Curries Eating in Bangkok khao soi

The Best Khao Soi In Bangkok – ที่ดีที่สุด ข้าวซอย ในกรุงเทพฯ

If like me, you developed a love for khao soi in Chiang Mai, you will know how frustrating it is not to be able to eat it whenever you feel like it in Bangkok. Unlike in Chiang Mai, where there are plenty of great khao soi joints to choose from wherever you are in the city, Bangkok’s good khao soi require a bit more digging!

As I’ve found out in the last week, a decent Khao soi is hard to come by in Bangkok. I very much wanted to do a ‘Top 5’ Khao soi in Bangkok, but I couldn’t find five worth going out of my way to eat. Believe me when I say I’ve eaten A LOT of khao soi in the last five days to try and find you one worth the name of ‘The Best Khao Soi in Bangkok.’

I did a hell of a lot of Googling, reading reviews, and asking around I came up with a list of khao soi restaurants in and around Bangkok city to try. I was excited, to say the least as I haven’t been to Chiang Mai for months, so I haven’t had a Khao soi for months which means I’m seriously craving one!

After trying my first two at Khao Soi, Soi Piphat (Silom Soi 3) and Ekkamai’s much hyped Hom Duan, I was a little deflated. Surely It had to get better than this?

The Khao soi at Piphat had a sweet broth, which is my worst nightmare when it comes to khao soi, and thin processed egg noodles reminiscent of packaged Hokkien noodles. Not a good start, although the Khao kan jin (steamed rice with pork blood) was exceptional, so if you have a craving for that then this is your place!

I was excited as I stepped into the packed Hom Duan, but that excitement soon turned to deflation as I took my first spoonful of the broth. It was a bit tasteless. Admittedly, I enjoyed it more once I’d seasoned it with chilli oil, lime, and pickled cabbage, but still, nothing to write home about. A bit too oily and lacking any depth of flavour. The gaeng hang lay (northern pork curry) was great there, though, with soft pork belly and the right spice levels. This article, after all, is a post about khao soi, so Hom Duan doesn’t make the cut.

Khao Kan JIn at Soi Phipat
Khao Kan Jin at Soi Phipat
Mini bowl of gaeng hang lay at Hom Duan
Mini bowl of gaeng hang lay at Hom Duan

Next up was Sukhumvit’s famous Gedhawa which has excellent northern Thai food, the khao soi was a bit lacking for me. At Dusit’s Khao Soi Chiang Mai, again, like at Huan Dom, it was lacking any real depth of flavour but did get better with some seasoning. Krua Aroi Aroi? The less said about that place, the better! Victory Monument’s Ruathong Noodle was better than expected (seeing it’s a boat noodle shop that I didn’t know sold khao soi), but it had a generic curry powder flavour that I don’t associate with a khao soi; Tasty but unusual!

I was beginning to give up hope until I went to a little place called Hann Khao Soi Lovers, down a small soi right next to Ari BTS station.

Hann Khao soi menu
Just 3 dishes on the ‘menu’
Hann Khao Soi directions
Just look for this soi next to Piyavan Tower. It’s down the end on the right.

I only ordered the khao soi, but I hear everything is excellent at Hanh. The khao soi was spot on. It had just the right amount of coconut cream to make it rich enough without being overly creamy, great flavour from the ground spices without them taking over the dish, a fall off the bone chicken drumstick and perfectly cooked crispy fried noodles on top.

There were no sliced shallots with the sides but the thinly shredded cabbage it came with is something I haven’t had before. It added great texture and crunch to the dish. The pickled cabbage (pak dong) was excellent, and I enjoyed the fresh bean sprouts. If I were hypercritical, I would have liked to see some fresh lime wedges. They had lime juice on the table in a bottle, but it was a little sweet and tasted like it was from concentrate. Also, they had no chopsticks, but again these are minor details in the grand scheme of things. Hann Khao Soi Lovers could well make the top of the list; you’ll have to read on to find out!

To get there, take the BTS Skytrain to Ari and take exit number 1. The shop is at the end of the soi directly next to Piyavan Tower. It’s full of food stalls so you can’t miss it.

Fantastic khao soi. I loved the thinly shredded cabbage on the side.
Fantastic khao soi. I loved the thinly shredded cabbage on the side.

I almost stopped there for fear of another trip out of the way to get another substandard khao soi; boy am I glad I didn’t!

I’d heard about a place in Bangkok’s Dusit area, not too far from the Dusit Zoo that apparently had great khao soi, and I’m so happy I did. The name of the restaurant is Daradalay @BKK. The reason for the @ Bangkok in the title is that Daradalay is also the name an organic farm stay in Chiang Mai from the same family!

The whole setup at Daradalay is excellent. It’s set just off the main street on Pichai Road, in a lovely square that it shares with a cute coffee shop called Sit Down Please (which is the only way to find Daradalay on Google maps), and a cool bar next door called The Box. This little complex wouldn’t look out of place in the hipster area of Thonglor, though you might pay five times the price for your food and drinks!

The entrance to Daradalay. It's right by the 7-11.
The entrance to Daradalay. It’s right by the 7-11.
Upstairs area in the Sit Down Please coffe shop. Great Latte here!
Upstairs area in the Sit Down Please coffee shop. Great Latte here!
Very Thonglor-esque!
Very Thonglor-esque!
The kitchen at Daradalay
The kitchen at Daradalay

Now on to the khao soi! I had my first mouthful, and I thought it the broth was a little sweet, my heart sank. I seasoned it with lime juice (fresh this time!), the excellent homemade chilli oil, the homemade organic pickled cabbage from the farm, and had another go.

