Writing a full blog post about Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) in Bangkok has literally been on my to-do list for years.
I’ve touched on it in various blog posts and restaurants reviews over on the Eating Thai Food blog, but never really covered the beautiful market in a proper blog post.
So here it is.
I’m about to share Or Tor Kor Market, and especially hopefully show you why if you love to eat, Or Tor Kor Market is a fantastic place to visit when you’re in Bangkok.
Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) – Bangkok, Thailand
Or Tor Kor Market is not your average market.
Due to its cleanliness, selection of high quality produce, and a jaw-dropping selection of ready-to-eat food, Or Tor Kor is not necessary the best market in Bangkok (in my opinion), but it’s certainly in a class of its own when it comes to quality.
That’s one of the reasons Or Tor Kor made CNN’s list of best fresh markets in the world.
The market is known throughout Bangkok as a high end market – in other words if you’re looking for perfectly ripe Thai mangoes that don’t even have a single scratch on them and are the most beautiful yellow color and shape that you’ve ever seen, Or Tor Kor market is the spot to come shopping.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that Or Tor Kor is not nearly the largest market in Bangkok, however, at the market you’ll find a food court, takeaway prepared food, fresh ingredients that you could make just about every Thai recipe with, and even kitchen supplies, all under one spacious roof.
Fresh produce – vegetables, fruit, seafood, kitchen supplies
One of the reason to come to Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) is for the beautiful fresh market section.
You’ll find just about everything from fruit, vegetables, seafood, and meat. Most of the ingredients are expensive by Thai standards, but very good quality. I especially enjoy the seafood section, probably because of my obsession with eating seafood.
Even if you don’t have a kitchen when you’re in Bangkok, the market is still a wonderful place to walk around, learn about and admire the abundance of fresh ingredients used in Thai cooking.
Cooked food section
In the cooked food section of the market you’ll discover a bedazzling selection of Thai food ranging from steamed seafood to buffet lines of colorful curries, to all sorts of different dry and fresh nam priks (chili sauces and dips).
In this part of the market, many people come and buy things for takeaway, however if you see something that looks particularly delicious, you can buy it right then and there, and either eat it on one of the benches in the middle of the market, or head over to the adjacent food court section and grab a table.
There are a number of famous places to get different Thai nam pirks (น้ำพริก) – which are chili sauces and pastes.
The dozens of different mixtures and combinations include dry chilies, dry fish, crab, tamarind, salted egg, and shrimp paste, just to name a few.
These types of nam priks are typically eaten with rice or vegetables.
Within the cooked food section of the Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) there are all sorts of Thai snacks and desserts available.
Last time I was there, along with Dwight, we ordered some khanom buang (ขนมเบื้อง), the traditional style including thin crispy crepes topped with either sweet and salty shrimp or foi tong, the stringy version of egg yolk candy (an influence of Portuguese).
Price – 10 THB ($0.28) each
Other things like pork satay, Isaan sausage, grilled skewers of chicken and pork, and even harder to find regional Thai delicacies like sai ooah (ไส้อั่ว northern Thai sausage) are all available within the wide and spacious alleys of delicious food.
There are a number of stalls that specialize in cooked seafood, like this trophy stall packed with the meatiest of all crabs, roasted jumbo freshwater shrimp, and a number of different types of shellfish.
Although you could spend a small fortune on the seafood here, it sure looks unbelievably good, and I always love the display.
Or Tor Kor Food Court
The final section of Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) is the actual food court itself, which is right next to the prepared takeaway food section and the produce, sort of to the righthand side of the the market.
Along with Silom Soi 10 for lunch, the food court at Or Tor Kor is one of my favorite food courts in Bangkok – there are so many great Thai foods to choose from, and it’s very clean and organized food courts – and you DON’T have to worry about using tokens or coupons like you do at mall food courts in Bangkok.
The food court area reminds me of a hawker center in Singapore or Malaysia, mainly because it’s so clean, organizes, and well lit.
Khao gaeng (ข้าวแกง) – Rice and curry
Just like at most food courts in Thailand, after walking around and not knowing what to order, I ofter end up heading straight for the rice and curry stall – I do have soft spot in my heart for curry, but also because at Thai curry stalls they have so much of a variety.
There are a good 3 – 5 different glorious rice and curry stalls (known in Thai as khao gaeng (ข้าวแกง), and all of them have a similar range of different dishes – some with a bit more of a regional, like southern Thai, influence.
After you choose a rice and curry stall, the vendor will dish you out a plate of rice, and then you can just point and choose to whatever dish you like.
On my plate pictured above is a chuchee pla too (ฉู่ฉี่ปลาทู), which is a type of curry with a mackerel (one of my favorites), and a scoop of moo pad sataw (หมูผัดสะตอ), pork with stink beans all stir fried in curry paste.
Price – 70 THB ($1.96) – At other rice and curry restaurants in Bangkok you’ll pay 40 – 50 THB per plate like this, but at Or Tor Kor you pay a bit more, and it’s worth it.
Som Tam Or Tor Kor Restaurant (ร้านส้มตำ อตก)
Another place I really like to eat at is called Som Tam Or Tor Kor Restaurant (ร้านส้มตำ อตก), a stall right at the front of the food court that specializes in Isaan dishes, specifically green papaya salad.
