Cabbages and Condoms is a world-famous restaurant in Bangkok serving authentic Thai cuisine. The theme of the restaurant is condoms with the purpose being to promote safe sex, family planning, and AIDS prevention through community development programs which are partly funded by the restaurant’s profits. The owner of the restaurant was once a government health minister who is famous for introducing family planning programs and promoting condom use among Thai people in the early 90’s. The restaurant’s decor features life-size mannequin’s dressed in a variety of costumes made from condoms.
The main dining area has a lovely setting in an open-air garden complete with trees decorated with fairy lights and featuring a synthetic waterfall. There is an open-air terrace on the upper floor with views over the garden as well as an indoor air-conditioned dining room. At one end of the garden is an indoor bar called the Captain Condom. There is also nightly live traditional Thai music in the garden.
The extensive menu features a full range of Thai dishes including soups, curries, spicy salads, and seafood as well as a small vegetarian menu. Much of the produce is grown on the restaurants own farm. The food is excellent quality with the spice level just right to give authentic flavors without being overly spicy for people not used to eating Thai cuisine. Mains are all in the 190-470-baht range, while cocktails are 230 baht, beers from 110 baht and wine 220 glass/ 1490 bottle. Tax and service (17%) will be added to the bill.
Check the menu: https://cabbagesandcondomsbkk.com/
As you enter the restaurant there is a large handicraft shop selling products from all over Thailand made by local village communities. Proceeds from the shop go towards funding development programs and social activities run by the restaurant foundation. There is a broad range of interesting products at reasonable prices including ceramics, candles, Thai silk products, clothes, scarves, and bags as well as products featuring or made from condoms including condom flowers and key rings. There are also free condoms available at the exit in two sizes.
Cabbages & Condoms is usually busy and you would be wise to make a reservation if you want a nice table in the garden after 20.00. The restaurant is popular with expats and tourists as well as the locals. It’s slightly more expensive than some places in the vicinity but is worth it for the high-quality food, atmosphere, and a pleasant setting. If it’s your first visit to Thailand this is an excellent restaurant to break in your taste buds and even if it’s not your first visit this is one restaurant you shouldn’t miss.
Reservations: Call 02 229 4610
The restaurant is a short walk down Sukhumvit Soi 12 and only 5 minutes from the BTS & MRT.
Location: Sukhumvit Road Soi 12, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 11.00-23.00
Getting There: BTS Asoke (exit 2), MRT Sukhumvit (exit 3).
Hemlock is a small shop house Thai restaurant on Phra Athit road in the Khaosan road area. The plain white interior decor features art on the walls, a small rock garden with a palm tree and an upright piano. There is also an upstairs dining area though it lacks the character of the ground floor space. Hemlock tends to attract more discerning expats and travelers looking for above average food.
The extensive menu features traditional classic Thai dishes as well as many rare “ancient” dishes that you don’t see on many menus. As well as the usual meat and seafood choices you will find some oddities such as crocodile and ostrich. Many of the dishes on the menu are available as vegetarian versions. The vegetarian version is towards the back of the menu.
Prices are inexpensive with most dishes in the 100-250 range while beers start at 90 baht and there is a good wine choice. A couple of dishes to try here are the spicy mango salad (vegetarian version) in a chili & peanut sauce and the spicy banana flower salad both of which you don’t see on too many menus and are both delicious.
If you come to dine here, be adventurous and spend a bit of time studying the menu. Hemlock is busy most nights but you don’t usually have to wait long for a table. After dining the surrounding Phra Athit Road area offers some nice chilled out bars with live jazz and acoustic music in contrast to the rowdier nightlife on Khaosan Road.
Location: 56 Phra Athit Road, Banglamphu, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 17.00-24.00 Monday-Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Getting There: A 5-minute walk from Khaosan Road.
Vientiane Kitchen is a restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 36 that specializes in Lao and North-Eastern Thai (Isaan) food. The restaurant is in a large traditional style thatched roof barn.
The interior features traditional decor with large bench tables with chairs in front of a stage and a mezzanine floor featuring traditional floor cushion seating with low tables. There is a nightly show (19.30-22.00) featuring a live band, dancers, and singers performing Morlam style Isaan music and folk dance. All the performers and waiting staff wear traditional Lao style clothing. The entertainment is genuine fun and audience participation in the dances and on-stage games is encouraged.
The Lao-Isaan food menu is extensive and authentic featuring popular dishes such as grilled chicken, papaya salad, laab, Isaan style curries and soups, grilled fish, grilled meats and sticky rice as well as more exotic dishes such as fried frog, ant’s eggs, and buffalo tongue. Don’t expect to find Pad Thai or Tom Yam Kung here.
The food is spicy though the waitress will ask you how spicy you would like it. The prices are slightly above average for an Isaan restaurant but are excellent value if you factor in the entertainment, setting, and atmosphere. Dishes range from 90-390 baht, with large beers starting at 120 baht. Beer Lao is also available. There is a 17% service and VAT charge added to the bill.
