Bangkok is the city of angels, and our angels never sleep – nor do they stop eating. This is a fact proven time and time again with foodie excursions at all times of day and night. Craving moo ping at midnight? No worries! In need of comfort food at 4am? You’re in the right city! So, let’s begin with a few of our favorites eats from Chinatown to Silom, shall we?
If your early morning wake-up call is around, say, 4am, we have just the place. Jek Seng is a restaurant in Dusit off of Samsen Road that specializes in hot peppery pork blood soup. The aromatic broth broils in a vat for hours, giving it an intense flavor profile that keeps hungry people coming back for more. The soup is a wet dream (see what we did there?) for pork lovers – a mix of spiced pork meatballs with tasty pork liver, cubes of iron-rich pork blood and slices of fatty, crispy pork belly. This little shop has been sloshing out piping bowls of soup since 1996. And from what we know, the grandfatherly owner is a lovely fellow. Here’s to many more decades of soupy deliciousness, because they’ll never get old.
Jek Seng (map) – Opens at 4am.
When the clock strikes lunch hour and 5 million Bangkok office workers simultaneously scramble out the office door, there is but one thing on their minds – som tum, som tum, and more som tum. Well, make that many things because we all know a true Isaan meal isn’t complete without 3 types of som tum (everyone needs to order their favorite!), fried chicken, grilled pork, a couple of spicy yum dishes, steaming hot soup and mounds of sticky rice. While you can’t go wrong with most of the Isaan joints all over town, Som Tum Der has a great combination of authentic recipes in a modern setting, and we’re pretty hooked. But don’t take our word for it, head over to Saladaeng and try it for yourself! But if you go between the hours of 12pm-1pm, expect to compete with some fierce office lades!
Somtum Der (map) – Open Mon-Sun 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10:30pm.
This Chinatown staple might seem like just another street-side eatery, but one glance at the menu and you’ll know it’s not your average Chinatown hole-in-the-wall. The prices are right up there with any 4-5 star hot spot. Tom yum with big juicy shrimp, squid and fresh fish could set you back a cool 1,000 baht. But there’s a reason for the price tag, a solid one at that. Like any fancy shmancy restaurant, Jai Fai only uses top quality ingredients. Unlike fancy shmancy places, the ambiance along Mahachai Road is comforting and laid back. Take a seat and watch as Jay Fai whips up what people have called the best phad kee mao on two big woks surrounded by flaming charcoal. Dig into one of the most unique crab omelets – a big roll of egg and giant lumps of crabmeat also tossed and fried over charcoal flames. So what if you could get 10 or more normal omelets for this price! Mmm! Just describing it is already tasty!
Jay Fai (map) – Open 3pm-2am.
Khao Tom Bawon
Chinese influence on Thai culinary culture goes way back. Take khao tom, for example. This genre of food is often eaten at night, consumed with friends over beers. And we’re convinced its the best late night snack ever invented. We dare you to disagree after tasting a bowl at Khao Tom Bawon in Phra Nakhon. This khao tom hot spot is open from dusk until dawn and its just a couple blocks from Khao San Road. So save some time after a wild night of partying in the infamous road and order up a big bowl of boiled rice along with salty, savory side dishes like pickled crab egg yum, a spicy salad of fresh blue swimmer crab eggs. Other recommendations include: Thai style omelets, Chinese bamboo shoots or minced pork stir fried with Chinese olives.
Khao Tom Bawon (map) – Open 5pm-3am.
No matter what time of day or night, in Bangkok you can satisfy every imaginable food craving (and some other cravings too!) from an old hole-in-the-wall shophouse, a gleaming modern restaurant and everything in between.
This is illustrated nicely in Singha’s new foodie-focused video. Watch the clip and stay updated with all the upcoming episodes of Singha’s new Thai food series, Try Thai, on their Facebook page. Don’t miss out!