Kanchanaburi Restaurants

Where and What to Eat in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi’s dining scene is not the most varied. In terms of taste, though, it’s not lacking and looks often deceive. While most eateries seem to feature the same offerings on its menu, occasionally you come across a new crop of restaurants where creativity is definitely featured on the menu. The Tofu Bar and Mangosteen Café & Books on Mae Nam Kwae Road are two such places.

In the city centre, the riverside is where to go for a delectable meal with a view. Over the years, backpackers have descended on the Mae Nam Kwae stretch for budget meals, and now this busy strip has become known as the Backpackers’ Street. Lining the riverbanks, a handful of guesthouse restaurants cater to the pockets of budget travellers. You will find floating restaurants and upscale dining establishments flanking the northern and southern sections of the Bridge over the River Kwai.


Apple’s Restaurant

A top choice among backpackers and budget travellers, this guesthouse restaurant whips up tasty and spicy Thai dishes. Order from an extensive a la carte menu, featuring everything from classic rice and noodles to exotic curries like coconut and cashew infused massaman. And if you can’t get enough of Thai spice, try ordering your curry or tom yam ‘Thai style’ and be prepared to shed some tears. Seating is by the riverfront garden or rooftop with sunrise and sunset views.

Location: Mae Nam Kwae Road, close to Kanchanaburi Train Station
Price Range: Affordable

 

Keeree Tara

This elegant dining establishment exudes a luxury resort ambience, with a landscaped tropical garden, riverside scenery and small fountain ponds. From the expansive outdoor terrace, look out to the rustic backdrop of the River Kwae Yai and the famous iron rail bridge. The menu here is heavy on central Thai cuisine, such as steamed seafood custard, Red-tail mystus curry and keeree snakehead fish in spicy sauce (highly recommended), with a few Chinese dishes like stuffed duck in Chinese herb sauce and glass shrimp cream salad. Most dishes are reasonably priced, but if you order fresh river prawns or seafood, be prepared for the lofty price tag.

Location: Riverside, about 100 metres north of the Bridge over the River Kwai
Price Range: Affordable - Pricey

Mangosteen Cafe and Books

Value for money is the main selling point at this delightful eatery, where you can still munch on a tasty Thai dish at prices that nearly match Bangkok’s street food. The western menu, including steaks, offers more variety than the usual offerings found at other establishments along Mae Nam Kwae Road. Efficient service, friendly staff, a good selection of books and tasteful music all contribute more to the enjoyable experience.

Location: Mae Nam Kwae Road, close to Kanchanaburi Train Station
Price Range: Affordable

My Secret

Fusing buffed concrete walls and floors with strong contemporary lines, this is as industrial chic as you’ll get in Kanchanaburi. My Secret is the kind of place to enjoy a lazy meal with river views and a chilled-out ambience. Set on the banks of the idyllic Mae Klong River, it serves up creative Thai and international dishes, including grilled whole duckling, seafood crispy pancake and spicy herbal chicken curry (signature dish).

Pick your seat from the air-con room, riverside terrace, karaoke lounge, or moon deck with cushioned daybeds and wicker ‘egg’ chairs.

Location: Near the City Hall, on the banks of the Mae Klong
Price Range: Affordable - Pricey

River Kwae Floating Restaurant

Set on a raft, just metres from the iron rail bridge, this open-sided restaurant with a thatched-rooftop and a front-row view of the bridge over the River Kwae offers a range of seafood menu, soups and curries. Particularly notable is yeesok fish caught from the Kwae Yai and Kwae Noi Rivers, prepared in any style of your liking whether deep-fried, steamed or grilled. Because of its close proximity to the bridge, it’s almost always crowded at lunchtime.

Location: Bridge over the River Kwai
Price Range: Affordable

The Resort

This upscale restaurant-pub is popular among weekenders from Bangkok. It offers a range of traditional and contemporary Thai dishes, from the typical such as steamed seafood custard and deep-fried snakehead fish to the more creative, including ‘dry’ tom yam, marinated pork ribs and stir-fried spicy seafood ‘soup’. Enjoy the restaurant’s pleasant garden atmosphere and elegant colonial-style plantation architecture.

Location: Mae Nam Kwae Road, just south of the bridge
Price Range: Affordable - Pricey

Tofu Bar

Vegetarians, vegans and basically anyone with penchant for creative non-meat cuisine will be delighted at the imaginative offerings here. Fusing fresh, homegrown ingredients and the slow-cook method, the results are complex flavours that blend together nicely in your mouth. Try the homemade tofu, spring rolls, teriyaki tofu, dumpling dough mushroom, or – for a western palate – spinach lasagna and leek soup, then finish off your meal with melt-in-your-mouth coconut pudding. With such creativity behind its dishes, coupled with an uplifting ambience, this is one place not to miss.

Location: Mae Nam Kwae Road, about 200m from Night Market
Price Range: Affordable


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