Thong Lor is already renowned within Bangkok for its trendy bars and varied fine dining but it also delivers at the other end of the spectrum, with one of the most reliable little street markets that is open until the small hours of the morning.
Tucked under the armpit of Thong Lor BTS, the market stretches maybe 50 metres and is a mixture of mobile carts and shopfronts where tables spill out on to the street. As with any market, it pays to explore, but there are a couple of spots that will likely hit the spot.
The first is about 20 metres into the soi on the right-hand side, tucked into a little alcove, its blazing pad thais advertised on a breathless sign out the front. And although the pad thais are pretty damn good, it’s the Thai curries that really impress. If you’re hungry enough, a yellow curry and a plate piled high with stir-fried morning glory is a perfect way to fill the hole – wash it down with a long neck of Chang beer and you’ve got a two-course dinner and drinks for well under B200.
The second spot is a little further down on the same side – a cafe called Pha Lamm, easily identified by the stocky Staffordshire terrier keeping an eye on proceedings from the front step.
Like most of these spots, it’s family-run and the food arrives from an open kitchen. There’s a surprisingly expansive menu, made up mostly of street food staples. But the real winner is the pork leg stew (pictured above), served with a boiled egg and greens, maybe with a side serve of mixed seafood salad. The stew is some of the most satisfying street food around – the meat is of impressive quality and the sauce is rich without being overpowering. Again, for a couple of plates and a beer, you’ll pay about B180.
Besides those two favourites, there are scores of other places serving plates of barbecued meat and soupy noodles. You never know what you’ll find if you’re adventurous.
Thong Lor Market
Sukhumvit Soi 38 | BTS Thong Lor | Open daily 6pm-late