Jay Fai
Jay Fai I Photograph: Chatchawan Jaksuwong

Reconnect With Your City: 7 toughest Bangkok restaurants to get a table

Trying to score a reservation is part of the experience at these seven highly in-demand restaurants.

Time Out Bangkok in partnership with Marriott Bonvoy

Waiting in line for a table at a hot dining spot isn’t uncommon in Bangkok, especially for avid gourmands who just want to be able to say “I’ve eaten there before!”

And while there are some street stalls and shophouse establishments where you can queue up for a table, you also have fancier restaurants where it’s nearly impossible to get a table unless you book weeks—even months—in advance. 

Here are some of the hotspots that are notorious for being the toughest in the city to score a reservation. But it’s worth trying your luck for a most memorable meal.

RECOMMENDED: Have a fun day at the tourist-friendly quarter of Lower Sukhumvit, or 'Reconnect With Your City' and check out more diverse neighborhoods.   

  • Restaurants
  • Rattanakosin

You’ve likely heard of that coveted crab omelette made by a lady wearing goggles. That’s Jay Fai, the queenpin of Thai street food whose eponymous eatery on Maha Chai Road is known for serving amazing seafood dishes, from that crab dish that made her famous to drunken noodles with prawns. These award-winning dishes—Jay Fai has a Michelin star— have made the rounds on social media, luring hangry crowds who have no choice but to wait patiently for a table.

📍 Maha Chai Road (about five minutes walk from Golden Mount, Wat Saket)
☎️ 0 2223 9384 / Instagram
🕒 Wed-Sun (09:00-20:00)

  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • Yaowarat

A rising star in Bangkok’s fine-dining scene, Potong is on every epicurean’s lips at the moment. This self-proclaimed “progressive Thai-Chinese” restaurant is helmed by cooking personality Pichaya “Pam” Utharntham, who combines her cultural background with her love for French cooking to come up with a multi-course set (over 20 plates!) that boasts Oriental fare with playful twists. 

📍 Chinatown, Yaowarat
☎️ 08 2979 3950 / potong-opium@thexprojectbkk.com / Website / Facebook / Instagram
🕒 Daily (17:00-23:00)

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sukhumvit 26

Thanks to No Name Noodle, the city has stopped taking Japanese noodles for granted. In a city packed to the brim with joints serving various soba iterations, Chef Shin Inoue’s venture on Soi Sukhumvit 26 stands out for its so-called “craft” noodle bowls, which feature homemade soba and less-is-more seasoning. Adding to the hype is how No Name Noodle serves only 35 bowls per day, which is why foodies are doing everything they can to get a seat, even if they have to call the restaurant at least a hundred times.

📍 Soi Sukhumvit 26
☎️ 08 2059 5417 / Facebook / Instagram
🕒 Tue-Sun (11:00-15:00)

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Sukhumvit 26

Recently proclaimed Thailand’s best restaurant by the 50 Best people, Sorn is committed to elevating Southern Thai fare, which is known for its tongue-burning flavors. This two-Michelin-starred fine-dining establishment wows diners, and effectively aggrandizes Thai cuisine, with an impressive multi-course menu that boasts creative presentations and intense flavors. Just about everyone wants to eat here—and those who have probably had to book a table a month, even two, in advance.

📍 Soi Sukhumvit 26
☎️ 09 9081 1119 / info@sornfinesouthern.com / Website / Facebook / Instagram
🕒 Daily (17:00-23:00)

  • Restaurants
  • Charoenkrung

Some of the best beef in Bangkok are served at this seven-table venue on Soi Charoenkrung 23/1. Mahasan uses meat from Sakon Nakhon-raised Thai-French cows to make mouthwatering dishes such as its signature beef with rice cooked with fat and herbs. The restaurant accepts calls for reservations every two to three months, but tables go quickly so we suggest stalking their social media accounts to find out when’s the best time to make a call.

📍 Soi Charoenkrung 23/1
☎️ 06 3406 5566 / Website / Instagram
🕒 Tue-Fri (18:00-21:00) & Sat-Sun (12:00-15:00 and 18:00-21:00)

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Ratchadamri
  • price 4 of 4

The St. Regis Bangkok’s modern Swiss dining room may only be a few years old, but it’s already gained a reputation—and a Michelin star—for its unparalleled cuisine, created under the supervision of Chef David Hartwig and Chef Arne Riehn. Both are proteges of Chef Andreas Caminada, IGNIV’s founder and head chef of three-Michelin-starred Schloss Schauenstein in Switzerland. Go all out and order the multi-course menu to understand why gastrophiles love dining here.

Be on the lookout for IGNIV's exclusive programs this November! IGNIV founder Andreas Caminada is heading to Bangkok and will prepare a special four-course sharing dinner experience where you can expect one surprise dish from him on November 26 and 27. Book your reservations today at igniv.bangkok@stregis.com and 0 2207 7822 (approx B6,000 per person).

Plus, Marriott Bonvoy members can bid to have a unique one-day experience with Andreas, which includes a delectable lunch at IGNIV, a golf session with Andreas as it is one of his great passions, and a luxurious overnight stay at The St. Regis Bangkok. Members can bid for this package via Marriott Bonvoy Moments on November 25 from noon until 9pm GMT. 

📍 The St. Regis Bangkok, Ratchadamri
☎️ 0 2207 7822 / igniv.bangkok@stregis.com / Website / Facebook / Instagram
🕒 Thu-Mon (12:00-15:00 and 17:00-23:00)

If you’re curious about what it’s like to have a Thai meal stylized as a chef’s table dinner, we recommend Samrub Samrub Thai. Run by Chef Prin Polsuk alongside his wife Mint Jarukittikun, the Charoenkrung restaurant serves a variety of traditional Thai dishes to a limited number of guests per month (only eight diners for several rounds). This elusivity has made keen foodies do whatever it takes to get a seat at the restaurant.

📍 Soi Charoenkrung 24
☎️ samrubforthai@gmail.com / Facebook
🕒 Tue-Sat (19:00-23:30)

Where to stay:
Owner's Penthouse I Photograph: Courtesy The St. Regis Bangkok

Where to stay:

Located in the upscale Ratchadamri area, The St. Regis Bangkok is a luxury hotel offering exquisite social experiences. Known for its iconic brand of hospitality, the hotel evokes timeless glamor from its elegant rooms and gastronomic offerings—including one-Michelin-starred IGNIV Bangkok—to personalized and anticipatory services by the signature St. Regis Butler Service and facilities such as medical spa by Clinique La Prairie. Its desirable location, just a few steps away from BTS Ratchadamri, provides easy access to Bangkok’s most prominent neighborhoods like Pathum Wan (aka Siam) and Sathorn and the city’s bustling commercial business district.  

Tips: "Sometimes, we need a bit of luck when it comes to getting a table at Bangkok’s coveted restaurant. You’ll be glad to know that this city is full of holy places where you can visit and ask for good fortune from the great spirits. Ratchaprasong, for one, is a huge area for your magical journey to meet all the Gods. Pop into the shrine of Erawan at the corner of the Ratchaprasong intersection and pray for the good to come. You can also meet other powerful Gods and Goddesses like Umathevi, Ganesh, and Lakshmi.” — Atiphol Soonthornsingh, Chief Concierge, The St. Regis Bangkok

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