Ratchada night market originated in an abandoned railway station in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. Following on from the success of famous Chatuchak weekend market, it was founded by the organisation ‘Talad Rot Fai’, which translates to ‘Train Market’. Although the original site was closed down, the company now owns three markets in Bangkok: the original Srinakarin, Kaset-Nawamin and my favourite, train night market Ratchada.
Recommended in many “Top Things To Do In Bangkok” lists, you’ve probably already seen pictures of the markets and their colourful tents. Ratchada night market is my favourite branch, conveniently located in the city centre next to the Cultural Centre MRT. Catering mostly towards locals, the market is relatively cheap and you can easily have a great night out with friends while not spending too much on food and beers. Train night market Ratchada is divided into three large zones: food, shopping and bars, the perfect ingredients for a good night out.
The famous view from above with all these colourful tents at Ratchada Night Train Market
Shopping at Ratchada night market
If you love shopping, then don’t miss Ratchada night market. As well as vintage items, you’ll find your usual Thai goods including cheap clothes and gadgets. You can even get a tattoo and a haircut here. Looking for souvenirs? Then Chatuchak Weekend Market and its wood carvings, statues and art might be a better option for you, unless you consider power banks, phone cases and radios souvenirs, as these are widely available at Train night market Ratchada.
The always busy Ratchada Night Train Market with huge amount of vendors
What to eat at Ratchada Train Market?
One of my favourite food spots in Bangkok is Ratchada train market. The market has a huge section filled with a tempting array of food and restaurants. Selections range from local Thai restaurants and Thai street food to international favourites like takoyaki, tender ribs and Cajun-style seafood buckets. I’ve been to Ratchada train market many times, below you can find a list of my favourite food and restaurants to try.
1. Holy Shrimp! Seafood Bucket at Holy Shrimp (399 THB)
My absolute favourite thing to eat at Ratchada train market is the Cajun seafood bucket at Holy Shrimp restaurant. The staff will pour the bucket onto a paper tablecloth, creating a mountain of saucy seafood. You can select the level of spiciness and choose between five different sauces, I mostly go for their holy moly signature option. Beware, the highest level is really spicy! Order a bucket of seafood and don’t forget to put on your plastic gloves as it will get messy…
Note: more restaurants around Ratchada train market have started serving seafood buckets but to experience the best, be sure to visit Holy Shrimp. The restaurant is located in the far-left corner of the market, which is furthest from the entrance.
Holy Shrimp (399 THB) at Ratchada Train Market
2. Ribs at Chef Tui Ranger (190 THB)
These tender ribs are up to a meter long and prepared with plenty of dedication. The meat is marinated overnight in a homemade secret sauce, then grilled at low temperature, marinated a second time and placed in the fridge overnight. The ribs are marinated and grilled a final time before serving, which makes them extra tender. You get a portion of mashed potato and sauerkraut on the side and Isaan spicy sauce for dipping.
Ribs (190 THB) at Ratchada Train Market
3. Leng Zabb at Tiao Mae Klong (150 THB)
This eye-catching mountain of pork spines loaded with crushed green chillies looks spicier than it actually is. You can scrape the meat off the bones and eat it with a sour broth and a heap of green chillies. This Ratchada train market restaurant serves four different portion sizes, from M (150 THB) to XXL (599 THB) and although the dishes look large, they’re actually mainly made up of pork bones. Leng Zabb is one of the most popular Ratchada train market food options and even though the restaurant is large, after about 6 pm a queue starts forming outside.
Leng Zabb (150 THB) at Ratchada Train Market
4. Giant Lobster Tom Yum at Diaw Goong Rot Fai Restaurant (1,500 THB)
You really need to be hungry as a horse and with at least three or four other people if you want to try this giant lobster tom yum, as the bowl is absolutely enormous! Feast on heaps of seafood such as jumbo prawns, soft-shell crab, New Zealand mussels, fish, Alaskan crab, squid and of course a giant lobster. The tom yum soup has a strong flavour but you can add some chillies to enhance the spiciness. You can also choose the type of noodles you want accompany this seafood feast. This is one Ratchada train market food and restaurant that’ll definitely fill you up!
5. Takoyaki at Takoyaki stand (15 THB 2/pcs)
I don’t think I’ve ever visited Ratchada train market without ordering at least one portion of Japanese takoyaki. I’m not sure if it tastes like the original as I’ve never visited Japan, but I sure as hell love this version. The fried battered squid balls are topped with delicious takoyaki sauce, fish roe and dried seaweed. I like to finish them with a bit of wasabi-mayonnaise for an extra kick. You can find this takoyaki stand in the last row of the food section (the one furthest away from the parking garage).
6. Thai Roti at Roti Inter (35 THB+)
You’ve probably already seen roti vendors on the streets of Bangkok, but this roti stand at Ratchada train market stands out because the owner prepares 36 different varieties. You can even choose between four different kinds of dough: pandan, charcoal, chocolate and original. So, if you want to give this sweet dessert a try, head to Roti Inter for a huge range. You can find it in the first row of food (the one closest to the parking garage) and you’ll recognize it from the big plate outside, which showcases all the different types of rotis on offer.
I hope you enjoyed these Ratchada train market food and restaurant recommendations. We’ve built an app for you to find the tastiest food in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand, so please download it to find the best food that Thailand has to offer!
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Bars at Ratchada night market
After all that intensive shopping and eating, you can cool down in one of the many bars. Drinks and cocktails are cheap and most venues run great promotions. Local bands blast music through the speakers and DJs show off their mixing skills. Lots of bars have rooftop areas where you can enjoy views of the market’s colourful tents. I always go to:
- Live music venue Frankfurt Bar
- Sorry, I'm Gay for cheap, strong cocktails
- Dot Box and its hip local crowd.
The bars at Ratchada Train Market
What are the opening times of the Ratchada Train Market?
Ratchada night market is open Tuesday till Sunday from around 17:30 till 01:00. The market gets especially busy on Friday and Saturday.
How to get to Ratchada Train Market?
You can easily reach the Ratchada train market by public transport, as Thailand Cultural Centre MRT is located directly next to it. Due to the market’s popularity, the street next to it (Ratchadaphisek Road) often suffers from traffic jams, so public transport might be your best option.
Train Market has different branches, another hugely popular one is Srinakarin. This market has a larger shopping area including the warehouse zone that is packed with vintage shops but a much smaller food and bar zone. Srinakarin train market is also more difficult to reach from Bangkok’s city centre and doesn’t have any nearby public transportation. For more street food options, head to Bangkok’s Chinatown at night. Recently, we've published an in-depth article about the Best Food in Chinatown.
There you have it, everything you need to know about the train market at Ratchada. All the food recommended in this article can be found in our food app TopTravelFoods. TopTravelFoods recommends the best food restaurants have to offer. For example, if you are looking for the best food at places like Ratchada Train Market or when you just want to see the absolute best dishes near you, TopTravelFoods is the app you need to have. It's completely free and available for both iOS and Android.