Bangkok street food – We can not live without it

Mar 17, 2017

If your Thai friends and asked them,  “Do you ever try Bangkok street food?”.  If he/she says no, they are weird.

Everyday life of  Bangkok people and Thai people, they eat street food.

Street food Khoa keang ช้าวแกง vaious kind of food selection

Why?

You can find out in this article

You will find briefly introduce the topic of Bangkok street food and why it’s worth experiencing

Provide some background information on street food and its cultural significance in Bangkok which cover the topic below.

  • What is street food?
  • Bangkok street food and mainstream media , CNN
  • Top Street Food city from CNN
  • Price of Street food in Bangkok
  • What type of food selling on Bangkok street?
  • Thai Street Food and Famous Menus
  • Is it safe to experience street food in Bangkok?
  • Famous area of Bangkok street food?

What is street food?

Most of the western country and developed country has a very strict rules for food provider. It needs to pass hygiene standard. In Thailand and many countries in this area. We still find street food that we can pick up meal easily.

Street food is not only food truck or small vendor on the street. But it is a mobile shop with table and display food in a small area. Many times, they already cook and prepare food from home and only sell on the street. There are also many shops that cook on the street as well.

The Bangkok street food owners are very hard working person. Many of them work more than 12-16 hours a day. Some of the shops selling things all day long. When you are in Bangkok, just come out on the street you can easily find street food vendors who waiting for a customer.

To experience street food, it is also can support local people and get to know the local culture.

street food in Nang leang

Bangkok street food and main stream media by CNN

P.M. Prayut delighted with GOOD news that CNN Announcement of Bangkok Street Food

This is good news among troublesome that the Thai Government has faced in 2017 .…

Later, Thai government seriously to make the street clean. Thai Governor uses law enforcement   to wipe up the street merchant away from the main street of Bangkok.

Some my favorite merchant has gone for good but some go to located at small street or find a settle place to sell their meal.

Thai sources

The P.M. Prayut policy makes it harder for Bangkok street food merchants to survive, and meanwhile consumers that rely of Bangkok street food has a hard time to find the meal.

Even, the CNN complimented about BANGKOK street food. I still wonder why …Thai Media …told about P.M Prayut happiness related to Bangkok Street food, while he try to organize the street by getting rid of those small businesses.

This news was old. Time change and perception change. 6 years, later there are promote street food again. We never know what will happen next year.

Top Street Food city from CNN

CNN ranks Bangkok in top rank to provide cheap and nice street food . Bangkok receives this honor in 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, there are 23 cities that got this ranking. Follow by city after Bangkok are..…

Tokyo in Japan, Hanolulu in Hawaii  United State ,  Durban in South Africa,  New Orleans in Louisiana ,  Istanbul in Turkey  ,  Hong Kong ,  Paris in France , Mexico city in Mexico , Cairo in Egypt , Marrakesh in Morocco , Cartagena in Columbia, Portland in Oregon,  Dakar in Senegal, Bali in Indonesia,  Port Louis in Mauritius,  Mumbai in India , Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam , Miami in United street , Rome in Italy , Rio De Janerio in Brazil,  Sydney in Australia , Beijing in China,

… I have not been in every city above…

But wonder why some cities are not in the listing. For example Taipei, Hanoi, Singapore, Penang or Seoul. Some of the country seems to have lots of restrictions on food operating and how come they have listed in street food.

More Detail of CNN POST

Find Out What CNN Like about Bangkok Street Food

I am not sure what is the facts to measure making one city rank high to another.

However, it is clearly that Bangkok people relies on street food and even government try hard to clean up Bangkok street. But Bangkok street Food vendors still alive and be loved by local and visitors.

Price of Street food in Bangkok

Update in 2023

The price ranges from very low rate from 50 THB or 1.5 USD or up to 1000 THB dish.  It is really depends on where, how famous the shop, and ingredients cost.

Thai Street Food and Famous Menus around Thailand

Thai street food in Thailand is not just a “grab and go” or snack food.  From dawn to late at night, street vendors prepare full meals and it is hard not to find a street corner with a row of carts lined up dishing up meals. 