You can order whatever type of green papaya salad you prefer, including the sweet and sour version of the salad (som tam Thai ส้มตำไทย) or green papaya salad with fermented fish sauce and crab (som tam boo pla ra ส้มต้มปูปลาร้า).
As soon as you order, they will pound up all the ingredients, and make it fiery spicy if you ask them to, and then either dish out your som tam onto a plate to eat in the food court, or you can get it in a bag for takeaway.
Som Tam Or Tor Kor Restaurant (ร้านส้มตำ อตก) also serves grilled chicken (gai yang ไก่ย่าง), which is fantastic. Last time I was there, I ordered a full chicken to go with my som tam, and I was impressed with how good it was.
The chicken was nicely salty, it had a grilled flavor, but most importantly it was so succulent and almost creamy.
If you come to this market and want to eat some excellent grilled chicken and green papaya salad Som Tam Or Tor Kor Restaurant (ร้านส้มตำ อตก) is a good choice.
Price – I paid 255 THB ($7.14) for a plate of green papaya salad, a whole chicken, and sticky rice
For dessert you can wander around and find plenty of Thai desserts at numerous stalls.
One thing my wife especially enjoy eating is nam kang sai (น้ำแข็งใส), a choice of different candied ingredients like jackfruit, coconut jelly, water chestnuts, and other fruits and jellies, all topped with crushed ice and either coconut milk or sweet syrup.
Price – 35 THB ($0.97)
But for me personally, I’m not so much into desserts, unless they come naturally in a spiky pod…
Durian and Fruit
Lunch at the food court at Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) is a great experience, but one of the best reasons to go to the market is to eat durian (ทุเรียน).
At a number of fruit shops throughout the market, you’ll see near perfect looking durians stacked up like pyramids, some of them pre-peeled already and waiting to be purchased and eaten on spot. You can find all three of the major types of durian grown in Thailand, but the most popular throughout the market is toorien kanyao (ทุเรียนก้านยาว), which is the long stem durian and often considered the best and most expensive durian in Thailand.
If you choose a whole durian, it can be expensive, outrageously expensive – like Nonthaburi durian expensive – maybe 3,000 – 10,000 THB per fruit depending on weight.
But especially during durian season (usually from around April – July annually), you will find packets of durian at the market that will set you back 150 – 300 THB, a well worth it stomach investment.
The riper durian will be softer and more fragrant and pungent, while the less ripe durian will be more firm to the touch, and won’t be nearly as sweet or as pungent in flavor.
I prefer very ripe durian so that it has a strong flavor, but if you’re concerned by the texture or smell (which you shouldn’t be!), choose a packet of durian that more on the firm side.
Durian is often known as the King of Fruits while mangosteen มังคุด is known as the Queen of Fruits – that’s because they are very complementary fruits.
According to tradition, and maybe science, durian is a warming fruit (so it makes your body hot) while mangosteen is a cooling fruit (so it makes your body cool), and that’s why they should be eaten together.
That’s a great explanation, but for me, I just like them together because durian is rich and buttery, while mangosteen is juicy and refreshing.
Mangosteen can also be absurdly expensive at Or Tor Kor Market, but if you can get a couple, they should be incredibly good.
Most of the time when I go to the market I just buy a packet of durian as it’s much more affordable, but this one time when I was getting married, I did splurge on a couple of whole durians from the market.
And YES, my wife did allow me to have durian at our wedding – she is the best!
Bangkok is a city with a lot of markets.
And one of the ultimate markets for Thai food lovers is Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก), located just across the road from Chatuchak Weekend Market.
It’s a gourmet high end fresh market, that includes both fresh raw ingredients, and prepared Thai food. Also, and perhaps most importantly for me and you, there’s a wondrous food court at Or Tor Kor, that’s so good, I think eating there is one of the top things do in Bangkok.
Along with a mouthwatering selection of food available at the market, another great thing about Or Tor Kor is how clean and well maintained it is. It’s so bright and spacious that it almost feels like you’re at a supermarket, but instead just open air, and with a much more abundant delicious selection of food.
If you’re a food lover and you’re either living or visiting Bangkok, Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) is one of the fresh markets and food courts that you don’t miss – and in fact, you want to go out of your way to eat here.
One last thing: There’s not doubt Or Tor Kor is an amazing market, but I would also encourage you to visit some other markets in Bangkok as well, like Khlong Toey or Phra Khanong Market, because Or Tor Kor lacks that nitty gritty and fast pace of other local Thai markets.
Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก) – Bangkok, Thailand
Address: 101 Thanon Kampheng Phet, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 (เลขที่ 101 ถนนกำแพงเพชร แขวงจตุจักร เขตจตุจักร กรุงเทพมหานคร 10900)
Open hours: 8:30 am – around 5 pm daily, but a great time to go is for lunch when all the food court vendors are open and ready to serve you delicious food
Prices: Prices on a whole are more expensive than other markets throughout Bangkok, but both the produce and cooked food are high quality and the entire market and food court is very clean.
How to get there: Another great thing about Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อตก), even though it’s located in the northern part of the city near Chatuchak, is that you can get there by public transportation. Take the MRT Metro to Kampheng Phet Station, Exit #3 (which will also say something like the Marketing Organization for Farmers), walk up the stairs and across the parking lot, and you’ll find yourself in food paradise.
Also check out: Bangkok Travel Guide for Food Lovers!