Hailing from Thailand’s northeast, fiery, flavoursome Isaan food has long tantalised tastebuds at food stalls around Bangkok. In recent years a slew of eateries have brought the cuisine to the mainstream – here the best restaurants (aka with air con) to get your spice fix.
Supanniga Eating Room
Founded by foodies with foresight Thanaruek Laoraovirodge and Tatchai Nakapan, Supanniga Eating Room on Thonglor was one of the first to serve the food from the northeast in modern, fashionable surrounds. The fresh and kickin’ home-cooked eastern and Issan dishes such as grilled pork with sticky rice and spicy crab salad are just like khun yai (grandma) used to make. For a sense of occasion, bob along the Chao Phraya River as you sample set seasonal menus and craft cocktails on on the chic Supanniga Cruise
Join the after-work crowd at Supanniga’s sibling Sala Daeng shophouse for spiced plates and a relaxed vibe. Focusing on northern Isaan cuisine, Chef Korn’s team prepares tasty delights like grilled coconut milk marinated pork skewers and zesty Thai prawn sashimi salad. The contemporary fit out – all bright reds and burnt oranges – match the fiery menu. somtumder.com
If you’re hankering for more of a street-food experience, without actually eating on the street, this simple cafe on the GF of Siam Paragon is the go-to. Serving delish comfort dishes like sweet corn fritters, sizzling deep-fried pork and grilled squid, it’s a perfectly positioned mid-retail flop spot. GF, Siam Paragon, 991/1 Rama I Rd
Som Tam Nua
Expect queues out the door at this buzzing Siam Square stalwart; its flavoursome, real-deal Isaan fare is considered among the best in BKK. The eatery takes its name from Isaan’s most famous dish, _ papaya salad – and you’ll find several renditions of it on the menu alongside succulent fried chicken, grilled pork cheek and fish. The hip fitout and casual seating create a lively street-mos; check out the surrounding shops for upcoming designers and vintage finds for afters. 392/14 Siam Square Soi 5
Originally written by LUXE for PenCities
For more ideas on where to feast in Bangkok, nab a copy of the LUXE Bangkok guide...