If you’re Malaysian or Singaporean, you’ve definitely sampled durians from Malaysia – Golden Pillow (Jin Zhen Tou), D24, Mao Shan Wang, Hong Xia, and more.
We all have a certain favourite type of durian whether it’s sweet, bitter, creamy or firm, and Thais have their own favourites too.
Did you know? Thais prefer their durian slightly firm on the outside, but smooth and creamy on the inside – and they have their own varieties of durian.
It’s up to the discerning durian lovers to sample Thailand’s much loved durian species, from the hard to find Nonthaburi, to Kanyao, Puangmanee, Nockachip and Montong.
Read on to find out more about the best places to find durian in Bangkok!
1. NSFW: Melted durian in a bun? – Phoenix Lava
An out-of-this-world creation which will definitely make you sit up and salivate because… It is a creamy confectionary that combines two Asian favourites: liu sha bao and durian.
Designed to look like the flesh of the fruit, you might think it’s just a usual durian seed with a peculiar stamp on… But it’s not, and it’s not just any ordinary bun too. Wait till you get a load of this!
Their other featured buns includes Charcoal Lava, Cheese Bacon Lava and of course, the original Salty Egg Yolk that started all this.
2. Scale this mountain of Korean durian bingsoo – Mr. Bingg
You might be used to seeing Bingsu served with a mountain of watermelon balls or other favourite toppings.
At Mr. Bingg, you’ll find durian bingsu like you’ve probably never seen before, with actual durian seeds neatly stacked on top of each other creating your own mini durian mountain. Served with sticky rice, coconut milk and condensed milk, you’ll be able to enjoy different variations of Thai durian desserts with just one order.
First, dig into your durian bingsu! Second, take some durian flesh and mix it with the sticky rice, add a little bit of coconut milk, and you’ll be enjoying some durian sticky rice. Third, try durian with some condensed milk, it might be a little bit weird, but it’s an interesting way to enjoy the fruit.
PS: Other bingsus and desserts are available here too, from chocolate lava bingsu to strawberry bingsu and even cereal bingsu!
3. Dig into durian ice cream that looks like an actual durian – IceDea
Bet you didn’t know about IceDea Bangkok, an ice cream parlour on a mission to make ice cream look like all sorts of food like Steak and even the Japanese Katsu Don.
Here you’ll be able to find yummy Durian Ice Cream that’s made to look like the durian fruit itself. From durian shell to seeds, it’s all edible ice cream goodness!
PS: You’ll also be able to find delectable Mangosteen Ice Cream here, crafted to look like mangosteens. What better way to accompany the King of fruits (durian) with the queen of fruits (mangosteens)!
4. The durian specialty cafe to try (durian frappes available!) – After You Durian
Anyone who’s been to Bangkok will definitely know about After You, the cafe that most make a compulsory visit to specially for their toast.
Well, the same people came up with After You Durian, a specialty durian cafe to satisfy any and every durian craving you could possibly have.
From Durian Sticky Rice Toast topped with ice cream (325 Baht)…
to Durian Crumbstick, pure durian ice cream (95 Baht)…
Durian Frappe, YES, there’s a durian frappe!! (165 Baht)…
and Durian Kakigori, a huge Japanese durian shaved ice dessert (345 Baht)…
It might be tough to decide what to order.
Thankfully, After You Durian is located right in the heart of Bangkok at Siam Paragon, so you can make multiple visits when in the vicinity to try everything before you leave.
5. Here’s 4 signature durian edibles to try! – Durian Shack Siam
From Crispy Durian Pancake and Durian Liege Pancake that are soft and cold, to Durian Ice Cream and Durian Shake – you get 4 types of durian treats and even a durian drink.
Durian Shack Siam focuses on a simple menu focusing on only 4 types of durian treats to ensure the quality of these offerings.
