5 Best Cheap Thai Restaurants in Bangkok

Above: A lunch at Prik Yuak at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok usually consists of more than you can choose. About Bt80-100 per plate. 

It used to be that most Thai foods offered outside Thai homes were no-frills, affordable and usually good-for-value. Now that we are having a big renaissance of the hometown cuisine, there is also a burden of the formidable price tags that come along with the hyped-up decors and presentations. Not one against that move, but frankly, who can eat like that every day? So here are some of the best deals and most delicious Thai food you can find in Bangkok without having to break your bank for it. 😀

1. Prik Yuak (พริกหยวก – Green Chili) – Chatuchak Market, MRT: Kamphaeng Phet, Bangkok, Sat-Sun: 10.00 – 15.00, T: 081 648 2282.

This is one of my delicious destinations whenever we are in JJ Weekend Market, Prik Yuak epitomises the first wave of Thai food beautification. Instead of serving up rice with a plop of curry and other sides, Prik Yuak deliberately contains the high flavours with the precise preparations of all its dishes. Fishes are cut into tasty-looking chunks on purpose, crabmeats kept plump and stir-fried only with the yellow (and not chillies of other colours) for maximum impact. Pork livers cut into thick slabs and so on. A warning though, the prices can seem a bit high (about Bt80-100 per plate and more if you order the crabmeat), but the quality of the ingredients and the sanitary will make you all happy. My favourites are the kanomcheen sao nam (rice vermicelli with white coconut cream and all the trimmings), green curry with fish balls, spicy and sour soup with fish and koon or คูน or ‘green taro stem.’

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อยากกินอีก เพิ่งกินไปเมื่อตอนเที่ยง หากร้านนี้ให้ข้าวเยอะกว่านี้จะรักกว่านี้ ให้ข้าวน้อยมากๆ เหมือนแมวดม มันไม่อิ่ม ต้องกินทีสองสามจาน 😂 At one of my fav places, a staple whenever we are at Or Tor Kor during weekends for this place is over on the other side in JJ weekend market. Simple Thai-style rice and curry place. But so well made, hence the price. This plate is Bt100. One annoying issue for us both is that they are super stingy with the amount of rice. All carbs in general, in fact. On this plate are white rice, southern style fish kidney curry and stir fried fish balls with long beans and yellow chilies. #yumm #deliciousbkk #delicious #eatoutbkk #bangkok #foodguide #jjmarket #weekendmarket #ohhappybear #thaifood #hotandspicy #thailand

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2. Sa-Nguan-Sri (สงวนศรี) – Witthayu (Wireless) Road, Bangkok CBD, BTS: Ploenchit, Mon-Sat: 10.00 – 15.00, T: 02 251 9378

Sa-nguan-sri (สงวนศรี) is all about old-school Thai food. Thai curries – green and red – mussaman, mee krob, tod mun (fish cakes), the Thai snack of sago with chicken stuffing, the dessert of candied banana and ice cream. Daily specials also feature some rare dishes such as ‘kanomcheen namprik or rice vermicelli with peanut sauce and vegetable tempura. Also, this place is my favourite when it comes to traditional Thai summer rice or Khao Chae or chilled rice served with an elaborate set of salty and sweet sides (usually available from March – June each year).

For many (me definitely included), Sanguan Sri is a rare gem in Bangkok CBD where everything is now about big and chained department store eateries. The price is definitely wallet-friendly, usually about Bt200 per person for a good filling meal. So, expect to be crushed if you go at lunch hours where everybody with enough energy will come for their own hearty and delicious dosage. If you are not tied by the office hours, be there at around 11.00. For a full review of this place, read here. 

3. Nong rim klong (หน่องริมคลอง) – 51 Ekkamai 23, Bangkok CBD, BTS: thong lor and then red bus, Mon-SAT: 08.00 – 16.00, sat: 10.00 – 16.00, T: 086 044 9478

If you are craving for something hot, spicy with loads of chunky seafood, you MUST try this stall that serves its foods way beyond its storefront appearances. Nong Rim Klong is street food to the core, with its stall setting right beside the notoriously smelly ‘klong’ or canal in Thong Lor. But Nong’s expertise in wok-fried dishes and her heavy hands in adding garlic, chillies and portions of seafood won her clients over and over and over. (Note: Updated, the place has moved from its canal-side location to Ekkamai 23, not too far from the former location.)

I usually ordered in. Especially for our early afternoon meal. My favourite dishes include all her top dishes: crabmeat with loads of garlic and chillies (Bt440) that usually lasts me at least two meals if I am alone, stir-fried seafood with holy basils (Bt200), instant noodle with Thai fermented sausage (naem) (Bt200) and her frittata-thick Thai omelette with shrimp (Bt120). Delicious and fiery!

4. Somsong potchana (สมทรงโภชนา) – Soi Wat Sangwet banglamphu, Bangkok old town, daily: 10.00 – 16.00, T: 02 282 0972

Another old-time favourite that has now been split into two identical branches. The original one on Soi Wat Sangwet (click for map) has been nicely spruced up. Gone are the old boiling stove for their Sukhothai noodles (which by the way are still available), in its place, is a long table displaying their curries and savouries of the day. My favourites are their noodles (tom yum soup version), rice and the spicy stir fry of fish balls (pad phed look chin) and rice with shrimp paste (khao kluk kapi). All to be finished off with their signature ‘khao fang’ or young rice pudding with coconut cream.

Their sister shop – named Songsong Potchana 2 (click for map) – is not too far out. It is on Samsen Road near the Bank of Thailand and still offers similar fares, but still with the boiling station for their Sukhothai noodles.

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5. phed phed (เผ็ด เผ็ด) – soi Phaholyothin 8 (BTS: Aree and walk or parking for a fee at Phaholyothin place building), Bangkok, daily: 11.00 – 20.00, T: 098 263 5715

The above picture requires that you click the arrow sign on the right to browse through what we ate and liked at Phed Phed restaurant.

This really tiny place has only just about 8 tables, so a prior reservation is a dire MUST or else you will not be eating (seriously). Phed Phed is all about Thai Esan food. Som tam Esan style with pla ra (fermented fish), pork crisp, sticky rice and so on. I also loved their grilled fermented pork sausage or naem, their super spicy somtam of all kinds, their Esan style spicy salad of bamboo shoot, and so on. Their frittata-thick omelette is a nice supplement on a table packed with all things very very spicy.

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5 Best Cheap Thai Restaurants in Bangkok
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10 Places to Eat in Bangkok Old Town (Rattanakosin Island)
16 Places to Shop in Bangkok – A Bangkok Shopping Guide
8 Things to do in Bangkok Old Town (Rattanakosin Island)
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Bangkok Long Weekend – An Essential Guide
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1 Comment

  • Hi, I’m planning on making this recipe this week! I’m just wondering wether I’m supposed to use the thick canned coconut milk or the thinner stuff from the carton? If someone could help me out I’d be really grateful, thank you!

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