The best som tam in Bangkok can be found at:
1. Papaya Salad with Deep-Fried Catfish (95 THB) - Somtum Der
Somtum Der is a restaurant chain with branches all over Asia and even two in New York where authentic Northern Isaan food is served. Guests can expect authentically flavoured foods, which means plenty of spiciness and sourness in a comfortable setting. The quality of the food, as well as the service, is outstanding and Somtum Der is recommended in the Michelin Guide for a few years now.
With fifteen different types of Som Tam, this restaurant is a true expert when it comes to this famous Thai salad. The prices vary between 60 THB to 105 THB per dish and the ingredients range from crab and stinky beans to mussels and deep-fried catfish. Keep in mind that some versions contain Pla Ra, an exotic ingredient that most foreigners don’t like that much as it’s simply fermented fish. A general rule for all the restaurants listed in this article about the best som tam in Bangkok, Som Tam Thai is your safest bet if you want to avoid too adventurous ingredients. But at Somtum Der, we highly recommend you to order Spicy Papaya Salad with Deep-Fried Catfish (95 THB) accompanied with either the Grilled Coconut Milk Marinated Pork Skewers (110 THB) or the House Special Grilled Marinated Pork (95 THB). For more information about this Som Tum restaurant in Bangkok, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Som Tum Der.
2. Papaya Salad Phon La Mai (60 THB) - Som Tam Jay So
Som Tam Jay So is a famous local eatery in Silom known for its Som Tum and grilled meats. The menu is, unfortunately, only available in Thai but with the help of this article, you can still enjoy one of Bangkok’s most popular local som tam restaurants. Keep in mind, if you do prefer a restaurant that has is hygienic with Western standards, other options in this article are better, but for true authenticity, Som Tam Jay So is definitely a good experience.
The signature dish of Som Tam Jay So is Som Tam Phon La Mai (60 THB), which is a papaya salad prepared with fruits. This sweet, sour and spicy salad goes well with some of their grilled meats. We recommend you to order the Pik Kai Yang (19 THB), which is grilled chicken with dipping sauces or the Kor Moo Yang (60 THB), which is grilled pork neck with dipping sauces. For more information about this Som Tum restaurant in Bangkok, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Som Tam Jay So.
3. Papaya Salad Kai Sod (60 THB) - Som Tum Jae Dang
Som Tum Jae Dang is a local restaurant specialized in Som Tum and is compared to the previous Som Tam Jay So a better option when it comes to hygiene. Som Tum Jae Dang does not have a menu in English, but we are here to help you. This place does a few things very well, that includes Som Tam, Kai Tod (deep-fried chicken) and a few other Isaan specialities. The signature Som Tum is the Som Tam Kai Tod, which is a papaya salad with sliced deep-fried chicken in it. The greasiness and crispiness of the grilled chicken go very well with the sourness and spiciness of the papaya salad. For a larger appetite, you can order the grilled chicken separately or combine the Som Tam Kai Tod with for example Kor Moo Yang (60 THB), which is grilled pork neck. A plate of papaya salad with grilled chicken cost you 70 THB and a decent plate of grilled chicken costs you 55 THB. For more information about this Som Tum restaurant in Bangkok, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Som Tum Jae Dang.
4. Papaya Salad Too Cab Mu (90 THB) - Hai Som Tam Convent
With twenty-four different tasty Som Tam, this restaurant has built a good reputation when it comes to Papaya Salad in Bangkok. Every day, many hungry locals visit Hai Som Tam Convent to get their daily dose of Isaan food. From different types of Laab to different types of Yum, this is the place to really eat like a local. We would recommend you to try their Som Tam Too Cab Mu (90 THB), which is a papaya salad with long beans, crispy pork crackers and peanuts. The pork crackers give this spicy and sour salad a hearty and crunchy tone. We would recommend you to try their Pla Kung (150 THB) too, which is a shrimp salad topped with lemongrass, onion and chilli lime dressing. The som tam at Hai Som Tam Convent ranges from 90 to 125 THB per plate. For more information about this Som Tum restaurant in Bangkok, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Hai Som Tam Convent.
5. Papaya Salad with Dry Shrimp (90 THB) - Som Tam Nua
Som Tam Nua is a popular Som Tam restaurant near Siam BTS for both foreigners and Thai and offers a relatively small range - six to be precise - of different Som Tam. These papaya salads are categorized by the level of spiciness, although you can still order spicier or less spicy versions of them. We would recommend you to try the Som Tam with Dry Shrimp, Thai Pork Sausage And Crispy Pork Rind (90 THB). Make sure to order their Fried Chicken (L) (115 THB) as well, as the crispy skin of these chicken legs are really tasty. The som tam at Som Tam Nua ranges from 75 to 90 THB per plate. For more information about this Som Tum restaurant in Bangkok, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Som Tam Nua.
6. Deep-Fried Papaya Salad (135 THB) - Nalin Kitchen
Nalin Kitchen is a small, cosy Thai restaurant that most Bangkokians won’t think of getting Som Tam, as it’s not an Isaan specialist like all the other restaurants in this article. Nalin Kitchen offers a wide variety of Thai dishes, ranging from curries to classic stir-fries. As the food is clean and affordable, Nalin Kitchen is an excellent restaurant to explore Thai cuisine for foreigners. One of the highly recommended dishes is Deep-Fried Papaya Salad with Dressing On The Side (135 THB). Deep-fried papaya salad is less common than regular papaya salad and is less spicy and much more hearty. For this exact reason, it’s a great way to enjoy papaya salad for those of you who don’t like the heat. For more information about this great all-round Thai restaurant in Bangkok, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Nalin Kitchen.
Relevant articles for further reading:
Best Tom Yum in Bangkok
Best Curries in Bangkok
Best Pad Thai in Bangkok
Best Crispy Pork in Bangkok
Best Mango Sticky Rice in Bangkok
Best Khao Soi in Bangkok
Best Noodles in Bangkok
Best Pad Kra Pao in Bangkok
There you have it, the best Som Tam in Bangkok. All these restaurants including their most recommended dishes can be found in our food app TopTravelFoods. The app will help you find the best food in Thailand, instead of only recommending good restaurants at popular destinations. This way, you won’t miss out on legendary restaurants and you can enjoy the local Thai cuisine to the fullest. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is completely free. If you're on a desktop, you can start searching for more dishes in Bangkok or many other cities such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Koh Larn, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi and Sukhothai.
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