Thai Street Food Guide

Thai Street Food Guide

Last Updated on January 9, 2023

Thailand is a country that is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine, and one of the best ways to experience this culinary culture is through its street food. From sizzling stir-fries and spicy soups to sweet desserts and refreshing drinks, the street food in Thailand has something for everyone.

One of the things that makes Thai street food so special is the use of fresh, flavorful ingredients. Thai cooks pride themselves on using only the highest quality produce, meats, and spices to create dishes that are bursting with flavor. Whether you’re in the capital city of Bangkok or a small village in the countryside, you can be sure that you’ll be able to find street food that is both delicious and authentic.

Thai Street food you should try

Pad Thai

One of the most popular street food dishes in Thailand is pad Thai. This dish is made with thin rice noodles that are stir-fried with a mixture of egg, tofu, shrimp, and a variety of vegetables. The noodles are then topped with a savory sauce made from tamarind paste, fish sauce, and sugar, and garnished with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Pad Thai is a delicious and filling meal that can be found at street stalls and markets all over Thailand.

Tom Yum Goong

Another popular street food dish in Thailand is tom yum goong, a spicy and sour soup made with shrimp and a blend of aromatic herbs and spices. The base of the soup is made with a mixture of chicken or shrimp broth, lime juice, and fish sauce, and it is seasoned with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chili peppers. Tom yum goong is often served with a side of rice and is a must-try for anyone visiting Thailand.

Grilled chicken with sticky rice

 

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Usually wings and legs (gai yang) that are grilled on a small hotplate; marinated with a bamboo stick skewered, the meat is grilled to perfection and a bag of sticky rice (Kao neow) and you are good to go! This is one of the most popular stalls at any market or on the side of the road; indeed, many of the vendors operate from a motorcycle and sidecar and they drive around, stopping every hundred yards or so.

Thai Noodles

 

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Every Asian country has a taste for noodles and Thailand is no exception; noodles are believed to have originated in China and there are numerous ingredients that you can add to the mix. In Thai, ‘cuet diyow’ is eaten with chopsticks and the vendor would have a few tables and chairs, with a row of condiments; be careful with the chilli powder!

Pork satay with peanut sauce

 

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This is ‘moo satay’ in Thai, with slivers of pork grilled on bamboo sticks and a sweet brown sauce made from peanuts; five sticks and a bag of sauce makes for a perfect snack and that would cost you about $3. Traditionally a southern Thai dish, this tasty combination can be found all over the country and vendors are usually women, who are the backbone of Thai society. Click here for places to eat Pad Thai in Bangkok.

Papaya salad

 

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In Thai, ‘som tam’ is a spicy papaya salad made in a pestle and mortar, with vegetables and possible dried shrimp and a Thai type of crab. If you are not into spicy food, tell the vendor ‘mai phet’, which means not spicy. It is quite an art to make a good som tam salad and among the locals, certain vendors are more popular, so buy from a busy stall.

Sweet street food you should try in Thailand

Mango Sticky Rice

If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll definitely want to try some of the many delicious desserts that are available from street vendors in Thailand. One of the most popular options is mango sticky rice, which is made with glutinous rice that is soaked in coconut milk and topped with slices of ripe mango. The rice is then garnished with sesame seeds and served as a sweet and satisfying treat.

Sweet roti

Other popular street food desserts in Thailand include sweet roti, a type of fried dough that is served with a variety of sweet toppings, and coconut ice cream, which is made with coconut milk and served in a fresh coconut shell.

Thai fruits

 

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There are so many fruits in Thailand, many of which are not found anywhere else, and the street vendors sell from a glass case that is filled with ice and cuts of pineapple, mango and jackfruit. In Thai, fruit is ‘pon lamai’ and you can always find a refreshing tub of locally made ice cream and a stack of fruits.

Drinks you should try in Thai streets

Iced tea

In addition to all of the delicious food that can be found on the streets of Thailand, there are also a wide variety of drinks available. One of the most popular options is iced tea, which is made with a blend of black tea and sweetened condensed milk and served over ice.

Fresh Coconut Water

Other popular street drinks in Thailand include fresh coconut water, which is sold by vendors who hack the tops off of young coconuts.

Thai iced coffee

Thai iced coffee, which is made with strong brewed coffee and sweetened with sweetened condensed milk.

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, then be sure to include some street food in your itinerary. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, you’ll be able to find something that will satisfy your cravings. Just be sure to follow some basic food safety guidelines, such as choosing stalls that look clean and only eating food that is cooked to order, to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable street food experience.

Best street food markets to visit in Thailand

There are many street food markets in Thailand, each with its own unique atmosphere and selection of dishes. Here are a few of the most popular street food markets in the country:

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Located in Bangkok, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the largest and most well-known street food markets in Thailand. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. The market is known for its wide variety of street food stalls, offering everything from grilled meats and seafood to stir-fries and noodles.

Talad Rot Fai Night Market

Located in Bangkok, the Talad Rot Fai Night Market is a popular destination for street food lovers. The market is open in the evenings and is known for its trendy atmosphere and wide selection of food stalls. There are many stalls offering a variety of Thai dishes, as well as international cuisine.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Located in the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is a popular destination for street food. The market is open in the evenings and is known for its selection of local and international dishes. There are many stalls offering everything from grilled meats and seafood to stir-fries and noodles.

Phuket Weekend Market

Located on the island of Phuket, the Phuket Weekend Market is a popular destination for street food. The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays and is known for its wide variety of food stalls, offering everything from grilled meats and seafood to stir-fries and noodles.

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Located in the city of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar is a popular destination for street food. The market is open in the evenings and is known for its selection of local and international dishes. There are many stalls offering everything from grilled meats and seafood to stir-fries and noodles.

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About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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