The Best of Bangkok

{Photo Credit: Sippanont Samchai}

We were having dinner with friends last night when the conversation came around to our favourite local framing stores, Bangkok blogs and etsy vendors.

This reminded me of a trip to Phuket with this same group of lovely friends shortly after we arrived in Bangkok two years ago. We were sitting on wooden lounge chairs on a white-sand beach, staring out at the Andaman Sea, when that conversation led to favourite Bangkok restaurants. “Wait!” I said, grabbing my moleskin and a pen. I made a list of 18 restaurants – almost all of which DP and I have tried over the past two years.

Each time I move to a new city (and Bangkok has been my sixth city-home), I feel like I’ve bought a ticket to an enormous museum.  A museum so large and complex that it will take me years to explore and, eventually, become comfortable in.  Different people take very different approaches to this experience of being new to a city.  Some leap with wild abandon, content to explore the city on their own while others (myself included) need more information and less ambiguity. I would happily line up for hours in order to get a detailed map of this metaphorical museum. In real life terms, that means that I seek out and am deeply grateful for my friends’ recommendations and strategies; in that spirit, I offer my own list of Bangkok favourites below.

Best Bangkok Blogs:
Newley.com (News and other cool stuff)
Austin Bush (Photography and food)

Best Lower Sukhumvit Restaurants:
Kuppa (International and Thai + great desserts + beautiful interior)
Crepes and Company (French crepes + great ambiance)
La Monita (Best tacos we’ve had outside Mexico/Texas)
Greyhound Cafe at Emporium and Central Chidlom (We LOVE their bruschetta with tomatoes, the spinach and cheese dip and the pad thai)
Duke’s Express on Fifth Floor of the Emporium (Extremely yummy comfort food from “home”)

Best Bread:
Urban Pantry (This small company is producing the yummiest bread we have eaten in Asia)

Best Bagels:
BKK Bagel Bakery (Real New York bagel shop located in Maneya Center, next to the Chdlom BTS statation on Sukhumvit Road)

Absolute Best Meals in Bangkok:
Please note that the first meal is incredibly cheap while the rest will cost you some $$$
Pad Thai, spring rolls, mango sticky rice and lime soda at the shaded cafe in the art section of JJs
Sunday Jazzy Brunch at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit
The Cheese Room inside Flow at the Millennium Hilton. See a video of the buffet at Flow here.
Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental (Phone for reservations and ask about their special set menu for lunch on weekdays and Saturdays during the off-season)

Best Thai Guesthouse:
Pak Chiang Mai (Khun O and Khun Noon will make you feel like a member of the family at this lovely little guest house in the old city)

Shopping:
Jim Thompson – Retail stores at Emporium and Central World and the twice-annual Jim Thompson sale
Paul’s Antiques (Thai and Burmese wooden furniture)
Chatuchak Weekend Market (also known as JJs)
Zsiska (Funky designer jewellery shop in Central World)

Best of Etsy.com:
The art in our Bangkok apartment has come primarily from JJs Weekend Market here in Bangkok and from Etsy.com, an online marketplace where artists can sell their own homemade goods. Here are four of my favourite Etsy shops:
Irene Suchoki
Alicia Bock
Tush Tush
Keep Calm and Carry On – poster from sf girl by bay

Best Framing: 
UThai Framing, Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Excellent and affordable framing shop recommended by an Art teacher)

Best map to the Museum known as Bangkok:
Nancy Chandler’s Map of Bangkok

What are your favourite spots in Bangkok? Please share them in the comments below.

One comment

  1. So very cool! I just stumbled upon your blog today and was checking it out since I also love to travel. I saw in your bio that you taught at ISB! I lived in Bangkok as a kid and attended ISB at their old campus. It was such a sweet time in my family’s life and I have such fond memories of living there.

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