Khon Sae Lee Noodle
Phavitch Theeraphong/Time Out Bangkok

Thonglor’s best cheap restaurants

Thonglor eateries where you don’t have to fork out an arm and a leg for a meal

Phavitch Theeraphong
Written by
Phavitch Theeraphong
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Thonglor has a reputation for being home to the city’s swankiest restaurants, from from high-end omakase eateries to Michelin-starred dining dens. Similarly, it’s also known as a haven for cheap and cheerful dining options where you can eat delicious food without necessarily emptying out your pockets. For Thonglor residents and visitor who’d rather not pay B300 for a meal each time, here’s our recommendations of the best cheap eateries in Thonglor.

Read more: Best cheap eats in Bangkok

Thonglor’s best cheap eats

  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

We love Thonglor. The neighborhood assembles some of the city’s first names in the dining and entertainment scene. But it’s not necessarily what you’d call a budget area—cheap and wallet-friendly eats have proven to be tough finds especially following the eradication of street food stalls from the entire Soi Sukhumvit 55 stretch a few years back.

Chris Foo, the gastro-preneur behind beer dens like HOBS and Beer Cap, has seized the opportunity and opened Saphan 55, a gigantic complex devoted to street eats that are considered cheap, at least for Thonglor standards.

The food center takes inspiration from folksy wooden houses seen in far-flung riverside markets in Amphawa. A sense of nostalgia looms over the three-story space, which features reclaimed old wood, colorful decor similar to what you’d see in traditional Thai restaurants, and vintage Thai movie posters. Bands perform live in the evening, giving Saphan 55 the feel of a suan arharn-style eatery.

The pocket-friendly offerings span street favorites, from khao kha moo (rice with braised pork knuckles in five-spice soup) to kuay teaw reur (boat noodles) to arharn tarm sang (made-to-order stir-fries) that are priced below B100. If you’re after Western bites, Stax Burger dishes out a decent burger starting from B99. The second floor is home to Baan Saphan, an eatery that will be churning out budget-conscious Thai fare.

Right now, the stalls at Saphan 55 are still waiting to be filled up by vendors and food options are still limited. But once all the vendors are in place in the near future, we can see Saphan 55 becoming one of the most popular places in Thonglor.

  • Restaurants
  • Singaporean
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

Do not confuse this small restaurant with the well-known Singaporean chain. This local eatery is one of your best bets in Bangkok for savoring authentic Hainanese chicken rice. The rice is moist, garlicky and perfectly cooked, and the chicken is tender and juicy. The extensive menu also includes dishes like roasted duck, stir-fried morning glory and pork ribs in Chinese herbal soup.

Price: Less than B150/meal

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  • Restaurants
  • Thonglor

This understated café is highly popular among Japanese expats for its freshly baked breads and pastries, as well as its lunch sets, which come with one main dish such as Japanese-style beef curry with rice or Asian-style noodles, soup, salad and one drink.

Price: Less than B200/meal

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

Buoy Pochana This shophouse restaurant has been offering delightful, stringy noodle bites with braised goose and duck for nearly two decades. Choose from a variety of noodles and served with tender poultry in sweet and salty broth.

Price: Less than B150/meal

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  • Restaurants
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

This humble street food fixture, which has been featured on numerous television shows the world over, is known for two things: pad thai and hoy tord (oyster pancake). While both are scrumptious, our vote goes to the dish it’s named for. The hoy tord here is served two ways—crispy or gooey—and both are cooked to perfection. Don’t forget to dip your pancake into their house-made chili sauce.

Price: Less than B200/meal

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

This hole-in-the-wall shack is highly popular among tourists and office employees who drop by for their ar harn tam sung (made-to-order dishes). It gets really packed during peak hours, so don’t be surprised if you end up sharing your table with total strangers.

Price: Less than B100/meal

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

This khao gaeng (Thai curry with rice) offers more than 20 variations of scrumptious eats to Thonglor crowds. The eatery opens at 5:00 and the food is likely to be sold out in three hours, making it an ideal spot for khao gaeng breakfast.

Price: Less than B100/meal

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

This Cantonese-style noodle shack, situated at the beginning of Soi Sukhumvit 55, has been serving freshly made egg noodles for almost six decades. Pair your stringy bites with filling proteins like roasted duck, barbecued pork or crispy pork belly. Things get extremely busy in the afternoon.

Price: Less than B100/meal

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  • Restaurants
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

Mae Waree has been selling perhaps Thailand’s most famous mango and sticky for decades. The beloved dessert is served here with perfectly cooked colorful sticky rice topped with coconut milk and a sprinkling of sesame.

Price: Less than B200/meal

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • price 1 of 4

A crowd favorite for late-night bar crawlers, this famous food court in Foodland Thonglor is open 24/7. Grab a seat at the bar counter or one of the rickety tables and order Thai comfort dishes such as pad kaprao (Thai basil stir-fry) or pork chop.

Price: Less than B200/meal

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

For years, Thong Lo Pochana has long been serving popular street eats to the people who live and work in the area, from beef noodles, to chicken rice, to khao gaeng (rice with toppings). The entrance of the restaurant has a khao gaeng bar where you can select from more than ten viands that rotate on a daily basis.

Price: Less than B60/meal

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Thonglor
  • price 1 of 4

This eatery whips up hot and spicy Isaan dishes like somtum, grilled pork jowls and spicy bamboo shoot salad, but the crowd favorite is the perfectly tender pork liver tossed with toasted rice, herb and spices. The restaurant is also known for its jaew horn, the northeast Thai appropriation of sukiyaki served with spicy dipping sauce.

Price: Less than B100/meal

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