As the capital city’s vibrant streets come alive with the distractingly fragrant aromas of street food vendors, it’s easy to forget that Bangkok is also home to a realm of fine dining establishments that are among the best in the world. Whether you’re seeking traditional Thai cuisine in an opulent setting, indulging in contemporary fusion dishes that push the boundaries of flavour, or simply dining with an unforgettable view of the city’s skyline, Bangkok’s finest restaurants collectively rise to the occasion. Here are the venues you simply mustn’t miss.
Côte by Mauro Colagreco
With three Michelin stars for his restaurant in France, Argentine Chef Mauro Colagreco (also named The Best Chef in the World by Le Chef Compilation 2019) brings an enviable reputation to his Bangkok establishment. The menus focus on the flavours of the French and Italian Riviera while incorporating the chef’s own geographical roots. Guests dine to the backdrop of the majestic Chao Phraya River on light and luscious fare centring on herbs, citrus fruit, vegetables and the freshest seafood. Four, five, seven and nine-course banquets can be booked, with optional wine pairing. Bouchees (five savoury bites and wine) are also available in the Library.
Front Room, a comfort-dining destination at Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, reopened in 2020 to offer a homely and welcoming atmosphere where guests can enjoy authentic home-style Thai cuisine. The menu features dishes inspired by the chef’s childhood memories and the concept of “Ros Mue Mae” or home cooking by mother. Located on the Lower Lobby, the contemporary dining room boasts an open kitchen and an 8-meter-high space adorned with a lighting installation reminiscent of the Yi Peng Festival’s floating lanterns. Front Room’s Thai cuisine celebrates eight authentic flavours, and it offers set menus, plant-based options, and a la carte choices. Menu highlights include seared Hokkaido scallops, stir-fried squid and tiger prawn, coconut broth with salted beef cheek, and ma phrao cheesecake.
Le Normandie by Alain Roux
Having first opened in 1958 under the directorship of Michael Roux, Le Normandie is an institution in the city. The go-to for French fine dining and the best haute cuisine in Thailand, it combines elegance, cosiness and a sense of opulence. The restaurant has held its two Michelin stars every single year since the Bangkok guide began. And now Michael’s son, Alain, is at the helm aided by Head Chef Phil Hickman, it retains this stellar reputation. You’ll find it on the top floor of the Mandarin Oriental’s Chao Phraya Wing, with spectacular views over the river.
Meaning “half moon”, this restaurant’s name reflects its shape. Curved windows and a 65th-floor perch on the State Tower allow diners to gaze across the city’s landmarks as they savour this French and Japanese fusion food. Chef Ryuki Kawasaki is led by the finest Asian ingredients, creating menus that change every three months. However, you’ll always find his signature wagyu beef on the menu (a marbled, melt-in-the-mouth delight imported from Kawasaki’s home in Niigata Prefecture, Japan). Texture and flavour are key, with the chef dedicated to serving dishes that make memories.
If you like your meal to be served with an element of theatre, reserve seats at the Chef’s Table in Lebua. And it’s quite the table; the restaurant centrepiece from which the magic happens, is a Molteni stove in cream in brass, wrapped in Carrara marble, with a brass-plated stainless steel hood and rings crafted in the style of a Buddhist monument – and there are great views to boot. Seven courses unfold from the table, as Chef de Cuisine, Vincent Thierry prepares ingredients like oysters, caviar, langoustines, truffle, lobster and foie gras. A prestige wine pairing is also available.
Experience German haute cuisine at this restaurant, which opened in 2016. It’s operated by twin brothers chefs Thomas and Mathias Sühring and comprises four spaces; the homely main Dining Room, the vibrant Kitchen with a view of the cooking action, the peaceful Glass House with garden views and the intimate top floor Living Room which caters for eight guests. The multiple-course tasting menu features Central European influences and is served with great elan and sophistication. Traditional techniques such as fermentation, pickling, smoking, drying and curing play a key role in the dishes.
If you’ve come to Thailand for Thai food, pay a visit to Sorn. The venue is dedicated to the authentic cuisine of the southern region and occupies an old two-storey house, with a modern Thai interior design. It’s headed up by Supaksorn ‘Ice’ Jongsiri, who grew up in this part of the world and after whom the restaurant is named. Sorn’s tasting menus are long and plentiful, suited to those with a ready willingness to indulge in seafood, a decent amount of spice and meat (there is no veggie alternative). The presentation of each dish is both colourful and extremely artistic.
