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Chinatown Bangkok food is in a class of its own. It is home to some of the best street food that Thailand has to offer.
What makes Chinatown Bangkok so special? Its authenticity.
It is one of the world’s largest and most authentic Chinese communities outside of China. It is also one of Bangkok’s busiest and liveliest districts in Thailand’s capital.
Known to locals as “Yaowarat,” Chinatown Bangkok goes way beyond a tourist attraction. It is a working Chinatown with two distinct atmospheres: the Chinatown Bangkok market by day and a massive open-air food market by night.
So with tons of delicious food to choose from, the question quickly became – how do you find the best local food specialties in one of the busiest districts of Bangkok?
After taking many food tours in Bangkok and visiting the city several times, we had our fair share of street food in Chinatown.
And our experience is your gain! Use this comprehensive guide to the best Chinatown Bangkok food.
Buckle up and get ready for the culinary adventure of a lifetime!
Chinatown Bangkok – A Sensory Experience
Bangkok’s Chinatown is vibrant and engages all of your senses. During the day, Chinatown is bustling with stores, shophouses, and street vendors. You’ll see vendors selling produce, Thai desserts, fruits, and juices.
Many stores and shophouses loudly display their wares – everything from gold to clothing to Chinese medicinal products.
Then, at night, the energy in Chinatown in Bangkok is practically pulsating. Street food vendors come out to light up Chinatown’s sidewalks and dark alleys.
Hundreds of food stalls tempt and invite you with delicious aromas from their cooking pans. Sizzling woks, chopping boards, and the sights of cooking flames will compete for your attention.
The Chinatown Bangkok food variety is truly astonishing. From classic dishes like Pad Thai and dumplings to unique specialties like soy sauce ice cream, squid, crab claws are more, the choices are endless.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: The best way to navigate Bangkok Chinatown is on a food tour with a local guide. We recommend Bangkok Backstreet with A Chef’s Tour, and you can also see more options in our in-depth guide to the best Bangkok food tours.
Where To Stay in Chinatown Bangkok
Our travel priority is always proximity to authentic eats. That is especially true when there are so many fantastic options for street food in Chinatown Bangkok.
For unique accommodations close to the food scene in Chinatown, book your stay at any one of these gems.
Shanghai Mansion – Boutique Hotel in Chinatown Bangkok
Shanghai Mansion, one of Chinatown’s best boutique hotels, is located in the heart of the culinary scene. Every evening, look for countless street stalls and savor the delicious flavors all around.
The hotel’s decor evokes the charm of Shanghai in the 1930s, and the opulent attention to detail is remarkable. The restaurant Red Rose is worth checking out.
Check prices and click to book your stay at Shanghai Mansion
ASAI Bangkok Chinatown – Modern Hotel
You’ll find ASAI Bangkok Chinatown within a short walking distance of Yaowarat street food market. This late-night market begins opening its stalls around 7:00 pm and has everything from casual snacks to traditional Thai desserts.
This lifestyle hotel has modern furnishings with a style that is both elevated and true to place. Note that it’s located in a busy area – perfect for those seeking an exciting atmosphere.
Check prices and click to book your stay at ASAI Bangkok Chinatown.
The Unforgotten B&B – Charming B&B
For a quieter location that is still within walking distance of bustling Bangkok Chinatown, consider this elegant B&B.
Here, you’ll find homey comforts, including a shared lounge and relaxing garden area. Don’t miss the daily breakfast
Check prices and click to book your stay at The Unforgotten B&B
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
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Top 10 Best Places to Eat Chinatown Bangkok Food
After meandering through small and narrow alleys in Chinatown Bangkok on our own and on food tours, we’ve compiled our favorite authentic eats.
It’s impossible to cover all eateries and local foods to try on Yaowarat Road. However, if you can sample many of these local food recommendations, you’ll have a full taste of the diversity in Bangkok Chinatown.
1. Best Curry in Chinatown at Jek Pui Curry
Khao Gaeng Jake Puey Curry (Jek Pui Curry) is a large food stall located on the sidewalk of a busy street.
Though it is an unlikely location for a food stall, the curry simmering in large pots and art deco background makes it quite intriguing.
