Bangkok is a lively wonderful place that is often ignored because of its vibrant counterparts. Bangkok may not have beaches, snorkelling, colourful temples and full moon parties, but that doesn’t mean that Thailand’s capital should be devoid of your attention. Bangkok’s markets are larger than life. There is so much to see, observe and explore that you will end up spending days walking around these wonderful places.
Among all things worth exploring, Bangkok’s street food is simply out of the world. The city has so much to choose from that you will run out of time in your attempt to taste everything. So next time when you are visiting Thailand make sure that you find out these best street food spots of Bangkok and delight yourself with their wonderful offerings.
Where – Hit to KhaoSan street to find more foreigner friendly street food that are very hygienic compared to many other places. You can also visit Victory Monument, Chinatown, Ratchawat Market, Charoen Krung (เจริญกรุง) and Bangrak (บางรัก) for street food hunting.
When – Monday is the street cleaning day in Bangkok, so most of the food cart vendors take a day off. Everything is up and running during rest of the days of the week. Preferred time to start hitting food joints is after 5 PM.
Here are a few street food delicacies that range from delicious to weird + delicious –
Head to Victory Monument in the afternoon and look next to the roundabout. You’ll find a number of restaurants in a circular pattern. Ask around for the Boat Alley, dedicated to various types of boat noodle outlets. Boat noodle is combination of bite-sized portions of either rice (sen lek) or yellow egg noodles (ba mee) with meat or tom yam soup. You can choose between chicken, beef, pork or lamb as a choice of meat. The Boat Noodle Alley is not the kind of place where you will find really cosy restaurants. So unless the dirt and murky canal views don’t affect you, this is the place for a delightful meal.
Sour Papaya Salad
Som Tam is one of the major delicacy of the local food joints. Eating a refreshing papaya that is laden with chilli and served with peanuts, tomatoes and crunchy green beans is a delight. The sour and spicy taste is simply delightful and perfect for a quick meal during your street hopping in Bangkok.
Banana Pancakes are a specialty of Thailand. Many food carts offer this meal for 8 to 10 baht. Pancakes are the most loved vegetarian meals in Bangkok that is a must try for an early morning breakfast or an evening snack. There are many food carts that come up around Khaosan street, Sam Yan and Chinatown. The walking street of Pattaya is also filled with many small karts preparing pancakes in the evening.
Fish Mousse Parcels
Fish Mousse is a red curry spiced delicacy that is steamed in a banana leaf and topped with thick coconut cream and chilli to invoke flavours. It has a very strong flavour that leaves an unusual aftertaste. Fish Mousse is popular at Khaosan and Green Lung areas.
Pork Trotters Rice (Khao Kaa Moo)
This sweet version of Pad Thai that is sold in every food district of the city and is as delectable as it can get. Served with a yummy gravy and tender pork with white rice creates a very delicious flavour.
Thai Chicken Rice (Khao Man Gai)
I found chicken rice a very common staple food around most of the South East Asian countries. Malaysia and Singapore had their own versions and even Sri Lanka has a variety that is drier and very huge in quantity. Thai chicken rice is similar to Sri Lankan one but the rice is thicker than other versions. Chicken rice is very easy to find. There are many stalls around Krung Thep Maha Nakhon and Sukhumvit Soi that run all day because of the presence of many hotels and backpackers hostels.
Thai Stir-fried noodles (Pad Thai)
Pad Thai was my saviour for most of the days I spent in Bangkok and later at Pattaya. The Pad Thai at Bangkok are way better than Pattaya for some reason, I don’t really know why. This stir fired noodles keep a perfect balance between spicy and sweet. Pad Thai has a number of varieties and is often prepared as per an individual’s preferences. So you’ll find Vegan Pad Thai (which I didn’t try), and the ones with eggs, chicken and prawns. My favourite Pad Thai stalls were around Khaosan street because they were easy to access and the price was comparatively cheaper. But I have learned that other parts of Bangkok also have their own stalls and versions that go beyond the one I had in Khaosan.
Insects and what not at Khaosan street
I am ending this blog with something that you shouldn’t miss. Khaosan Street comes alive in the night and the pathway is filled with many different food stalls including Pad Thai that I spoke above. But the most distinct part of this road are the hawkers that sell edible insects. Cockroaches, scorpions and worms are kept in a very casual way. These items are prepared keeping spiciness on a very high side so try one on your own risk. I would suggest getting very high before eating something so that you don’t hesitate before taking the first bite.
Bangkok is a street food paradise. The ones I have mentioned above are just a few among a vast ocean of delectable items that you’ll find in different parts and corners of the city. My list is still incomplete so I intend to write a second part whenever I plan a visit here next time.