The Tastiest Thai Street Food in Bangkok
Thai street food is unbelievably tasty and there’s no better place to experience it than the capital city of Thailand itself, Bangkok. Whether you’re road tripping, or city touring, or backpacking in Thailand, you will most like be visiting Bangkok at some point.
As you explore the city, you’ll discover countless street food dishes to whet your appetite--all at incredible prices that we can only dream of in the West.
After multiple visits, I’ve got some firm favorites that I highly recommend you try, along with some of the best Thai street food spots in Bangkok.
Best Thai Street Food in Bangkok
The first Thai street food on my list is a no-brainer. Thailand’s most famous dish, Pad Thai, isn’t hard to find in Bangkok.
These are stir fried noodles, made with egg and usually served with a choice of chicken, beef, vegetables or tofu. I personally enjoyed the veggie ones best.
The dish is popular in both restaurants and among Thai street food vendors. I preferred it from the street food vendors and loved watching them make it in front of my eyes.
I wasn’t a fan of the minced peanuts usually served on top, make sure to let them know beforehand if you’d rather not have these as its second nature to sprinkle them on.
If you need an instant snack, look out for the chicken satay sticks that seem to be commonplace on every street.
Chicken Satay is basically freshly grilled chicken on a stick that is glazed with honey or peanut sauce. In addition to chicken, vendors will usually have a multitude of meats to choose from so be sure to ask what they are before you pick out a random one.
Khao Soi is a Northern Thailand dish that you’ll come across in Chiang Mai and surrounding cities, however I was such a fan that I couldn’t resist getting some more in Bangkok.
This is another noodle-based dish, but it’s more of a soup, made with coconut milk and a mix of vegetables such as onions and shallots.
If you’re ever in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a dish of fried rice.
It’s freshly made to order right in front of you using jasmine rice, soy sauce and fish sauce. You can opt to have it with either vegetables, chicken, shrimp or beef. If you want the beef, vendors will usually refer to this as ‘meat’.
Another popular street food in Bangkok is Papaya Salad (or Som Tam to use its proper name). This dish hits the sweet spot with a nice balance of fresh ingredients and that spicy touch Bangkok is known for.
A typical papaya salad will include papaya, peanuts, tomato and green beans.
Thai Green Curry
I had never tried Thai Green Curry until heading to Bangkok, and now it’s one of my favorite dishes.
The curry is a bright green color which might seem unusual at first, but once you get a taste of this Thai street food, you’ll be eager for more.
It’s made with chilies, peppers, basil and coconut milk. Chicken was my go-to, but a vegetable version is a common alternative. It will usually be served with rice too.
Thai green curry has a real spicy kick, if you want something a bit more manageable then opt for yellow or red curry instead which are much more mild.
I’ve always been a fan of spring rolls, but I never thought I’d eat so many in such a short space of time as I did in Thailand.
Great as a snack, this Thai street food is usually served with sweet chili sauce for a spicy kick.
In Bangkok you’ll find both fried spring rolls that you’re more used to, as well as, fresh versions which are also worth a try.
I also came across a spring roll class on one of my trips where we learned to make our own spring rolls and got to eat as many as we liked—I definitely recommend this experience!
Boat Noodles are a traditional Thai street food that were once only served from actual boats on Bangkok’s canals.
Nowadays, you can purchase them from the comfort of land, with the area around the Victory Monument being the best spot.
This is a tasty broth of noodles served with either beef or pork and spiced to perfection.
Mango Sticky Rice
After you’ve tried some of the tasty Thai street food above, the final one on my list is great for dessert, mango sticky rice.
This dish is made from rice and mango with a dash of coconut milk to add that sticky texture it’s known for. This is a Thai dish; however, it’s so well loved that I noticed it in the Philippines, and almost every country in South East Asia, and this made me very happy.
Best places to eat street food in Bangkok
Now that you know some of the best Thai street food to look out for in Bangkok, you’ll be wondering where to find them.
Below is a list of my favorite spots in the city:
Khao San Road
Khao San Road has become an infamous spot in Bangkok. It’s a hub of activity, home to many of Bangkok’s best hostels, and also a great spot for some Thai street food. However, Over the years, Khao San Road itself has become ridden with tourists and I think the quality of its street food has gone down.
Not to worry! If you head into the adjacent street of Soi Ram Buttri, you’ll find much better food stalls and a calmer atmosphere where you don’t feel so on edge.
Expect lots of noodle-based dishes as well as sea food.
This area is always bustling so keep your wits about you and don’t be put off with the way Thai street food vendors look, often the most delicious dishes are hidden in unassuming places.
Sukhumvit Soi 38
Another popular area of the city to check out for Thai street food is Sukhumvit where you’ll find Sukhumvit Soi 38 night food market.
Here you’ll find some of the best Pad Thai in Bangkok at Pad Thai Fire Look near the entrance.
This market is only open at night so make sure to head there after 6pm when it opens.
Is it safe to eat Thai street food in Bangkok?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to eat Thai street food in Bangkok and the level of safety is very comparable to Thai restaurants.
The benefit of street food is that you can usually watch it being prepared right in front of you so you’ll get a feel for how hygienic they are being.
That being said, if you do have food allergies then you should be extra careful and might be better off sticking to restaurants where they seem more familiar with catering to allergies.
Where to drink in Bangkok?
So, after you’ve tasted all of Bangkok’s best street food, you might be fancying a few drinks. Here are some of my favorite places to check out:
The Roof Bar – Khao San Road is full of great bars to discover and stays lively until the early hours. I enjoyed The Roof Bar where there was live music each night and a view at the nightlife down below from the balcony.
Find the Locker Room – If you enjoy a good cocktail, you should definitely check out some of the speakeasy bars in Bangkok. A particular favorite is Find the Locker Room where the entrance is literally hidden behind lockers.
Red Sky – For those with a bit more cash to spend, the Red Sky is at the top of the Centara Grand skyscraper with epic views across the city including the Grand Palace. It’s expensive in Bangkok terms, but still less than a beer at a regular bar in the West.
Kieren is a 20-something year old backpacker that blogs about his adventures over at Got My Backpack. His travels have taken him Interrailing across Europe, backpacking South East Asia and road tripping America’s West Coat.