May 17 2011

Dinner in Bangkok: BK Magazine’s Top Tables Guide worth its salt?

Published by at 1:12 pm under Food

Where, exactly, should we find dinner? Well, everywhere in Bangkok — street carts, shophouse restaurants, tables set out underneath an expressway flyover – the strangest locations can yield some amazing flavours. But what about that just-right Italian place? Or a wine bar? Or fancy Chinese food? loves to drink a bottle of beer under a flyover as much as the next gentleperson, but sometimes life calls for tablecloths.

Food for your FACE.

BK Magazine, a guide to goings-on in Bangkok, has recently published a guide to the top restaurants in the capital. BK Top Tables was available last week as a free insert in the printed version of BK Magazine or can be downloaded (it’s a slow download, so start before you get too hungry). Is Top Tables worth getting out and marking up? The short answer: yes. A more complete answer, yes, but you won’t be using it to find much great street food.

This guide is definitely aimed at hi-so and mid-so punters who have some cash to burn — many of these restaurants fall in the once-a-year category for most — but there are affordable choices and this guide gives some great options by neighbourhood. It’s heavy on farang food, but not because of an editorial slant against other cuisines; wealthy Thais love to eat Italian and French food. It doesn’t ignore Thai food by any means, and includes good options for Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian cuisines.

The guide has tried to ensure that it’s not only about fine dining by including a section (unfortunately) named “Best Dingy Eats”. It’s a clunky and insulting title, and BK Magazine obviously didn’t put much thought into it. It’s too bad, considering they’ve published other articles about street food picks.

Luckily, the internet rides to the rescue. Austin Bush is a travel writer and photographer who writes about great street eats in Bangkok and greater Thailand. Also check out this piece by Migrationology that has a great listing of areas to get good street food, instead of listing just individual vendors (and has great guides to Bangkok areas to help you find your way there and back). There’s also an interview with Chawadee Nualkhair, author of Bangkok’s Top 50 Street Food Stalls, available on

The Top Tables guide is worth having in your dinner-plan playbook, but it shouldn’t be the only thing in there!

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