Visit anywhere in Thailand and you will likely hear the common greeting: ‘Kin khao reu yang?’ These four words, exchanged by locals, translate to ‘have you eaten yet?’ or more literally, ‘have you eaten rice yet?’ – a reminder that food in Thailand is more than a daily necessity, but something that is woven into Thai society and culture on a molecular level. The Thai capital, Bangkok, is no exception. With over 30 Michelin-starred restaurants and over 500,000 street vendors materialising in the unlikeliest of places, travellers can often feel spoilt for choice. To help you navigate this gastronomic wonderland, here are four of the hottest LGBT-owned restaurants in Bangkok for you to support on your next visit.
Eat Me Restaurant
Shrouded behind rows of bamboo in Bangkok’s gay-popular district, Silom, you’ll find this candle-lit gem called Eat Me. Opened by Aussie siblings Darren and Cherie Hausler in 1998, this stylish post-modern restaurant has established itself as one of the go-to choices in Bangkok’s exuberant food scene and has earned numerous awards and accolades, such as a repeat presence on Asia’s 50 best restaurants list. Its menu fuses culinary influences from across the globe and puts emphasis on high-quality ingredients from sustainable sources.
Eat Me’s Red Curry Oxtail and Bone Marrow dish is a real crowd-pleaser and a must-try for anyone visiting the restaurant. Pair it with one of Eat Me’s unique cocktails, followed by their seductive Sticky Date Pudding if you have any room left for dessert.
The Kitchen at Yenakat
The Kitchen is a cosy eatery in Thung Mahamek that specialises in authentic, home-cooked Isaac (northeastern) Thai food, freshly prepared using ingredients from its very own farm in Bangkok. Thanks to its pleasant atmosphere and exceptional hospitality, the restaurant is popular amongst locals, tourists, and anybody looking for a light meal whilst they utilise the free co-working space.
The Kitchen also has a fantastic vegan bakery with a plethora of absolutely heavenly plant-based treats, from coconut blondies and lemon butter cookies to mulberry pie and mango sticky rice. Who knew that vegan desserts could be so decadent?
Ruen Urai is everything you would expect from a restaurant with a name that literally translates to ‘house of gold.’ The restaurant is set in a century-old Ayutthaya-style house built from golden teakwood, said to have once belonged to a herbal medicine practitioner in the late 19th century during the reign of King Rama V.
Herbalism is at the very core of the Ruen Urai experience. The restaurant specialises in authentic Thai cuisine containing herbs and spices with medicinal properties – sometimes presented with banana leaves or orchid petals or some element of greenery to tie each dish in with the naturalistic decor.
Ruen Urai’s exceptional menu and romantic ambience make it the ideal date-night spot.
Fork & Cork
Fancy a bite to eat and a beverage before you hit the town? Look no further than Fork & Cork. Formerly known as ‘Sphinx’, Fork & Cork is a long-standing, LGBT-owned bar and restaurant in the district of Silom that serves a mixture of both Thai and European food, often accompanied by live Jazz music. It is largely appreciated by the LGBT community for being conveniently placed amongst local gay bars, whilst remaining laid-back and tasteful at the same time.
Fork & Cork serves many of your favourite Thai dishes, such as Tom Tum and Pad Thai, along with many other authentic Thai dishes that are hard to come by in the city.
Check out these superb hotels to stay in whilst you explore the hottest LGBT-owned restaurants in Bangkok – one mouthwatering dish at a time.