What is Tom Yum soup?
Tom Yum (or Tom Yam) is a sweet and sour Thai soup made with lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, chillies and sometimes a dash of (coconut) milk. Extra ingredients that are often used are in quarters sliced mushrooms and Goong (prawns in Thai). Depending on the size of the prawns, a bowl of Tom Yum Goong cost you on average between 50 and 300 THB in restaurants. Tom Yum soup is often served with separate bowls, making it Ann excellent dish to share it with others.
What’s the difference between Tom Yum Nam Khon and Tom Yum Nam Sai?
The difference between Tom Yum Nam Khon and Tom Yum Nam Sai is that the Tom Yum Nam Khon has a dash of (coconut) milk in it, while the Tom Yum Nam Sai is a clear tom yum soup. Because of the cooling factor, the clear version of tom yum is often spicier. Overall, Tom Yum Nam Khon is more popular.
What’s the difference between Tom Yum and Tom Ka soups?
The big differences between the famous soups Tom Yum and Tom Ka are that, firstly, the Tom Ka is a coconut-milk-based soup, while the Tom Yum soup only has a dash of (coconut) milk added, or sometimes not even that. Secondly, Tom Ka soup puts more emphasis on the ingredient galangal. Tom Yum is often served with prawns (Tom Yum Goong), while Tom Ka is often served with chicken (Tom Ka Kai). In this article, we solely focus on tom yum soups in Bangkok.
Now, let’s jump to the results. We divided the results into two sections, the Best Tom Yum Nam Khon in Bangkok and the Best Tom Yum Nam Sai in Bangkok.
The Best Tom Yum Nam Khon in Bangkok are:
Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu
When it comes to authenticity and impeccable flavour, there can be only one restaurant that serves the best tom yum in Bangkok and that is Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu. This street-food-restaurant is located in Sri Kraisi, an alley close to Khao San Road. At this local eatery, there is no menu available, although the majority of its customers come for one thing and that’s their tom yum goong. A bowl of this heavenly soup costs you 150 THB and is served with two large juicy prawns. Unlike the next recommended restaurant, the owner did not change its recipe even though the restaurant gained popularity over the years. At Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu, you can expect authentic flavoured tom yum soup with plenty of chillies added. Make sure to go to the original place as there is a copycat right next door. More in-depth information, such as other recommended dishes can be found in our article about Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu. For more general information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu.
Honestly, it was quite difficult to choose between Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu and Pe Aor, as both restaurants serve phenomenal tom yum soups. The detail that made our final decision was the fact that the owner told us that he changed the recipe a couple of years ago that suits the tourist more, meaning that it’s slightly sweeter and less spicy than before. But that does not withhold any local or tourist to visit Pe Aor as it’s always completely packed with hungry customers. The soup is incredibly creamy, much creamier than the one at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu and the seafood options to add to your tom yum soup is enormous. Think lobster, crab, mussels, squid and large prawns. Because of that, prices vary between 50 THB for a normal bowl of tom yum going to 1,300 THB for a bowl that’s completely filled with exotic seafood, which you can easily share with a few people. The best value for money is in our opinion the Lobster in Love (450 THB), which is a large bowl of tom yum soup with lobster and large mussels. More in-depth information, such as other recommended dishes can be found in our article about Pe Aor. For more general information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Pe Aor.
Mit Ko Yuan
Mit Ko Yuan is a local secret as it’s an anonymous restaurant located at Dinso Road that you easily walk past by. In this area, you can find some of the best local restaurants, such as Jay Fai, Thip Samai, Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream and Kor Panich. On the contrary to the previous two restaurants, Mit Ko Yuan has not specialized in tom yum soups, but offers a much wider selection of Thai dishes. But the most-ordered dish and what most locals come for is their amazing and pretty spicy tom yum goong. A bowl of tom yum costs you 90 THB and the soup itself has many similarities, such as colour and visible tom yum paste, as the first recommended restaurant, Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu. Mit Ko Yuan is a great place to explore other authentically flavoured Thai dishes such as their Stir-Fried Pork with Twig Frame (80 THB), Signature Chili Fried Clams (80 THB) and Pan-Steamed Mussels (120 THB). As mentioned earlier in this article, a bowl of tom yum can easily be shared with others. More information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Mit Ko Yuan.
