Bangkok is a city on the rise. Once celebrated as a shopper’s paradise, it has bloomed into a metropolis with up and coming restaurants to keep an eye on.
Italian food, in particular, has risen to prominence, from fine-dining establishments to homely mum-and-pop joints. From their kitchens come wood-fired pizzas made from dough nurtured with natural yeast, or heaping plates of pasta topped with fresh, succulent seafood.
Keyyes recommends six of our favourite Italian restaurants in town.
Pizzas and pastas might be mainstays of Italian cuisine, but Pesca’s selling point is their strong focus on bringing in some of the best seafood from the Mediterranean. You’ll taste it in the food from head chef Marco Pacetta, who is formerly from Issaya and Sensi.
The beef and oyster tartare, for instance, sees the plump molluscs swathed in a seafood-rich sauce. Dishes like ceviche show off the freshness of the the restaurant’s daily catch, while the grilled fish steaks are comfort food for those who prefer their food hot than cold. Our favourites: the buttery lobster rolls generously packed with succulent chunks of meat, and the mussels pan-fried in butter, garlic and parsley. Get the skin-on crispy fries to go with it.
39 Ekkamai Alley, Soi 12, Watthana
Unlike its flashier sibling restaurants Cocotte and Pesca, Mozza keeps it simple and cosy with patterned tiles, brown leather banquettes and a small deli in the corner. The crowds overflowing to the outside terrace is a giveaway of Mozza’s success at making pizza.
The crust might lack the air bubbles that fluffy crusts have, but Mozza makes up for this with excellent toppings. Come for the salty and slightly nutty parma ham, stracciatella cheese, and the rich tangy tomato sauce on Mozza’s signature Carpi Salerno pizza.
Ground Floor, Emquartier, 693 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey
You’ll appreciate the use of top-notch produce like luscious burrata and meaty parma hams on the pizzas here. But the real draw of this rustic Italian outfit decked out in raw brick and wood is its excellent wine list. The extensive selection —over 60 labels — is curated by established sommelier Mathew Milotich.
Particularly of interest is the Giocato Sauvignon Blanc, produced by the owner’s family in Slovenia who make their own wine in Slovenia under the Edi Simčič label. The white wine delivers a lovely minerality and slight tang, the result of being cultivated at high altitude without irrigation. Have this with a simple pizza or pasta.
4 Ari Samphan 3 Alley, Khwaeng Samsen Nai
Deciding where to go for dinner is already hard enough. La Bottega Di Luca is the kind of place where you can just sit back and let them do all the thinking for you. The staff are well-versed in the daily specials and ingredients that the chef sources from various parts of Italy. You’ll be in safe hands when they recommend the burratina layered with eggplant instead of the usual Caprese (mozzarella and tomatoes) salad, or the plump ravioli pockets stuffed with porcini mushrooms in a fragrant truffle sauce.
Second floor of Terrace 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, Thonglor
Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen is about decadence. Raw tuna served with slices of creamy avocado. Norwegian cod peppered with salty anchovies and capers.
Our highlight is the foie gras and ricotta ravioli, where a sinful slab of seared goose liver is served with pasta stuffed with the creamy white cheese and a truffle emulsion. Seats here get snapped up fast by expats and locals alike, so make sure you book yours in advance. You can do so via the Keyyes Membership app.
69/1-2 Ruamruedee 2, Wireless Road – Lumpini, Pathumwan
We aren’t just intrigued by good food. At Pizza Massilia, we are drawn to the big pizza oven that owners Frederic Meyer Frederic Meyer (of Issaya Siamese Club and Namsaah) and Luca Apino (La Bottega di Luca) have flown in specially from Italy. This makes Pizza Massilia just one of two Italian joints in Bangkok with this fancy hardware.
Out of this oven comes Italy-meets-France pizza creations, a tip of the hat to Meyer’s French roots and Apino’s Italian ones. The delicate dough here is made from a mix of Minere mineral water, natural yeast, and flour that Apino keeps air-conditioned for optimal freshness. A good base for simple numbers like the Buffalina — creamy mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
1/8 Klang Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana