A Quick Guide to Bangkok Street Food

Bangkok street food under a light. Make it a point to try out some of the best Bangkok street food to have an authentic Thai experience. After all, there are hundreds of thousands so street food stalls scattered around the city.

Bangkok is a traveler’s dream, with relatively cheap hotels, abundant shopping, a multitude of attractions in and around the city.

Its history and culture can be traced back thousands of years, and it’s famous for its food. There’s so much food in Bangkok.

Authentic Thai cuisine isn’t limited to restaurants, either, though Bangkok does have quite a lot of restaurants at varying price points and with varying styles of cuisine.

But the true culinary gem just might be Bangkok street food.

What You Need to Know

So, what exactly is the big deal about the street food and where is the best street food in Bangkok? And is it safe to eat street food in Bangkok?

For starters, the best street food is subjective and will always boil down to your personal preferences. But if you want to find really good street food, try the night markets. They’re usually great places to find delectable street food.

But what about where to eat street food in Bangkok? Here are some popular options to begin with:

1. Victory Monument
2. Yaowaraj (chinatown)
3. Nang Loeng Market

There are so many stalls in Bangkok, you’ll have little problems bumping into a few on a stroll.

Aside from the streets and night markets, you’ll discover that some malls in Bangkok also replicate the street food experience in their food courts. So if you’re looking to eat some Bangkok street food while being in a convenient, airconditioned place, the mall is always a safe bet.

As for cost, that’s nothing you need to worry about. Street food is generally cheap, so if you’re visiting from a country like the United States, the cost of the food will be pocket change to you. Expect to spend around 30 to 100 baht, or around 1 to 3 US$ depending on the exchange rate, per meal. Street food is the food of the masses and is meant to be affordable.

When it comes to hygiene, don’t worry. Thousands of Bangkok residents consume street food every day and they’re fine. Unless you eat something you’re allergic to, you’ll be fine as well.

A plate of pad Thai. Pad Thai is a dish that represents what Thailand has to offer.

Before anything else, you need to understand something about the way Thai people cook— they absolutely love their spices. Ginger, chili, whatever you can think of. They love to use spices in their cooking and they do not skimp on them. So unless you specifically ask for your food pet nit noi (only a little spicy) you’ll probably find yourself needing more than a few glasses of water.

So, what kind of street food are you likely to find in Bangkok?

Crunchy Crawlies

There are insects in Thailand but instead of reaching for the bug spray, people in Thailand reach for a napkin and sauce because some insects such as worms, crickets, and grasshoppers are delicacies there and are a common snack (ma laeng tod). If you’re worried about hygiene, don’t fret. The insects are usually washed three times before they’re cooked. As such, they’re clean and they’re crunchy.

Fried Rice

Khao Pad is a fried rice dish. It’s made from jasmine rice, which is the variety that Thais use in their rice dishes. The rice is fried with meat and vegetables. When it comes to this particular food, individual stalls may allow customizing the ingredients to suit your preferences so you’ll be able to

Stir Fried

Pad Thai is a wok-fried noodle dish. It’s popular all over Thailand. In fact, it’s popular all over the world. You may have had it before. It’s usually made with edd, prawns, beef, or chicken. It’s also served with lime wedges and garnished with peanuts.

Chicken Dishes

Khao Mun Gai is a dish made of steamed chicken served on rice. The chicken is finely sliced into pieces and the dish itself is served with a sauce as well as a chicken broth.

Chicken satay with various sauces and vegetables. Enjoy a staple like chicken with a Thai twist.

Speaking of chicken, you can also have some Gai Satay, or chicken satay. This is composed of juicy bits of chicken that are grilled before being glazed in peanut sauce or honey or some other sauce. Chicken satay is usually served with a white vinegar sauce. Pork and beef satay are also available.

Keeping on with chicken, if you’re looking to really fill your belly while out on the street, look no further than Gai Tod, or Thai fried chicken. This isn’t going to be like the fried chicken you’re used to at home. Gai Tod is dipped in shallots and oil to make for crispy chicken that’s not as greasy as what you’re going to find back home. The chicken will usually be paired with a bag of sticky rice.

Sweet Nothings

You’ll soon realize there’s plenty of spicy and savory food on Bangkok’s streets and markets. But what about the sweet stuff? The desserts?

First up is Kanom Bueang, which are crispy, pancake-esque wafers that are filled with coconut cream and dressed coconut flesh. It can be served with egg yolks or chopped scallions.

Do you like ice cream but dairy doesn’t agree with you? Well, you’re in luck because I Tim Kati is ice cream but it isn’t made from the milk of a cow. Rather, it’s made from coconut milk and if you find it on the street, you’ll get to eat it out of a coconut shell.

Drinks

Speaking of spicy food, you’re going to want something to cool off. Well, the streets of Bangkok got you covered. The first drink you’re going to want to try is Nam TubTim, or pomegranate juice. Be wary though. Some hawkers will try to sell roselle water instead.

Milk tea has become quite popular throughout the world and you’ll find plenty of it on the streets of Bangkok. The milk tea (cha yen) you’ll find is black Ceylon tea mixed with condensed and/or evaporated milk.

Now, if you really want to hydrate yourself, you can’t go wrong with classic coconut water. You can get it plain or you can get it as a shake. However you take it, it’ll be a great way to deal with the heat that comes with a Southeast Asian climate.

Food is fuel. Bangkok is a paradise. You’ll find everything from high-end restaurants, fast food franchises, family-owned cafes, and stalls and carts. Don’t overlook the last one. It would be a mistake to do so. The street food in Bangkok is like no other. So make it a point to not miss out on it when the opportunity presents itself.

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