Bangkok’s dining scened truly bloomed in 2019. The city was blessed heavily and continuously with a wealth of truly scrumptious new restaurants. Our friends in Bangkok list 12 of 2019’s best restaurants in Bangkok – all newly opened this year – so you can bookmark them and visit the next time you’re in town. 

[Hero image credit: Unsplash/Jonathan Borba]

Little Donkey BKK 

Fusion food is overrated but Head Chef Steve Doucakis of Little Donkey totally breathes new life into it with his creativity and resourcefulness. Created by James Beard Award-winning chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, Boston-originated restaurant, Little Donkey has recently touched down at 72 Courtyard Bangkok to serve up multi-cuisine dishes all whipped up from locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Almost everything is house-made, including the ranch dressing and ricotta. Naming itself a global izakaya restaurant, the food here is presented in small plates to encourage shared dining. With Steve overlooking the venue, we guarantee his knack for comingled Asian and Western fare will not disappoint your palate.

Little Donkey, 72 Courtyard, Soi Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, +662 392 7790; Open: Mon-Sun, 5 pm-2 am.

Shun by Yanagiya

There’s a boatload of omakase Japanese restaurants in Bangkok, but if you ask us, the one that shines bright among others now is Shun by Yanagiya. The Bangkok-flagship of the two-Michelin-starred Yanagiya in Gifu churns out a tasting menu featuring their famed range of charcoal-grilled food. With a dimly-lit theatrical setting decked with charcoal-like light above a small kitchen surrounded by 15 seats, your mind will be tricked into thinking you’re dining inside a surreal barbecue machine. The food here is packed with umami and definitely worth splurging the big bucks on.

Shun by Yanagiya, 3rd Floor, Donki Mall, Unit 306, 107 Soi Ekkamai 5, Bangkok, +6697 854 2222; Open: Tue-Sun, 6-11:30 pm.

Carne

Meat devotees, you’re in luck. Multi-cuisine steakhouse Carne by Tanaporn ‘Can’ Markawat (of The Local) and Head Chef Mateo Roberson is here to bless your inner carnivore with a repertoire of meat-focused dishes cooked with fresh, local ingredients. All dishes here are touched with Latin American flair to really add depth to your steakhouse experience. Stellar dishes include their fork-tender Pork Tomahawk, charcoal-grilled Bone Marrow, Duck Carnitas and Sea Bass Ceviche. Don’t get too stuffed because their Cheese Bread and Tres Leches Cake also can not – and should not – be missed.

Carne, Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok, +6666 069 2288; Open: Mon-Sun, 5:30-10:30 pm.

Kintsugi

Kintsugi, a progressive kaiseki-style Japanese restaurant led by the creative-minded Chef Jeff Ramsey is nothing like your typical Japanese restaurant. The establishment tips a hat to Japanese fare and tapas with their own cuisine called Japas, which is a cross between Japanese and tapas culinary traditions. With the chef cooking up and preparing food right in front of diners, Kintsugi brings about a true ‘fun’ dining experience, contrasting with the usual formal sit-down, hours-long dinners that usually make you drool with boredom. 

Kintsugi, 3 Fl., The Athenee Hotel Bangkok, 61 Wireless Road, Lumphini, Bangkok, +6626 508 800; Open: Tue-Sun, 6-10:30 pm.

Soho Pizza

Pizza is not new in Bangkok’s dining scene, but for New York’s grab-and-go type, that wasn’t really easy to find until Soho Pizza graced Sukhumvit 11. Brought to us by Soho Hospitality, the pizza team here is led and trained by the renowned pizza maker slash renowned consultant, Anthony Falco, who has previously worked at the far-famed Roberta’s Pizza of New York. That being said, the goodness of Soho Pizza will not be of fast-food quality, considering their use of house-made, 48-hour natural fermented dough made from top-notch flour and topped with premium toppings. Want NY slices that don’t leave quality behind? This place is your go-to.

Soho Pizza, 26/3 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok, +662 821 5113; Open Sun-Thu, 12 pm-12 am; Fri-Sat, 12 pm-3 am. 

Gigi – Dining Hall & Bar

If talking about an Italian restaurant that blooms with the fun-filled spirit of a bar, Gigi – Dining Hall & Bar is the first thing that comes to our minds. The new kid on the block and Italian eatery next to Sing Sing serves up great pastapizza, salads, and dessert along with tasty, thirst-quenching cocktails that satisfy you just right. The Ragu is to die for but the Pesto is the Besto and Tartufo Nero Pizzette are the true killers when it comes carb and cheese-loaded mains.

Gigi – Dining Hall & Bar, 4 Soi Sukhumvit 45, Bangkok, +662 662 4478; Open: Mon-Thu, 5 pm-1 am; Fri-Sat, 5 pm-2 am; Sun, 11:30 am-11 pm.

