Christmas has become synonymous to many of us with joy, warmth and, of course, the annual EOY dinner. Take a moment to reminisce and you’ll remember being surrounded by loved ones, the laughter, and the seemingly limitless supply of wine; but take a moment longer and other memories may start to resurface—ones your brain has so conveniently suppressed in a bid to keep Christmas as the “most wonderful time of the year.”
You may start to remember the anxiety of deciding which restaurant to take your significant other, or the nightmare of cleaning up after a home-cooked meal for so many cousins, aunts and uncles, you’ve lost track of all the idle chatter of who’s done what and where. We’re here to save you from your indecision, and more importantly, the dishes.
Take a look at our top picks for restaurants to host a stress-free, cozy Christmas dinner this year.
It may take you a while to find this hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Charoenkrung, but once you step foot inside, you’ll see why it perfectly solves the dilemma of ‘Christmas feast at home vs. dinner out.’ The nostalgic interior—from the red-and-white checkered linens down to the vintage posters, coat hanger and green tiles—adds to the mystery of Sonny’s and the man behind it all. But beyond that, Sonny’s feels just like home. With limited tables and some countertop seats by the open kitchen, the setting is as intimate as they come, giving the illusion of a meal eaten in your humble abode (minus the cleanup).
The food, meanwhile, tastes exactly like how the interior looks: familiar. It’s reminiscent of something cooked by mom on a random Sunday evening, but in this case, by an unassuming middle-aged man donning a chef’s hat and an apron. At Sonny’s you’re at the whim of the kitchen; what’s served is entirely dependent on what the chef wakes up and decides to cook that day.
Between Soi Charoenkrung 47 and Surawong Road
When we think of winter, we think of snow and skiing. Though no one reading is traveling to the Swiss Alps this December, the best part about hitting the slopes—for us anyways— has always been the fondue after. Chesa, a Swiss restaurant between Phrom Phong and Asoke, can make you feel like you’re celebrating in negative-degree weather and temporarily forget about the humid Christmas you’re actually having this year.
Pop a lactaid because the cheese fondue, raclette and baked camembert (sometimes not on the menu, but definitely worth an ask) are all a must. Aside from the array of cheeses, you’ll also find beef fondue served with a large variety of sauces and condiments.
The rest of the menu features other traditional dishes you’ll rarely find anywhere else in Bangkok: Swiss chard dumplings, beef broth with marrow-stuffed morels and beef goulash just to name a few. During Christmas, Chesa takes it up a notch. On the Christmas menu you’ll find ingredients like dover sole, veal, and most notably pheasant, a gamier rendition of chicken.
5 Sukhumvit Soi 20
An instant classic. Open since 1969, chances are, your parents and their parents have been here. Neil’s Tavern is an old-school steakhouse that serves quality dishes without the pretentiousness you’d find at other fine dining venues. The restaurant’s space is perfect for hosting a massive family Christmas dinner with its large seating area, subdued lighting, plethora of paintings and burgundy walls.
Though this Ruam Ruedi institution doesn’t have a special Christmas menu, we’d argue that it doesn’t need one. Over the decades, the recipes here are tried and true. The steak and lobsters are must-haves, but it’s the side dishes—like the cream of corn soup and baked spinach with cheese—that’ll leave you salivating. The real star of the meal, however, is the Viennese cake. This well-known dessert is single-handedly responsible for creating a customer base of regulars.
58/4 Soi Ruam Ruedi
Aptly named, Don Asado really is “the master of barbecues.” Bangkok is no stranger to Argentinian steakhouses, but Asado sets itself apart with its traditional cooking method: slow cooking hanging pieces of meat over a massive fire pit. The restaurant lends its authenticity to pit master Javier Dejneka, a seasoned chef who himself is Argentinian.
Dine at Asado for Christmas if you want to avoid fighting with your relatives over that juiciest morsel of steak. The hearty cuts—dripping in fat—ensure that every bite is as good as the last. Meanwhile, the chocolate volcano, apple tart and panqueques with dulce de leche hit all the right notes.
1 Yen Akat 2 Alley
Café Craft opened its doors for the first time late this summer, promising café goers a new spot in Thonglor for comfort food made with premium ingredients. On regular days, diners can find a mix of Thai and Western dishes, ranging from Khao Neow Moo Yang to Chicken Pesto Casarecce, served in a cozy setting behind the courtyard. The warm interior—designed by AD100 STUDIO DAMINATO—makes for a wonderful backdrop for any kind of gathering.
Most of the recipes here come from the owner’s family, and the Christmas menu is no different. From December 19 to January 3, indulge in holiday specials like roasted capon and honey-glazed ham. Pro tip: Make sure to leave room for dessert and don’t skimp out on the cocktails. The off-the-menu pear tart is a must, along with the apple galette and pumpkin pie.
924 Thonglor Road
Ocken has found its place in Bangkok’s competitive food scene as a weekend brunch destination for those nursing hangovers from a late night out: though the open floor plan let’s you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, the space is big enough that you’re not fighting to be heard. The menu varies greatly, playing with bold flavor combinations that have been inspired by memories and experiences of travels and cultures from both near and far.
This Christmas, Ocken is including some novelty dishes like the Harissa lamb rack, red velvet log cake and a “Christmas cocktail” to their menu. To complete the meal, an acoustic Jazz duo will be performing on December 24 and 25. It sounds like there’s potential for this to turn into a jam-packed party, so make sure to get your reservations in now while you still can.
Bhiraj Tower at Sathorn
Le Cabanon, a chic French restaurant nestled in the fast-growing Sathorn district, is the embodiment of “savoir-faire.” Here, you’ll understand why French cuisine is appreciated as among the best—justified through its storied past and subtle depth of flavors. With outdoor seating available (and pets allowed so you won’t have to exclude any family members!), you’ll feel as if you were transported to a luxury brasserie in the heart of France (if you can get past the pollution and heat).
Le Cabanon’s special Christmas menu will give your wallet a beating at THB5,500, but take a look at the courses and you’ll see why it deserves to. Whether it’s the caviar, Gillardeau oysters or the chicken from Bresse—a province in France known for producing the best chicken—only the best ingredients are chosen.
44 Soi Narathiwas 15
Writers: Noah Sumayao & Uracha Chaiyapinunt