Check the menu or make a reservation: https://www.vientiane-kitchenbkk.com/
Service is good and the staff is helpful in explaining things on the menu. The customers are a mix of locals who come for the music and food as well as expats and tourists. The restaurant is often labeled as being touristy though this is wide of the mark as really, it’s just an unpretentious fun place to taste authentic Lao style food and experience a bit of North Eastern style culture. Vientiane Kitchen is a 5-minute walk from BTS Thong Lo station.
Location: 8 Sukhumvit Road Soi 36, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 18.00-24.00 daily.
Getting There: BTS Thong Lo (exit 2).
Somtam Nua is a popular authentic Isaan cafe style restaurant in Siam Square opposite Siam Paragon. The large menu is purely Isaan style food with the usual range of spicy salads, soups, and grilled and fried meat and fish. The food is inexpensive with dishes costing 60-150 baht. The portions are average size and the way to go is to order several dishes to share.
Alcohol is available with beers at 100 baht. Somtam Nua is nearly always busy often with a line of people outside so you may have to wait for a table during popular hours. The customers are mainly locals but are also popular with Asian tourists.
Location: 392/14 Siam Square Soi 5, Rama 1 road, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 10.45-21.30 daily.
Getting There: BTS Siam (exit 4).
If you’re looking for good street food in the Silom area head for Silom Soi 20. The stalls there serve up a variety of tasty Thai Chinese street food such as BBQ fish, prawns, Somtam, grilled chicken, meat, curries, one plate dishes, mango and sticky rice and more. The vendors there share a menu which contains offerings from a variety of stalls. The tables and seating are also shared so you can sit outside any stall and order from multiple stalls. The seating is basic with just metal tables and plastic chairs.
There are a couple of English-speaking waitresses who will take your order so no problems with language and there is an English menu. Beer is cheap with big bottles for 90 baht. The customers are a mixture of locals and travelers. The food is clean, fresh, delicious and inexpensive. A seafood meal for two with beers shouldn’t exceed 700 baht while most other items on the menu are 30-100 baht.
Location: Silom Road Soi 20, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: All day. Open till late.
Getting There: BTS Chong Nonsi (exit 3). Walk straight ahead and turn left into Silom road. Keep walking until you get to the Indian temple. Cross the road here. Soi 20 is opposite the temple.
Baan Ajarn is a small family run pub-style restaurant on Soi Rangnam near the King Power duty-free complex and a short taxi ride from Ratchaprasong. The interior is small and cozy sporting an old antique pub style decor. The menu is authentic classic Thai cuisine with an extensive menu of spicy salads, curries, soups, stir-fries, and seafood.
Prices are inexpensive with most main course dishes except seafood in the 100-150-baht range. The food is tasty, excellent quality served in good-sized portions and excellent value for money. There is a full bar service with large beers from 100 baht. There is occasional live music.
The clientele is mostly locals, expats, and tourists from nearby hotels such as the Pullman and Century Park. The restaurant is at the Ratchaprarop road end of Soi Rangnam making it easily accessible by taxi from downtown Bangkok. The nearest BTS station is Victory Monument at the other end of Soi Rangnam about a 10-minute walk.
Check the menu: https://www.facebook.com/baanaj/
Location: 107/7-8 Soi Rangnam, Phaya Thai, Bangkok.
District: Phaya Thai
Opening Hours: 11.00-23.00
Getting There: BTS Victory Monument (exit 2). Turn left into Soi Rangnam. Baan Ajarn is a 10-minute walk on the left.
Doi is a small cafe restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 12 serving authentic Doi Chang coffee and a good choice of smoothies. There is also a large food menu featuring excellent authentic Northern and North-Eastern Thai food at inexpensive prices. Beer is 100 baht for a big bottle. Doi is open all day serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a nice outdoor terrace.
Location: 5/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 12
Opening Hours: 09.00-22.00
Getting There: BTS Asoke (exit 2), MRT Sukhumvit (exit 3).
Palm 18 is an open-air Thai restaurant on Sukhumvit soi 18. The interior features comfortable seating over three levels and lit by some colorful lanterns. The menu contains the usual popular Thai menu items in decent size portions at reasonable prices with most mains in the 120-160-baht price range.
The food is of decent quality and there is a good bar with a broad range of drinks. The clientele is almost all tourists from the nearby hotels and there is a good atmosphere.
Check the menu: https://www.facebook.com/Palm18FkgIntertrade/
Location: 11 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 10.00-24.00 daily.
Getting There: BTS Asoke (exit 4) MRT Sukhumvit (exit 2).