While its title translates as “something consumed for sustenance”, R-Haan presents an abundant and elevated experience. The menus are created by Master Chef Chumpol Jangprai and inspired by the old Thai poem “Nai Nam Mi Pla Nai Na Mi Khao”. Each sitting includes at least 18 courses inspired by many centuries of royal banquets. These are served on handcrafted, hand-painted ceramic crockery that pays homage to those used in the Royal Palace during the reign of King Rattannakosin. The tasting menus are seasonal and take teach diner on a journey across the nation.
Enter through the doors of this century-old Sino-Portuguese building (formerly a pharmacy run by Chef Pam’s family) to discover a moody contemporary venue with a downstairs bar and panoramic roof terrace. Pam herself has been named on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, and the restaurant (whose name translates as “simple”) appeared on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best New Restaurants in the World: 2022 Hot List”. This is Thai-Chinese cooking, calling back to the chef’s roots and incorporating the key elements of salt, acid, spice, Maillard reaction and texture in a progressive tasting menu.
Its name refers to the original ratio balance of Thai and imported ingredients, however, for the past four years, it has shifted to using 100% national produce. Canadian chef Andrew Martin is at the helm, himself inspired by his travels around the country. He presents a Signature Tasting Menu with 15 different courses with strong flavours and palate cleansers to ensure your next mouthful can experience the purity of flavour. A world away from the formality of many Michelin establishments, this is rustic with dark wood tables, painted walls and exposed original features under industrial effect lighting.
Joining ranks with sibling restaurants in Bad Ragaz, St. Moritz and Zürich, IGNIV comes from Switzerland’s Andreas Caminada and is his first venture outside of his homeland. Here in Bangkok, chef David Hartwig is in residence alongside sous chef and pastry chef Arne Riehn, and restaurant manager Regina D’Souza. Signature dishes nod to the brand’s roots, but there’s plenty of homage to Thailand too – but everything is creative and precise, exuding Swiss finesse. Diners are welcomed with snacks and some interaction with the chefs, before beginning their culinary journey at the table.
Crisp white tablecloths and a two-storey space designed to evoke contemporary Alpine chalet living, bring a feel of the French mountains to Thailand’s capital. Chef Arnaud presents dishes such as Omble Chevalier, Spruce, a course constructed from an Alpine lake fish and prepared at your table. It’s part of a menu based on Arnaud’s own roots and journey. Dinner is served from 5:30 pm to 9 pm, with lunch service on the weekends from noon to 2 pm. Having earned its first star in 2023, a table here is currently one of the hottest reservations in the city.
Celebrating seasonal fare (its name roughly translates as “season” in Thai), Le Du made it to No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2023. Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn brings the recipes from his childhood to diners, along with international influences gained while working overseas in the US. He opened the restaurant a decade ago along with Chef Tonn, bringing regularly changing and sustainably minded menus that showcase the very best Thai ingredients from local suppliers. Le Du is found in the district of Silom, between the Chao Phraya River and Lumpini Park.
Omakase dining is a rarity here, so Sushi Masato’s arrival in 2015 was an exciting addition to the dining scene, allowing locals and visitors to experience traditional Japanese fare at the sushi bar. Sushi Masato’s opening followed Michelin-starred chef Chef Masato Shimizu’s previous ventures in Tokyo and New York and he repeated the accolade here in 2021. There are premium and standard omakases available both served Edo style, with the first floor run by Chef Masato Shimizu and Chef Kenichi Kanno and the third floor under the leadership of Chef Satohiro Kurokawa.
Cadence by Dan Bar
The word cadence encapsulates rhythm and flow, usually in music and writing, but here in the food. This restaurant in Khlong Toei is run by the Korean-American Chef Dan Bark, with a 15-course feast served in elegant and classic surroundings. His influences come from across the globe, with a pairing option of New World or Old World wines, artistic cocktails or refined mocktails. Bark’s childhood favourites feature noticeably on the menu, with complex, carefully balanced and subtle flavours that are best appreciated by connoisseurs. Dinner and weekend lunch sittings are available.