EAT-ineraries: Khao San Road (Comforting Thai Classics and More!)

khao san road bangkok food guide

Khao San Road. Backpacker central. Home of the rowdiest parties. An explosion of colors, sounds, aromas, and flavors. A true Bangkok experience. Admittedly, I have graduated from my Khao San phase, but there's no denying that there are lots of great food around, and that it’s something that must be experienced, although not necessarily loved.

I first stepped foot in this part of Bangkok in 2017 and 5 years later I still go there—to eat. Below, I have written a suggested EAT-inerary when you’re planning a visit to Khao San or you’re actually staying there. As touristy as it is, Khao San remains popular because of its proximity to the famous temples, which are visited by both first-timers and repeat-visitors alike.

khao san road bangkok food guide
A note for the foodies: Khao San is not the first place you’d want to go to for the best food in Bangkok, but if you’re visiting the must-tries like Thipsamai and Jay Fai, Khao San is relatively close by and worth a detour.

Other posts in this series:

9:00AM: Perk up at Lemoncurd Bread and Coffee

khao san road bangkok food guide

While not necessarily a place serving Thai dishes, Lemoncurd Bread and Coffee is one of the better coffee spots I found around the Khao San area. The style is Western but the beans are sourced from Thailand, and as for the food, their specialty is the lemon curd cake served with crème fraiche and topped with lemon zest. I loved how tart and fragrant it was! This spot and relatively hidden and quiet so you can relax here before you start sightseeing—or in my case, food tripping. They didn’t have items other than cakes when I visited so if you’re the type who eats heavy for breakfast, best to eat somewhere first before checking out this place.

Lemoncurd is open from 9AM to 11:30PM.

12:00PM: Have a Thai Feast at Krua Apsorn

khao san road bangkok food guide
For lunch, head over to Krua Apsorn and try a variety of Thai heritage dishes. This popular restaurant situated in Dinso Road is only a short walk away from Khao San Road and serves up a full menu from starters to desserts. Their original, decades-old branch in Sam Sen Road boasts of a Michelin-bib gourmand special mention—it rose to fame when the chef cooked for the Thai royal family. If you’re craving for a simple and satisfying Thai meal that’s done right, this is the place for you. I love the Spicy Squid Salad with a delicious citrus and fish sauce dressing, the Prawns Tom Yum, and the Fluffy Crab Omelet. Their basil stir-fries are unapologetically spicy as well!

Krua Apsorn is open from 10:30AM to 7:30PM.

4:00PM: Visit the oldest pad thai restaurant in Thailand

khao san road bangkok food guide

No Bangkok food trip is complete without a visit to Thipsamai, the famous pad thai restaurant close to Jay Fai. Although I wouldn’t say that it’s the best pad thai I ever had, the place is worth a try. There’s nothing like watching busy cooks prepare your pad thai—it adds to the excitement with finally getting a seat after queuing for hours and digging into your food with your chopsticks. Definitely order the specialty prawn pad thai—the color is very red, thanks to the shrimp oil they use to cook the noodles with. I suggest using the condiments provided to adjust the taste to your liking (I love the pickled chilies). Surprisingly, I also enjoyed the vegetarian version! And by the way, make sure you order their fresh orange juice which is LEGENDARY.

Thipsamai is open from 10AM to 12 midnight.

7:00PM Self-gratify with some sinful tom yum in Bang Lamphu

khao san road bangkok food guide
Almost every Thai restaurant has tom yum in their menu, and I must admit, almost every one of them is good. But a stroll to Bang Lamphu will make you realize that not all tom yum soups are indeed created equal. The version at the Original Tom Yum Kung Bang Lamphu features fresh giant prawns, coconut strips (giving a bamboo shoot-like texture), shimeji mushrooms, and no added milk, resulting in a spicier flavor. What’s even more unique about their rendition is that they top it with all the shrimp head fat—it’s sinful, it’s glorious, it’s ugly, it’s delicious. When you visit, try other dishes too like Pad Kana Moo—stir-fried pork with Chinese broccoli. So garlicky and tasty!

Tom Yum Kung Banglamphu is open from 9AM to 8PM.

9:00PM: Chill at the Reggae Bar Bangkok

khao san road bangkok food guide
I was not in the mood to look for a legit cocktail bar or something fancy while I was in Khao San—I wanted to embrace its very chill vibe and so we planted ourselves on some stools at Reggae Bar in Rambuttri Road (just parallel to Khao San) and enjoyed some beers and live music. You really can’t go wrong with Chang, Singha, or Leo, but I also tried their Ginger Mojito and it was delicious!

Reggae Bar is open from 5PM onwards.

11:00PM: Recover with some delicious Hainanese chicken

khao san road bangkok food guide
The Bang Lamphu night food market is bursting with food stalls offering everything from noodles and rice to refreshments and desserts, so whether you’re looking for a cheap and quick dinner or some recovery food after drinking, this area definitely has something for you. I loved the Khao Mun Gai (Hainanese chicken) from this stall whose name I don’t even know (and can’t read, LOL. But don't worry, I have marked the place in the food map at the end of this post)—I just tried it randomly because there were lots of people and true enough, the chicken and rice were fantastic. This perfectly describes a classic Thai street food haunt experience. They also serve roast duck, which sadly I didn’t get to try!

This Khao Mun Gai stall is open form 6PM to 12 midnight.

Why is Jay Fai not in the list?

If you're traveling to Bangkok for the food then you probably already know about Jay Fai. Unfortunately, I tried thrice but failed in both attempts to eat at her restaurant—I just don't have the patience to line up and in the most recent trip, she went on vacation the entire duration I was there. So yeah, not meant to be. Maybe next time! Do try the food though and let me know what you think! 

I took the below photo while I was the 9,578th person in line.


1. Just a 10-minute walk from Tom Yum Kung Bang Lamphu is a popular (among the locals) Vietnamese restaurant called Khun Dhaeng, which serves noodle soups with braised pork, pork sausage (cha lua), and pork balls, as well as fresh and fried spring rolls.

khao san road bangkok food guide
2. Along the same street as Khun Dhaeng, there’s another famous noodle place called Nai Soie Beef Noodle, which specializes in Thai beef noodle soup!

3. It can be daunting to get out of Khao San—sometimes you just want to stay there and eat at whatever place you see. Admittedly, the first time I went to Bangkok, those food stalls were good enough for me, but as my tastes evolved and I learned more about Thai food, they became less appealing and turned into something I’d only eat if I were really really lazy and hungry. With that said, I still love the coconut ice cream and banana roti stalls in Khao San.

4. Staying in Khao San? The Mulberry Hotel is pretty cheap, clean, and decent!

khao san road bangkok food guide

Khao San EAT-inerary Food Map

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