Probably the most popular restaurant in Bangkok with expats and tourists is Bourbon Street on Sukhumvit in downtown Bangkok. I’ve lived in Thailand for almost six years and hadn’t been to Bourbon Street until recently. That’s why, when I did finally eat there, I couldn’t believe I’d been missing this place for so long. Bourbon Street is American owned and operated (a rarity in Thailand) and serves authentic Cajun, Creole and Mexican food in a very cool atmosphere. Bourbon Street is also always packed full of people every time I go, and here’s why.
Bourbon Street Staff – The staff at Bourbon Street are some of the most efficient staff of any restaurant I’ve ever been to in Bangkok. Food arrives quite quickly, it’s still piping hot and I’ve yet to receive an item I didn’t order. They’re also friendly and sweet, (which is actually a given in Thailand but that doesn’t usually come with efficiency too!)
Bourbon Street Atmosphere – I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere at Bourbon Street. The restaurant is cozy and friendly feeling, with burnt orange walls, very comfy rattan and leather furniture and subdued lighting. They also have a pretty area outside stocked full of huge leafy plants, where you can wait if your table isn’t ready. The bar area too is nice and, if the restaurant is full, which it often is, you can eat here too.
Bourbon Street Food – Now for the most important thing at Bourbon Street, the food. Bourbon Street’s menu is big, with choices for just about everyone. The appetizer choices range from baby back ribs and shrimp cocktail to crab claws and fried calamari. A good choice of soups and salads is next (try their creole bouillabaisse, it’s unbelievably delicious), with option like crabmeat salad, New England clam chowder, or cream of mushroom soup. For the entrees there are enormous amounts of choices in the Creole, Cajun and Mexican categories. I recommend the shrimp bisque, which is spicy enough to hit the palate just right, but not too spicy that your eyes water. The New Orleans seafood jambalaya is also amazing, as is the riverboat chicken. For Mexican food, you shouldn’t miss the chicken fajitas. Thailand’s Mexican restaurants always disappoint but, at Bourbon Street, it’s just like eating Mexican food in America. Succulent chicken, perfectly cooked onions and peppers and fresh, fresh, fresh tortillas. You can also get fried chicken, beef brisket, spaghetti and about a hundred other dishes. I’m also a sandwich addict and their shrimp po-boy is to die for. They also serve pizza which, again, is wonderful and, again, is a dish that Thais don’t often get right.
Bourbon Street Drinks – The restaurant has a very well-stocked bar with a great selection of wine, beer and spirits. I’ve yet to order anything here that they didn’t have and the bar man even suggested a couple of choices that were better than what I’d originally ordered.
Bourbon Street Prices – Compared to most Thai restaurants, prices at Bourbon Street are high. But, compared to other western restaurants in Bangkok, they’re actually quite low. Appetizers, soups and salads start at $3, entrees at around $5 and up (with the average being about $9) and you can get a great sandwich for $4.50. Pizza too is only $4 to $6 for a small size, and that’s plenty of food for one person.
I’ve eaten at Bourbon Street about seven times in the last two months and I’ll be going again for dinner this week. It’s rapidly becoming my favorite western restaurant because the food is just so darn good. There’s a reason why Bourbon Street has been named five years in a row as the “Best American Restaurant in Bangkok” – several reasons actually – the amazing food, the great service, the phenomenal staff and the fun atmosphere.