We will never run out of things to eat in Bangkok. Period.
This gluttons paradise is home to a smorgasbord of scrumptious grub that we wouldn’t mind getting fat for. From cooling husks of coconut ice cream to fiery bowls of Thai green curry, Bangkok hands down has some of the best food that we have ever tasted.
Whether it’s your first time stepping foot into this food heaven or if you’re a frequent traveller to Bangkok, we have here a guide of local food and snacks to give you some ideas on what you need to try on your next trip to the land of smiles.
There are few things as addictive as boat noodles and we love the satisfying feeling of stacking all those finished bowls up high. The great thing about boat noodles is that because the portions are all so small and cheap, you get to try a variety of different broths and noodles till your heart’s content without feeling a pinch in your wallet.
Where to get it: Lung Prathunam Boat Noodles, Kin Tiew Kan, Baan Kuay Tiew Ruathong, Doy Kuay Teow Reua Boat Noodles
COCONUT ICE CREAM
The Bangkok heat can get pretty unbearable at times and that’s why we love indulging ourselves in some Thai coconut ice-cream to cool ourselves down. We absolutely love the rich coconut cream base and we like to garnish our ice creams a sprinkling of peanuts, fruits, and candies.
Where to get it: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Hua Mum Night Market, Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream
Choose to have your crepes savoury or sweet—we had our charcoal crepe with sliced bananas. You are likely to find crepes in most night markets of Bangkok as it is a common snack you can find even on the streets itself.
Where to get it: Rot Fai Market Ratchada
CRISPY PANCAKES (KHANOM BUANG)
Khanom buang is a must-eat snack when you are in Thailand. It’s a Thai-style crepe that looks like a crunchy taco. It’s made with rice flour and stuffed with sweet meringue or savoury cream. Toppings vary from egg yolk threads to shredded coconut or chopped shrimp.
Where to get it: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Rot Fai Market Ratchada
If you love duck, we insist that you try the Thai’s rendition of duck noodles and rice. We prefer it over Singapore’s any day and we love how their version features more tender and succulent cuts of duck.
Where to get it: Buay Pochana, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Pondtip Pratunam, Tung Sui Heng Pochana
This one isn’t for the faint-hearted (and that includes us). If you’re a brave soul who loves trying out new things, we recommend that you have a go at some fried bugs. Bangkok is one of the few places in the world that dishes out these critters like delicacies and you can often get your hands on some at most of the night markets there.
FRIED QUAIL EGGS
Fried quail eggs are one of our favourite street snacks in Bangkok. They taste great, albeit extremely simple. The special seasoning used is a sauce that elevates the savoury taste. The egg is also usually not fully cooked, so the yolk bursts once you bite into it.
Where to get it: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Chinatown, Ramkhamhaeng University Night Market, Hua Mak
Leng Saap essentially translates to ‘Spicy Pork Bone Soup’ and it basically consists of giant portions of pork ribs and spine that are generously doused in a rich and addictively spicy broth as well as plenty of lime, coriander and chilli. We’ve tried the one at Golden Mile Tower back in Singapore and were instantly hooked, and we pleased to say that the ones here in Bangkok taste even better.
MANGO STICKY RICE
The vast abundance of street food might be a tad too overwhelming for first-timers to Thailand, but one will never go wrong with this classic Thai dessert. Made with coconut milk, fresh mangoes and sticky glutinous rice, this dessert is a delightful contrast of sweet and saltiness.
Where to get it: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Talad Neon Night Market, Rot Fai Market Ratchada, Mae Varee Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango, Boonsap Thai Desserts, Muhammad Roddee, Je Meaw Sukhumvit 38
If you’re tired of plain white rice, why not try some of Thailands olive rice? We love how the rice has an aromatic olive flavour that pairs well with whatever dish it is served with it. It also tastes great eaten on its own!
Where to get it: Street outside Union Mall, Sanguan Sri Restaurant
It would be a crime to come to Bangkok and not have tried the pad Thai here. This classic stir-fried noodle dish is chock full of different flavours from all its various components such as the nuttiness from the peanuts to the sweetness of the prawns and chilli. It isn’t hard to see why it’s so popular amongst both locals and tourists alike!
Where to get it: Thipsamai, Baan Phad Thai, Pad Thai Mae Am
PAN-FRIED SQUID EGGS
Squid eggs do sound a little intimidating to people who have never tried them before but we promise you that they taste way better than they sound! Most places serve them in two ways: deep-fried or pan-fried. We prefer the deep-fried version which is first coated with batter for a crispy outer layer, before being deep-fried in hot oil and then drizzled with a tangy green chilli sauce for extra oomph.
Where to get it: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Rot Fai Market Ratchada
PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE (KHAO OP SAPPAROT)
Nothing beats an iconic plate of pineapple fried rice and this well-loved Thai dish features fluffy Jasmine rice cooked with juicy pineapple chunks. Some places even serve up the dish in a hollowed-out pineapple which makes for a great photo opportunity for the gram.
Where to get it: Ko Eay Ko Kafaa, Tealicious Cafe
PORK TROTTERS RICE (KHAO KAA MOO)
Whenever we are in Bangkok, we love to indulge ourselves in a sinful plate of pork trotters rice. Here, outrageously tender chunks of braised pork trotters lie atop a bed of white rice and then doused in a generous amount of braising gravy. We honestly wouldn’t mind getting a heart attack for this dish.
Where to get it: Bamee Sawang, Khao Kha Moo Truk Sung
SALTED GRILLED FISH
The Thai’s prepare their salted fish very differently from the Chinese. Here, they coat the entire fish in a layer of salt while discarding the skin. This interesting technique helps to preserve the moisture of the fishes flesh during the grilling process, keeping it nice, moist and chock full of flavour.
Where to get it: Rot Fai Market Ratchada, Pa Porn Pla Phao, Talad Neon
For the uninitiated, som tum is essentially Thai-style green papaya salad. There are many roadside stalls selling fresh som tum that is prepared to order. Unripened green papaya is shredded and mixed with chilli, sugar, garlic, lime, fish sauce, tomatoes and several other ingredients to produce a spicy-sour taste that will have you lingering for more.
Where to get it: B-Story Cafe, MBK Mall, Chatuchak Weekend Market
THAI CHICKEN RICE
While Thai-style chicken rice is somewhat similar to Singapore’s, the chicken is much drier and the rice is a little less oily. Many stalls specialise in both fried and steamed chicken rice and we sometimes have a hard time choosing between the two. We love the chilli sauce that accompanies the dish and it provides anything that is dunked into it with a savoury and fiery touch that packs a punch.
Where to get it: Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice, Kuang Heng, Kaiton Pratunam Chicken Rice
THAI ICED MILK TEA
To combat the sweltering heat, we love to get ourselves a cup of satisfyingly cooling Thai iced milk tea. Renditions of this popular drink can be found in many places around the world but nothing beats going back to the original. While the drink may get too cloyingly sweet at times, we still can’t help but slurp it down because it’s just so addictive.
THAI GREEN CURRY
We love how creamy yet fiery a good bowl of Thai green curry is. The green chillies used give the dish its murky green colour and this is further enhanced with basil leaves and lemongrass. If you can’t take spicy food, be warned that this dish might be a bit too much for you.
Where to get it: Krua Apsorn, Methavalai Sorndaeng, The Sixth
THAI FISH CAKE
Thai fish cakes are one of our favourite snacks in Bangkok and we love how they are easily available. If you are lucky, these fish cakes will be freshly deep-fried in front of you, so you can have it piping hot with a generous drizzle of Thai sweet chilli sauce.
Where to get it: Pratunam Market, Chatuchak Weekend Market
There is something very addictive about Thai-style omelettes that make us prefer it to any other omelette out there. For some unbeknownst reason, the omelettes in Bangkok are the fluffiest and sweetest. Pair it with some rice and Thai green chilli sauce and you’ve got yourself a simple yet satisfying meal that’ll substantially fill you up.
Where to get it: Chatuchak Weekend Market, The Sixth, Raan Jay Fai, Nhong Rim Klong
TOM YUM KOONG
Common but oh-so-addictive, a hearty bowl of tom yum koong is an ideal centrepiece for meals with large groups of people. The dish is creamy, spicy and tangy all at once and we could easily just eat it doused over a plate of rice without anything else.
If you love Singapore’s wanton noodles, you may wanna give the Thai version a try. Here, springy egg noodles are tossed in oil, soya sauce and chilli, accompanied with greens, small dumplings and slices of honeyed pork. We admittedly can’t decide if we prefer the Thai or Singapore rendition!
Where to get it: Sukhumvit Soi 38, Bamee Sawang, Nai Meng Ba Mee Poo, Odean Noodle