Photo courtesy of Bangkok Thai

Nestled in a small, inconspicuous shopping center in Ansley Park is an unassuming, unremarkable building bearing a simple sign which reads “Bangkok.”

If one happens to notice the building as he fights the traffic of Piedmont Avenue and ventures inside to give the restaurant a shot, he will be rewarded with a delicious and cozy experience.

Bangkok Thai offers those who are adventurous enough to try it – and willing to leave the Georgia Tech bubble – a dining experience superior in flavor, authenticity and service to those available at comparable restaurants on and near campus.

In 1977 the proprietors of this local favorite settled down near Ansley Mall and opened the first Thai restaurant in Atlanta.

The menu, anchored by curries and various Thai meat dishes, has changed little, aside from the steady addition of creative specials named for the loyal customers who invented them. Most dishes are offered at various levels of spiciness, ranging from the easily manageable mild to the deadly “Triple Thai Hot.”

All of Bangkok’s dishes, from its traditional curries to its less authentic but equally enticing specials, are delicious options which leave one satisfied and pleased.

Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of the Bangkok experience, though, is the superior service provided by the staff and proprietors; the wait staff makes customers feel welcome and cared for. This excellent service is an obvious result of the constant presence of the
restaurant’s owners.

This dedication on the part of the proprietors gives the restaurant its charm. Bangkok has the distinctive feel of a neighborhood eatery, a local favorite known only to those lucky enough to
live nearby.

The owners generate this vibe with their care and appreciation for their loyal customers and their excitement about new ones. They frequently visit tables to deliver jokes and stories about their children and their time in Thailand.Those who habitually visit the establishment are likely to get free meals for their birthdays and special occasions and to develop deep, long lasting friendships with the owners. The founders are so amicable that the restaurant’s slogan could easily be “dinner and a conversation.”

The restaurant’s only negative feature is its décor, which does not seem to have changed much since 1977. The interior of the building is best described as plain. However, this plainness is a part of what makes eating at Bangkok feel special.

Bangkok is not a flashy, modern, fancy restaurant; it is a neighborhood classic. When viewed with a delicious meal and an interesting conversation, the décor’s plainness morphs into coziness.

Perhaps what makes Bangkok so great is that it embodies the feeling that makes Atlanta so unique among major cities. The restaurant feels more like a small town pub than a cosmopolitan Thai restaurant, just as Atlanta’s neighborhoods feel more like small villages than the wards of a major city.

The establishment is a symbol of an Atlanta that predated flashy attractions like the World of Coke, the Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park. This Atlanta may not have attracted tourists, but was simply a great place
to live.

Preserved from a more genuine time, Bangkok Thai is the perfect restaurant for students seeking an authentic Atlanta experience.