Photo: Shop till you drop.

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Eat and meet

Siam Square

The centre of the universe for Thai students, Siam Square also has some very good eating options but somewhat lacking in the nightlife department.

Gallery Drip Coffee
1st floor, Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Bangkok
T: (081) 989 5244

As Thailand’s economy booms, a growing number of farmers in the mountainous northern region are focusing on gourmet coffee. Chiang Mai is undoubtedly the country’s coffee capital, but Bangkok is also on board. A love for coffee and passion for art are often blended, and Gallery Drip Coffee in the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) is at the cutting edge of a coffee/art... Read our full review of Gallery Drip Coffee.

Som Tam Nua
392/14 Siam Square Soi 5, Siam Square
T: (02) 251 4880

This place keeps the seats packed with classic som tam, available in multiple different iterations (including with freshwater crab, with salted shrimp, or with fermented fish), crispy fried chicken wings with a potent roasted chilli sauce, and marinated grilled pork neck. Spicier and tarter than central Thai cuisine, Isaan food is best mopped up with a basket of sticky rice, rolled up into... Read our full review of Som Tam Nua.

Sushi Masa
Siam Sawana Hotel, 359/1 Phaya Nak Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 215 9289

Despite its no thrills attitude, this locally-owned restaurant has still caught the eyes (and the mouths) of many, making it almost impossible to snag a table without waiting in line. But the taste of the fish, fresh and cut to perfection, is worth the... Read our full review of Sushi Masa.

Krua Muang Ling
Corner of Phetchaburi and Phaya Thai Roads, Siam Square, Bangkok

A half-dozen street restaurants churn out Isaan (Northeastern Thai) food to the masses alongside a busy road in the heart of Bangkok every night. After trying them all, we’ve gravitated back to Krua Muang Ling thanks to big portions and bigger flavours that don’t hold back on the... Read our full review of Krua Muang Ling.

Street food: Phetchaburi Soi 10
Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok

It’d be a mistake to assume that the Siam Square area is nothing but a cluster of malls where hi-so folks go to buy Gucci and eat at corporate chain restaurants. No matter where you are in Bangkok, a street food enclave is always nearby — if you know where to look. In a corner of the shopping district, Phetchaburi Soi 10 and surrounds will leave both you and your wallet nice and... Read our full review of Street food: Phetchaburi Soi 10.

888/57 Mahathun Plaza, Ploenchit Rd
T: (081) 750 9456

Vegetarian food in Bangkok usually falls into two categories: vaguely Mediterranean-style (roasted vegetables and couscous) or ahaan jay, Chinese-style Buddhist cuisine heavy on seitan and tofu. Well-prepared, both styles stand ready to prove that even meat eaters can be poly amorous with their food. But, as with most things in life, there is a third... Read our full review of Deva .

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Between Soi Chula 32 and Soi Chula 34 on Chula 9

While Sam Yan Market itself isn't any slouch, people come here for the upstairs open-air food hall that is anchored with Today Steak, a monument to the fact that students like cheap and delicious food. Today Steak serves all manner of grilled meat, fried meat and roasted meat, along with Thai and western side dishes. It's a great deal and a fun place (especially in the evening) to chow your way... Read our full review of Streetfood: Sam Yan Market and Today Steak.

La Monita Taqueria
888/26 Mahatun Plaza, Ploen Chit Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 650 9581

Since its launching in 2009, La Monita has matured into a burgeoning Mexican food empire that now boasts four different locations around Bangkok. A visit to the original shophouse taqueria shows that, even halfway around the world from Baja California, success comes to those who can make damn good tacos and... Read our full review of La Monita Taqueria.

BKK Bagel Bakery
518/3 Maneeya Centre North, Ploenchit Rd
T: (02) 254 8157

As a New Yorker born and bred, I know just how seriously people can take their bagels. Not every roll with a hole counts. A bagel has got to have the right smell, it must be soft but not mushy, and the best bagels are so overflowing with dough that the hole is nowhere near a perfect circle. BKK Bagel Bakery is the closest you’ll come to the real-deal in... Read our full review of BKK Bagel Bakery.

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
262/2 Siam Square Soi 3, Siam Square
T: (02) 658 4094

Try their mushrooms fried with holy basil (kaprao het); it's a mix of tender mushrooms pan-seared and tossed with a tart dressing and Thai herbs. Fried shiitake mushroom stems brings to mind fried meat — crispy but still chewy and satisfyingly savoury, they come by themselves or sauteed with Chinese kale. Koko serves meat as well for omnivores, but during the annual vegetarian festival (usually... Read our full review of Koko Restaurant.

Sra Bua
1/F, Siam Kempinski, 991/9 Rama 1 Rd
T: (02) 162 9000

Sra Bua, like Nahm, has a sister restaurant with a Michelin star half way around the world in Europe. Unlike Nahm, which takes painstaking authenticity to a new level, Sra Bua recreates traditional Thai dishes in novel forms. Molecular gastronomy might be so-five-minutes-ago, but no one can argue that it isn't entertaining. Sra Bua entertains, and this is where it sets off on a divergent path... Read our full review of Sra Bua.

Vanilla Industry
Siam Square Soi 11, Siam Square
T: (02) 658 4720

The second floor dining room offers French-inspired fare, with crepes and salads dominating the menu. Their desserts are excellent, as well, accompanied by a cup of tea or an espresso. On the top floor is a cooking school that teaches western baking techniques, and the ground floor is a take-away bakery with lots of flavoured milks, coffees, sweet snacks, and a cool line of stationary created... Read our full review of Vanilla Industry.

Baan Khun Mae
458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Siam Square
T: (02) 250 1952

Just like an old auntie's house might be, the furnishings are a bit faded and the service is warm but lackadaisical. The food is solid Central Thai dishes, including prawns in red curry, fried morning glory, grilled pork, and roasted duck in red curry sauce. Definitely try the fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaves — it's glorious. To finish with a sweet note, the crispy water chestnuts in... Read our full review of Baan Khun Mae.

Food Plus Hawker Centre
Siam Square Soi 6, 50m south of Sukhumvit Road, Siam Square

Long tables run down the centre of the arcade which stretches from Soi 6 to Soi 5 (it's easier to find from Soi 6 as there is no sign from the Soi 5 side). Flanking the centre aisle are different vendors' stands. Choose what you want to eat and point to where you are sitting and someone will bring it over when it is ready. Try a spicy mango salad, fish maw soup, chicken rice, or roasted... Read our full review of Food Plus Hawker Centre.

Bookends Cafe
Soi Chulalongkorn 62, Siam Square

Set at the rear of Siam Square, it's all outdoors, with a wide, shady veranda, comfortable seating and antique fans, all amid a canopy of leafy vines. The relative leafy quiet (compared with the banging neighbourhood it is set in) make for some excellent and relaxing people watching. The cafe serves up iced coffees, teas, fruit shakes and mochi ice cream, as well as a smattering of baked... Read our full review of Bookends Cafe.

See Fah
47/21 Soi Bangkok Bazar, Siam Square
T: (02) 655 0251

It's steadily added to its menu as management has passed from grandfather to father to son and now has a good selection of Thai-Chinese dishes, and several locations in Bangkok. The Siam Square branch has a smart dining room and good service. Be sure to try the ratchawong-style braised chicken over rice, the roast duck, and kanom jeen (sourdough chinese-style fresh noodles) with green curry.... Read our full review of See Fah.

Hong Kong Noodle
Siam Square Soi 10, Siam Square
T: (02) 658 4154

A popular spot with students and young Thais, Hong Kong Noodle has a good selection of decently prepared dim sum, roasted duck and chicken dishes, and noodles. You might not bring your Chinese grandma here, but it's a great place to duck into for a bowl of noodles with savoury slices of roasted duck after a long day bargaining. Dim sum 20-30 baht per steamer basket, noodles 45-100 baht... Read our full review of Hong Kong Noodle.

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Where to next?

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

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