Just around the corner from the spendy, uptight eateries of Sathorn, you’ll find far more affordable — and, some might argue, delicious — food options packed into Soi Suan Phlu.
While many head to the soi (technically Soi Sathorn 3) for nightlife — to Junker and Bar for cocktails and comfort food, or the cool, laid-back jazz bar Smalls — there’s plenty more to see and eat in this rollicking neighborhood.
From kicking noodles and proper som tam to vegan fare, here are some of the gems waiting there.
Mr. Zhong’s Noodle
Eat like a local at this noodle spot where you’ll see people slurping from bowls or queuing for take-out at all hours of the night. On the northwest corner of Suan Phlu Soi 8, Mr. Zhong’s Noodle promises grade-A fish meatballs, thin egg noodles with a silky soft chew, and flavorful sweet broths. A bowl costs only THB40 to THB 50, whether it’s clear soup, spicy tom yum or yentafo (a fusion Thai-Hakka Chinese soup dish).
Hours: 9am – 4pm daily, except Mondays
Somtum in Garden
Crispy som tum — what’s not to love? Fans of Isaan food should definitely check out Somtum in Garden, where mouthwatering, tangy northeastern dishes start from THB50 each. The classic dishes include crispy papaya, grilled pork neck and deep-fried mushrooms mixed into a spicy salad.
Hour: 10am – 3pm, weekdays only
Baan Bai Phlu
Vegetarians — it’s your turn. Look for a yellow sign over a small shophouse and find Baan Bai Phlu, where vegetarian dishes start at THB35 each. The menu includes stir-fried pumpkin with tofu, Chinese olive fried rice and coconut milk soup with banana blossoms. For appetizers, their homemade fried dumplings stuffed with three types of mushrooms and paired with a sesame dipping sauce is sure to be a hit with everyone at the table — even that non-vegetarian friend who insists on complaining over having to eat a meatless meal.
Hours: 6am – 3pm daily, except Sunday
Nando Kitchen & Pizzeria La Rucola
This family-run restaurant is especially popular among the expat crowd thanks to its laid-back vibe, mid-range prices, and authentic dishes. The excitable and expressive, 100-percent genuine Italian chef is probably another draw. While the pastas and pizzas are truly the delights – ask for a fully arrabiata pasta arrabiata – many customers swear by the kitchen’s cotoletta, or tender veal cutlets covered in breadcrumbs. A selection of wines and beer is also available.
Hours: 11am to 11:30pm, daily
Next to Suan Phlu market lies a two-story shophouse serving delightful noodle bowls (THB40 to THB50) to wake up your taste buds. The highlight at Noodle Nua: a spicy and sour tom yum noodle soup topped with boiled egg, marinated pork, meatballs, peanuts and dried shrimps. For a dish to share with friends or colleagues, go for deep-fried pork wontons that comes with sweet-and-sour peanut sauce.
Hours: 11am to 8pm, daily
More from our Soi Food Series featuring Bangkok Street Eats: