You’d be crazy to come to Bangkok and not partake in its legendary Bangkok street food, it’s one of the purest ways to get in touch with the local culture. It also provides convenient, delicious and cheap meals, but can be a little intimidating for foreigners new to the city, so SO/ Bangkok has put together this short Thailand Street Food Guide for a quick primer on some of the best Bangkok street food and where to find it.
Street food is found all over Bangkok, but there are several hot spots where you will find an especially large array. If you want a full-on street food adventure, check out these Thailand Street Food Guide gems first.
When night falls on Bangkok’s China Town, known locally as Yaowarat, after Yaowarat Road which runs through the middle of it, every street and soi comes alive with the smells of street food. You can find food here all day, but it really comes alive in the evening when people come out to eat. The mix of Thai and Chinese dishes in China Town is staggering, and the smells are heavenly, so a good strategy is to sample small portions, don’t fill up all in one place, just snack and move, like the locals.
Popular offerings here include dim sum, oyster omelets, flat noodles in pepper broth, roasted chestnuts, ice cream, fruits, and all sorts of Thai-Chinese desserts. Barbecued seafood is also seriously popular here.
The easiest way to get to China Town is by taxi, but from SO/ Bangkok you can also take the MRT to Wat Mungkorn Station.
Talat Phlu is a heaven realm of old-school Bangkok street food that straddles the train track coming from Wong Wian Yai on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. The area is blessed with a high concentration of skilled street food stalls who pride themselves on serving some of the best street food in Bangkok, with a number of them having received awards for their specialties.
Fried clam noodles and Thai fried rice with curry are popular here, and especially a local snack, kanom buang yuan, (Thai crepe) with a constant queue for it snaking out the entrance of the Talat Phlu Sweets Store in the fresh market. Also popular are Chinese chives rice shops, red pork and crispy pork.
From SO/ Bangkok you can take the MRT to BTS, then to the Talat Phlu station; from there, the market and street food area is about a 10 minute walk away and open day and night.
Nobody knows street food better than students, so it’s no wonder that Sam Yan market, next to Chulalangkorn University, is a treasure chest spilling over with Thai street food. Sam Yan is both a wet market and a kind of student food court offering cheap Thai street meat and all-things-deep-fried.
Due to expansion of Chulalongkorn University, things around Sam Yan have been changing over the years, but many people still think of the old neighborhood as a big draw for dedicated foodies.
Many dishes are on offer here, including duck porridge , Chinese food , sukiyaki , steaks , and northeastern dishes such as papaya salad or seafood buffet .
From SO/ Bangkok you can take the MRT underground to Sam Yan station.
No Bangkok Street Food Guide worth its salt would omit the street food Shangri-La of Wang Lang Market, bursting with a mind blowing array of street food. You may want to put your diet on hold for this one, because if you love Thai street food, Wang Lang Market is required feasting.
On the outside of the market, across the street from Siriraj Hospital, vendors line up in a row of grilled bananas, grilled and fried pork, fish, chicken and every possible Thai dessert under the sun. If it’s street food, you’ll find it at Wang Lang.
There are many delicious foods to try (not to mention every widget and doo-dad ever invented). Therefore, every day thousands of people come to browse and snack. Fried mussels and oysters are a specialty here.
The easiest way to get to Wang Lang Market from SO/ Bangkok is to take the MRT to BTS and then to Saphan Thaksin on the river, where you can easily catch the river taxi boat north to Wang Lang Pier. Don’t forget the obligatory snapshots of magnificent Wat Arun along the way!
Victory Monument is a great area for street food because it’s one of Bangkok’s main transportation hubs, with countless busses unloading countless commuters every day at its giant roundabout. Surrounding the roundabout and adjacent sois are a bevy of restaurants, street food stalls, and snacks galore. It’s like a circular buffet.
On the northeast side of the roundabout is the famous boat noodle alley, where you can choose from a variety of Thai boat noodle restaurants, and on the northwest side in the neighborhoods are more, lesser known boat noodle spots.
Also in the Victory Monument area is Phahon Yothin Soi 1, a 5 minute walk north of the monument and another street with a large array of street food throughout the day and evening.
From SO/ Bangkok take the MRT to the BTS Skytrain, and then to Victory Monument station, Exit #3 or #4, and start exploring by walking around the monument first.