Instead of a big family-style meal, Thais love going for one-plate type dishes at a food stall or a food cart on the street.
These type of one-plate dish food stalls are all over the streets of Bangkok – and are available any time of day you are hungry: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even late at night.
Unlike restaurants, these food stalls only serve one or two types of dishes.
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We’ve compiled a list of the best quick one-plate dishes and their history, along with the places you can get them that have been well-loved by Thais for generations.
These street food stalls have proven that they are the best by being around for years and years. They have become household names with Thais for the dishes they make.
Want to eat like Thais? We’re also giving you tips on how to eat each dish like Thais. We guarantee the locals will be very impressed by you.
1. Khao Moo Tod (Fried Pork over Rice)
There is nothing more humble and simple in the list of Thai dishes available as Khao Moo Tod. Slices of pork marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and pepper, then deep fried until it’s an irresistible golden color.
Every Thai has grown up eating this dish. Children love it. Adults love it, and it’s the go-to dish when they can’t think of anything else to order.
How to eat like Thais: Don’t forget to add a fried egg on the side. To really eat like a Thai, if you like more spiciness and saltiness, accompany your plate of Khao Moo Tod with the Thai chili in fish dipping sauce!
1-1. Affordable price but luxurious taste – Jeh Jong Moo Tod (ร้านเจ๊จงหมูทอด)
Auntie Jong (Jae Jong) got the idea for opening her stall from tasting other fried pork.
She told herself ‘I can make it taste better than this’, and over a decade later – she now has 10 branches selling good quality fried pork, and at super cheap prices that attract everyone from the poor to the rich.
Her secret is using good quality pork belly and accompanied with Isan-style hot and spicy dipping sauce. (People love it so much, she has to put the dipping sauce in a big giant bowl on the table)
Don’t be surprised by the long queues. It’s common any time of day, but they are efficient and you won’t have to wait too long to be served.
How to order like a local: Order fried pork over rice, and for extra 10 Baht, you can add another side dishes, which there are plenty to choose from. The best part is that you’ll get unlimited rice refills, vegetables, bananas, and our favorite crispy flour flakes that Thais can just eat by the handful.
JehJong Moo Tod – Rama 4
Order in from: LINE MAN
Price: From 25 Baht / USD $0.80 (for eating in); and 20 Baht / USD $0.70 (for take outs) Website
Address: 348 Thang Rotfai Sai Pak Kao Pak Nam Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Bangkok 10110 The stall is located behind Tesco Lotus Rama 4. (Coordinates here)
Contact: 083-013-2574 , 087-543-6222
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 5am to 4pm, Sundays from 5am to 12pm
2. Kuay Teaw Neua Toon (Stewed Beef Noodles)
If you really need to categorise “Thai Beef Noodles”, you will have 3 categories based on how long the beef is cooked.
1. Sod (fresh) – a quick blanch before serving
2. Peuy (tender) – slow cooked beef
3. Toon (stewed) – melty fall-apart-on-your-fork tender beef
Kuay Teaw Neua Toon has an intense soup infused with a strong beef flavour, due to stewing big chunks of beef for long periods of time with Chinese herbs and spices. Some stalls even cook the beef tendons together with the beef.
How to eat like Thais: Because of the rich goodness of the soup, Thais prefer this dish with soup and rice noodles (flat, small, or vermicelli) instead of egg noodles. You can also order a bowl of rice and Stewed beef and soup without the noodles (called Khao Lao) as an alternative option.
2-1. The soup here is more than 60 years old… We’re not even joking – Wattana Panich (ร้านวัฒนาพานิช)
You read that right. The soup that’s used to stew the beef is a master stock that’s been around for over 60 years.
You might think that it sounds disgusting or downright weird, but it’s actually an ancient Chinese technique for creating complex and ultra flavourful dishes – and don’t worry, there’s a method to preserving the cleanliness and hygiene of the master stock.
According to Wikipedia:
“Master stocks after initial use, are not discarded or turned into a soup or sauce. Instead, the broth is stored and reused in the future as a stock for more poachings sometimes for up to 100 years.
With each use, the poached meats and other ingredients absorb the stock’s flavour while imparting their own back into the stock. Over time, flavour accumulates in the stock, making it richer and more complex with each poaching, while subsequent poached meats absorb this flavour and likewise become more flavourful.”
Since Wattana Panich first opened almost 60 years ago, they have saved their master stock at the end of every night instead of throwing it away.
The next morning, the soup that’s saved is poured back into the pot with a new batch of beef and stewed for over 6 hours. This is a process that has happened over and over, year after year.
It’s really rare to find places that practice this ancient cooking technique of master stocks these days, and at Wattana Panich, you will appreciate the rarity of it.
The combined flavours of beef and Chinese herbs is so intense in the soup, that you can smell the sweet deliciousness even before you see the stall. Just imagine how much better it could be when you taste it.
Not only do they serve melt-in-your-mouth beef, they also serve beef meatballs and beef tendons. (And if anyone likes goat meat, the stewed goat meat is equally delicious!)
How to order like a local: You can’t go wrong with any combination of meat. You can also order a Hot Pot set which comes with stewed beef soup in a hot pot, and a plate of raw meat and vegetables for you to ‘DIY’ your meal!.
3. Goong Ob Woon Sen (Prawn Baked Pot with Vermicelli)
Once only served in upscale Chinese restaurants, now you can find this delicious dish at most food stalls on streets of Thailand.
Vermicelli (glass noodles) seasoned with soy sauce are baked with prawns (or other shellfish for more varieties), Chinese celery and Thai herbs like ginger and galangal – all together in one pot.
Traditionally it is baked in a clay pot to infuse the food with an earthy aroma, but when it’s sold through food stalls on the street, you’ll see it cooked in an aluminum pot blasted with high heat.
How to eat like Thais: With rice and without rice, it’s totally up to you. You can easily get full from this dish alone. A good Koong Ob Woon Sen should have well-balanced flavours with no other condiments needed, except seafood sauce to dip the prawns in. Warning!! Skip the pork fat and slices of ginger on the bottom of the pot. Thais don’t eat those.
3-1. Unbelievable restaurant quality from a street food cart – Somsak Pu Ob (ร้านสมศักดิ์ปูอบ)
Don’t let the look of this small and simple food cart fool you. Even though it’s on a street, the taste and quality are on par with any big fancy restaurant.
For over 30 years, Somsak Pu Ob has been luring locals with its intoxicating aroma and the top notch big sized fresh seafood. Here you can witness the chef paying close attention to the food served by cooking only 3-4 pots at a time to ensure every pot comes out perfectly.
It’s so good that locals are willing to wait in queue, sometimes almost up to 2 hours just to get a taste of this delicious dish.
Somsak Pu Ob now has 3 branches in close proximity to each other.
How to order like a local: We recommend ordering 2 pots right from the beginning because you won’t be able to resist having just one. Not only can you order prawns, you can also try it with crab. The menu is also in English.
4. Pad Thai (Thai Stir Fried Noodles)
You’ve definitely heard of the most famous Thai dish of all time, Pad Thai. This classic dish introduced the world to the complexity and balance of all the Thai flavours in one wholesome dish.
Nearly 70 years ago during WWII, the Thai government had a plan to unify the whole country which resulted in the creation of this dish. Adapting Chinese stir fried rice noodles by eliminating the use of pork and adding Thai flavors such as tamarind, palm sugar, and chillies – and then giving it a unique name to promote Thai patriotism… Et Voila! Pad Thai was born.
Now, Pad Thai has become the national dish of Thailand.
Did you know, traditionally the dish doesn’t have any meat other than dried preserved shrimp? Now however, Pad Thai has come very far through the reinvention and imagination of locals – which is why you’ll find many varieties of Pad Thai on the menu.
How to eat like Thais: The dish is served with bean sprouts, a slice of lime, chives, and a spoonful of crushed peanuts on the side. You are expected to squeeze the lime over the dish and add sugar, chillies, and/or fish sauce to your liking.
4-1. It’s a shrimp flavour overload – Thip Sa Mai Pad Thai
You know when there are other food stalls that keep opening and selling the same dish as this stall in the same area – that’s when you know that particular stall is really famous.
Thip Sa Mai opened its doors over 50 years ago in Pra Tu Phi (Ghost Gate) area in Bangkok. It’s famous to the extent that locals have nicknamed it “Pad Thai Pra Tu Phi”. Since then, many Pad Thai stalls have opened up nearby in hopes to get some confused customers who come to seek Pad Thai Pra Tu Phi.
So if you hear people refer to “Pad Thai Pra Tu Phi”, they are talking about the one and only Thip Sa Mai Pad Thai.
Thip Sa Mai’s flavour emphasises on the shrimp. The secret ingredient is mixing shrimp paste in Pad Thai, hence, a vibrant orange color of the dish like no others.
It’s really rare to find places that practice this ancient cooking technique of master stocks these days, and at Wattana Panich, you will appreciate the rarity of it.
How to order like a local: There are 8 options of Pad Thai to choose from. The most popular item is Pad Thai with shrimp paste wrapped in egg omelette! #nowyouknow
4-2. Have street food with a spectacular show – Hia Dum Pad Thai Fai Look (Blazing Pad Thai) เฮียดำ ผัดไทยไฟลุก
Talking about a good food with a show. Mr Dum of Blazing Pad Thai will give you a high octane show.
Locals and tourists have been coming to this little food hall opening at night for the past 30 years and it has won many awards for the best Pad Thai in Thailand.
The signature of Mr. Dum’s Pad Thai is Flambé. The blazing flame not only gives you a spectacular show, but also adds extra smokiness to the dish that makes it so irresistible.
(Other than the Pad Thai, Hia Dum Pad Thai also serves other one-plate dishes on the menu.)
How to order like a local: Point at the picture of the dish to order. Besides traditional Pad Thai with shrimp which uses rice noodles, you can also try Woon-Sen Pad Thai which uses cellophane noodles instead.
Hia Dum Pad Thai Fai Look (Blazing Pad Thai) – Sukhumvit 38
Order in from: LINE MAN
Price: 60 Baht / USD $1.83 Website
Address: Soi Sukhumvit 38 , Phra Khanong, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 8pm to 12am, Friday & Saturday from 8pm to 3am, Sundays from 8pm to 12.30am
Contact: +66 84 160 5430
5. Hoi Tod (Crispy Mussel Pancake)
Reinvented from the Chinese oyster omelette, Hoi Tod is usually sold with Pad Thai at street food stalls (maybe because it uses the same flat pan?).
Hoi Tod food carts are often associated with night markets. Wherever there is a night market open from dusk till dawn, you can be guarantee to find a Hoi Tod food cart cooking and serving through the night.
How to eat like Thais: Thais eat Hoi Tod that’s very crispy and served with a topping of flash fried beansprouts, with chilli vinegar hot sauce (the orange color looking sauce) as the dipping sauce.
5-1. Surrender to the King of shellfish – Daeng Racha Hoi Tod (แดงราชาหอยทอด)
Huge and good quality shellfish are what you can count on when you come here.
Mr Daeng, the fourth generation owner, moved his family’s Hoi Tod stall to this location almost 50 years ago – and before that, the generations before him that started the legacy had kept it open for more than 80 years.
Altogether, this Racha Hoi Tod’s been around for over 100 years. Daeng Racha Hoi Tod serves both mussels and oysters pancake.
Most Hoi Tod stalls usually open for dinner or late night but Daeng Racha Hoi Tod opens early in the morning and believe it or not, the mussel pancake is often sold out before noon. So get there early to avoid disappointment.
How to order like a local: You can order Hoi Tod with just mussels or a combination of mussels and oysters!
Daeng Racha Hoi Tod
Order in from: LINE MAN
Price: From 40 to 80 Baht / USD $1.50-2.50 Website
Address: 342 Sukon 1 Alley, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 2.30pm (Get there as early as you can as the mussel pancake is often sold out before noon!)
Contact: +66 81 345 2466
5-2. Try for yourself the crispiest batter in Bangkok – Sawadee Hoi Tod Rachawat (หอยทอดสวัสดี ราชวัตร)
The secret that makes Sawasdee a go-to place for Hoi Tod is in the batter. For almost 50 years the owner, Auntie Samorn, created the special batter that when cooked, comes out super crispy.
She also pays attention to having only quality ingredients in the dish, from using female mussels which she says tastes better, to only specific type of chillies to make the accompanying sauce.
Sawasdee Hoi Tod also has oyster omelette (soft or crispy) served in a smoking hot plate, and Pad Thai with fresh shrimp which are equally delicious.
How to order like a local: If you order Hoi Tod, you’ll get the traditional mussel pancake. If you order Hot Plate, you’ll get the oyster dish.
6. Khao-Kha-Moo (Braised Pork Trotter over Rice)
With the use of the cheapest cut of pig, Thais have turned it into a million dollar dish. The whole pork leg is braised for hours with Chinese herbs and spices until the fat has melted and the meat falls off the bone. The dish is usually served over rice, with a side of hard- boiled egg and pickled green mustard.
The most sought after part of the dish is the ‘trotter’ (Kha-Ki). This crunchy delicacy usually runs out fast.
How to eat like Thais: Use chilli vinegar as a dipping sauce to balance out the fatty taste, along with cloves of garlic, and green Thai chillies.
To be considered a perfect Khao Kha Moo, the meat has to be tender but not greasy. Read on for these two stalls that have proven their dishes are the best for years!
6-1. Enjoy the whole pig trotter – Charoen Saeng Silom (ข้าวขาหมูเจริญแสงสีลม เลิดสิน)
Mr. Bancha, the owner and master behind this legendary food stall is still using the same recipe for over 50 years.
What makes people keep coming back to Charoen Saeng Silom is the size of pig trotter (2kg) and it’s very unique taste unlike others.
Mr Bancha, himself cooks the leg in the evening before for 4 hours, and again in the morning. The tenderness of the meat is guaranteed every time you enjoy the freshly-cooked dishes at this place.
How to order like a local: Instead of over rice, they serve each part of pork on separate plates: meat with skin, trotter, pig innards, or even the whole leg. (The trotter is sold out as quickly as the first few hours after opening!)
6-2. Trotter galore for pork trotters’ lovers – Kha Moo Tee Sam (ขาหมูตีสาม)
If you stroll along Yaowarat, look for a stall with glistening trotters stacked high on the edge of a huge brass pan. Believe it or not, there can be as many as 50 succulent trotters in one pan.
First opened over 30 years ago, this food stall was opened at 3am after all other stalls closed, and without an official name. So its loyal customers have nicknamed it “Khao Moo Tee Sam” which means “3am Pork Leg”.
Luckily for us, the stall has become very popular. Now it opens 24 hours. So you can come down whenever you’re in the mood for a good tender trotter.
They still use the same recipe after all these years, even the same brand of soy sauce. The soup here is soy sauce-based. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t like too much Chinese spice flavour.
How to order like a local: You can order either over rice or just meat on a plate with a separate plate of rice.
Kha Moo Tee Sam – Yaowarat
Order in from: Call directly to place an order
Price: From USD$1 / 35 Baht (The whole pork trotter is USD $9 / 280 Baht Website
Address: 527/12 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Pom Prap, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10500 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 83 082 9036
Opening hours: Daily, 24/7 (Closed every 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday of the month)
7. Kuay Teaw Moo Tom Yum (Spicy Tom Yum Pork Noodles)
Spicy Pork Tom Yum Noodles is an AMPED-UP noodle bowl with well-balanced favourite Thai flavours; spicy, sweet, salty, sour, and zesty.
Pork Tom Yum Noodles is every Thais’ favourite dish. Consisting of seasoned ground pork, slices of pork liver, a couple of pork meatballs or fishballs – it wouldn’t be Pork Tom Yum Noodles without a handful of crushed peanuts too.
How to eat like Thais: Order “Hang Cham-Num Cham”, a phrase that Thais use to order 2 bowls of noodles at the same time. One bowl with soup (“Num”, which means ‘wet’), and one without soup (“Hang”, which means ‘dry’). This way you can enjoy two different styles of noodles!
7-1. Bangkok’s famous Tom Yum Pork Noodles – Rung Rueng Noodles (ร้าน รุ่งเรืองก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมู)
For over 50 years, Roong Rueng has proven to be one of the best noodle spots in Bangkok. Going on to the 2nd generation of cooks, they still stick with the one and only thing on the menu, Noodle Soup.
Their soup is so fragrant and flavourful, Roong Rueng is famous for fresh and good quality toppings – especially big clusters of peppery ground pork that everyone keeps talking about.
How to order like a local: This place is extremely popular among Thais and foreigners, that the menu comes in 5 different languages (Thai, English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean). Pick your choice of noodle, type of soup, and the toppings – and most importantly, don’t forget a plate of deep-fried fish skin.
7-2. Oozing onsen eggs in Tom Yum Noodles – Ko Boo Rod Zing Noodle (ร้านโกบู้รสซิ่ง)
Auntie Tang, the owner, reveals her secret on how she has kept this noodle stall open for almost 50 years and has since expanded to 4 more branches all over Bangkok.
Her secret is not just the fresh ingredients but she also puts her love and care into every bowl of noodles she makes. She even remembers how her long time regulars like their noodles.
She was the first to put two perfectly soft-boiled eggs in Tom yum noodles, along with Thai chili. It has become the signature dish of Ko Boo Rod Zing
How to order like a local: After you choose a type of noodle, soup, and topping, you can also choose the level of spiciness you prefer. Be warned, the maximum level of spiciness is really hot.
8. Khao Moo Daeng (Red Barbecued Pork Over Rice)
During the Chinese migration on World War II, Thais were introduced to Char Siu, the Chinese barbequed pork. Thais fell in love with it and have been eating this delicious red dish ever since.
How to eat like Thais: Besides BBQ pork piled on top of rice, Thais also add Chinese sausage, hard-boiled egg, slices of cucumber, and thick sweet red gravy on top. Often you’ll see stalks of green onion in a cup on the table. That’s not for decoration but for eating with Kho Moo Daeng with sweet dark soy sauce as a dipping sauce.
8-1. Can’t leave Bangkok without eating this legendary charcoal BBQ pork – Khao Moo Daeng Si Morakot (ร้านข้าวหมูแดง สีมรกต)
SeeMorakot has been serving red BBQ pork in Yaowarat for over 70 years. Mr. Wallop, the 2nd generation owner, has never changed the method of cooking pork.
The pork is very slowly cooked over an open flame to ensure its tenderness, while using charcoal for that smoky aroma. SeeMorakot cooks almost 100kg of pork each day and it still sells out every day!
How to order like a local: Order “Pi-Set” which mean “Special” in Thai (120 Baht / USD $3), to get a generous tender pork loin cut and every topping available in one plate.
8-2. Succulent pork and sweet red gravy – Sunee Khao Moo Daeng (สุณีข้าวหมูแดง)
Located in a fresh market near the railroad track, this is as close as you’ll get to experiencing raw Thai culture.
Auntie Sunee started Sunee Khao Moo Daeng over 50 years ago. She uses the sirloin cut which provides a lot of meat and less fat for their BBQ pork. She even makes Chinese sausages by hand. Even though her son has since taken over, she still continues to make sure the food quality is up to her standards.
What keeps people coming back is their signature red gravy. The secret ingredient is extremely simple – ground toasted white sesame seeds. It makes the gravy extra thick and exudes the fragrance of toasted sesame seeds.
How to order like a local: Simply order “Khao Moo Daeng”, it’ll come with the meat trio – BBQ pork, crispy pork belly, and Chinese sausages!
8-3. You won’t believe the size of this BBQ Pork – Khao Moo Daeng Son Tod (ข้าวหมูแดง สนทศ)
Deliciousness comes in a big size at Khao Moo Daeng Son Tod. While other stalls may slice the pork in bite sizes, Khao Moo Daeng Son Tod slices it in huge chucks so you get absatisfying mouthful in every bite.
Ok every plate, the combination of BBQ pork, Chinese sausage, and crispy pork belly are piled high over the rice (you can’t barely see the rice) and drenched ilwith sweet red grav. It almost looks like an erupting volcano with red lava flowing down. That’s how huge it is.
How to order like a local: There are two options, Regular or Special. Unlike other food stalls, ‘Special’ or “Phi-Set’ here means double the size of meat. So if you’re not super hungry, you probably shouldn’t order it. You may also choose to add a boiled egg to your plate for extra Baht.
9. Khao Moo Grob (Crispy Pork Belly over Rice)
In stalls serving Khao Moo Daeng, you’ll often find Khao Moo Grob (Crispy Pork Belly over Rice) on the same menu.
To be called a perfect Moo Grob, it must not be greasy, the meat has to be tender, and most importantly the skin must be crunchy
How to eat like Thais: Khao Moo Grob is served the same way as Khao Moo Daeng. If you want the best of both worlds (which is very common for Thais), use this phrase ‘Khao Moo Daeng-Moo Grob’ to get the meat combo.
9-1. YUM, Extra crispy and crunchy pork belly – Thanee (ร้านข้าวหมูแดงหมูกรอบ ธานี)
Now well into their 3rd generation of owners and with 3 branches in Bangkok, Thanee has been serving one of the crispiest Moo Grob in Bangkok for over 40 years.
After you taste it, you’ll be wondering how they make the skin so crispy, but still manage to keep the meat juicy and with less fat than you’d think.
The secret is they slow-bake the pork for 6 hours before deep frying for maximum crispiness. The saltiness in the skin mixed with sweetness in gravycreates a perfect combination.
How to order like a local: Customise your three meat combination (red BBQ pork, crispy pork belly, Chinese sausage) over rice. “Khao Moo Daeng” will come with the meat trio.
If you want just one meat item, add a word ‘Luan’ at the end of the name, “Khoa Moo Grob – Luan” and your plate will come with just crispy pork belly over rice.
Thanee Restaurant – Soi Aree
Order in from: LINE MAN or GrabFood
Price: 40-50 Baht / USD $1.50-2 Website
Address: 1161-3 Soi Phahonyothin 5 Alley , Phahonyothin Rd Samsennai Payathai Bangkok 10400 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 278 3987
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
9-2. Pork belly with an earth shattering crunch – Moo Grob Nai Sai (หมูกรอบนายไซ)
For more than 45 years, Mr. MonTien, son of the founder Nai Sai, has been maintaining his family’s legacy and old recipe by slowly grilling pork belly on a low charcoal grill for the entire day before deep frying.
You can tell that it’s going to be earth shatteringly crispy good, simply by the look of that aerated popping skin.
This food stall is so popular that there’s another Moo Grob stall adjacent to it. To avoid confusion, Nai Sai had to put a sign up saying “Beware!! Don’t Go in the Wrong Place.”
How to order like a local: You can order the pork belly over rice or simply get a plate of the meat itself. They also sell meat by the kilos to take home.
Nai Sai – Prachachuen
Order in from: LINE MAN or Foodpanda or GrabFood
Price: From 35 Baht/ USD $1 Website
Address: 1059-1060 Pracha Chuen Rd (Between Prachachuen Soi 33 and 34), Bangkok 10800 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 89 816 2084
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 3pm (Closed on the 4th Monday each month)
10. Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)
Originating from Isan (northeastern region of Thailand), Green Papaya Salad or Som Tam is a classic example of what Thai dishes are all about, the perfect balance of sour, salty, spicy, and sweet in one dish.
This enticing combination of green papaya, chillies, fish sauce, sugar and lime has made Som Tam famous all over the world.
To be called Som Tam, the ingredients must be pounded, not stirred, not mixed, but pounded over and over together in a large mortar and pestle. It’s also a very fun to watch when it’s being made.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of varieties combining different proteins and vegetables or even fruits. You can find Som Tam on the menu from small street food carts to upscale restaurants.
How to eat like Thais: Traditionally, Som Tam is to be eaten with sticky rice with raw cabbage and long bean stalks on the side. Now eating Som Tam with rice vermicelli has become a trend that you might find more and more in the menu.
10-1. Get everything you love about the Isan flavour – Larb Bpet Yashoton, Som Tam Silom Soi 9 (ส้มตำ สีลม ซอย 9)
This food stall has many names, but all point to one place which offers delicious and authenticIsan food – particularly Som Tam, which is very popular among office workers and locals in the area.
Located in the heart of Bangkok at Silom, if you mention its official name, locals might not have heard of it. if you mention its nickname “Som Tam Su Saan”, they would definitely know and give you two thumbs up. (The nickname comes from its location which is across from the old Chinese graveyard.)
The Som Tam menu includes Som Tam Thai, Som Tam pickled crab, Som Tam with salty egg, Som Tam with fermented fish, Grilled Pork Som Tam and many more.
Besides Som Tam, they also offer other Isan food such as Larb (Spicy Meat Salad), Spicy Soup, Grilled meat, or even a Grilled Whole Fish.
The cooking stations and tables are lined up on the sidewalk. On busy nights, the seating could even overflow onto the street. Now, that’s what we call anauthentic street food experience.
How to order like a local: You can customise the level of spiciness you prefer. Otherwise, the default dish you’ll get will be pretty spicy.
Larb Bpet Yashothon – Som Tam Silom Soi 9 (aka Som Tam Su Sann)
Order in from: LINE MAN
Price: 40-250 Baht/ USD$ 1.50-9
Address: 525, Soi Silom 9, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Opening hours: Daily from 4pm to 10pm (The busiest time is around 6pm.)
Contact: +66 81 754 9867
10-2. It’s a match made in street food heaven – Som Tam Jae So (ส้มตำเจ้โส)
Som Tam-Gai Yang (Green Papaya Salad and Grill Chicken) is another mixed dish that Thais eat together. At Jae So, they have equally delicious dishes and you have to try both.
Serving office workers in the heart of the financial district for over 10 years, this small food vendor is so popular that sometimes the customers start to serve themselves to speed up the process. And no one seems to mind of helping out.
Som Tam here is packed with flavors and generous servings of ingredients. There are more than 10 varieties of Som Tam from tradition Som Tai Thai, to those with corn, salted eggs, and mango.
Equally delicious, Gai Yang (Grilled chicken) here is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, especially the chicken wings.
How to order like a local: Use an order ticket which shows the list of food (only in Thai though). Write down your table number, your name, and how many dishes you want to order in each item)
10-3. This is what we call elevated street food – HAI Som Tam Convent Silom (ส้มตำคอนแวนต์)
If you like Thai street food but in comfortable settings, you should try Hai Som Tam Convent (the second location is on the 6th floor of Central World Mall, which is even more comfortable).
Locals call it ‘Som Tom Convent’ because it’s located in Soi Convent alley, a very well known lunch spot for office workers at the heart of Bangkok for over 30 years.
Mr Hai, the owner, celebrates his love of Isan food here. (Back in the days, you could only find it in small outdoor stalls or in gas stations.) He has focused on making Som Tam the star dish of his restaurant.
Now Hai Som Tam Convent not only offers Som Tam, but other cheap and delicious Isan dishes as well.
How to order like a local: The menu here is massive and is available in English too. The Som Tam menu itself has 20 options to choose from: traditional and seafood, to using carrots instead of green papaya, and more.
HAI Som Tam Convent
Order in from: LINE MAN or Foodpanda or GrabFood
Price: 50-200 Baht/ USD $1.50-6 Website
Address: 2/4-5 Soi Convent, Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10am to 9pm; Saturdays 10am to 5pm. Sat (Closed on Sundays)
Contact:+66 2 631 0216, +66 80 948 5579
11. Khao Mun Gai (Thai Chicken Rice)
Introduced by Chinese immigrants and adopted by Thais, Chicken Rice has since been adapted into one of Thailand’s much loved fast street food that you see throughout the country.
It’s basically tender poached chicken over oiled rice served with hot clear chicken broth on the side. For the Thai take on chicken rice, cucumbers and blood pudding are added.
How to eat like Thais: There are two types of dipping sauces, sweet dark soy sauce with ginger chili and soy bean paste. A must-try when you’re digging into Khao Mun Gai.
11-1. Late Night Legendary Chicken Rice – Go Ang Kao Mun Gai Pratunam (ไก่ตอนประตูนำ้ / โกอ่าง)
Look for the pink shirts and white hats on the staff when you’re on the hunt for this legendary chicken rice.
There’s not much to say about Go Ang, except that it’s been serving locals and especially late night diners since 1960. It’s one of the first Chicken Rice stalls that opened in Pratunam and helped mark the name “Khao Mun Gai Pratunam” as a go-to place for Chicken Rice.
Go Ang gives you thick slices of chicken to sink your teeth in that’s firm but juicy and moist. It also comes with very aromatic light and clear chicken broth and sweet dipping soy sauce.
How to order like a local: Locals like to choose between chicken with or without skins.
11-2. This is a century old Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe! – Thai Heng Restaurant (ร้านไท้เฮง)
Talk about carrying on the legacy… Thai Heng Restaurant has been opened since 1920, making Hainan-style food in Yaowarat. “Ancient Recipe” is what the locals call the restaurant and praise it for the consistently delicious food that’s been passed down for 3 generations.
Hainan chicken is known for its big juicy slices of chicken meat. In Hainanese style, the oiled rice has a bit more color than others from being cooked with chicken broth, but it’s still fluffy and not too oily.
Thai Heng also offers other Hainan dishes and their Thai Sukiyaki is famous too – so you know what to try when you’re here.
How to order like a local: You can order breast meat or thigh meat, also with or without skin as you wish. Unlike other chicken rice stalls, it doesn’t come with free soup. You will need to order soup separately.
11-3. It’s all about the dipping sauce – Lunpha Chicken Rice Bay Tong (ร้านลั่นฟ้า ข้าวมันไก่เบตง)
Founded nearly 30 years ago, the owner moved from his hometown Bay Tong, a district in the Southern region of Thailand to Bangkok. And he brought along the local recipe for Thai Chicken Rice which emphasises on using a special breed of chicken from the same region – where the meat is more tender than usual.
Another unique thing about Lunpha Chicken Rice is that garlic, ginger, and chillies are mixed in the dipping sauce to cater to Thais’ palette rather than the traditional dipping sauce.
How to order like a local: There are many options to order from traditional Chicken Rice, to Fried Chicken Rice, or Baked Pork over Rice and even a meat trio over rice.
12. Khao Tum Pla (Fish Soup)
What do Thais eat in the middle of the night? Khao Tum ( Rice Soup) would be one of the answers. It’s light and easy to digest, and you can find many Khao Tum stalls in the middle of the night to curb your hunger around Bangkok.
How to eat like Thais: Thais put fried garlic and fresh ginger in the soup, and you may find some stalls serving with soy bean paste as a dipping sauce for the fish too.
12-1. In awe of the huge chunks of fish – Khao Tom Pla Kimpo (ข้าวต้มปลา กิมโป้)
For over 70 years, they’re now onto their third generation of cooks serving late night diners with big chunks of fish in a very tasty rice soup.
Two kinds of fish are available here, pomfrets and groupers. If you follow the directions until you see a stall with these big fishes hanging in front of it, you’re at the right place.
The soup here is to die for. Made from fish bones, this bright, fragrant, peppery, and sweet soup will make you want more and more. No doubt, this is the best Fish Soup in Bangkok.
How to order like a local: The menu is very simple. Choose your seafood and then pick a style of preparation – Rice Soup, Spicy Salad, and Clear Soup (no rice)
13. Kuay Teaw Kua Gai (Stir Fried Flat Noodles with chicken)
Another variety of Thai noodle dish is “Kuay Teaw Kua Gai”. Traditionally, the dish must have flat rice noodles, marinated chicken and pickled squid as its main ingredients. Unlike Chinese stir fried noodles, Kuay Teaw Kua Gai uses little to no oil to quickly cook the noodles at high heat. This results in anvery fragrant dish without the grease.
How to eat like Thais: The dish is topped with small pieces of fried dough (Pah Tong Koh) and Sriracha sauce for your dipping sauce.
13-1. It’s like happiness wrapped inside of yumminess – Kua Gai Chonticha (คั่วไก่ ชลธิชา)
The signature of this restaurant is that in every Kua Gai dish, the noodles comes wrapped in fried egg, like an omelette. It’s extremely fragrant and adds to the flavours of the dish.
Almost half a century ago, Chonticha started with just a small stall in a fresh market. As it got more popular (as you can tell by the wall of fame inside the restaurant), they kept expanding the space. Now with the third generation in charge, the customers have never stopped coming,
How to order like a local: The menu has also since expanded with many other options. You can get a traditional Kua Gai noodle or try cellophane noodles and add a seafood medley.
Kua Gai Chonticha
Order in from: LINE MAN or GrabFood
Price: From 50 to 150 Baht / USD $2-5 Website
Address: 63/8-9 Bang Kra Bue, Amnuay Songkhram Rd, Thanon Nakhon Chai Si, Dusit, Bangkok 10300 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 8.30pm. (Closed every 2nd Monday of the month.)
Contact: +66 86 555 1563
14. Kuay Chab Nam Sai (Curly Rice Noodles and Crispy Pork Clear Soup)
It’s a Southern Chinese dish which has become very popular in Thailand with rice noodles curled into a tube shape in hearty soup.
Kuay Chab Nam Sai has a clear soup base while the other kind, Kuay Chab Nam Kon, has dark brown soup with Chinese herbs and spices.
Beside noodles, all kinds of toppings are added to the dish from pieces of pork – pig offal, slices of crispy pork, blood pudding or even a hard-boiled egg. Because it has so many ingredients, the name locals have given it literally means ‘Noodles with 10 ingredients’. So next time you have a bowl of Kuay Chab, see if you have all 10.
How to eat like Thais: Accompany your bowl of Kuay Chab with chili vinegar sauce for dipping!
14-1. An explosion of peppery flavour that will zap your taste buds – Nay Lek Uan, Yaowarat (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใสนายเล็กอ้วน)
Located in a busy street in Yaowarat, Chinatown of Bangkok, this food cart begins to set up a few small tables at dusk. By 7pm, people are queueing to order their take-out.
More than 30 years and well into their 2nd generation of cooks, there are many reasons people keep coming back. One of them? The pork ingredients that are cooked to perfection.
Think crispy pork belly that stays crispy even in the soup, pork offal that’s very tender and with a clean taste. Another reason people love this street food cart is its strong peppery soup. The pepper flavour is so intense (but very much flavourful) that it sort of zaps your taste buds (and might help clear your sinus at the same time).
How to order like a local: Customise your selection of meat if you like. Order ‘ Tuk Yang’ and they include every kind of meat they have. Order ‘No Krueng Nai’ if you don’t care for offal at all.
15. Jok (Thai Rice Porridge)
Thais have their own version of Rice Porridge. It’s a very popular breakfast and late night dish in Thailand.
With balls of minced pork, pig innards and topped with julienned ginger, green onion, cilantro, and your choice of with egg or without egg – some stalls may offer century egg (Pidan) as an option too.
This dish is supposed to be simple, but now you may find this dish with fancier items for toppings. In our opinion though, simplicity is best with this comfort food.
How to eat like Thais: For breakfast, Thais eat Jok with Pa Thong Ko, a Thai-style Chinese Cruller (fried dough) which are usually sold together with Jok at breakfast time. But there are no rules against having them late at night either.
15-1. Smoky flavoured rice porridge that you won’t find anywhere else – Jok Prince (ร้านโจ๊กปริ๊นซ์)
The name came from when it first opened more than 60 years ago, as the stall was located across from a cinema called Prince Rama Cinema. Though the cinema is long gone, the name and reputation of this food stall has still stuck.
Jok Prince cooks jasmine rice and pork together in the same pot, resulting in irresistible pork-flavoured porridge with a very smooth and creamy texture. It also comes with a surprise hint of smoky aroma from the burnt rice on the bottom of the pot.
Apart from the smooth and unique smoky flavour of the rice porridge here, locals also rave about the size of the minced pork balls that they’re big and very satisfying.
How to order like a local: The menu is very simple. Just order Jok or Rice porridge with a combination of minced pork, innards, and either egg or century egg. Don’t forget the minced pork balls too! If you like it, you could always order extra pork balls.
Jok Prince – Bang Rak
Order in from: LINE MAN or Foodpanda or GrabFood
Price: From 40-50 Baht / USD $1.50-2.50
Address: 1391 Charoen Krung Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok. It’s located opposite Robinson Bank Rak Shopping Center. (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 89 795 2629, +66 80 712 9787
Opening hours: Daily from 6am to 12pm, 4.30pm to 9pm
15-2. Just one bowl of this legendary Jok will fill you up – Jok Sam Yan (ร้านโจ๊กสามย่าน)
When you think of rice porridge, you think of something light. But at Jok Sam Yan, it’s the opposite.
The porridge here is thick, not runny, and the rice remains chewy. The minced pork balls also have a chunkier texture like meatballs, and the serving portion of the bowls are quite big – we guarantee it will make your tastebuds and tummy pretty happy.
This original stall which opened more than 70 years ago at Sam Yan area (hence the name) has since moved to the current location – and is not to be confused with other stalls with the same name which has popped up all over Bangkok.
Jok Sam Yan serves rice porridge with minced pork balls, innards, onsen egg, and century egg.
How to order like a local: Order ‘Jok Jumbo’ for a super-sized bowl if you are a big eater. If you are a pork lover and want less porridge, order ‘Khao Lao’ which comes with extra pork and less porridge!
Jok Sam Yan – Udomsuk
Order in from: LINE MAN or GrabFood
Price: From 40-60 Baht / USD $1-$1.50
Address: Udomsuk Soi 9, Udomsuk Rd, Sukumvit 103, Bang Nga, Bangkok 10260 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 81 350 6671
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 5am to 9am, 4pm to 9pm; Saturday & Sundays from 5am to 9am only
There you have it. The ultimate list of Thais’ favourite local food, and the best Bangkok street food destinations with a long history that all true foodies should try.
Now you know where to go and how to eat like Thais!
PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
|PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! |