Eating out is a way of life for Thais and because of this, Thai street food is often of very high quality. Vendors in popular areas compete for customers so the food is always superior in taste to anything available at restaurants.  Thai street food is generally safe, one can see what is being cooked and it is fresh, visitors get to interact with the locals. 

It is authentic, delicious and the best way to give back to the local economy.  Experiencing communal eating surrounded by traffic and urban life is also an interesting part of visiting Thailand.

In Thailand street food is everywhere and most people get at least one of their meals every day from the street. Vendors in Thailand prepare dishes from small stands and often even set up tables and chairs on the sidewalk so one can eat out in the open and not eating on the run.

There are so many varieties of Thai street food to be selected.  One can spend a whole month trying Thai street food three meals a day with snacks in between and the results would be that food is not repeated. 

This is just to show the vast choices of Thai street food that one can choose from.  The food is always fresh and fast, and a meal will rarely cost anyone more than 50 baht ($1.30).  The most common words used in Thai dishes are “Kao” which means rice and “Pud” means to fry or “Gang” means curry.

Patonggoor Chinese Doughnuts

With the shape like an “X”.  The drink that comes with this deep fried dough is sweetened soy milk.  It is often sold early in the morning or from evening till night time.  Thai people could have it as a handy breakfast or for a snack at night.

Guay Teow or noodle soup

Guay Teow or noodle soupThe Noodle is the most popular Thai street food dish.  Its origin is from China but has become uniquely Thai over the years.  The soup is made from a chicken, pork or beef stock and the noodles are either rice noodles or egg noodles.

Most vendors would have some vegetables and either sliced meat, meat balls, fish balls or wontons to offer.  The dried chili peppers, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce being used as condiments makes this dish uniquely Thai

Pud Si Iew

Pud Si Iew is a widely popular fried noodle dish in Thailand.  The wide rice noodles are cooked with Chinese broccoli (kai-lan), pork or chicken, eggs, seasoned with soy sauce, dark soy sauce and some pepper

Kao Pud Gaprao

Kao Pud Gaprao is stir fried pork, chicken or beef with holy basil and chilies. This dish is one of the most common dishes in Thailand.  It is usually served as a one-dish meal, a quick meal eaten over rice and is usually topped with a fried egg.

Rard Naa Mee Grob or Crispy Egg Noodles

Rad Naa Mee Grob in thick gravy with pork or one can choose to have “Rard Naa Moo”, wide or thin noodles in thick gravy with pork and Chinese broccoli (kai-lan).

Pud Prik Gang Moo/Gai or pork/ chicken

Pud Prik Gang Moo stir fried in red curry paste with holy basil is also one of a quick and easy Thai street food dishes.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is  Thailand’s famous stir fried noodle dish with either fresh or dried shrimps, tofu and a hint of tamarind.  Pad Thai is not as popular in Thailand as it is abroad but most street food vendors that make stir fries will have “Pud Thai” to offer. Check out the food tour to eat at famous Pad Thai street vendor.

Kao Soi

Kao Soi is the popular dish from Northern Thailand, with egg noodles (both soft and deep fried) and chicken or beef in coconut curry.  The curry is similar to that of yellow or massaman curry but of a thinner consistency.  Kao Soi is served with pickled cabbage, shallots, lime and ground chilies fried in oil.

Kao Mun Gai or chicken rice

This is also one of the most common street foods in Thailand.  The dish is served with slices of juicy and tender chicken meat served with fragrant rice cooked in a rich broth and a unique spicy sauce of ginger, garlic, chilies and soy sauce.  The piquant sauce helps to balance out the richness of the chicken and the rice

Kao Moo Dang or Red Barbeque Pork on Rice

Kao Moo Dang is a widely available and popular Thai dish.  It starts with a scoop of rice and usually includes a few slices of red barbecued pork, some crispy pork belly, a few slices of Chinese sausage, slices of half boiled egg, garnished with some coriander and shoots of green onions.  All these are topped up with sweet pork flavour red sauce, which balances all the tastes together. Thank you picture from

Kao Pud or Fried Rice

Fried Rice with egg, pork or chicken and vegetables. Thais like their fried rice with fried egg on top.   The most popular fried rice is crab fried rice.  Thai fried rice gets much of its unique flavour from the mix of fish sauce, soy sauce, chili peppers and lime

Som Tum  (papaya salad)

Papaya Salad is a sweet, sour, spicy, salty salad made from shredded green papayas, tomatoes, garlic, shrimp, peanuts and chili peppers.   It is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand which comes from the Northeast.  One can find it in almost any area where street food is sold.  The flavour combination is delicious, refreshing and very healthy.

