Street food in Bangkok provides convenient, delicious and cheap meals and it’s one of the purest ways to get in touch with the local culture but can be a little intimidating for foreigners new to the city. That’s why we put together this guide to street food in Bangkok, covering what you can expect, where to find the best bites and some handy translations for when pointing and smiling isn’t sufficient.
What is Bangkok Street Food – What to Expect Bangkok
Street food comes in many guises. It might be a humble cart on the side of the road, it could be a collection of stalls in a local market or even a traditional shophouse that has tables spilling out onto the pavement. If you are worried about cleanliness our tip is to eat at busy places as the ingredients will be fresh. Often specialising in particular types of dishes, you should be able to work out the type of food a stall is selling by observing the ingredients and the way they’re being prepared. Vendors can be seen busily stir frying in an ancient wok, pounding papaya, grilling meat skewers or boiling noodles. Some speak basic English but it’s not guaranteed. To help you out, here’s a list of the most popular street food dishes with Thai translations:
– Papaya salad
– Fried Rice
– Noodles with shrimp
– Steamed chicken on rice
– Grilled chicken/pork skewers
– Sour Issan sausage
– Stir-fried pork with basil
– Fish barbecued in salt
Where to Find Bangkok Street Food As we’ve said, street food is found all over Bangkok, but there are several hot spots where you will find an especially large amount of food to try. If you want a full-on street food adventure, these are the places to check out first:
Come nightfall, the premier street food haunt in Bangkok is Yaowarat – the main thoroughfare in Bangkok’s Chinatown. Barbequed seafood is particularly popular, with Lek & Rut and T & K restaurants set up on two sides of Thanon Phadung Dao (Soi Texas) doing a roaring trade. Don’t fill up at one place because to enjoy Bangkok Chinatown street food properly you should snack and move, just like the locals. It can be confusing at first but, with a sense of adventure, it can be a lot of fun. Popular offerings include dim sum, oyster omelettes, flat noodles in a pepper broth, roasted chestnuts, ice cream, fruits, and a host of Thai-Chinese desserts.