What is a hole in the wall? Simply put, they are small and popular little places that are not big enough to advertise, but known for their delicious food. They are usually family operated and have often been around for several years and in some instances for more than one generation. The food is usually representative of the ethnic group to which the family belongs and is often an extension of what is served in the family's kitchen.
Every city in the world has these little places and Bangkok is no exception. In fact, the city is one of the best places in the world to find a good 'hole in the wall.' As an international crossroads, Bangkok is blessed with a variety of different ethnic groups and many of them have decided to open restaurants. Not all of these places are worth a visit, but some of them are gems that serve some of Thailand's most interesting and best tasting food.
In addition to restaurants representing various ethnic groups with origins outside of Thailand, there are several small Thai restaurants that stand above the crowd because of their quality and adherence to traditional standards. Largely unknown to outsiders, these restaurants serve Thai food that is usually superior to what is served in large restaurants devoted primarily to serving tourists.
Each month, Where to Eat in Bangkok features one of these restaurants and will keep an archive of places covered in the past. Below you will find this month's restaurants.
Suda - Thai/Thai Chinese
11:00-23:00; Sun 16:00-24:00
Sukhumvit Soi 14, next to BTS Asoke, 5 min from MRT Sukhumvit
Suda is not onlya ‘Hole in the Wall’ it is also one of the city’s most popular restaurants. This place is always packed, primarily with northern Europeans who obviously spread news of the good food by word ofmouth. The menu is comprehensive with food from all parts of Thailand and with numerous Chinese-style dishes thrown in for good measure. Located on Soi 14, just a few steps from Sukhumvit Road, it is housed in a storefront with tables that spread out into a seldom used sub-soi. Prices are inexpensive; the beer is cheap; and everyone always seems to be having a good time. Service here can be frustratingly slow, but if you wave and make silly faces, a server will usually come to your table.
Yogi Vegetarian Restaurant - India
62 Soi Putha Osoth; To get there, proceed down Surawongse Road toward the Chaphraya River. At Mahasek Road (just before the Manohra Hotel) turn right and at the first soi turn left. About 100 meters later you'll find Yogi.
This is the quintessential 'hole in the wall': basic furnishings, a chef wearing a singlet, housed in a location almost impossible to find and food that is sublime. This is a vegetarian place with a menu that emphasizes South Indian dishes. There are, however, numerous dishes from other parts of Indian and some rarely seen Jain dishes. Prices are very reasonably. By all means, if you are a vegetarian and/or a lover of Indian food, search this place out. It is definitely worth the effort. Although it is open all day, the full menu is only served during typical lunch and dinner hours (snacks only 15:00-19:00). There are numerous several small Indian restaurants and a couple small stores serving Indian items on the same soi.
To view Holes in the Wall archives click here.