Wow! No more sweetness, just a lovely rich, spicy khao soi. Just like the one at Hann, it was perfectly spiced and vibrant again with the right amount of coconut cream. The chicken fell off the bone, and the noodles were perfect.

The khao soi at Daradalay @BKK
The khao soi at Daradalay @BKK

One thing I was impressed with was the garnish on the side. All from the organic patch! The pickled cabbage was some of the best I’ve eaten, and the chilli oil was amazingly smokey.

Great homegrown organic sides at Daradalay
Great homegrown organic sides at Daradalay

The setting at DaraDalay is perfect for me, and so is the food. The staff are amicable, be warned though, they speak very little English, but they are all smiles, and you can’t go wrong if you say ‘khao soi gai’! At 50 baht (£1, $1.50) a bowl, you really can’t go wrong!

The only thing that might be off-putting if you live in the city is the location, as it’s not near any BTS stations. I got the Chao Phraya Express Boat (orange flag) from Sathorn (Central Pier) right next to Saphan Taksin BTS for 14 baht, and it’s a 20 minute stroll or 5 minute taxi/motorbike from there. Also, if you’re staying around the Khao San area, it’s a 15 minute cab from there.
So who wins the title ‘Best Khao Soi in Bangkok’? I’m going to Have to give it to Dara Dalay with Hanh coming a close second. Maybe you can go and try both and see if you agree!

You can check out the full video of Daraday here:

Map of Hann Khao Soi Lover
Map of Daradalay @BKK

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(14) Comments

  1. Loved the Khao Soi at Daradalay @ BKK. It was fantastic. I would never have known this place existed had it not been for your great article. Now Im following you on facebook as well. Thanks!
    -jw

    1. The Roaming Cook says:

      Hey Jonathan, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you liked the Khao Soi, it is definitely a place that should be more well known! The follow on Facebook is appreciated as well 🙂

  2. […] Northern Thai food, especially khao soi. You will also know from my ‘The Best Khao Soi in Bangkok‘ post that good Northern Thai food is not that easy to come by in Bangkok, so when I get a tip for […]

  3. Verena says:

    Hello there,
    Great that you wrote about it, I hoped so much I could get some Khao Soi during my Asia traip and was surprised they don’t have it in the south 🙁 any chance you remember if in one of the places Khao soi is available without meat?

    1. The Roaming Cook says:

      Hi Verena, thanks for stopping by. It can be really hard to find down south! I’m not sure if Daradalay does one without meat, I’ll find out for you. There is another blog I wrote on a fantastic northern Thai restaurant here https://theroamingcook.com/my-new-favourite-restaurant-in-bangkok-review-of-huen-lumphun-taling-chan/ that does a great mushroom khao soi. Just ask for khao soi hed. It’s a little out of town but could be combined with a trip to Taling Chan floating market as a fun day trip.

  4. Sebastian says:

    For Hanh better arrive early! I was there on a working day at 1pm and it was already “finished” 🙁

    1. The Roaming Cook says:

      Wow, that is early! Thanks for the heads up Sabastian, I’ll add that to the post!

  5. Barrie Guy says:

    I actually tasted Khao soi Chiang Mai when I was staying at the Fueang Fha Palace hotel in Buriram, of all places .
    I had it for breakfast and it is one of the spiciest breakfasts I have ever had.
    Since then I looked for it in Bangkok and Nong Khai when I was there but no luck.
    I’ll have to go to Chiang Mai but I am also learning the recipe so I can cook it at home.

    1. The Roaming Cook says:

      Are you still in Bangkok Barrie?

  6. Thanks sooooo much! First had khao soi in Chiang Mai at a random street food stall just pointing and asking “ow neung khab” – years later once I found out what it was called tried hunting it down in Bangkok with no success then came across your article – headed to Hann @ Ari on my last day but they were closed… am back again and the hunt continued and VERY happy to say managed to find Daradalay and two bowls later (arroy mak mah!) am now chilling with a very good latte caramel frappe at the cafe 🙂 many thanks and will have a read up on what else you’ve discovered – khob khun khab mak mah!

  7. Just chanced across a place in Lat Phrao if interested/want to check it out – khao soi gai only I think open 8-5 from what I could make out – head north up Lad Phrao Wanghin Road from Wat Lat Phrao and it’s on the left opposite a Betagro shop on the right before going over the little Lat Phrao khlong/canal if looking on the map – simple place and still being built by looks of it but very tasty 🙂

    1. The Roaming Cook says:

      My man! As soon as I’m back in a couple of weeks, I’ll go and check it out. Thanks for the tip, it’s much appreciated! 🙂

  8. Richard Goodin says:

    I am fortunate to live near the Phichai junction, just about 2-3 minute walk from Daradalay. The Khao Soi is amazing and the restaurant is clean and comfortable. You can choose indoor or outdoor seating. Outdoor seating is under roof so it is comfortable even in hot weather. Just an amazing place. In fact, I just talked myself into going there today at lunchtime. 555

    1. The Roaming Cook says:

      Thanks Richard, I’m glad you like it there, it’s my favourite restaurant for northern food in Bangkok. Wow, you’re lucky to live near Phichai, such an amazing area for food!

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