It’s also very popular with locals, especially office workers at the end of the day.
One of the first things you will notice is that there are no tables at Jek Pui Curry because of the lack of room and the popularity of the place.
Once you place your order, you simply pull up a little plastic chair on the sidewalk and wait for your order to come.
With no tables, you eat your meal holding your plate in your hands. This family-owned 70+ year establishment is well worth the experience.
Get ready to be tempted by the pork or chicken yellow curry. We couldn’t pick one, so we tried both! Our delicious curries and rice were very flavorful and not too spicy.
This is one of our favorite street foods in Bangkok Chinatown.
Where To Eat the Best Curry in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: 427 Mangkon Rd, Bangkok.
Hours: OpenTues – Sun, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Closed on Monday.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: On your way to Jek Pui Curry, don’t miss out on stopping at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat temple. It is the most important Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Known in Chinese as Wat Leng Nui Yee, it is the center of festivities for important events such as Chinese New Year and the Chinese Vegetarian Festival. Get all the details as part of a Chinatown walking tour.
2. Delicious Thai Oyster Omelet at Nai Mong Hoi Thod
Nai Mong Hoi Thod is famous for its crispy Thai oyster omelet. This Thai oyster omelet is also known as Hoy Tod.
It is a dish of Chinese origin and was brought to Thailand by Chinese immigrants. The recipe has been revisited “the Thai way.”
At Nai Mong Hoi Thod, a shophouse-style restaurant, they specialize in only this dish.
This omelet is made with either oysters or mussels. It is served with a sweet chili sauce on the side.
We had the oyster version, which we found crispy and full of flavor. The oysters were surprisingly fresh and very tasty. Though be warned, it is a little greasy.
Nai Mong Hoi Thod is very popular with locals and visitors to Thailand. It was the recipient of a 2023 Bib Gourmand distinction by Michelin for exceptional food at a moderate price point.
This is a highly recommended stop as a way to immerse yourself in the local Thai-Chinese culture through food.
Where To Eat the Best Thai Omelet in Bangkok
Address: 539 Phlap Phla Chai Road, Bangkok.
Hours: Open Wed – Monday, 11:30 am to 9:30 pm. Closed on Tuesday.
3. Chinese Noodles & Dumplings at Mung Korn Khao Noodles
No tour of Chinatown would be complete without a stop for Chinese noodles and dumplings.
We stopped at a small noodle shop right off one of the alleys, popular for selling freshly made noodles and dumplings.
If we had not been on a food tour, we would not have known about the popularity of the place.
Here, we had egg noodles and pork soup, and we also shared a side of pork and shrimp dumplings.
The soup was deliciously flavorful, and the pork was tender and not fatty. The noodles used were thin and cooked to perfection.
Be sure not to miss the pork and shrimp dumplings. They are delicious and packed with flavor.
In my humble opinion, this is one of the best food stops for Thai food with Chinese heritage in Chinatown.
Where to Eat The Best Egg Noodle Soup in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: 395 Yaowarat Rd, Bangkok.
Hours: Open daily, 6:00 pm – late night
4. Incredible Crab Noodles Soup at Odean
Odean restaurant is one of those unmissable local stops in Chinatown Bangkok; it’s a no-frills crab noodle shop located not too far from one of the entrances to Chinatown.
You’ll find it on an unusually quiet street, offering a reprieve from the bustle of the city.
The main draws to Odean are the crab claws, the egg noodles, and the broth. We had heard about the restaurant from locals on an earlier trip to Bangkok and were excited to finally try it!
The menu is available in both Thai and English, and the air-conditioned dining room makes for a comfortable experience.
We tried two different crab noodle dishes – one with noodles, wontons, and crab in a broth and another with just crab, noodles, and broth.
The noodles were perfectly cooked and with a great bounce. The restaurant is known for making its own egg noodles, and the quality is incredible.
The wontons were plump, and the broth very flavorful. With each bite, the sweet and succulent crab meat enriches the experience.
If you are hungry, note that you can order the size of the crab claw you want. To wash down your meal, try their specialty juices like lemongrass, roselle, or bael fruit juice.
