Photo: Great northeastern eating near Victory Monument.

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Eat and meet

Victory Monument

Anothai Vegetarian Restaurant
976/17 Soi Rong Phayaban Rama 9 (in front of Rama IX Hospital), Bangkok
T: (02) 641 5366

Fifteen year-old Anothai Restaurant stands at the pinnacle of Bangkok’s vegetarian food scene. Named after its Cordon-Bleu schooled chef, it offers a mix of tasty Thai vegetarian dishes with flourishes of Japanese and Italian to go with a great bakery, huge tea selection and soothing atmosphere. Set in an out-of-the-way east Bangkok locale, Anothai is worth every shred of the effort it takes to... Read our full review of Anothai Vegetarian Restaurant.

Baan Paa Jazz
103 Soi Watanayotin (Rachawiti 7), Rangnam Rd
T: (02) 245 1006

Covered with a corrugated tin roof, the walls plastered with newspapers articles, prizes awarded to children, and pictures of the King, the woman behind this restaurant stands behind two gas burners with her hair unbelievably coiffed considering the heat. Make up applied like an opera star, she stirs and fries beneath the smoke hood, sending out incredible versions of central Thai classics.... Read our full review of Baan Paa Jazz.

Street food: Soi Rangnam
Soi Rangnam

Food, glorious food! Bangkok’s Rangnam neighbourhood is tucked between Phaholyothin and Ratchaprarop roads, close to the Victory Monument traffic circle. It’s a neighbourhood that holds several hospitals, colleges and a lot of businesses, which mean only one thing to us: good food, cheap. It’s a happy coincidence that college students also like bars because a few fun places have sprung up... Read our full review of Street food: Soi Rangnam.

Soi Worant (334/1 Phaya Thai Rd, beside the canal bridge)
T: (02) 215 8879

Taksura is the definition of a baan-baan hangout: homey and comfortable, this bar feels like it’s acceptable to sit around in while wearing your underwear (metaphorically, of course). It’s a great place to sit outside in shorts and flip-flops, drink cold beers and listen to live music while Thai college students flirt, business guys drink to success and everyone snacks their way towards... Read our full review of Taksura.

Som tam on Soi Ari
Soi Ari, Bangkok
T: (087) 685 2213

Some may say that pad Thai takes the international title of Thailand’s premiere dish, but if you’re surveying at the local level many would likely insist that som tam should take the prize. A great version of Som tam, otherwise known as papaya salad and best eaten with a side of sticky rice, is served at a tucked away food stall in... Read our full review of Som tam on Soi Ari.

Hat Man Soup Shop
Soi Wattanayothin, Rangnam Rd, Victory Monument, Bangkok

Enter: Hat Man. He’s a man who used to wear a hat and serve the best noodle soup (kuay tiao naam) I’ve ever had. Hat Man used to set up in the alley behind the apartment I was temporarily renting to see if it was possible for me to learn any Thai at all before I committed to living here full time (luckily for you, dear reader, the answer turned out to be yes), with a rolling soup cart and... Read our full review of Hat Man Soup Shop.

Sky Train Jazz Bar
Soi Rangnam (near Victory Monument), Bangkok
T: (089) 895 4299

Are you a little bit hipster? Do you want to show off to your friends that you know somewhere to drink in Bangkok that’s off the beaten track? Can’t afford a 300 baht cocktail but fancy a bit of al fresco drinking? Then Sky Train Jazz Club is for... Read our full review of Sky Train Jazz Bar.

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71/1 Phaholyothin Soi 7 (Soi Ari), Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 357 1597

As confusing as the décor/ladyboy/cuisine combination is, it all works. The food really delivers: som tam, grilled meats, Isaan salads of all description, laap, and sticky rice are washed down with cold beer. These ladyboys obviously know their stuff. Not much English is spoken, but the menu is bilingual, and the air-con is powerful. Dishes from 40... Read our full review of Shambala.

Salt Bar and Restaurant
Soi Ari 4, Phaholyothin Soi 7, Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 619 6886

The cube is perched in front of a traditional old Thai house on a grassy lawn, flanked by an outdoor patio popular during the cool season. The menu is ostensibly Japanese, but there is a pizza menu and a few pasta dishes to be had as well (and strangely enough, both the Italian and the Japanese is good). Most people come for the bar scene. Wear your fancy shoes and find someone to buy you... Read our full review of Salt Bar and Restaurant.