Moo Ping or grilled pork skewers

Grill pork skewers is another hugely popular street food, but it is not just skewers of pork one will find being grilled on the street. There are also grilled chicken and grilled beef.  Every street food vendor has his or her own recipe for the marinade, but it is usually sweet and garlicky.  Usually “Moo Ping” will be accompanied by sticky rice or “Kao Neaw”.

Ice Cream Gati  or Coconut Ice Cream Thai Desserts

Thai street food is convenient, but it can be too tempting.  One will find plenty of sweets and desserts being sold along side the noodles and grilled meats. Mango sticky rice is only available in very busy areas, but there are always fresh fruits, “Kanom Krok”(Thai coconut pancakes) and other Thai sweets to choose from.

What is common Bangkok street food dish?

Bangkok street food vendors are everywhere, and every corner of our town. It is our soul that drives our nation. From blue collar up to a middle class worker, they are eating from Bangkok street food from 1-5 times a day. It is because there are lots of vendors all around the city. It is very easy to access and very affordable.

In the western world, you may find truck food which sells burger, hot dog or taco for a quick meal. In Thailand we have a variety of meals that you could select a suite for your breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack during the day. This article is going to talk about most common Bangkok street food that we usually see.

Somtam Kaiyang 

Somtam Kaiyang . Somtam is papaya salad. Kaiyang is grilled chicken. This is the main dishes sell on there are additional products that people order some namtok (spicy pork salad), soup normal (spicy bamboo soup ), mushroom soup (spicy mushroom soup) and lap moo (spicy minced pork). All of this food are from the northeast of Thailand which is quite spicy and have a special taste and smell. They use palar (ปลาร้า) or a fermented fish seasoning which is quite strong smell.

Fruit cart 

Fruit cart >> Every morning, the fruit cart will be ready to sell nearby a office building. Many people grab fruit as a quick meal. The fruit cart generally offers seasonal fruit such as watermelon, guava, mango, papaya and pineapple. There are also see some rose apple, coconut or etc. Beside the cheap price, the fruit cart offer fresh, quick and healthy meal for you since morning till afternoon. Love it.

Chai Si Mi Keaw .

This is the brand name of noodle shops. They have the most amount of branches in Thailand. They have franchised every corner of Bangkok. They serve egg noodle, wonton and roasted pork. They sell food in the evening. People can order noodle or wonton as they prefer. Then mixed with chilly, vinegar or sugar as the taste that you prefer.

Beverage vendor 

Beverage vendor is not only sold coffee. They also offer Thai ice tea, lemonade , green tea, lemon tea and etc. It is most offer a cold drink as the ice slushy with seasonal fruit such as coconut, tea, watermelon, lime, apple and more. Thailand is in warm climates so the ice could cool down and very good refreshment.

Look chin toad 

Look chin toad or meat ball which has various kinds of meat. Mainly the meat is included pork, beef, fish, shrimp or squid. It is deep fried and meat ball put in bamboo stick like BBQ. After fried it, they will dip into spicy sauce which is not only the spicy sauce but also sweet and salty.

What type of food selling on Bangkok street?

Food variety is another highlight of Bangkok street food. You can see it take tern selling different time, such as in the morning, lunch and dinner.

Morning

You can find soy milk with 5-20 stuffs and topping. It is fresh, fragrant smell, warm drink and very cheap.

You can find rice congee , rice porridge or rice soup for a quality breakfast

Lunch

You can find a full set restaurant who serves over 100 menus and they tuck all food material and ingredient  in one cart.

Fruit cart served every corner  . You can buy very fresh seasonal fruit such as watermelon, guava , papaya, pineapple and rose apple.

Noodle is from Chinese, But in Thailand nowadays, we have on over 10 types of noodle.

Evening

Noodle and congee are also offend serve in the evening.

Or you could also find luxurious menu such as shark fin soup, or bird nest soup or lobster curry.

Is it safe to experience street food in Bangkok?

This is a very good questions . It is depended on type of food and people.

Tips on Food Safety for Bangkok Food

Before enjoying eating Thai food, It is good to know about “Do and Don’t” about eating Thai food. It will help your trip enjoyable and keep a good memory with Thai food experience.

Warm Cook Food

Basically, Thai food serves as a warm cooked meal. Eating soup, spicy salad, deep fried, grill and stir fired, we prefer to eat it in warm temperature. Warm food is newly cook and good hygienic. It is safe to eat. Pay high attention to this rule, if you are considering experience street food.

Daily product & Imported meat

Cheese, milk or all kinds of daily products are mainly imported goods. It takes time to get here and sit in the restaurant for a while before someone orders them. If you like to have it, go for the busy restaurant that has those products in the main menus since the ingredient turns over quickly.  Or wait and have it in your home country.

Follow the crowd

Any busy restaurants are good to visit. It’s meant they serve delicious food. The high table turn over make them buy fresh ingredient. So get on the line and go for it. – Check our product for famous local place to eat.

Ice & drink in the plastic bag

Small Ice cube or ice tube is produced by the standard factory or ice making machine are fine quality. Stay away from the big ice cube which is broken into smaller one by a hammer. The straw that puts into a drink is always a new one and safe to use.  It is also way typical that small drink vendor will put your drink in small plastic bag.

Color in food

Thai food cooking normally does not add color into the food except dessert. Thais will use natural colors from tree leave, black color from carbon, red and blue from flower or brown color tree trunk. However, if you see food has very strong color, just stay away from it. They might use food dyes.

Spicy and sour dish 

Many Thai dishes have a strong flavor. Some dish can have many flavors mixed together. It may make your stomach upset if you do not get used to it. Usually, you must watch out the Thai spicy and sour salad such as Somtam (papaya salad), and yum (multi type of vegetable and meat mixed) for instance. It may make you go to the toilet unexceptionally.

Tipping

A service charge may sum up your bill if dining in a high-end restaurant or restaurant at the hotel. You do not need to pay extra. Otherwise, they do not add tipping to the bill. In High-end place, the service person may expect you to pay a tip. For small and local restaurant, they did not expect tips from you, but if you think they supper nice service to you, some reward will make their day beautiful.

Clear Utensils

Every time you eat, you must watch out for the condition of utensil. Make sure it is clear well.

Foreign food

Import food, fruits and daily product are quite expensive in Thailand.  Cherry , pear, fig, and apple are quite expensive than the local products. Read seasonal fruits detail of local fruit.

Ask your Thai tour guide  

If you travel around city with private tour guide, many companies do not set or fix restaurant, just tell them that you want to try street food, local vendors , small restaurant,  I am sure many local tour guide can assist you with this.

Mouth on Fire

If you eat spicy stuff such as chilly by accident. Don’t drink cool water, it will be worse. Eat sweet stuff such as rice, bread, milk or candy which will make thing better. Drink fresh lime juice or tomato is also helping.

We hope you like the idea of food safety tips for Bangkok food. If you have more idea, please leave your comment , we love to hear from you.

Where to Find Bangkok Street Food Vendor?

Bangkok Street Food is everywhere… EASY TO ACCESSS …

.. Valid ALL DAY ALL NIGHT SERVICE ..24/7

…Various of variety ..Lot of selection

…Very cheap price compares with hotel and standard restaurant …

All above reasons are good enough that CNN rate BANGKOK STREET FOOD AS top city of street food experience.

All good reasons enough that EATWALKTALKTOUR add Bangkok food tour experience in Chinatown

No Mather where you stay… 5 star hotel, 4 star hotel, luxury cruise, or hostel.. , when you come out on the street , you will meet Bangkok street food vendors on the sidewalk, small hole between two brick walls of two houses, in front of 7-11 shop or shopping mall.

CNN recommends some places go like Bangkok Chinatown, Thong Lor Soi 13 .

But we have a couple listing that you may like to visit such as Sukhumvit 13 , Baantad tong

More information about food and tour

Complete guide for Bangkok food tour

Idea for Bangkok Food Travel

Food Tours Bangkok and Main Sightseeing

Bangkok Night Food Tour: Exploring the Delicious World of Thai Cuisine

Tour

China town tour

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