Brassica

If a good comfort meal is what you’re after, Brassica offers a traditional American meal of fried chicken and yeasted, sugar-bejewelled doughnuts that will totally warm you right up. Light and fluffy, the oil-enriched fried dough pairs perfectly well with their umami-packed fried chicken coated in a 17-spice rub. The outlet also makes all their sauces, pickles, and bread from scratch. So expect to see jars filled with pickled cucumbers and red chillis. Also, enjoy their range of side dishes which get served alongside the fried chickens – think blue cheese-enriched mac & cheese, house-made coleslaw, and French bean & tomato salad. Here’s a restaurant that serves some of the world’s most simple meals while delivering the utmost in satisfaction.

Brassica, 76/10 Nanglinchee Road, Bangkok, +6693 596 2465; Open: Wed-Mon, 11:30 am-2:30 pm for lunch and 6-11 pm for dinner.

L’OLIVA Ristorante Italiano & Wine Bar

If your happiness is Italian food, then your source of it will be at L’OLIVA Ristorante Italiano & Wine Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 36. Serving up home-cooked recipes traditional to the Abruzzo region, the restaurant with exposed brick and a lamp-lit setting exudes a homey, friendly charm that will warm your heart right up. The menu is brimming with a selection of drool-inducing pizza, antipasti, and gorgeous pasta made with house-made Italian noodles. The wine cellar here is also stocked with an impressive array of Italian wine, which makes L’OLIVA an excellent place to wine and dine all in one go.

L’OLIVA Ristorante Italiano & Wine Bar, Sukhumvit 36, Lane 2, Bangkok, +6694 858 9868; Open: Mon-Sun, 11:30 am-2:30 pm for lunch and 6-10:30 pm for dinner.

Vistro Bangkok

If you’re someone who never thought of vegan fare as a belly-filling and heart-satisfying meal, stop by Vistro Bangkok to have your mind changed. The veggie-centric restaurant nestled within Sukhumvit 24 offers up everything from refreshing, green-spiked beverages to hearty bites like burgers, pizza, fries, dumplings, and even sweet decadences like doughnuts and mudpie. Vistro Bangkok doles out a long line of nutrient-rich fare that will make you completely forget any kind of meat melancholy.

Vistro Bangkok, 46/1 Sukhumvit 24, Klongton, Bangkok, +6665 998 2201; Open: Tue-Fri, Sun: 10 am-9 pm; Sat: 10 am-9:30 pm.

Mia

Fuel your obsession for modern European fare at Mia, a themed restaurant with a bunch of vibrant western dishes wonderfully but not excessively laced with a fine-dining ethos. Helmed by owner Chef Julien Imbert — who has had past tenures at London’s Sketch, Jason Atherton’s City Social, and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal — along with two Bangkok-based chefs Pongcharn ‘Top’ Russell and Michelle Goh, the outlet promises succulent fare that will please all experienced palates. The movie scene-like dining space here will also delight, with a killer playlist to suit.

Mia, 30 Attha Kawi 1 Alley, Khlong Tan, Bangkok, +6698 862 9659; Open: Tue-Sun, 6-11:59 pm.

Paii

Intending to drive Thai cuisine forward, Paii (which means to paddle in Thai) within The House on Sathorn creatively propels forward an array of elevated and seafood-focused dishes with a full culinary force. In praise of Luang Sathorn Rajayutka — the founder of the house and also the creator of the Sathorn Canal — the menu showcases modernised Thai seafood dishes served in a picturesque colonial-style setting, including dishes like the charcoal-grilled Chonburi Squid seasoned with Thai sweet basil rub, Blue Swimmer Crab showered in yellow curry, and Banana Blossom Salad, where the crab meat and banana blossom get tossed in chilli jam and sprinkled to finish with lemongrass.

Paii, 106 N Sathon Road, Silom, +662 344 4025; Open: Mon-Sun, 12 pm-12 am.

Ash Kickers Briskets & Bourbon

Ash Kickers Briskets & Bourbon: the name already suggests it is likely to be the city’s next hit haunt for BBQ lovers and bourbon drinkers. Ekkamai’s new American wood-smoked barbecue house will have your jaw-dropping as you drool over its pull-apart barbecued meat and all-from-scratch side dishes and sauces. The bar here is also stocked up with an extensive selection of bourbon – probably a Bangkok restaurant with the most in bourbon offerings. So make sure you partake in the glory of this sunshine liquid whilst savouring scrumptious pieces of Beef Brisket that have been wood-smoked for 16 hours straight.

Ash Kickers Briskets & Bourbon, 30/7-8 Ekkamai Soi 12, Bangkok, +662 120 4088
Open: Tue-Fri, 5-11 pm; Sat-Sun, 11 am-11 pm.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.