Where To Eat the Best Crab Noodles Soup
Address: 724-726 Charoen Krung Rd, Chinatown (near Wat Traimit)
Hours: Open daily, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
5. Fried Noodles at Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai
We discovered this Bangkok Chinatown culinary gem on a Bangkok street food tour.
The guide led us through an obscure back alley and side street north of Chinatown, where fresh noodles were sizzling in large pans.
It was fun and quite a show watching the skillful cooks tossing the noodles and playing with fire.
We walked into the back of an eatery called Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai and ordered two versions of the main fried noodle dish we had just seen cooking outside.
We had a roast chicken and egg noodle dish called Guay Tiew Kua Gai. And we also tried an interesting roast chicken-ham squid noodle dish.
Both dishes were heavenly, though slightly greasy. The noodles are sticky and crispy at the same time. And the greasy flavors are enhanced by pieces of chicken and a runny egg.
This street food vendor in Chinatown Bangkok, is another recent recipient of the Michelin Bib award. This is one of the popular restaurants in Chinatown Bangkok worth seeking out.
Where To Eat the Best Fried Noodles in Bangkok
Address: 419 Luang Road, Wat Dhebsirin, Bangkok
Hours: Open daily, 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Authentic Food Quest – Bangkok Food Itinerary
Planning on visiting Bangkok? Check out our Bangkok food itinerary Authentic Food Trails Bangkok. This is a self-guided food itinerary to help you navigate the local food scene.
For only $3.99 get local insights on WHAT and WHERE to eat in Bangkok.
6. Lightly Fried Fish Cakes on Mangkon Road
One of our favorite Chinatown Bangkok food experiences was at a roadside street stall selling fish cakes.
Fish cakes are a common street food in Bangkok, consisting of seasoned, fried fish. In other words, there’s not much better.
We tried fish cakes made from fresh king mackerel that were simply outstanding. Lightly fried with a touch of spice, we devoured them.
This roadside vendor in Yaowarat Chinatown is popular with locals, and we were lucky to have been introduced to her by locals.
Don’t miss these fish cakes while exploring the delicious Chinatown Bangkok food.
Where To Eat the Best Fishcakes in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: 427 Mangkon Rd, Bangkok.
Hours: Open daily 0 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
7. Seafood and Tom Yum at T&K Seafood
We were introduced to this spot by a Chef’s Tour as one of the best spots to sample fresh seafood and the Thai specialty, tom yum soup.
This location is exceptionally busy, with indoor and outdoor seating available. So if you stop by, get ready for a little bit of chaos.
Still, if you’re looking for some authentic eats without the frills, this is the stop for you.
For seafood, try the grilled squid, shrimp fried rice, and fresh crab. And don’t forget to try their tom yum soup – it’s one of the most authentic (and delicious) varieties you can find.
Where To Eat the Best Tom Yum Soup in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: 49, 51 Phadung Dao Road, Samphanthawong, Bangkok
Hours: Open daily, 4:00 pm – 12:00 am
If this location is too crowded, there’s another popular spot for seafood just across the street. Lek & Rut Seafood does fresh seafood right with deep-fried seafood patties, grilled shrimp, and more.
Address: Phadung Dao Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok
Hours: Open daily, 5:30 pm – 2:00 am
8. Roasted Duck in Chinatown Bangkok Food Market
We meandered through small and narrow alleys, making our way through Itsara Nuthap Alley on Soi 6, one of the Bangkok food markets within Yaowarat.
This food market is actually a day market, so consider it for an exciting lunch experience.
As you navigate your way around Chinatown Bangkok Market, your nose will be assaulted by a variety of interesting aromas.
From durian at corner stalls to flowery scents of Chinese teas to ducks hanging upside down like prized trophies.
This area within the day market is the spot to try roasted duck. The duck is stuffed with lemongrass and served with homemade egg noodles.
We were blown away by the flavors. The roasted duck delivered on all fronts.
The skin was tasty and crispy, and the lemon grass flavors deliciously seeped through the tender duck breast. This is easily one of the best Chinatown Bangkok food options.
Where To Eat the Best-Roasted Duck in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: Itsara Nuthap Alley on Soi 6
Hours: Open daily, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
9. Taste Durian in Chinatown Bangkok
Chinatown Bangkok is the perfect place to try durian – a controversial fruit known as the “smelliest fruit in the world.”