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Soi Chamnan Aksorn, off Phaholyothin 9, Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 279 4731

Located in a residential neighbourhood a bit north of Ari, this restaurant sprawls across an air-con dining room, to a lawn terrace, right down to poolside seating. The only main courses worth their salt are the eponymous fondues — both cheese fondue, and the boiling-oil-style Bourguignon fondue. Most of the a la carte dishes miss the mark, being pretty heavy and uninspired, but the fondue... Read our full review of Fondue House.

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Between Phaholyothin Soi 6 and Soi 8, Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 270 1654

The original shop closed due to a land redevelopment, but the owners just shifted to the other side of the street and kept on frying up these famous noodles. Choose the standard wide rice noodles, or replace them with flat-noodles, glass noodles, or egg noodles. The large prawns are great, but you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. On weekend evenings a queue can form, but... Read our full review of Pad Thai Ari.

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9 Soi Ari 3, Phaholyothin Soi 7 (Soi Ari), Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 619 8659

It reliably serves up Isaan standards in a leafy green setting. Sitting outside on the patio at night is enchanting — until some extra-hot green papaya salad melts your face off. The food is excellent and some English is spoken, and this more upscale option also serves wine (a rarity with Isaan food). Be sure to try their Isaan sausages (sai grok). Dishes from 100-310... Read our full review of Som Tum Bangkok.

Boat Noodles at Victory Monument
Next to the canal, near the northeast corner of Victory Monument traffic circle

When khlongs were the most reliable transport and boats plied the “Venice of the East”, boat noodles were Thailand’s answer to delivery pizza. Vendors didn’t deliver upon order, but they did ply their way across the city selling noodle soups from wooden sampans calling out for customers as they passed by. Vendors soon developed loyal followings, differentiating themselves by type of... Read our full review of Boat Noodles at Victory Monument.

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3/8 Phayathai Road, Victory Monument
T: (02) 246 5472

The bar décor appears to be a chain restaurant gone wrong, but it's actually quite charming inside. Also, they have ice in their urinals, something that never fails to impress your correspondent. The food is average, but no one really comes here for the food — it's for the fantastic music. Check their website for the weekly list of sets! You might want to have a street side beer or two... Read our full review of Saxophone Pub and Restaurant.

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107/13 Rangnam Rd, Phaya Thai
T: (02) 642 5591

At least it's not flooded with water. But from this humble and uninspired design springs forth some amazing seafood for an incredible price. Crab fried rice is chock full of sweet crab meat; the steamed fish in soy falls from the bones in succulent chunks. The menu is extensive and in English. The service is lackadaisical at best, but the food makes any tribulation worth it. Plates from 150... Read our full review of Kuang Sea Foods.

87/70 Phaya Thai Rd

The music is often good, with rotating acts appearing at Volks Bar and The Tube most evening. There is food to be had almost everywhere, but it's best to stop for a meal at the small cluster of restaurants near the entrance. There isn't a dress code, but indie funk would be the way to go if you are trying to team with a theme. Beers from 60 baht, Thai whisky sets (bottle + ice + mixers) from... Read our full review of Cocowalk.

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Rama IX Rd

Love it or hate it, and if you talk to enough people who live in Bangkok they'll fall into one of those two camps, RCA is an (evolving) institution in Bangkok. An entertainment district that hosts more than 50 bars, restaurants, clubs, and cafes, RCA is jam packed every weekend. It's not the most conveniently located, requiring a taxi or motorcycle ride from MRT Petchaburi or Airport Link... Read our full review of Royal City Avenue (RCA).

Mello Yello
29/70-72 RCA Zone S, Rama IX Rd, across from Cosmic Cafe
T: (02) 641 4283

The smooth dark interior is inviting, and the acts booked are excellent with some internationally famous musicians coming in to play high-hat and bebop. Of course, it all depends on the night, but the Thursday and Friday are pretty reliable. The drinks at Mello Yello are a bit more upscale than some of the surrounding clubs, with bottles of wine going for 1100-1800, but a Sangsom blackout... Read our full review of Mello Yello.

Pumpkin Lady Restaurant
Rachatewi Soi 6

The head chef has been cooking for twenty-five years, and she never fails to deliver perfect tom yum, jungle curry (less creamy and spicier than coconut milk curries, and utterly addictive), and fried rice. Try the stir-fried wild boar, or the jungle curry with beef. Bathroom available, squat only; English menu available. Pumpkin lady doesn't serve beer, but you can walk over to the shop next... Read our full review of Pumpkin Lady Restaurant.

