As a prelude to the official MICHELIN Stars announcement slated on December 13, 2023, the MICHELIN Guide Thailand has unveiled today the 2024 Bib Gourmand selection, which features 196 food establishments – including 32 new entries (28 newcomers, and 4 moving from the MICHELIN Selected list). Of the newcomers, 12 are from Ko Samui and Surat Thani Mainland – two newly covered destinations in the 2024 MICHELIN Guide Thailand edition.
The Bib Gourmand distinction, symbolised by the “Bibendum” or “Michelin Man”, recognises both restaurants and street food eateries that Michelin inspectors consider to be the best value for money within the selection. Bib Gourmand establishments fall within the $ and $$ price range, namely the categories “on a budget” and “a moderate spend”.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of MICHELIN Guides, revealed: “Thailand remains a country where you can eat remarkably well at appealingly low prices. Our inspectors are delighted to continue to find more excellent and diverse cooking at budget-friendly prices across all the regions of Thailand, including the new areas of Ko Samui and Surat Thani. This is a unique and highly attractive reason to visit all the regions of the country, appealing to locals and foreign visitors alike.”
The 2024 Bib Gourmand list comprises 68 eateries in Bangkok & Surrounding Provinces (7 newcomers); 15 in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (2 newcomers); 27 in Chiang Mai (3 newcomers); 38 in the four representative provinces of Thailand’s Northeast or “Isan” region – i.e. 13 in Khon Kaen (2 newcomers), 10 in Nakhon Ratchasima (1 newcomer), 6 in Ubon Ratchathani (all retaining their status), and 9 in Udon Thani (2 moving from MICHELIN Selected); 11 in Phang-nga (all retaining their status); 25 in Phuket (1 newcomer, and 2 moving from MICHELIN Selected); plus 12 (all newcomers) in the two newly covered areas of the 2024 MICHELIN Guide Thailand – i.e. 4 in Ko Samui, and 8 in Surat Thani Mainland.
The selection encompasses a diverse range of 13 cuisine types – Chinese, European Contemporary, Isan, Japanese, noodles, Northern Thai, seafood, Southern Thai, street food, Thai, Thai Contemporary, Thai-Chinese, and Vietnamese. This is a true testament to Thailand’s vibrant and dynamic culinary landscape, where diners can explore the tantalizing world of different good-quality cuisine at affordable prices.
The 28 Bib Gourmand laureates that are first-time entries to The MICHELIN Guide Thailand, include:
▪ Bangkok & Surrounding Provinces: Aunglo by Yangrak, a Thai contemporary restaurant presenting modern Thai fare inspired by street food culture, using an ancient Thai charcoal stove - or “Aunglo” – to infuse its savory dishes with a smoky aroma; Plaew (Nakhon Pathom), a no-frills outlet popular with locals for its tom yum noodles and homemade pork balls, using premium ingredients and jumbo-size seafood; and Nai Ho Chicken Rice, a long-queue street food eatery serving aromatic chicken rice with succulent meat, prepared by Singaporean chef, Ah Ho, according to his family’s recipes.
▪ Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya: Baan Pu Karn, a simple eatery set in the chef-owner's house, serving mouthwatering Thai dishes made from local ingredients and fresh seafood that’s hard to find in this province; and U-Khao, a restaurant serving dishes with nostalgic flavors of the owner’s childhood, based on her mother’s Thai recipes, using traditional cooking methods presented with a modern aesthetic.
▪ Chiang Mai: Ekachan, a restaurant run by a local chef who embraces the slow food concept, using ingredients from around the country, with recommended dishes like fried rice with sweet shrimp, and the spicy beef turmeric curry; and Sanae Thai Cuisine, a halal street food eatery for beef fans that serves a creative “à la carte” menu with balanced flavors – such as the fat beef rice topped with egg yolk, and the spicy Thai soup with beef shank.
▪ Khon Kaen: Pho Tha Bo, a family-run street food eatery serving their own pho noodle soup recipe and other Vietnamese specialties, including fresh and fried spring rolls, blood sausage, as well as raw blood pudding served with cooked minced pork meat and offal.
▪ Nakhon Ratchasima: Nina’s Café & Restaurant, a homely restaurant, offering well-seasoned dishes with many of the vegetables and herbs grown on-site – such as the fried pumpkin coated with salted egg sauce, and the deep-fried sea bass with chili and salt.
▪ Phuket: Ton Mayom, a street food venue serving Southern Thai dishes – including its signature fried local fish with an aromatic curry, and Southern Thai sour curry soup with seabass and young coconut shoots.
▪ Ko Samui: Baan Suan Lung Khai, a restaurant located on the chef-owner’s coconut plantation, serving local and Southern Thai cuisine using the freshest ingredients of the day; and Kapi Sator, a restaurant serving authentic Southern Thai food like the delectable local squid in sweet coconut milk soup with a hint of lemongrass.
▪ Surat Thani Mainland: Lucky Restaurant, a family-run eatery serving a selection of Thai-Chinese, southern Thai and seafood cuisine, with the daily freshest ingredients; Yok Kheng, an eatery serving consummately crafted regional specialties, particularly “Long Tong”, a Surat Thani delicacy that features succulent dry noodles in a pink sweet and sour sauce with tender portions of pig’s blood, skin and meat; and Lian Tai, a street food venue specializing in deep-fried doughnuts, or “Patongko”, using the original fermented dough recipe that has been in the family for more than 5 decades.
The 4 Bib Gourmand entries moving from the MICHELIN Selected category are:
▪ Udon Thani: Kao.Piak.Sen, a stylish Vietnamese restaurant - formerly a street food stall – well-known for its signature aromatic pork broth with exquisitely tender meat simmered for 8 hours, and for must-try dishes like the grilled lemongrass-marinated pork kebabs, and Vietnamese sausage; and Samuay & Sons, a fine-dining restaurant serving a contemporary Isan tasting menu with flavor and nutritional balance in mind, plus a range of great-value “à la carte” dishes.
▪ Phuket: Krua Praya Phuket, a restaurant serving Southern Thai, especially Phuket cuisine, deftly crafted with strong flavors and aromas – such as the signature fried pork belly with curry paste and young coconut shoots, and the Phuket-style stewed option as a non-spicy alternative; and Mu Krop (Chi Hong), a street food eatery famous for its rice with roast pork belly, cooked according to an old family recipe to have crisp skin and well-seasoned lean meat;
The restaurants are joined by the MICHELIN Guide hotel selection, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay around the world. Every hotel in the selection has been chosen by the MICHELIN Guide experts for its extraordinary style, service, and personality – with options for all budgets – and each can be booked directly through the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The MICHELIN Guide is a benchmark in gastronomy. Now it’s setting a new standard for hotels.
Stay up-to-date for more surprises via the live streaming broadcast on MICHELIN Guide Asia Youtube channel starting from 10:30 AM on 13 December 2023!
To learn more about the MICHELIN Guide, please visit guide.michelin.com/th/en, or follow updates regarding the MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2024 on Facebook: facebook.com/MichelinGuideThailand.
Now available as a free download, the MICHELIN Guide worldwide app for iOS and Android devices.