Last year was a big one for Mexican restaurants in Bangkok—with big names like Santiaga and Ojo elevating Mexican food to fine dining. This city has a lot of love for tacos and we are here for it.
Opening in April last year, Santiaga offers flavor-packed dishes from popular and lesser known Mexican regions woven into an epic culinary narrative. If you’re new to the cuisine, fear not, as Billy Bautista, along with his fellow chefs, take turns guiding you through each dish in a Ted-Talk-like presentation of this sort of Mexican style omakase. Fans of La Monita and Billy’s Smokehouse know how passionate Bautista is when it comes to his Mexican cooking.
888, Ploen Chit Rd., Mahatun Plaza, (Above Billy’s Smokehouse), 02-651-4399. Open Tue-Sat 5:30-9:30pm.
This is Bangkok’s highest and finest Mexican dining on the 76th floor of the King Power Mahanakhon building. The food here comes from the brawny tattooed arms and infectious smile of Francisco “Paco” Ruano who finds himself in Bangkok via Guadalajara. Get in the mood for crab meat guac and chicharon with your tartare because even though there is definitely a medley of influences, the fare here is distinctly Mexican in flavor.
76/F, Bangkok Mahanakhon Building, The Standard. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm.
This is a place to down some margaritas and delve into some properly portioned Mexican (and Tex-Mex) fare. Here, vivid decor meets super-flavorful quesadillas and tacos, with house-made corn tortillas. Go for the carne asada taco, with its tender, flavorful New Zealand rib eye steak, or the Cali-style version, which adds guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cheese.
888/25-26, Ploen Chit Rd., Mahatun Plaza, 02-651-5605. Open daily 11am-10pm.
Run by chefs who cut their teeth in the kitchen of Gaggan and Gaa, this taco truck hits Sukhumvit with a taste of Southern California. Los Angeles is famous for it’s Mexican food culture and you can relive those Cali nights with a short but sweet menu of quesadillas (B160), which see cheese griddled over the plancha before being topped with their version of chicken tinga, then laid over a warm flour tortilla; and Baja-style fish tacos (B160/two), featuring deep-fried white fish topped with sliced cabbage, salsa and smoky chipotle mayo all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. What really sets Cholos apart, however, is the house specialty, birria (B160/two), an aromatic stew hailing from Jalisco, Mexico.
89, Sukhumvit 12 Soi, Bangkapi Mansion, 061-413-3953. Open daily noon-9:30pm.
If you love strong, smoky cocktails, Sathorn’s latest boozer, Mezcal Bar, should be on your bar-hopping list next time you are in the neighborhood. Most come here for the signature cocktails which are mezcal-based and come with the latest in mixology gimmicks from smoke-filled bubbles to chili on the rim. The food is refreshingly traditional but with some big twists. If you’re here for the ‘gram, you’d be mad not to try the giant tiger prawn taco (B895)—a huge prawn with onion escabeche and chipotle hot sauce on your choice of tortilla. For something a little less intense, grab the pork pibil (B225) or the beef birria (B245).
101, South Sathon Rd., 061-281-6969. Open Wed-Sun 6pm-late.
Now with a dispensary next door and startling ghost pepper margaritas, Tortilla Quemada has come a long way. Think corn tacos packed with juicy beef tinga, chicken chipotle or pork adobo, and finished off with roasted tomato and beer salsa, pickled red onions and charred peppers (from B110); massive quesadillas filled with chorizo, charred pineapple and mango habanero salsa, and smoked pumpkin (B190); and tender lamb barbacoa, slow-cooked at Ash Kickers and served in a pillowy, homemade potato roll (B200), served alongside refried beans topped with super-fresh slices of jalapeño and cilantro (B80).
41, Pi Sayam Samakhom (Off Sukhumvit Soi 23), 066-069-2288. Open daily 10am-10:30pm.
Two Mexican brothers serve up Yucatan cuisine to a sprinkling of tables in a peaceful garden. The panuchos de cochinita offer a true taste of Mexico: corn tortillas filled with roasted pork marinated in achiote, sour orange and spices, cooked in a banana leaf. The Gringa is a decadent queso cheese and meat-filled tortilla, while the queso is more of the good stuff in a casserole of perfectly cooked onions, peppers and tomatoes. It all comes with salsa that packs a good kick and dollop of sour cream.
145, Sing Waet Lom, 090-913-2131. Open daily 5-11pm.
Besides getting tipsy and reading the jokes in the bathroom, the decor is vibrant and the menu’s packed with Mexican favorites. One of the only places in town using Maseca corn flour for its tortillas along with a traditional cast iron press, you'll want to try the chicken taquitos: amazing rolled tacos filled with spicy, pulled chicken deep-fried until crisp. Order some guacamole for dipping and a passion-fruit margarita for good measure.
19, 9-10 Sukhumvit Soi 19, 02-044-2553. Open Mon-Fri 4-10pm; Sat-Sun noon-10pm.
Chef Alberto Garcia Espinosa rolls out uncompromising flavors in the guac-laden tacos suaderos and the ceviche acapulco that tastes as if it’s been plucked fresh from the Pacific coast. The space is bright, and friendly and this spot occasionally hosts guest chefs showing off their own Mexican flair.
981, Silom Rd., 063-785-2703. Open daily 3pm-midnight.
This no-frills spot is famous for the baja fried fish tacos with cabbage, salsa and a creamy chipotle dressing. But the taco dorados—deep-fried tortillas filled with pork carnitas and topped with guacamole—are not to be missed either. With its low-key charm and hand-painted murals, this restaurant is made for long and loud nights with friends.
252, 3 On Nut Rd., 02-004-7932. Open daily 11am-11pm.