Panda Picks: Best Bangkok Local Food Stalls & Restaurants To Try | From Jeh O Chula’s Tom Yum Mama To Thong Smith’s Thai Boat Noodles

Bangkok was our last trip in Feb’20 just weeks before the pandemic lockdown, and we have made 2 trips back to Bangkok at the time of this article since, with more coming up for sure. Many come to the land of smiles for various reasons, shopping for most, Thai massage for some, but for the Pandas, it is definitely the food. Be it fine dining, to local Thai fares, Bangkok has a lot to offer. Though unlike the ever-changing cafe scene, the local food has much more to offer, including some institutions which we are only slowly to discover. Here is an ever-expanding list of recommended local Thai restaurants to check out.

Jeh O Chula
Perhaps the most popular and Instagram-worthy restaurant on this list, Jeh O Chula is basically a local Thai eatery serving up affordable comfort food. Their signature dish has to be the Tom Yum Mama, where you will find a big pot of instant noodles in Tom Yum broth together with a myriad of ingredients including prawns, cuttlefish, crispy pork belly, meatballs, and the raw eggs right in the middle. This is the perfect noodle after a long day out shopping in Bangkok, or for that late night supper. [Read more here…]
Address: 113 Rong Muang, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Rung Rueng Pork Noodle
Minced Pork Noodles so unpretentious and comforting, this spot has always been on the list of to-go local food in Bangkok for many. Personally prefer the normal soup version, as opposed to the dry noodles or the Tom Yum noodles, with the broth being light yet flavourful. If you prefer to have your noodles with some spices, you can always add the chilli flakes toppings at the dining tables. Order a side portion of the fried fish skin to have with your noodles.
Address: 10/3 Soi Sukhumvit 26, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Mr Joe Crispy Pork
As the name suggest, head here for crispy pork paired with kway in pork broth. Extremely popular despite it not being in the main tourist districts of the city, you will find many curious foreigners (and locals) heading here throughout the day. Do come early in the morning to avoid a long wait, and make sure you order a sharing portion of the crispy pork beyond your individual servings of Kway with Pork Belly. Our recent visit here was not as satisfying with the pork’s crackling not as phenomenally crispy as the name of the restaurant would suggest, so be warned about consistency. [Read more here…]
Address: 313 7 Chan Rd, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Thong Smith
A must for us every trip to Bangkok, the Thai Boat Noodles at Thong Smith has to be amongst the best for us (at least for now). Just go for the basic options, ignoring all the Wagyu options on the menu, the key is to enjoy the broth and meatballs! With so many branches around the city, just head to any branch at your convenience, since Thong Smith really does very well on consistency.
Address: Multiple locations

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo
Just minutes’ walk from Mr Joe, here’s a place for a comforting bowl of porridge. Simply done with fresh seafood, a broth made by pork and fish bones, and Thai rice, this is perhaps the perfect Asian food for the soul. Be greeted by some showmanship at the front of the shop where the kitchen is brought to the front of the restaurant with the chefs preparing Khao Tom Pla Kimpo’s famous porridge with such smooth rhythmic flow. Take your pick of which fish to go with, which we went with a bowl of Seabass and Grouper, and if you will like other seafood options with your porridge.
Address: 1901 Charoen Krung Rd, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Jok Prince
Head to Khao Tom Pla Kimpo for a light yet nourishing porridge, and head to Jok Prince for probably the best porridge for the soul. The wok hei is on point, with the to-die-for juicy meat balls and crispy fried you tiao, you must visit Jok Prince in your next visit to Bangkok. This spot ranks highly on this list, and we do recommend going for its Pork Congee with both the Eggs and Century Eggs! That wok hei will make you return again, we promise!
Address: 1391 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Nai Ek Roll Noodle
Moving further into Chinatown, Nai Ek Roll Noodles have similarities with Mr Joe as both offers Thai Kway Chap with Roast Pork, though Nai Ek offers an extensive menu of braised items too, including my favourite braised pork belly! The kway chap broth here is a tad more peppery, and I finished the entire bowl while still craving for more. The queue may seem long during peak meal times, but they do move rather fast, do not be discouraged by the crowd! [Read more here…]
Address: 442, 9 Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

If you like Pad Thai, then you must have visited here before. Be warned of the long queues, though it does reward you with a plate of perhaps the best Pad Thai you are going to have since. Oddly, the other popular item here is their orange juice, which seems to be a must have here. If anyone knows the history behind this unique pairing, do share with us!
Address: 313 Maha Chai Rd, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Wattana Panich
You cannot miss this stall with its humongous pot of stewed beef located at the front of the restaurant. Order anything here that will get you a bowl of the delicious beef broth, try the innards if you fancy those. This is one stall not to miss when you next visit Bangkok. [Read more here…]
Address: 336 Ekkamai Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Polo Fried Chicken
Recommended by many friends, Polo Fried Chicken was relatively empty during our visit as they have just opened for the day, which was great for us. The kitchen has prepared a huge pot of fried whole chicken, ready to invite diners for the lunch service. Order your portion, and the outdoor kitchen will spring into action chopping the fried chicken to be served with the usual chicken rice. Not a must try for me, though if you fancy a good plate of fried chicken rice, this is not a place to miss then.
Address: 137/1-3,9 10 Sanam Khli Alley, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Saew Noodles
Definitely a spot to be if you are keen on trying out the local Thai noodles. Similar to Rung Rueng, Saew dishes out minced pork noodles complete with fishballs and meatballs. A rather local stall as we did not spot any tourists here in the few occasions we visited here. Go for the Tom Yum noodles if you like spicy food, and add in the lemon seasoning to jazz it up. Be here before it becomes the next Rung Rueng.
Address: 1 Sukhum Vit 49, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

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