You don’t have to visit the best restaurants to find the most mouthwatering Thai dishes. 

The smart traveler heads out to the streets and local markets of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and other major towns and cities, where you’ll find a magnificent selection of fresh, fiery, lip-smackingly good cuisine. 

Thai street food is arguably the best on the planet. Cooked fast and hot and to order, eating on the street in Thailand is typically safe and incredibly cheap too – you can have a feast for the same price as a beer or soft drink back in your hotel! 

Here’s our list of the most delicious Thai street food you’ll find during your trip. A warning – don’t read this piece on an empty stomach!

Street food in Thailand

Noodles & Rice

Pad Thai: The most famous of Thai street food, Pad Thai is available from street vendors all over the country. It’s a tangy, peanut-laden stir-fried noodle dish, typically topped with beef, pork, chicken, tofu. 

Pad See Eiw: Literally translated as ‘stir-fried soy sauce noodles, Pad See Eiw is similar to Pad Thai, but made specifically with wide rice noodles, and is salty from soy rather than tangy from tamarind. 

Pad Kra Pao: Thailand’s most famous rice dish, Pad Kra Pao is minced pork or chicken, delicately spiced and flavored with oyster sauce, soy, Thai basil, and long beans. It’s typically served over rice with a plumped fried egg on top.

More guides to the best food in Thailand
Street food in Thailand

Sizzling Snacks

Moo Ping: A fantastic street snack, Moo Ping are succulent grilled pork skewers. The best are cooked over red hot coals and served with a fiery chili sauce. The scent of grilling Moo Ping is a highlight of any trip to Bangkok. 

Poh Pia Tod: Spring rolls are popular all across Asia, but we find the Thai version – usually made with glass noodles, soy sauce, bean sprouts, and prawn or pork – to be particularly delicious. Best served with hot and super sweet chili dipping sauce

Gai Tod: Thailand’s contribution to the wonderful world of fried chicken, Gai Tod has an intense marinade of fish sauce, garlic, coriander, and pepper. Usually sold from street vendors as wings or small drumsticks.

What to do in Thailand
Street food in Thailand

Soups, Salads, and a taste of the North

Kai Jeow: The secret to this Thai-style omelet is getting the right consistency – soft and fluffy in the middle; brown and crispy on the outside – and that satisfying tang of fish sauce. Can be served just with green onions; ‘deluxe’ versions are filled with prawns, pork, or chicken. 

Som Tam: A real love-it-or-hate-it dish, Som Tam is Thailand’s famous papaya salad. Intensely sour and usually very spicy, it typically combines fresh papaya with garlic, chili, fish sauce, dried shrimp, and lots of fresh lime juice. 

Khao Soi: No list of Thai street food is complete without taking a trip ‘up north’ to Chiang Mai, where you’ll find this hearty noodle soup. The broth is a rich, delicately spiced coconut milk yellow curry, stuffed with egg noodles and shredded chicken.

Where to stay in Thailand
Street food in Thailand

Divine Curries

Gaeng Kiew: Along with Pad Thai, green curry is Thailand’s most famous culinary export. Rich in coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves, the dish originates from central Thailand and can be served with pork, shrimp, beef, or assorted seafood.

Massaman: This rich, relatively mild curry is noted for its earthy color – derived from an intense peanut base. With a hearty base of boiled potato and slow-cooked beef, it’s a dish equally fit for both scorching Thai summers and chilly northern hemisphere winters.

Street food in Thailand

Sweet Treats

Kao Niew Ma Muang: Or, as it is much better known – mango sticky rice. A fantastically simple dish, there are typically just four ingredients: sticky rice simmered in coconut milk and sugar, and the juiciest, ripest fresh mangos.

Roti: Inheriting the Indian word for bread, Roti is in fact rice paper pancakes filled with all kinds of sweet treats – most famously bananas – and topped with reduced condensed milk. Sweet, sweet, sweet! 

Kluay Tod: SImply – fried mini bananas, coated in rice flour and grated coconut, served hot from the wok. A dish that could equally be filed under snacks or starters, served from street cards all over the Land of Smiles.

Check out our luxury tours of Thailand

Ready to start planning your next trip?

Contact our Thailand specialists today to start discussing your bespoke tour.

+44 208 004 2345OR

You may be interested in