CentralWorld.
Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai
$ - Legendary fried chicken noodles at around 70 baht a bowl. A must try in Chinatown (order the Kuay Tiew Kua Gai). Great crispy wontons as a side.
$ - May cost more than 100 baht a head but only because you'll be working through the menu. Delightful old restaurant serving Thai Muslim food. You have to try the mutton biryani. Curries, dhals and samosas are also top notch. Be sure to order fresh roti to wipe your plates clean.
$ - Specialists in excellent Thai muslim curries such as massaman in ancient family-run shophouse. Only open daytimes.
$ - Try the Khao Moo Daeng for around 60 baht - red pork and duck on a bed of rice with a sweet and savoury sauce. SImple Thai-Chinese cooking but delicious.
Yum Rod Sab
$ - Tucked out of the way but a real gem for Isaan food and a relaxed family vibe. Menu is all in Thai so be sure to know what you want from the wide range of Isaan food. Classics are som tam, moo yang (grilled pork neck), nam tok and laab (spicy meat salads), sticky rice and also fried chicken with lemongrass. Great wooden decor.
$ - Fiery Chinese BBQ cooked on industrial grills. Check out our review of this spicy gem.
$ - Classic noodles soup on a budget in a row of traditional eateries. You'll know Jeju because they sell coconut Ice Cream outside. Get the mixed bowl of noodle soup for 50 baht. Also does Khaomungai.
Chong Kee Satay + Si Morakot
$ - Neighbouring restaurants in Chinatown that have the glorious advantage of serving each others' food. Chong Kee serves wonderful, fragrant pork satay, while Si Morakot specialises in pork rice dishes like Khao Siapo. 5 sticks, a plate of siapo and a drink is 90 baht
Uan Kuay Jab
$ - Thick flat noodles rolled into carpets, in a peppery prok broth. Uan is especially peppery and especially well-regarded.
Kuay Jab P Boy
$ - Favourite Guay Jab in all Bangkok, and located at the beautiful Klong Bang Luang. Incredible mango sticky rice too. See more https://thaispicy.co/2019/05/19/khlong-bang-luang-floating-market-bangkok/
Polo Fried Chicken
$ - Venerable fried chicken shophouse, made next level by the addition of perfectly fried garlic as a side.
Kuay Teow Khae
$ - Excellent noodles and soups on Soi Convent. Open mornings and lunchtimes - try the tom yum haeng dry noodles
Khao Tom Haeng Hea Nuad (Si Phraya Branch)
$ - Dry rice porridge with pork. Unusual, tasty and delicious
$$ - classic Isaan fare. Spicy som tam, grilled meats and sticky rice.
Tale Thang Restaurant
$$ - Come here for the bucket of seafood and gorge on prawns, shellfish and other sea goodies, with a range of hot sauces. They will provide gloves - prepare to get messy. Don't miss out on the fried cheese bread.
$$ - Isaan cuisine in the heart of SIlom - speciality in great grilled fish for around 200 baht.
Inter Thai Food
$$ - Old school, dependable Thai eatery with a wide range of choices. Always very popular but turnaround is fast.
Som Tam Nua
$$ - Similar to Somtum Der, good Isaan food at a decent price.
Rod Dee Ded
$$ - Thai Suki. all manner of meat and veg piled into a hotpot and eaten communally. Go as a group and go hungry. Also try the beef satay skewers.
KIN - Eats Payao
$$ - Heavenly Khao Soi and soulful northern food in South Sathorn. Read our review for more details of this must-visit restaurant. Moving in August 2019 to a new location nearby so check before you go
$$ - Japanese chicken wings in an izakaya setting. Crisp, juicy and downright tasty.
Sweet Pista Bangkok
$$$ - Among the best burgers we've had anywhere in the world. Highest quality ingredients cooked properly. If you're craving burgers or pasta dishes this is 100% your place. Burgers in the 200-300 baht range, fries at 90 baht and a whopping plate of onion rings at 120.https://thaispicy.co/2019/05/09/sweet-pista-bangkok-review/
Baan Somtum Sathorn
$$$ - Classy Isaan and always very popular. Wide range of som tams and a nice setting.
Supanniga Eating Room
$$$ - Classy range of Thai dishes including very good curries. Slightly on the spicy side and more expensive than your average eatery, but worth the money.
Yong He Dou Jiang
$$$ - Feast on XiaoLongBao at this Chinese dumpling specialist. Also extremely good are the beef pancake, Chinese pork pie and mutton noodle soup.
Hong Teong Long
$$$ - Slightly dingy setting but great Chinese dumplings including XiaoLongBao and Shang Jian Bao.
$$$ - Thai and Italian together at last. Good for a fancier meal with good range of Thai food especially curries. Italian menu includes pizzas and pastas which look decent for a sensible price.
$$$ - All you can eat for 700 baht. Order as much as you like from sushi menu and accompany with meats cooked in the hotpot on the table. Self serve salads, drinks and desserts and some delicious extra items like chicken karaage.
$$$ - Hip modern Thai from the creators of Bo.lan. Mackerel balls, chicken movie and claypot beef are all ridiculously tasty. Good cocktails too if that's your thing. Prepare to pay more but worth it for a special occasion, maybe 1000 baht per head all in.
The Smokin' Pug
$$$ - Top notch American BBQ with ribs, pulled pork among a great array of food.
$$$ - Cool Southern Thai in IconSiam and also in Thonglor. Very different from anything else on the list.
$$$ - Ultra cool coffee and breakfast joint. Try the beef brisket toast. Pricey but worth it.