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Bangkok’s food scene is as vibrant as the city is. From street eats to fine dining, the variety of food options available is endless. Of course, it is not only the local Thai food that dominates the culinary scene- you’ll find authentic ramen, sushi, Korean barbeque, tacos or pizza on every corner. But if you think that’s all there is, you’re missing out. Even if you cannot travel the world, your palette can indeed travel across the globe in Bangkok. Now buckle up; here is where to find underrated international cuisines in Bangkok!
Thailand’s next-door neighbour, Myanmar (Burma) ‘s food is sinfully overlooked in the international food scene. You’re mistaken if you think Burmese food should be similar to Thai food. Influenced by South and Southeast Asia, Burmese dishes often rely on savoury, sour and salty flavours. The unique blend of ingredients such as pickled tea, chickpea powder or ground dried shrimp might surprise you!
Luckily, in Bangkok, you can experience the taste of authentic Burmese at Mandalay Food House. Well-loved by Burmese people residing in Thailand, the restaurant boasts an extensive menu of the most popular dishes, desserts and drinks. There is something for everyone! Rice? Order the daily special rice set menu with at least three different side dishes paired with the main meat curry. Noodles? Opt for Mohinga (rice noodles with fish soup) or Shan noodles. Salad? A must-try is the signature laphet thoke (pickled tea leaves salad)- we promise you’ve never tasted anything like this before.
Address: No.37, P15 market, Phetchaburi 15 alley, Phetchaburi Rd, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
You need to try Jamaican food if you are a fan of strong flavours. A popular Jamaican dish you might have tried is the jerking meat, meat cooked with sweet and savoury spices over fragrant wood. But Jamaican cuisine has so much more to offer- from meaty and meatless dishes to wholesome stews.
Get the true taste of the Caribbean at the Frying Pan Jamaican Restaurant, which is highly praised by diners for bringing the authentic taste of Jamaican food to this side of the planet. If you’re there, you should try all the popular dishes. Here are some recommendations: Jerk Meat (of course, you cannot go wrong with this one), Goat Curry and Ackee & Saltfish (Jamaica’s national dish).
Address: 52 Soi Sribamphen, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120
Home to more than 7,000 islands and rich culture, the Philippines’ culinary scene, which is influenced by Spanish and Chinese foods, is something to look out for. Filipino food reflects its colonial history; some even describe the cuisine as an Asian fusion cuisine even before the concept of fusion existed. If you can’t tolerate spicy food, this is for you! Since Filipino dishes heavily revolve around three flavours- sweet, sour and salty.
You can enjoy homestyle and upscale Filipino dishes crafted by skilful Pinoy chefs with festive live music at Viva Filipinas. So, you’re not only indulging in Filipino food but also the culture. If you’re confused about what to order, you cannot go wrong with the classic Chicken Adobo. Mind you; the portions are huge at this restaurant! The restaurant also has a Filipino street food buffet for only 350 Baht per person and a Fiesta ala viva buffet for only 399 Baht per person on certain days. Check out their Facebook Page for more updates.
Address: 372 Sri Ayutthaya Road, Thanon Phyathai, Rajthevi, Bangkok 10400
Bearing similarities to Caucasus cuisines, Georgian dishes stand out since they use spices and herbs the most. So, if you’ve grown accustomed to spices used in Thai food, you’ll find Georgian food delightful. Featuring flavours from the Mediterranean, Greece, Turkey and Persia, Georgian food sure is diverse! The dishes includes ingredients such as walnuts, Georgian cheeses, sour fruit leather, cherry plums, red chili paste, and a spice blend called khmeli-suneli.
So, where can you delve into the Georgian culinary experience? Avra is the first restaurant in Bangkok to serve authentic Greek and Georgian cuisine. There, you will find the best of both Greek and Georgian dishes, which are not only comforting and tasty but also healthy. If you are a dumpling-lover, order a serving of giant colourful Khinkali (Georgian Dumpling), beautifully twisted coloured dough stuffed with spices and meat of your choice. For a more hearty meal, you can opt for Chakapuli (traditional Georgian lamb stew), which is slow-cooked in spices and herbs to bring out the most remarkable flavor.
Address: 1 Sukhumvit 33 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Nepalese cuisine is known to be healthy and cooked in less fat. Drawing tastes from India, Tibet and India, China and Tibet, traditional Nepali food involves lean curries, vegetables, pickles, and curd. Even though Nepalese dishes have a similar cooking style and species to Indian dishes, less sugar or cream is used, making it a healthier option. So if you’re a lover of a complex mixture of spices but are not a fan of heavy curries, this is for you!
We’ll handpick one restaurant for you among a few Nepalese restaurants in Bangkok. Diyalo Griha is a homely Nepalese restaurant that also serves Indian dishes. While there are many options to choose from, we recommend ordering the nation-loved Momos (dumplings) and the Thali set (literally translated to ‘plate’), where rice, lentil, vegetable or meat curry, and pickles are typically served on a brass plate. You can choose to order the meatless option! Though we must warn you to be careful when ordering Momos because you’ll be hooked and end up ordering more!
Address: 86/5 Ratchaprarop Rd, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
Another last rare gem on our list is Ethiopian cuisine, which is distinctively flavorful. Did you know that Ethiopian dishes are one of the most vegan-friendly cuisines in the world? You’ll surely be proven wrong if you think meatless foods are not tasty! Ethiopian food features a lot of spices, curries and stews, which are typically served on top of injera, a giant pancake-like bread. The right way to eat is using your right hand (the left hand is considered unclean) to tear off a piece of injera and scoop up the food!
Consider yourself lucky because you can try out authentic Ethiopian food at Taye Ethiopian Restaurant without travelling miles. Taye Ethiopian Restaurant, tucked in an undistinguished Soi in Nana, will bring you to Addis Ababa. Though the menu is slightly limited, you can find the most popular Ethiopian dishes here, typically served with injera. Order the most popular veggie combo if you want an authentic vegetarian experience!
Address: 40/1-3 Sukhumvit 4 Alley, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
So, what are you waiting for? Venture out of your comfort zone and surprise your taste buds by trying these underrated international cuisines in Bangkok! Unfortunately, this article could not mention the other exceptional cuisines which definitely deserves to be listed. Do you know any other lesser-known cuisines or excellent restaurants not mentioned in this article? Please leave them in the comments! And stay tuned for Part 2.
Are you craving Japanese ramen? Click HERE to find where the most slurp-worthy bowls of ramen are in Bangkok.