Fast, on-the-go and delicious are the three main components that encompass all that is Thai street food. Walk down any soi (street) and you will be bombarded by vendors and stalls – a complete sensual overload for those who have never visited before. You do not need a roof over your head or even a stool underneath you to devour some of the most delectable dishes Bangkok’s streets have to offer. Here is a guide to the best areas to chow down on the best street food in Bangkok.
Pull up a red stool and bring your appetite to one of Sukhumvit’s best markets. Adjacent Grand Parkview Asoke, you will find rows upon rows of tables with Coca-Cola table runners covering the length of this street food haven. Do not let the cheesy decor fool you, as this market has some of the best street food off Sukhumvit.
Around the edges of these tables are some of the best food stalls money can buy. You will be hard-pressed to find any dish over $2, and there is certainly plenty of vendors to choose from. From salads starting at ฿65 (about $2) to overflowing bowls of curry for ฿40 (about $1), you might stop at a few vendors before finally sitting down to enjoy your meal.
Seafood lovers beware: Somsak Pu Ob near BTS Skytrain stop Wongwian Yai will have you coming back for more. Unlike most street food, Somsak Pu Ob is not cheap, at least by street food standards. What the restaurant lacks in discounts, however, it makes up for in taste. Devour some of the most delicious shrimp and glass noodle combinations you will find in Bangkok. People will line up in a long queue waiting for this street food specialty, as there is only one cook. It is definitely worth the wait.
Take a stroll down the neon-lit Yaowarat Road in Chinatown for some of the best street food in Bangkok. Be on the look out for the stall selling grilled bread rolls, which are filled with everything from chocolate to tea butter. The queue is usually fairly long; you cannot miss it. Another specialty found on Yaowarat Road is a ginger soup with black sesame seed dumplings. It sounds strange, but it is definitely worth a try.
Unlike many stalls that are packed full and thriving during the day, Chinatown does not seem to heat up until about 7 p.m. The streets go from being empty to housing a sea of people by sunset. Do not wait too late, however, to explore this particular foodie street because these vendors are known to sell out early.
Ari’s new, uppity, expensive restaurants have many thinking that it will slowly lose its authenticity. Vendors will slowly be pushed out by restaurants, and coffee stands will be replaced by overpriced cafes. This is not the case, however. Ari’s street food scene continues to thrive, with desserts, drinks, and entire meals found on almost every corner.
If you want to sit down and enjoy the street food here, exit the BTS Skytrain at Ari and take exit four. Turn left in front of Villa Market and make a right down soi (street) six. Here, you will find delicious coffee, tea, and smoothies for no more than ฿40 (about $1). You will also find a small market just down this street with menus. Do not worry about whether or not you speak Thai; simply point to the dish that looks the most delicious and pull up a stool.
While many tourists venture down Khao San Road for the party alone, you will find that many expats and local Thais alike come here just for the eats. You can get a large bowl of pad Thai for only ฿30 (less than $1), and there is also an overabundance of spring rolls and other favorites that are catered to Westerners. If Khao San does not do it for you, venture one street over to Soi (Street) Rambuttri. Delicious smoothies and plenty of food stalls await on this quieter version of Khao San Road. If you are really feeling adventurous, try one of Khao San’s many bug vendors, just waiting to sell you a scorpion or two.