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Travel 3 minutes 15 August 2019

11 MICHELIN Guide Restaurants Worth a Road Trip from Bangkok

Driving is by far the best remedy to clear one’s mind. Why not kill two birds with one stone and make the destination worth your while? Here are some MICHELIN Guide restaurants worth a trip from inner city Bangkok with enjoyable pit stops along the way.

On the Road

Did you know the 400-page edition of the first MICHELIN Guide was printed for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris to encourage French drivers to get in their cars and drive in search of good food? The ultimate goal was to boost demand for travel and in turn highlight Michelin’s vision of fostering travel and mobility.

READ MORE: History of the MICHELIN Guide

To honour Michelin’s original vision in Thailand, here are some MICHELIN Guide restaurants in and around Bangkok that are worth a trip to.

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Ruean Panya (One MICHELIN Star)
This family run restaurant, which blends food and art, is a hidden gem. It's spread across four houses; the relaxed mood gives the impression of dining at a friend's, while painting-filled interiors add a gallery feel. Owner Pannee does all the cooking herself; her attention to detail and the complexity of flavours make her dishes worth the wait. Mud crab coconut dip or 'Lhon Pu' and toasted giant prawn with salt are highlights.

What to see nearby:
- Chong Lom Temple
- Pan Thai Norasingh Shrine
- Krok Krak Temple

Chong Lom Temple.
Chong Lom Temple.
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Suan Thip (One MICHELIN Star)
Beyond the bustle of Bangkok's busy streets, stepping into Suan Thip feels like entering another world. Its lush garden of trees and small ponds is peaceful and pretty, while a Thai-style pavilion is the perfect setting for weddings and celebrations. Inside, the relaxed vibe continues with views to the riverside, while the refined cuisine is inspired by royal recipes. Many of the staff have been here for decades; even the chef is second generation.

What to see nearby:
- Koh Kret
- Gu Temple

Koh Kret Pagoda.
Koh Kret Pagoda.
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Phai (MICHELIN Plate)
Located deep inside a small alley on the opposite side of Wat Chetsadaram, Phai has been serving local customers for many years. It's well-known for its fresh, quality seafood and intense, authentic flavours - the simple presentation belies the considerable complexity of the dishes. Recommendations include steamed mud crab and stir-fried squid with fresh herbs. Accessible only by car, spacious parking is available so you don't have to worry.

What to see nearby:
- Krok Krak Temple
- Pan Tai Norasingh Shrine
- Chao por lak muang
- Dolphin-spotting (seasonal)

Krok Krak Temple.
Krok Krak Temple.
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Huen Lamphun (Suan Phak) (MICHELIN Plate)
Northern Thai food holds a special place in the hearts of local people. But top-notch versions of this regional cuisine can be hard to find outside of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, which is why Huen Lamphun is such a gem. Larb kua (minced pork salad) and nam yang baitong (fermented pork in banana leaf) are excellent, as is the sai oua (northern-style sausage). All recipes use vegetables grown in the restaurant's organic garden. End with Arabica coffee from Chiang Rai.

What to see nearby:
- Lad Mayom floating market
- Taling Chan floating market

Taling Chan floating market.
Taling Chan floating market.

Golden Chicken (Mueang Thong Thani) (MICHELIN Plate)
Also known as Kai Thong, Golden Chicken has been run by the same family for around 20 years, with second generation owner Khun Jim's daughter now at the helm. Recipes are household favourites; 'Stir-fried pork liver with garlic and pepper' is not to be missed. Ingredients are selected each day by the owner herself, ensuring consistency; however supplies can be limited, in turn affecting some menu items. 'Sri Lankan shaved ice milk tea' is the perfect way to end.

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Sa-at Sawoei (Kanchanapisek Road) (Bib Gourmand)
Come here for fish balls and fish cakes that are soft and bouncy in texture and freshly made using a secret family recipe. Order them with a bowl of noodles in clear Tom Yum-style soup or opt for fluffy fish noodles for an all-fish meal.

What to see nearby:
- Amphawa floating market
- Bang Khun Tien

Bang Khun Tien.
Bang Khun Tien.

Baan Benjarong Pai (Bib Gourmand)
The original Baan Benjarong is located in Pai, Northern Thailand, and was set up by a couple keen to preserve the heritage of their regional Thai cuisine. Opening this second branch in 2017, they had to make some adjustments, such as a smaller menu and using items which are not all from the province so popular national dishes, such as Som Tum, are a feature. Staff, however, all hail from the North and have a typically friendly and relaxed attitude.

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Mae Khlong Hua Pla Mo Fai (Bib Gourmand)
While the setup may look simple, Mae Khlong Seafood offers top quality seafood on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok, and is so popular you need get here early to ensure the best menu choice. Don't miss the steamed mud crab with molten crab roe and flavourful dipping sauce, or the stir-fried crab with chilli (Pu Pat Phrik Khi Nu Sot). With the owners doing the cooking themselves to maintain quality and consistency, orders can take time.

What to see nearby:
- Talom Temple

Talom Temple.
Talom Temple.
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Beer Hima (Prachachuen) (Bib Gourmand)
While their famous frozen beer gives this venue its quirky nickname, high quality seafood and family recipes from Nakhon Si Thammarat province prove this is a restaurant not just about gimmicks. Signature dishes include deep-fried mantis shrimp with garlic, stir-fried mud crab with pepper and our favourite - stir-fried clams with sweet chilli paste. Along with two dining rooms, a private room is available for groups and parties.

What to see nearby:
- Samien Naree Temple
- Bon Marché market
- Chatuchak weekend market

Samien Naree Temple.
Samien Naree Temple.
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Banya (MICHELIN Plate)
Loosely translated as 'grandma's house', Banya certainly embodies this maternal spirit. Originally located on Sukhumvit Soi 7, it then moved on to another Nan's at this location. Remarkably, staff have stayed the same since day one, as has the menu, which was conceived by acclaimed culinary teacher Ajarn Rachadapa Amatayakul. Expect typical Thai fare, along with some rarer recipes and daily specials. A homely Khao Chae is their signature dish.

What to see nearby:
- Gu Temple  
- Wat Cholaprataan
- Pak Kred
- Koh Kret

Gu Temple.
Gu Temple.
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Chai Pochana (Bib Gourmand)
Set in a densely populated residential hub, Chai Phochana delivers fuss-free food and speedy service. Having started off as just one shop, it's loyal locals who have driven the expansion, flocking here every night in huge numbers. Food is standard fare, with live seafood adding to the experience.

What to see nearby:
- Bua Kwan Temple

Bua Kwan Temple.
Bua Kwan Temple.

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