While walking around, we noticed two different varieties of durian – Monthong and Kanyoa. Not knowing the difference but curious about the taste, we approached a popular stall and friendly vendor.
In our discussion, we learned that the month of March is the best month for the Monthong variety of durian. While April is the best month for Kanyoa.
We bought the two varieties and sat down to taste durian for the first time.
While we both had different opinions of the taste of durian, we both preferred the Monthong variety. Surprisingly creamy, the texture was quite soft and smooth. The aroma was not pronounced for either of the varieties.
Eating durian is an experience that you must indulge in on your travels to Asia. It is an acquired taste and one that you can grow to love.
Prices for durian will vary based on the variety you choose but note that it tends to be one of the more expensive Bangkok food offerings.
The sweet and creamy Monthong variety is actually grown for export to countries like the U.S. If you are curious about the taste of durian taste, you can order freeze-dried Monthong durian from Amazon.
Where To Taste Durian in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: Itsara Nuthap Alley on Soi 6
Hours: Open daily, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
10. Black Sesame Dumpling And Other Thai Desserts
Chinatown Bangkok food goes beyond savory – desserts are also a must-try.
There are popular dessert stalls across from the Shanghai Mansion Hotel, where you can try hot desserts and sweet treats.
What we enjoyed about the dessert choices in Bangkok Chinatown is that they are not the typical desserts commonly available.
The black sesame dumpling in ginger was my favorite. This hot dish was served in ginger syrup. And the dumplings were soft, chewy, and filled with a sweet black sesame paste.
Besides being surprisingly delicious, this dessert is popular at festivals and events.
Rather than the popular mango sticky rice dessert, choose the green mango with a spicy chili sauce.
This simple dessert is made up of slices of green mango with a spicy chili dipping sauce. As unexpected as that might sound, the flavors complement each other for a delicious sourness.
Bird’s nest is a Chinese delicacy believed to have a number of health benefits. As a dessert, you’ll find a Ginkgo bird nest version. The one we tried was served with ice.
While it was tasty, it lacked flavor as compared to the black sesame dumpling or the spicy chili sauce with the green mangoes. Nonetheless, it’s a local dessert of Chinese origin worth trying.
Where To Eat the Best Thai Desserts in Chinatown Bangkok
Address: 526 Yaowaraj Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok
Hours: Open daily, 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Bangkok’s Chinatown famous for?
Chinatown Bangkok is famous for being one of the largest Chinese communities outside of China. As part of its retention of Chinese heritage, the streets are full of historic Chinese temples and buildings, as well as plenty of markets and world-class street food.
What should I buy in Bangkok Chinatown?
If you are visiting Bangkok, street food is a must-try. There are so many surprisingly delicious dishes, including Thai curries, fish balls, and black sesame dumplings.
Beyond the incredible food, there are plenty of fun novelty items, jewelry, and souvenirs for you to purchase in China town.
Is Chinatown Bangkok worth visiting?
Yes! Chinatown Bangkok is definitely worth visiting for the food alone; it’s an incredibly immersive experience and a treat for all of the senses.
What is the price of street food in Chinatown?
Street food prices range depending on the dish. For example, expect to pay around 40/50 bahts (about $1.20 – $1.50 USD) for noodle soups, street foods, and simple desserts. For more expensive seafood dishes like crab or lobster, be prepared to pay upwards of 400 Thai baht (about $12 USD).
Regardless of the varying prices, food is generally very affordable in Chinatown Bangkok.
Chinatown is one of Bangkok’s most vibrant districts, and it is not to be missed on your travels to Bangkok.
It is a great location to see the different market vendors and day-to-day activities, as well as the temples and rich Chinese heritage and culture.
The best time to visit Chinatown Bangkok is in the late afternoon when you can experience the two atmospheres of the district. Chinatown shops by day and the vibrant street-side cuisines by night.
If you are planning a trip to Thailand, be sure to explore Chinatown Bangkok food and the surrounding market.
Have you been to Thailand and eaten Chinatown Bangkok food? Please let us know your experience in the comments below.
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Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
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