Delicious Street Food Dishes You Must Try in Thailand
Thailand is a country known for its delicious cuisine. From spicy curries to savory noodles, there's something for everyone. But it's the street food that really stands out - and you can find it in almost every town and city in Thailand. Street food stalls are packed with locals and tourists alike, all eager to get their hands on the tasty treats being sold. So if you're looking for an authentic taste of Thai culture, here are some of the most delicious street food dishes you must try when traveling in Thailand.
Street food in Thailand is a culinary experience every traveler must experience. You can find some of the most delicious dishes that are unique to the country, which you won't find anywhere else. From traditional noodles to grilled meats and seafood, there's something for everyone. No matter what your taste buds crave, you'll always find something delicious and authentic on the streets of Thailand. If you're looking for an adventure like no other, then a taste-tour of Thailand's street food is just what you need and it doesn’t matter if you’re in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket – a culinary adventure in Thailand is guaranteed to be a feast for the senses, especially if you search out these signature dishes along the way.
Pad thai – which translates to “fried Thai” – reportedly dates back to the 1930s when it was created as the country’s national dish to modernise the local cuisine. Noodles, tofu, egg, dried shrimp and a variety of vegetables and proteins such as spring onions, beansprouts and prawns are stir-fried and seasoned with palm sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, chilli flakes and lime before being served up; traditionally, the sweet, sharp noodles were served in a banana leaf. Pad Thai stalls can be found everywhere, but the noodles from Thipsamai in Bangkok have a strong following.
Phat Kaphrao is the local go-to at stir-fry stalls. This spicy combination of minced or diced meat and fragrant holy basil leaves is served over steamed rice with a crispy-edged, runny-yolked fried egg. Head to the Michelin-starred Raan Jay Fai in Bangkok for an impressive offering that lives up to the hype.
Juicy, fatty morsels of barbecued pork are a true delight. Makeshift grills turn out mu ping pork skewers (tenderised with coconut milk and seasoned in various ways) with sticky rice on every street corner, although the dish is primarily eaten for breakfast on the morning commute. For a late-night snack, Hea Owen on the corner of Silom’s Convent Road in Bangkok draws a crowd.
Some would argue northeastern Thailand’s som tam is the authentic national dish. This shredded unripe green papaya salad is pounded with chillies, garlic, lime and anything from tiny prawns to pungent fermented fish. Try it with other northeastern dishes like pork larb (a minced meat salad associated with Laos) and plenty of sticky rice at Bangkok’s open-fronted shophouse Larb 89.
Southern Thailand’s creamy satay skewers are influenced by Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. Richly marinated meat is barbecued over hot coals, served with a red-curry-based peanut sauce, and often with a sharp pickle salad. Most Thai satay is pork or chicken, but the irresistibly tender beef skewers at Halal-friendly Areesaa Rote Dee in Bangkok are highly-rated.
Relatively new on the tourist radar, khao soi is a Myanmar-influenced northern Thai curry noodle soup with crispy deep-fried noodles sprinkled over the top for good measure. Chiang Mai is especially famous for its khao soi, and you’ll find none better than at low-key Khao Soi Khun Yai on Sri Poom Road (after Sri Poom 8 Alley).
Mango sticky rice
If Thailand has one world-famous dessert, it’s mango sticky rice. Known locally as khaoniao mamuang, this plant-based sweet treat features slices of Thailand’s ripest mangoes, paired with sticky coconut rice and a creamy coconut cream sauce. Head to old-town Bangkok’s Kor Panich for the real deal.
Tom yum is a world-famous hot-and-sour soup – with a lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime base – that’s a Thai family meal staple served at street stalls across the country. But you won’t find a match for the creaminess, deep flavour or humungous servings at Bangkok’s Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu.