Here’s a Bangkok street food guide to make finding the best street food in Bangkok as effortless as, well, eating it.
Where there are people, there will be food and the Bangkok street food culture is a tourist attraction unto itself. On almost every street, local chefs sell fresh, mouthwateringly delicious ready-to-go food from their small roadside stalls. You’ll find chicken satay stands on almost every street corner (I’m not exaggerating). I’d step outside my hotel in search of coffee and return with either a bag of mango sticky rice or a grilled chicken skewer… morning, noon or night!
When in Bangkok, forget all about the fancy restaurants until you’ve experienced the street food, which is considered by many as the world’s best. Here are the food carts that were parked outside the Amari Residences where I was staying…
For a more civilized eating affair which involved sitting down at an actual table, Voodoo Cafe was just 10 steps to the left of my hotel too.
So being lazy is no excuse for not eating street food in Bangkok, you can literally roll out of bed and within 2 minutes be chowing down on chargrilled chicken. If that’s not paradise for you foodies I honestly don’t know what is. What I do know is… you’re very hard to please.
Did you know? Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced plans to ban street food vendors to make the sidewalks more accessible. International outrage from backpackers to business travelers ensued and the B.M.A. thankfully elaborated that street food would be preserved in Chinatown and the Khao San Road backpacker district, but they wanted the “vital walkways,” back and the majority of Bangkok street food vendors would be moved to “designated zones and nearby markets.” Will this grand plan really happen though? Possibly, maybe, one day.
So if you haven’t been to Bangkok yet then you need to book that flight and start chowing down while you still have the chance.
One week of eating the world’s best street food should be sufficient, but 2 weeks would be better.
I mean, you need to try coconut griddle cakes, ribbony egg noodles with roast pork, chicken in yellow egg curry, skewers of greasy grilled pork, sweet braised pig’s foot, rice noodles with fishballs and mango sticky rice.
For the more daring culinary enthusiasts there’s rice porridge with duck and nuggets of coagulated blood, raw red ant eggs, deep fried frog, pig brain soup and fried crickets. Plus 100’s of other dishes so spicy they’ll blow your head off if not for being washed down by either an ice cold Thai beer or a sweet and creamy Thai tea.
Lets make it a solid 3 weeks shall we?
Wondering where to find all this fabulous street food?
Short answer, it’s everywhere! The moment you step off the plane, train or bus, it will be all around you, to your left, your right, turn a corner and there’s more. In no time at all you’ll be tucking into generous portions of insanely delicious and very affordable (think 1-2 dollars) Bangkok street food.
BUT if you’re looking for the best of the best, read on for my Bangkok street food guide. After quite a few trips to Bangkok, and much eating, I’ve figured out that the best Bangkok street food is usually a little bit hidden; down unassuming alleyways, under bridges or tucked inside a bustling Bangkok market.
So finding the good stuff requires basic navigation skills and the ability to jump in a cab the moment you get hungry. Although if you’re only in Bangkok for a few days don’t waste time waiting to be hungry to eat… for heaven’s sake… just eat!
Eat the best Bangkok street food in one day
Here’s a one day itinerary for trying the best Bangkok street food and possibly the best street food in the whole wide world at that. Then you’re on your own and you can go foodie freestyle and eat whatever delicious delights you stumble across or trip over.
Throw yourself in at the deep end with a stroll down the central artery through Bangkok, Sukhumvit Road (take the Sky Train to Udom Suk station). Here you’ll find some of the best street food vendors rubbing shoulders along every sidewalk. For incredible noodles check out the Bamee Moodaeng stand in the Marketplace but save room for duck noodle soup at Sai Kaew which is just a short walk away.
If you fancy some crab curry or perhaps sweet braised pig’s leg visit the aptly named Lunch Market also called Talad Ruam Sab (Sukhumvit soi 21) which has loads of food stalls and huge communal tables perfect for big groups and solo travelers that wanna get social. This is next to the Srinakharinwirot University and you’ll find a lot of Bangkok’s tastiest street food nearby colleges because, well, students need food too.
Next it’s time for more noodle nirvana! Head to Yaowarat Road in the heart of Chinatown’s street-food zone and try some rice noodles with crispy pork belly. Then head to the nearby Song Wat Road near Trok Saphan Yuan for fish-ball noodles.
Don’t pass out yet, finish off on Phraeng Phuthon Road at Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream for a scoop or two, top it off with a choice of peanuts, sticky rice, mango, corn, beans or jelly. This little place is considered to have the best coconut ice cream in Bangkok and it’s one of Bangkok’s
best worst kept secrets. So if you have a sweet-tooth don’t pass on this place.
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Top 5 places to find Bangkok’s best street food
Here’s the top 5 places to head to for damn delicious Bangkok street food, not including the foodie destinations already mentioned above;
1) Koh San Road
Cafes and restaurants can get expensive in touristy areas of Bangkok such as Koh San Road and Soi Rambutri but luckily there’s loads of street vendors selling delicious and cheap street food everywhere you look and you can get a mean plate of Pad Thai here for 40 baht. Check out the street food vendors who set up in the afternoons on Chakrabongse Road at the west end of Khao San Road. Try dishes like grilled fermented sausage (sai grok) and braised mackerel in a dark broth with fresh cane sugar (pla tuu tom khem).
2) Petchaburi Soi 5
Take the BTS skytrain to Ratchathewi station. Between the top shopping destination of Siam and Victory Monument in the Phaya Thai neighborhood, you’ll find Petchaburi Soi 5. This place, just a stones throw from central Bangkok has lots of great street food stalls selling fruits, salads, an abundance of fried snacks and noodles galore. It’s best to visit in the evening and the food is mainly takeaway but you can sit down and enjoy people watching while you munch in a few places.
Head to Victory Monument BTS station for Rangnam street’s cool bars, restaurants, hotels and a load of street food stalls. Take a leisurely stroll (eat rib noodles while you walk) and at the end of Rangnam next to Ratchaprarop Rd you’ll find the Isan food stall that sets up in the evenings and serves incredibly tasty traditional Isan cuisine (Isan is Thailand’s largest region in the Northeast).
4) Sukhumvit Soi 38
An affordable street food oasis with a wide selection of must-try Thai dishes in the midst of Bangkok’s pricey Thong Lo district. Street stalls open up in the evenings lining the streets and offering open-air sit-down dining options for tourist and expat foodies.
5) Silom Soi 20
Take the BTS skytrain to Chong Nonsi station and you’ll land in street food haven, Silom, the central business district of Bangkok. The heart of Silom is a great place to go for lunch because all the street food vendors open upto serve the business workers in this district lunch and snacks. Head further south to Silom Soi 20 for great chicken and rice dishes, spicy curries, sweets and snacks.
Tasty Bangkok street food to look out for & try!
Nam Tok Moo: Grilled Pork Salad
Moo Ping: Grilled Pork Skewers (one of the most popular street foods)
Som Tam: Green Papaya Salad
Goong Pad Sataw: Stick Beans
Larb Pla Duk: Catfish Salad
Gai Pad Pongali: Chicken in yellow egg curry
Yam Mamuang: Thai Green Mango Salad
Khanom Krok: Coconut Griddle Cakes
Congee: Rice porridge with pork meatballs, vegetables and spice
Khao Neow Dam Sang Kaya: Black sticky rice with custard
TIP: Don’t forget to wash it all down with a Thai Tea, which doubles up as a dessert honestly. ANOTHER TIP: If you’re at all health conscious, you might want to rein in your Thai tea intake.
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