As you’d expect, nowhere in Thailand can compete with Bangkok’s diversity when it comes to food: it boasts an astonishing fifty thousand places to eat, almost one for every hundred citizens. Although prices are generally higher here than in the provinces, it’s still easy to dine well on a budget. For Thai food, the best gourmet restaurants in the country operate from the downtown districts, proffering wonderful royal, traditional and regional cuisines that definitely merit a visit. At the lower end of the price scale, one-dish meals from around the country are rustled up at the food courts of shopping centres and department stores, as well as at night markets and street stalls, which are so numerous in Bangkok that we can only flag the most promising areas. For the non-Thai cuisines, Chinatown naturally rates as the most authentic district for pure Chinese food; likewise neighbouring Pahurat, the capital’s Indian enclave, is best for unadulterated Indian dishes, while there’s a sprinkling of Indian and (mostly southern Thai) Muslim restaurants around Silom’s Maha Uma Devi Temple and nearby Thanon Charoen Krung. Sukhumvit’s Soi 3 is a hub for Middle Eastern cafés, complete with hookah pipes at the outdoor tables; good, comparatively cheap Japanese restaurants are concentrated on Soi Thaniya, at the east end of Thanon Silom; and there’s a Korean enclave in Sukhumvit Plaza, at the corner of Soi 12. In the more expensive restaurants listed below you may have to pay a ten percent service charge and seven percent VAT.
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