The rise of gastronomy tourism: restaurants to try in Thailand

Posted on 1 June 2023

Gastronomy tourism has emerged as a thriving trend in recent years, capturing the hearts and taste buds of travellers worldwide, so here’s a list of restaurants to try in Thailand.

restaurants to try in Thailand

Nowadays exploring a destination’s culture through its culinary pleasures has become a treasured experience sought after by global data from Global Food Tourism revealing that 80% of travellers will research food and drinks before heading off on their travels.

In recent years, Thailand, which is renowned for its rich gastronomic heritage, stands as an ideal destination for South Africans, because its shared culinary interests merge with vibrant flavours and traditions.

Also Read: The 20 Best Restaurants in Midrand

This is according to Sadudee Sangnil, Director at The Tourism Authority of Thailand in London, who explains that the rise of food tourism has transformed the way people travel and experience different cultures.

‘Rather than solely focusing on famous landmarks or tourist attractions, travellers now seek immersive culinary experiences that allow them to explore a destination’s food culture. Thai cuisine, in particular, has gained international recognition because of this and offers an authentic culinary journey that crosses borders, making it a delightful adventure for South African food enthusiasts,’ Sangnill said

Sangnil goes on to say that she knows South Africans are known for their love of spice and zest which is why she believes Thai cuisine resonates exceptionally well with their palates.

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‘Apart from the delicious dishes that can be enjoyed in restaurants, Thailand’s gastronomic appeal extends to its energetic street food culture which is also big in South Africa. The vibrant food markets that are perfectly positioned on the streets of Bangkok, and in other cities, draw visitors’ attention with their tempting selection of food stalls.

‘Thailand’s fusion of diverse flavours, vibrant food markets, and cultural wonders make it an ideal destination for South Africans to indulge their passion for food all while exploring the culinary treasures of the Land of Smiles.’

As South Africans plan their next itinerary to Thailand, the below stops should definitely be included:

1. Jay Fai

Jay Fai in Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, was founded in the 1980s by Supinya Junsuta. The restaurant was awarded a one-Micheline star rating in 2018. It serves street food and is one of the most famous street food restaurants in Bangkok.

2. Koh Kood Tree Pods

restaurants to try in Thailand

Koh Kood Pods take fine dining to remarkable new heights. To get to this one-of-a-kind Thai restaurant, customers enter a bamboo pod on the forest floor and are lifted 5 meters above the earth into Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest. Guests can choose from a selection of gourmet or luxury picnics in the air. The Luxury Picnic can be combined with champagne and prosecco tastings.

Also Read: The 20 Best Restaurants in Boksburg


3. Cave Dining at The Grotto, Rayavadee

restaurants to try in Thailand

The Grotto is hidden beneath an ancient limestone rock on the outskirts of the beautiful Phranang Beach and offers a unique cave-eating experience. At Rayavadee’s premier eating restaurants, guests can dine in a cave while taking in seaside views.

Also Read: The 20 Best Restaurants in Bloemfontein

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