Tom Yum Kung
This restaurant is located in the middle of Khao San Road and is a popular spot for many tourists as it offers a great variety of Thai food as well as a lounge area where guest can simply watch the world go by. As the name of this restaurant already suggests, their signature dish is tom yum goong. Slightly adjusted to the Western-taste-palate, the tom yum goong is still nicely fragrant and has the right amount of spiciness. A bowl of Tom Yum soup costs you 350 THB, is served with three large jumbo freshwater prawns and is easily shareable for at least two people. As said, there are plenty of other Thai dishes available and I would strongly advise you to order the Meng Kung Foi (150 THB), which is a traditional appetizer where you add Thai herbs, lemon, peanuts, chillies to the bright-red baby shrimps wrapped in beetle leaves. Once you start chewing on this package of raw ingredients, you get a huge taste explosion in your mouth. More information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Tom Yum Kung.
Aoun & Phom
If you are staying close to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and you’d like to eat like a local, head over to Aoun & Phom. This local restaurant does not look that inviting from the outside, for example, the plastic white chairs are probably in use for over ten years. But don’t let the looks fool you, because we enjoyed the food at here so much, with their Tom Yum Goong (150 THB) as the absolute highlight. Again, this restaurant is not dedicated to tom yum soups alone, and we would recommend you try at least one of the other recommended dishes as well: Fried Seabass with Sweet Fish Sauce (350 THB), Fried Clam with Sweet Basil (100 THB) and their Oyster Omelette (80 THB). More information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Aoun & Phom. If you are looking for more restaurants in this area, check out our article about the best Thai restaurants near Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The Best Tom Yum Nam Sai in Bangkok are:
Rung Reung Noodle
Rung Reung Noodle is a family run business located close to Phrom Phong BTS and is always completely packed with hungry guests who are craving for their delicious noodles. The menu is limited, where you can order dry versions or soup version of two different types of noodle, which for the purpose of this article, we call them normal flavoured and tom yum flavoured. The majority of its visitors order either the dry version or the soup version of the tom yum noodles. And for a very good reason, as we believe Rung Reung Noodle serves the best Tom Yum Nam Sai in Bangkok. The tom yum is so deliciously flavoured, with plenty of spicinesses. A bowl of this heavenly tom yum nam said costs you between 50 and 70 THB, depending on the size you order. We highly recommend you ordering the Fish Crackers (20 THB) as well, which are deep-fried crackers made of fish skin, which adds a subtle fish flavour to your meal as well as that lovely crunch. More in-depth information, such as other recommended dishes can be found in our article about Rung Reung Noodle. For more general information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Rung Reung Noodle.
Zaew Noodle is, similar to the previously recommended restaurant, an incredibly popular restaurant among locals to get their daily portion of noodles. Especially during lunchtime, these restaurants are completely full and often requires you to wait a while before you get a table. In Zaew Noodle’s case, during lunchtime, there is an army of food delivery drivers waiting in front of the restaurant for the food that they need to pick up. I would strongly advise to avoid this rush hour and visit this place a bit early in the morning. The bestseller at this Zaew Noodle is Small Noodle with Tomyum Soup which only costs you 55 THB per bowl. Inside this authentically flavoured tom yum soup are pork balls and crispy fried wontons. Zaew Noodle is located near BTS Thonglor. More information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Zaew Noodle.
This local restaurant is a popular place to get noodles for both locals as tourists as it’s located close by Khao San Road. Although the staff does not speak English at all, the friendly owner can help you around with their difficult menu. But as you already can expect, the reason why you should visit this place, and the owner will tell you this as well, is to order tom yum nam sai. The so-called No. 12 Rice Noodle Soup Hot Spicy costs you 100 THB per bowl, is deliciously spiced and served with prawns and crispy fried wonton. Authentically flavoured, well-balanced and served with plenty of prawns for only 100 THB per bowl. How can you say no to that? More information, such as the opening times, the location and other TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Pua-Kee.
There you have it, the best tom yum in Bangkok. You can find all these restaurants, and many restaurants in Thailand, in our food app called TopTravelFoods. Instead of recommending good restaurants, we recommend the best food these restaurants have to offer. If you are looking for the absolute best dishes near you, TopTravelFoods is the app you must have. The app is available for both Android and iOS and is completely free.