Chamlong’s Asoke Vegetarian Restaurant
Chamlong’s Asoke vegetarian restaurant is less a restaurant and more a food court den of brilliance so delicious I can easily wile away a few hours sampling what’s on offer while making small talk with the inevitable diners who will ask how I even found out the place exists (it’s on Happy Cow, but the location isn’t convenient to where most people stay and it closes by 3pm on the days it’s open).
There’s a vegan shop selling everything from whole grains and rice to faux meats, and there are a couple of other small shops selling various shapes and sizes of TVP and vegan gapi (shrimp paste). Any vegetarian in Bangkok should seek out a jar of vegetarian shrimp paste because wow.
I’ve been visiting Chamlong’s Asoke for years and recommend it to everyone who visits Bangkok. Not sure what you eat? Watch everyone else order around you and see how the food is prepared (it’s all open) to get an idea of what looks good. Take your time. Ask questions.
The Asoke group is run on self sustaining principles and so the prices are incredibly low. If you order something you don’t like they you won’t have spent out much on your disappointment (but if you find anything disappointing here then go home because you don’t deserve Thailand).
Like many food courts in Thailand, Chamlong’s Asoke runs on a coupon system (purchase them in front of the shop inside). Buy the food coupons there and you can return any unused vouchers for cash before you leave. 100 baht can feed two people.
Water is free, and is available from large jugs with taps and it is safe to drink (contrary to what any guide says, I have never had problems with water in Thailand).
Another feature you will find in many open food courts is a crockpot full of hot water next to the utensils, which is provided as a sort of cleaning service if you’re not comfortable with the sanitation of the fork you’re about to shove in your faceplace.
To get there take exit 1 from Kamphaeng Phet MRT (กำแพงเพชร) and walk away from Chatuchak Market until you hit an aquarium type shop (there are fountains outside) on the corner to the right (not far). Go up that road or the road after and wander as far back as you can go. Previously the area was chocka night clubs. Then it became half knocked down night clubs. Now it’s totally knocked down nightclub rubble with the odd toilet stall still visible in the mess. The layout of the area changes every time I visit and it currently looks to be an upcoming developed area.
The entire complex is closed on Mondays, and by 14:00 on all other days. Go early on a weekend and pair it with a trip to Chatuchak, but go to the market last because you will get so lost you won’t find your way back to civilisation before the next day and by then Chamlong’s Asoke will be closed.
Like Chamlong’s Asoke on Facebook
Side note: down the row from Chamlong’s Asoke is a kanom jin shop (Thai fermented rice noodles with various curries) that is also vegan and well worth checking out. I found it one year after visiting on a holiday when the food court was closed, and someone pointed me there instead. I have no idea what the operating hours are, but go in the morning to be on the safe side.