Bangkok is home to some of the best street food on the South East Asia backpacking route, if not the world
With a food vendor on every corner when thinking about what to pack for Thailand first thing is first, your appetite…closely followed by a keen desire to explore and a sense of adventure! Bangkok street food is fresh, vibrant and exciting. Although a little heavy on the meat content there are plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians too.
There are districts of Bangkok famed for their street food, some of the best areas in Bangkok for the foodie include Victory Monument, Yaowrat (China Town) and Petchaburi Soi 5 which truly comes to life after dark. If visiting over the weekend be sure to visit Chatuchak Market, Asia’s biggest weekend market, lose yourself in the rows and rows of food stalls and sample as much as you possibly can. Be prepared for a full stomach and an equally full memory card in your camera, there is so much to take in you’ll be snap happy for sure.
Thailand Street Food offers tourists, travellers and locals alike a myriad of choice throughout the day. Here are just ten of the must eat street food in Thailand…enjoy!
1) Khao Pad
Rice is the integral element to almost all Asian style cooking and Thailand is no exception. Khao Pad is a staple in every Thai person’s diet and if you find yourself in Thailand for longer than a few days it will be come a staple in yours too and you won’t be found complaining!
Khao Pad is fried rice normally served in a banana leaf with a small side salad. Rarely costing more than 70THB Khao Pad is the perfect dish for the budget traveller. Don’t be shy, politely ask the vendor to pop a fried egg on top too to complete the dish. If you’re feeling daring don your Thai phrase book and ask for extra chilli! Full of fresh, finely chopped vegetables and finished off with a good squeeze of lime and a dash of soy sauce, consider yourself a local when you find yourself hankering for a Khao Pad of a lunchtime.
2) Satay Chicken
If the sights of Bangkok are memorable so are the smells! Every time you turn a corner your nose will be greeted by a different sensation. BBQ and grilling is incredibly popular in the Bangkok Street Food scene as is serving food in wooden skewers, Satay Chicken or Satay Gai embodies both such trends.
Slowly marinated in coconut milk, peanut butter, loosely chopped peanuts, Thai red curry paste and sweet soy sauce the ingredients for Satay Chicken make the mouth water just thinking about them. Then think about all of the above being grilled on a BBQ served with extra peanut satay sauce and a squeeze of lime for good measure. The chicken is always soft and tender and teamed with the creamy peanut sauce you’ll find yourself queuing up for more of this truly irresistible Bangkok Street Food delight.
3) Pad Thai
No trip to Thailand would be complete without trying a Pad Thai and it really is as simple as that. Adaptable for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans this dish has united travellers along the South East Asia backpacking route for decades. Whether you choose tofu, chicken or pork there is no such thing as a bad Pad Thai in Thailand. Stir fried flat noodles with beansprouts, red peppers, crushed peanuts and a stir fried egg, this classic Thai dish is simple, full of flavour and is the perfect fuel for a day of exploring Thailand’s wondrous capital city.
4) Tom Yum Soup
Soup, admittedly, is not the first dish that springs to mind when you think of street food but Tom Yum Soup is popular amongst locals and travellers for its hearty, oriental flavours. Incorporating lemongrass, coriander, prawns and chicken Tom Yum Soup can easily be identified by its vibrant red colouring.
Although variations of Tom Yum Soup can be found around South East Asia, most popularly in Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia, Thailand is without doubt the best place to sample Asia’s favourite soup.
5) Fried Spring Rolls
Bursting full with vegetables and your choice of chicken, pork or tofu Thailand’s Fried Spring Rolls are the perfect go-to snack or side dish. Deep fried right before your eyes spring rolls are crispy and light. Try your hand at Thai while ordering and ask for Po Pia Tod.
6) Chocolate Banana Roti
Try as we might to be healthy sometimes you have got to treat yourself and indulge in the sweeter, chocolate filled options on the streets of Thailand. If you’re in search of the perfect pudding then seek out the roti stands that lie hidden between the Pad Thai and Tom Yum vendors.
These sweet pancakes are most popularly served with perfectly ripe bananas and hot chocolate sauce. A drizzle of condensed milk should certainly never be turned down either. Many vendors now offer more typically western pancake toppings like lemon, sugar and honey.
7) Som Tam
Sweet, fiery and crunchy Thailand’s favourite salad consists of green papaya and plenty of Thai chillies. Known in the Thai language as Som Tam, green papaya salad is commonly found along the South East Asia backpacking route and as with Pad Thai, you really should try Bangkok’s Som Tam too.
The unique, fresh and zingy salad dressing typically consists of fish sauce, palm sugar and peanuts, as well as chilli, coriander and plenty of garlic too. Many locals like to add shrimp balls on skewers to their Som Yam or extra chilli.
8) Deep Fried Squid
With a coast line that dreams are made of and placid seas to match, seafood is certainly recommended in Thailand. If there are hot coals glowing you will be sure to find Deep Fried Squid on offer. A fairly recent craze taking off on the Bangkok street food scene that has been inspired by Taiwan.
9) Morning Glory
For many of us to order Morning Glory and not crack a smile would be incredibly hard. Morning Glory is simply delicious and is the perfect boost of green energy, often served stir fried with a little chilli and garlic, this dish is simple street food at its best.
10) Mango and Sticky Rice
Served up on the street and in five star hotels, Mango and Sticky Rice is loved by all for it’s sweet and succulent flavours. Not just for pudding, Mango and Sticky Rice makes a great breakfast with sticky rice to provide lasting energy for the day and mango to give you the fruit boost we all need of a morning.
Bangkok is Best…
As you can see Thailand and Bangkok’s Street Food has a lot on offer, with sights and smells to explore don’t forget to pack an empty stomach and an open mind. Be sure to check out the best areas in Bangkok for a foodie; Victory Monument, Yaowrat (China Town) and Petchaburi Soi 5.
About the author
Linda is Founder/ Main Editor of blog Easy Travel for You . She is passionate about traveling and loves to write about her adventures.You can find out more about her writing following her on Twitter and Facebook.