Pan Zen Cafe

If there’s one thing Bangkok has a lot of it’s noodle soup. If you live here, there’s probably a noodle stall right in front of your house. It’s cheap, convenient, and relatively healthy. I’m still a big fan of western breakfasts, but if you want to go a slightly more nutritious route, nothing beats soup. The hot broth to wakes you up in the morning, with some protein, veggies and you’re good to go! All while keeping it pretty light. This contrasts quite a bit with the fatty, greasy, carbs of the western breakfast. Not that there’s anything wrong with greasy and fatty, mmmm greasy and fatty, but maybe just in smaller doses…

So if I’m in the mood for noodles, but not the same standard street food, then I’ll head down to Pan Zen Bistro. I really like this place, not just for the food but it’s got a nice atmosphere as well. Reminds me of something you would see in a quaint bed and breakfast. The walls have vintage interior photography set behind classic wooden window frames to give the place a little more charm. It’s also decorated in flowers, yes they are plastic, but it adds to the kitsch styling. And there’s always some chill oldies or jazz music in the background as well. All a welcome change in my book.

The way you order soup is interesting too. Typically street food soup stalls you give you a choice of your standard four noodles and whatever one type of protein they specialize in. Here they have over 15 different types of noodles, and you get to choose 3 different types of meat from an equally impressive list. I’m not discounting street food at all, but if you are up for a change from your standard noodle soup stall, I recommend giving this place a try.

Pictured above is a soup called Gao Lao​ which is the name in Thai for “soup without noodles”, but because everything is so customizable, I also asked to have green noodles added. I’d highly recommend this dish – it’s hearty, full of flavor, and that meatball was amazing! Much better quality than standard meatballs you get in food stalls elsewhere in Bangkok. They also have other snack dishes, quality drinks, and a nice selection of desserts. So next time you’re in the mood for a unique food experience in Bangkok, stop by Pan Zen Cafe.

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