We can both remember the day we discovered Naga Café in Bangkok, Thailand. The restaurant was located just around the corner from our hotel. Our particular excitement was due to the proximity of the cafe. The restaurant was less than a 5-minute walk, which was great because the heat outside was intense.
We arrived for a late lunch and were instantly delighted with the front patio covered in greenery. If it weren’t for the heat, we would have eaten outside. Looking back had we eaten outside our experience would have been completely different. A golden opportunity to converse with Sanit would have been lost.
We entered the restaurant and were greeted by two little dogs and the owner, Sanit. He gave us our choice of seats with a small hint to sit at the 2-seater next to the bar. It ended being the best table in the place because we were able to easily chat with Sanit while he worked.
He gave us menus, but Matt didn’t need one because 99% of the time he orders Pad Thai Kai in any Thai restaurant. I was excited the menu was written with English titles because I get the Thai names mixed up. With a few description clarifications from Sanit, I quickly decided on stir-fried pork with garlic and green peppers. After our order had been placed, Sanit returned to ask us where we were from and how long we were visiting Thailand. From there our conversation flowed and lasted for a couple of hours.
Sanit is one of those people who you instantly feel relaxed around. He has this incredible way of making you feel at home and welcome. He was a travel agent in his previous career, so he is full of fun travel stories and recommendations of places to visit. He is also a skilled cocktail maker; his Long Island Iced Tea is lip-smacking good. However, I recommend waiting for your food before you start sucking the drinks down.
The eclectic décor in Naga is important to note because along with Sanit’s warm personality it nurtures the feeling you are sitting in an old friend’s house. Think of Liberace meets shabby chic with a hint of Rugby rough and tumble. At first glance, it may seem borderline overdone, but along with the delicious food, it all settles you into an at-ease, enjoyable mindset.
Our food came out pretty quick. Sanit tried to give us time to eat, but we invited him to continue the gabfest with us. The food hit the spot so well we made plans to return for more meals before we had even left the restaurant.
Why We Love Naga
There are just some places each of us connect with or embrace whole-heartedly, and Naga is one of those places for us. It’s a combination of the feelings of being in your happy place, a home away from home, and the amazing exhale after you eat a plate of solid, satisfying, comforting food. Add Sanit’s fun personality to the recipe, and it’s a favorite we will return to every time we visit Bangkok.
It’s bananas to think on our 1st visit we walked in for a simple, quick lunch and walked out 2 hours later with a good friend and place we love. These are the times and experiences which feed our obsession to travel. Whether it be 2 km’s or 2,000 km’s from our base we love finding the places and people that fill our soul and make us feel “at home”.
Two of our friends have since visited Naga Café. One was able to meet Sanit, and the other visited when Sanit was out of town. Both enjoyed the food and returned more than once during their visits. If you are looking for a good, home-cooked tasting and feeling meal, I hope you add Naga Café to your list.
What to Eat at Naga Café
The menu consists of traditional Thai dishes with a Sanit twist or two. The meals are fresh and varied with an intimation of the foreigner’s palate in mind. Spicy levels can easily be adjusted to your request. For you non-Thai food eaters they offer a few Western meal options such as spaghetti and omelets.
Matt tends to stick to the same dishes of Pad Thai Kai (chicken pad Thai) or chicken fried rice. He has switched between the two multiple times and thoroughly recommends both meals at Naga.
I’ve tried and would highly recommend the glass noodle soup with pork, noodle soup with pork or chicken, deep fried vegetable spring rolls, stir-fried pork with garlic & green peppers, and the Thai fried rice with chicken. If I had to pick favorites, I would probably choose the noodle soup with pork or the stir-fried pork with garlic & green peppers.
I have scoured Naga’s menu, and I would like to try everything. Unfortunately, my allergies prevent me from eating foods made with fresh pineapple or coconut. Tough break in Thailand since so much made with one or both fruits. On my first visit, Sanit was very nice to point out all my safe choices.
How to Get to Naga Café
Website – Facebook
Address – Naga Café 170/6-7 Suan Phlu Rd, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
-Located in Soi Suanplu in Sathorn area, opposite Krungsri Bank.
BTS/MRT – It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Sala Daeng BTS, Chong Nonsi BTS or the Lumphini MRT stations.
Bus – the 22 or 67 bus stops about a 1 minute walk away, or there is a few bus stops off the Sathon Tai and Nuea which are close.
Taxi, Uber or Tuk Tuk – if the driver isn’t familiar with address let him/her know it is about a block away from Sathorn Vista, Marriott Executive Apartments.
5 out of 5 Travelationship High Fives. For the Traveler Who Likes – good, reasonably priced food; friendly service; fun ambiance; perfect for solo, couples or families.