Hai Somtam Convent is a famous Isaan restaurant on Convent road in the Silom area of Bangkok. The restaurant is pretty plain with an open-air ground floor and an air-conditioned upper floor featuring white tables and stools. All the food preparation takes place at the front of the restaurant.
The fare is purely Isaan with the usual papaya salad, Kai Yaang, laab, sticky rice and more but its excellent quality and cheap. There is an English menu and the service is fast. A meal of grilled chicken, Somtam and sticky rice will set you back 150 baht with beers starting at 70 baht. The clientele is mostly local office workers.
Location: 2/4-5 Convent Road, Silom, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 10.00-21.00 Monday-Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Getting There: BTS Sala Daeng (exit 2). MRT Si Lom (exit 2).
Somtam Der is a popular authentic northern Isaan style restaurant on Soi Sala Daeng in the Silom district run by an Isaan native.
The restaurants signature dish is Somtum with 20 variations on the menu along with usual Isaan favorites such as larb, grilled/fried chicken, pork and beef, spicy salads, soups, noodles, steamed dishes and a choice of desserts. The portions are medium size and it’s a good idea to order several dishes to share tapas style. The menu features pictures of all the dishes. The dishes are spicy so don’t forget to ask for your food medium spicy if you’re not used to spicy food. There are downstairs and upstairs tables as well as a small terrace outside.
Check the menu: http://www.somtumder.com/menu_papaya.html
There is a range of herbal drinks available as well as Beer Laos. Prices are reasonable and good value for money with dishes in the 60-120 baht range. Service is quick, efficient and friendly. The restaurant is a short walk from Silom Road.
Location: 5/5 Soi Saladaeng, Silom Road, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 11.00-14.30, 16.30-22.30.
Getting There: BTS Sala Daeng Station (exit 4). MRT Silom Station (exit 2).
Baan ThaTien is a small cafe restaurant a short walk from Wat Pho. There is only a small 12 item food menu concentrating on tourist favorites such as Pad Thai, Green Curry, Tom Yam Kung, and Fried Rice but the food is tasty, served in decent size portions and cheap with dishes costing 50-80 baht. The cafe also serves coffee and soft drinks and is air-conditioned. Baan ThaTien is a top place to cool down and fill up if you’re in the area to visit Wat Pho. The cafe closes in the evening.
Check the menu: https://www.facebook.com/BaanThaTienCafe/
Location: 392/2 Maharat Road, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 07.00-18.00 daily.
Getting There: Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Tien Pier. Turn right on to Maharat road and Baan ThaTien is a few hundred meters on the right-hand side.
Suk 11 is a popular Thai restaurant that used to be on Sukhumvit Soi 11 but has now moved to an old teak house on Sukhumvit Soi 22. The menu is classic tasty Thai food at reasonable prices. The new place does not have an alcohol license but you are free to BYO, there is a 7-11 just across the street.
Crab & Yellow Pepper Stir Fry
Fresh Shrimp Somtam
Location: 267/5 Sukhumvit Road Soi 22, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 07.00-23.00 daily.
Getting There: BTS Phrom Phong Station (exit 6). Turn left into Soi 22, Suk 11 is about a 10-minute walk down the soi.
Madame Musur is a cozy, relaxing restaurant on Rambuttri Road in the Khaosan district of Bangkok specializing in Northern Thai Cuisine.
The restaurant’s decor is Northern Thai Lanna style furnished with rattan sofas, chairs, and batik artwork and lamps. The back half of the restaurant features a low table area with cushioned floor seating and low sofas while the front half has conventional wooden tables and chairs and an outdoor terrace.
The Northern style food is tasty and authentic featuring classic Northern dishes such as Khao Soi, Sai, Ua, Larb Moo, Nam Prik, and Kanom Jeen as well as Thai favorites Phad Thai, Khao Phad, Phad Krapow, Curries, and Somtum. Vegetarian food is also available.
Prices are reasonable with dishes from 100-150 baht, beers 70-120 and cocktails at 120 baht. The bar also serves Northern style spirits such as Ma Jai Dam. There is a live DJ in the evenings spinning chill-out tunes and the restaurant opens early for breakfasts.
Somtum, Khao Soi (chicken curry with soft & crispy noodles) & Beer Lao @ Madame Musur
Madame Musur is popular with travelers and is one of the best places to eat, drink and relax in the Khaosan area. There is also a smaller second branch on Samsen Soi 2.
Location: 41 Soi Rambuttri, Banglamphu, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 08.00-24.00
Getting There: Walk: Turn on to lower Rambuttri Road from Chakrabongse Road. Madame Musur is on your right shortly after Rambuttri veers to the left.
Location 2: 76 Samsen 2 alley, Samsen Road, Banglamphu, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: 09.00-24.00
Getting There: Walk: From Khaosan Road, walk up Chakrabongse Road crossing the bridge at the intersection on to Samsen Road. Turn right into Soi 2 and Madame Musur is on the corner of the first alley on the left.