Cafe Boran Hat Yai
Next to Or Tor Kor Market, Chatuchak, Bangkok

If you need a break from Chatuchak Market, head for nearby Or Tor Kor gourmet market for a taste of high quality fruit, sweets and prepared Thai foods. While there, don’t miss a Malay/Indonesian cum Chinese cum Thai specialty — Phra Ram long song (“swimming Rama”) — at Cafe Boran Hat... Read our full review of Cafe Boran Hat Yai.

Street food: Soi Ari
Soi Ari (aka Phahonyothin Soi 7)

Soi Ari, just off the BTS at Ari station, has become somewhat of a Bangkok expat haunt. The streets are bustling but manageable, the buildings are predominantly low-rise and the palpable neighborhood vibe makes a trip to this neighborhood a vacation from the hustle and bustle of Sukhumvit or... Read our full review of Street food: Soi Ari.

Baiyoke Sky Tower Rooftop Bar
222 Soi Ratchaprarop 3, Ratchaprarop Rd
T: (02) 656 3000 

The Rooftop Bar on the 83rd floor looks like it was put together by a sixth grade class, but it's charming in its own way (the same way that dumb kittens are charming). But while others labour for street cred and the attention of the moneyed classes, the Baiyoke has let all of that go and just focuses on being a place to look at the city from — and it succeeds, with the highest view in... Read our full review of Baiyoke Sky Tower Rooftop Bar.

Banana Family Park Vegetarian Food Court
17/1, Ari Soi 1 (in Baan Ari compound), Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 279 7838

Founded by the family that runs Bangkok Printing, Banana Family Park was established to promote the Buddha’s teachings. The complex offers yoga, a free public dharma library, a health food store, a coffee shop and the Baan Suan Pai food court, which brims with vegetable... Read our full review of Banana Family Park Vegetarian Food Court.

La Villa, Phaholyothin Rd, Samsen Nai,
T: (02) 613 0544

Coffee, tea, smoothies, shakes, and ice cream are available, to be served next to fudge cake, brownies, cookies, and fruit pastries. The ice cream comes in an amazing number of flavours by the scoop, or have it combined into a sundae — the rock and roll waffle sundae combines all the good things in life: waffles and butterfat. Drinks from 50 baht, ice cream from 60, sundaes from 150... Read our full review of iberry.

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La Villa, Phaholyothin Rd, Samsen Nai, Bangkok
T: (02) 613 0547

The menu has both European bistro-style dishes, like lasagna, tomato and mozzarella salad, or steamed mussels, as well as fried rice, green papaya salad, and other Thai staples. Their dessert list is good, and service is prompt. Greyhound Café is a nice place for a coffee and some people watching. Free WiFi. Dishes from 120... Read our full review of Greyhound Café.

Dalad Vietnamese Restaurant
36/9 Soi Ari (Phaholyothin Soi 7), Phaholyothin Rd
T: (02) 271 2109

The classic Vietnamese food is well prepared, and the menu features a few Thai dishes as well. If you can ignore the floral prints and dried flowers, the shrimp toast, pho, pak mor and bee bun are all excellent. If it's not too hot, there is al fresco dining out front as well. Dishes 75-120... Read our full review of Dalad Vietnamese Restaurant.

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117/4-5 Soi Phahon Yothin 7 (Soi Ari), Phahon Yothin Rd
T: (02) 278 4544

Free Wifi, good coffee, and happy hour specials on Singha offer something for everyone. Inside seating is limited, but very air conditioned if you need to come in out of the heat. Brown Berry Café is a good way point for exploring Soi Ari's street food... Read our full review of Brown Berry Cafe and Bar.

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Northeast and Southeast Corners of Victory Monument

It's a hodgepodge of clothes, bags, cute things of every shape and size, and snacks — the northeast section is primarily clothes, while the southeast section has more food vendors and an outdoor beer garden along the back side. The noodles are great, as is the chicken and rice. If you want to drink beer, make sure you sit further in the back under the fairy lights, but feel free to order... Read our full review of Victory Point Outdoor Market.

Rock Pub
93/26-28 Phayathai Rd
T: (02) 251 9980

The service is indifferent, but the drinks are cheap and the music is and earsplitting, which is exactly how a bar dedicated to metal should be run. And make no mistake: this is metal, not what others would consider rock and roll. It's a good night out, and the rotating house bands are talented, playing a mix of English and Thai songs. Bands go on at 21:30, but the place doesn't really... Read our full review of Rock Pub.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Victory Monument? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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