The Durian Crispy Pancake is basically a crepe slathered with durian flesh and cream, best eaten when freshly made, hot and super crispy. On the other hand, the Durian Liege Pancakes are soft and best when cold, and come stuffed with ample chilled durian flesh. These are the top 2 items on the menu!
If you’re craving ice cream, feel free to indulge in some Durian Ice Cream, otherwise, be bold and try their Durian Shake!
6. Durian Daifuku Mochi!! – Sweet Duchess
Love traditional Japanese sweets? Then you have to visit Sweet Duchess to sample their traditional daifuku mochi flavours.
Traditionally consisting of sweet red bean paste, Sweet Duchess has upped the ante by introducing all sorts of fruity flavours into their mochis (that are also loved due to the chewiness and softness of the mochi).
Try their durian mochi, stuffed with cream and durian flesh especially, it’s one of the hot sellers!
Other flavours to try include the popular strawberry red bean that includes a huge strawberry with delicious red bean paste, blueberry and tangerine daifuku mochis.
7. Durian Sticky Rice Pudding and ice cream – Nara Thai Cuisine
Wherever you are at central Bangkok, there might be a Nara restaurant near you since there are 6 locations altogether.
The best part? All 6 locations serve their famous Durian Sticky Rice Pudding with Durian Ice Cream.
It is honestly challenging to find Durian Sticky Rice in Thailand compared to the usual Mango Sticky Rice you can find almost anywhere – so Nara Thai makes the perfect de facto place to go.
Sink your teeth into the perfect combination of creamy durian, sticky rice, and icy sweet durian ice cream – it’ll satisfy both your durian craving and sweet tooth for sure.
8. Sample fresh durian at the 4th best market in the world – Ta-Toy Durian Stall, Or Tor Kor Market
Have you even heard of Or Tor Kor Market? Not only will you be able to find the largest varieties of fresh durian here, this market is a whole foodie/shopping experience in itself. (There’s a lot of local food available, from traditional dishes and desserts, seafood as well as things to buy like souvenirs, dried flower bouquets and crafts for you to take home!)
Back to the durian, when at Or Tor Kor Market, make sure to look out for Ta-Toy Durian Stall. This is one of the more prominent stalls that has a reputation for stocking the most varieties of durian. (While durian season in Thailand is tentatively from April to August, you’ll still be able to find durian here outside of the season.)
Here’s a list of different Thai durian varieties to look out for.
1. Nonthaburi (hardest to find in Thailand)
2. Kanyao (sweet and creamy, “normally the most expensive and high class durian in Bangkok”)
3. Puangmanee (rich and creamy, best when ripe)
4. Nockachip (similar to Monthong)
5. Monthong (it’s the Golden Pillow – Jin Zhen Tou – of Thailand)
6. Chanee (sweet and bitter, pungent, soft and buttery)
7. Kradumthong (similar to Musang King of Malaysia)
8. Nom Sod (sweet, milky and soft)
Tip: Order a sampler platter (from 300 Baht / USD $9 per platter depending on what you choose) so you’ll get to try different types of durian. It’ll be cheaper than buying whole durians too.
Apart from ordering the sample platter, you can actually sample the different types of durian before deciding what to order.
Fun Fact: Or Tor Kor Market was once voted the 4th best fresh market in the world by CNN Travel.
9. Bite into fluffy spiky buns oozing creamy durian – Baan Phadthai (House of Padthai)
This nostalgic retro-themed restaurant is apparently one of the places with the best Padthai ever. But apart from that, they also serve creamy durian steamed buns!
Taking inspiration from the popular custard steamed buns that you’ll be able to find off most Dim Sum menus – Baan Phadthai has taken the stuffed steamed bun idea to the next level, by filling its fluffy spiky buns with creamy durian filling.
Of course, don’t forget to try their Padthai while you’re here too, they even have Pad Thai Boo (Crab Padthai)!
Editor’s note: I used to love saying that custard buns are like buns that ooze sunshine, and I think these buns just might live up to my favourite custard bun quote.