The Best Street Food in Bangkok: Eating as the Locals Do
Finding The Best Street Food Stalls in Bangkok
Think of Thailand, think of street food. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the nation’s capital is also the street food capital. But it’s not only the food capital of Thailand – Bangkok is also the street food capital of the world! That’s an accolade earnt justly. You only have to spend a few moments exploring the city’s streets before you’re faced with opportunities to devour a whole host of delicious delights. While best is subjective, finding the essential dishes is easy so pretty much every backpacker who visits will say they found the best street food in Bangkok!
Eating isn’t hard to do. You’re bound to have good food in Bangkok, but the real trick is finding out where the best is. Where do locals go for the best Pad Thai? Which Som Tam truly is the tastiest? Luckily for you, Bodega has the inside knowledge that you crave. Read on, and try to get to the end before you run out and find some.
First, we find a very unremarkable stall in the ever popular Khao San Road (usually during our Bangkok Pub Crawl). If you’re backpacking through Bangkok, a visit to Khao San is pretty much inevitable. Drinks deals as far as the eye can see and when you ask what time a bar closes the answer is usually “When no one wants a drink” … so never, then.
Head down towards Boots (a British born pharmacy) and you’ll usually find the noodle lady there. Don’t expect to be able to ask for opening hours, she opens when she wants to. What she sells is some incredible noodle soup. We’re talking little bowls of brothy heaven. As with most street food, this isn’t going to break the bank, but it will tantalize your taste buds.
Where to Find the Best Pad Thai in Bangkok
Pad Thai is probably the most frequently found street food staple. Succulent prawns, satisfying noodles, crunchy bean sprouts, peanuts, lime juice! What more could you look for? This isn’t just a dish for the tourists but a real local staple. Look at any menu across the land and you’ll see it on the menu.
Some places really charge over the odds though, and put emphasis on deconstruction or something. Realistically, if you’re spending over 60 baht for a pad thai, you’re doing something wrong.
In our eyes, the best way to have this dish is from the street. The very best we’ve found? Baan Yai Pad Thai over on Soi Inthamara. Brush up on your Thai to order fluently, or get those hand gestures ready as you won’t find menus in English! But the effort is worth the rewards!
Som Tam: The Green Papaya Goddess of a Dish
If we could eat one salad for the rest of lives, this would be it. You can keep your Caesars and Niçoise, this is where it’s at. Hot as hell, spicy beyond spice but a sweet, sour, savory and delicious taste like no other. This is especially popular in Northern Thailand and especially Chiang Mai, but the dish is wildly popular countrywide. If you’re looking for the best on the streets, we recommend heading for the stall known as Jae So. You’ll get to see if prepared live which is an entertainment in itself! Jae So is over on Soi Phiphat 2 in the Silom district.
Well, of all of the cuts of pork, the knuckle isn’t usually at the top of most people’s list. Make sure you give it a go though. These are cooked low and slow for hours at a time. They’re typically marinated in a beautifully sour and sweet Thai marinade and served in a broth-like soup. The meat falls from the bone at the slightest of touches and is deliciously tender. For our favorite stall, you’ll want to head for Charoen Saeng Silom on Soi Charoen Krung 49, off Si Lom Road.
How to Find the Best Street Food in Bangkok
This isn’t an exhaustive list. The very best way to find street food is to just wander, walk and explore the city. Go on your own journey. Carve your own path. There’s no wrong way to experience street food in Bangkok! Take your time, try as much as you can and enjoy yourself. It’s an age-old adage, but “Eat where the locals eat” really is a good starting point. It means the food will be delicious, traditional and affordable. Our mouths are watering already…