Bangkok’s Biggest Street Food Attraction – Central World Stalls (And Some Great Roasted Fish) ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด

By Mark Wiens 19 Comments
Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด)
Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด)

I think this Bangkok street stall is as photographed as the Grand Palace!

If you’ve spent time in Bangkok, or even if you’ve just visited for a few days, you’ve undoubtedly passed these street food stalls just outside Central World shopping center (เซ็นทรัลเวิลด์).

I’ve eaten here numerous times, but have just failed to write anything. So finally, here it is, one of the most popular and possibly the most easily accessible street restaurant in all of Bangkok: Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด).

Thousands of pedestrians stop to admire this Thai street food!
Thousands of pedestrians stop to admire this Thai street food!

Located in one of the busiest locations for foot traffic in all of Bangkok, the series of Thai street food restaurants just outside of Central World shopping center, attract the masses.

Everyday thousands upon thousands of tourists and locals as well make the trek from Siam to Pratunam market (video) area, passing, taking photos, and admiring the jaw dropping grills on display.

Bangkok street food at Central World
Bangkok street food at Central World

During the daytime, the section of sidewalk is filled with clothes vendors and small street food stalls, but starting at 5 pm each day, the scene shifts to much more impressive and tasty things.

There are about 5 or so restaurants that take control of the sidewalk, all of them serving just about the same menu.

I personally go to the first stall closest to Central World, known as Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด), mostly because the owner and the crew of staff are all extremely friendly.

Duck beaks?
Duck beaks?

Among the selection on the menu are grilled duck beaks.

They don’t look that good, but they do make an exotic, and pleasantly tasty Thai dish.

How could anyone not want to stop here and eat?
How could anyone not want to stop here and eat?

From the appearance of the street stall, one may assume that the chickens have been cooked by electrocution. However, they are most likely just grilled!

Classy dining atmosphere
Classy dining atmosphere

Classic Bangkok fold up tables are lined up along on the sidewalk cafeteria style.

It’s not exactly a peaceful dining experience; Traffic roars in all directions, pedestrians never stop, and both the heavy smoke from the grills and the fumes from the vehicles makes the air far from fresh.

People tend to eat and go quickly, it’s fast paced street food!

Grilled Snakehead Fish (pla chon pao ปลาช่อนเผา)
Grilled Snakehead Fish (pla chon pao ปลาช่อนเผา)

The main attraction for me is the grilled snakehead fish (pla chon pao ปลาช่อนเผา).

They are by all means not the most attractive creatures in the world, but what they lack in their looks, they sure make up flavor wise.

Thai vegetable plate
Thai vegetable plate

Like all Isaan restaurants, you’re first served a plate of raw vegetables: cabbage, long beans, cucumbers, and sweet basil.

Thai street food
The meal from above

We went a little light, just ordering the basics, as I was most interested in eating a snakehead fish.

Grilled Chicken (gai yang ไก่ย่าง) at Central World street food stalls
Grilled Chicken (gai yang ไก่ย่าง) at Central World street food stalls

We also got a half a grilled chicken (gai yang ไก่ย่าง), which in my opinion was just a little dry (perhaps it got electrocuted?), not as good as the chicken from Sabai Jai Gai Yang.

That’s just sort of the luck of the draw when you eat Thai street food – I’m sure other chickens on the skewer were more juicy and moist.

Nevertheless, it was a good and meaty chicken for those that aren’t interested in the grilled fish.

Som tam (green papaya salad ส้มตำ)
Som tam (green papaya salad ส้มตำ)

Som tam (green papaya salad ส้มตำ), is of course a must.

While I wouldn’t rate it as good as the som tam at Silom’s graveyard street stall, it’s pretty good.

Another great thing about Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด) is when you ask for spicy, they won’t fail to deliver.

Hot means hot – no joking!

Bangkok street food
Flaky, moist, and flavorful: Roasted Snakehead Fish (pla chon pao ปลาช่อนเผา)

Finally to the main attraction, the roasted snakehead fish (pla chon pao ปลาช่อนเผา).

Stuffed full of lemongrass and rolled in salt before being slow roasted over the fire, the fish was excellent. It was moist, flaky, and the sauce was particularly wonderful.

Grilled fish and sticky rice is the best reason to go to the street food stalls outside of Central World!

Bangkok traffic on Ratchaprasong
Bangkok traffic on Ratchaprasong

Here’s a quick shot of the traffic at 5:30 pm in Bangkok at Ratchaprasong intersection.

Ratchaprasong Thai Food, Bangkok, Thailand
Ratchaprasong Thai Food, Bangkok, Thailand

And here’s one last photo of the busy pedestrian sidewalk that flows right next to the hot grill.

Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด)
Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด)

Video

Here’s the video to go with this restaurant… I think you may be able to smell the roasting fish from the video!

Thank you for watching!

(Watch this Thai street food video on YouTube)

The Bottom Line

Part of any street food dining experience is the ambiance, and the stalls outside of Bangkok’s Central World offer an extremely fast paced environment for a meal.

Like any business, it’s all about location, and they perhaps have the best Bangkok street food location. Also, their trophy grill packed with slow roasting creatures is simply irresistible, a Bangkok attraction in and of itself.

As for the food, it’s not the best in Bangkok, but it certainly is tasty Thai street food that’s very worth eating, and extremely convenient.

Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด)

Like I mentioned above, there are about 5 different stalls to choose from, but I prefer the very first stall, which is closest to Central World. The staff is nice and friendly, and I think the food looks the best.

Hours: 5 pm – 2 am daily
Prices: 100 – 200 THB per person for a full meal, the meal we ate above came to 300 THB
Address: Sidewalk outside Bangkok’s Central World shopping center

How To Get There

Take the BTS to Chit Lom station, walk towards Ratchaprasong road and cross the street over to Central World. Walk all the way past Central World on your way to Pratunam, and it would be impossible to miss these Thai street food stalls (only begin at 5 pm).

View Bangkok Eating Thai Food Map in a larger map

Video:

Finally, here’s the full video of the restaurant, which you’re going to love (just press play below)!



19 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Bee bee

    3 months ago

    Ratchaprasong Thai Food (ราชประสงค์ ไทยฟู้ด) has moved. Can you advise me the new address?

  • Nick

    2 years ago

    Thanks to this advice I ended up going twice on my recent stay in Bangkok. This is such a good stall and the people really are very friendly. Does anybody know the name of that spicy green sauce they serve with the fish as this stuff is dynamite.

  • Greg H.

    2 years ago

    Do these food stands still exist near Central World or have they moved? We attempted to visit in April 2015 and they were not set up for dinner. We did see a sign on a pole so we know we were in the right place…

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Greg, from what I know they still exist, but I haven’t been down there in a few months, and things are changing pretty quickly so I’m not certain. Do you by any chance know if it was a Monday when you walked past last time? They might be closed on Monday.

      • Greg H.

        2 years ago

        It must have been a Monday that we were there, didn’t think about that. I’ll have to visit in December when I’m back and confirm. :) Thanks!!

  • Chris Beetz

    3 years ago

    what a great experience having Dinner there … My mother was overjoyed eating such great Spicy and delicious food .
    She is … Since yesterday .. Now 71 and is Planning her next bangkok Visit this years November !

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Chris, this is great to hear, glad you and your mother enjoyed the food, and that you mother is planning another trip to Bangkok. Thank you for sharing!

  • David

    3 years ago

    Looking for good/great seafood places that are not super expensive in Bangkok. Centrally located would be great but no matter where I should be able to find it.
    Fried fish, crab, shrimp etc….

    Many thanks

    love your web site!!!

  • Dilini

    4 years ago

    Bath??? I’m not Bath.
    Anyways I work for Srilankan Airlines.

  • Dilini

    4 years ago

    I am a big fan of this place for eight years.
    And I am flight attendant who flies to Bangkok often for eight years.
    I never miss trying out the fish, papaya salad here.
    I wanted to tell about this place to one of my friends who will fly to Thailand for first time.
    I just google to find out it’s name.
    Your blog came up.
    I’m very thrilled to see this blog.
    It inspired me to open up my own blog in future about my passion about travel and food and wine I enjoy.
    Your blog is amazing.
    I recommend about this street food stalls near central world.
    It’s the best in Thailand.
    I have a correction make.
    It’s not open daily.
    Mondays it’s closed.
    All the other six days it’s open after 5 pm.
    I went there on a Monday.
    The road was very quiet.
    I should mention about one more thing.
    The papaya salad is really good here.
    My favourite stall in this street food area is the first stall you get when you walk from central world. Tables are red in colour.
    Singha beer (big), Papaya salad, Steam Rice, Snake Fish ( The long Fish ) and complementary vegetables cost only 320 Bath.
    Brilliant Place!!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Bath, great to hear from you, thanks for sharing! Glad you love these stalls too. What airline do you fly with?

  • Alex

    4 years ago

    We just came back from there. Fish Amazing! Just while sitting and waiting for food, be aware of BIG rats crawling on the other side of fence. Some of them managed to get under the tables ad well ;)

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed it Alex, oh yes… the Bangkok rats!

  • Hans

    5 years ago

    Hey Mark, my girlfriend and I are staying just south of there for a month. We just found these stalls and they are indeed impressive but it was super packed and we didn’t eat this time. I want to just offer a quick correction on how to get there – the stalls and Central World are on Ratchadamri Road (the area is called Ratchaprasong district). Look for the huge Big C supermarket and the stalls are across the street and a little toward the canal.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Hans, great to hear you’re staying in BKK. Thanks for the correction, will get it changed.