Thai Street Food Guide: 12 Best Things to Eat & What to Expect

Thai Street Food Guide: 12 Best Things to Eat & What to Expect

Delicious street food you cannot miss!

Known for its use of a wide array of spices to create contrasting flavours, Thai food has blossomed in popularity throughout the world. From sweet to spicy, Thai delicacies have it all. For travellers looking to tickle their taste buds, Thai street food brings these flavours together in an affordable and convenient package. Sold straight out of roadside pushcarts or hidden within the maze of Bangkok night bazaars, Thai street food also offers an authentic Thai eating experience. 

Here are 14 street food in Thailand and what to expect!

Also read: Digital Nomads Can Apply for a 10-Year Visa to Thailand From September 2022

Popular street food in Thailand

1. Pad thai

popular food in thailand

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Kicking off our list is a favourite among locals and tourists alike — pad thai. The dish features dry noodles stir-fried with sweet-sour sauce and crushed peanuts to create the perfect blend of flavours.

Depending on the store, this local delicacy comes mixed with a wide variety of ingredients, from tofu to prawns. As one of the most recognisable street food in Thailand, pad thai definitely deserves a spot on this list!

2. Moo tod gratiem

street food in thailand

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Moo tod gratiem, or crispy fried pork, is a popular street food in Bangkok. With pork deep-fried with garlic and pepper, the dish is simple yet delicious! The generous serving of garlic gives the dish an incomparable fragrance.

Just make sure you bring along some breath mints!

3. Guay tiew reau

convenient, quick meal

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Literally translated to “boat noodles,” guay tiew reau is practically synonymous with Thai street food. This Bangkok speciality contains a spicy bowl of aromatic broth filled with rice noodles. For more adventurous foodies, some stores add a splash of beef or pork blood to thicken the soup. 

Often served in a small bowl, boat noodles are perfect for those looking for a quick and delicious meal!

4. Kai jeow

fried thai omelette

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Another international favourite is kai jeow or Thai omelette. Not to be confused with the English-style breakfast omelette, kai jeow is anything but breakfast food. Often deep-fried in vegetable oil, it is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

The omelette is paired with ketchup or chilli sauce to enhance the flavours of the dish. Have it with a serving of rice for a savoury and filling meal!

5. Gai pad med mamuang

stir-fried chicken with cashew

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A mainstay of street food in Bangkok is the gai pad med mamuang. This local delicacy stars Thai chicken stir-fried with Thai chilli peppers. With a tantalising mix of chicken, onions, dried chillies, and cashew nuts, Gai pad med mamuang has quickly become popular amongst tourists for its mild, sweet, and salty flavours.

6. Tom yum soup

bangkok michelin star street food

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If there’s any dish that deserves the crown of the most popular street food in Thailand, it would have to be tom yum. This soup is known for its spicy and sour taste. Be warned: locally-made tom yum tends to be really spicy!

Additionally, the soup comes with a generous portion of ingredients that varies depending on the store and your order. Jay Fai’s Michellin-starred Bangkok street food even comes with roasted chilli paste for extra flavour!

7. Pad gaprao

street food in bangkok

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many food choices available in Thailand, here’s a safe option. It is often stir-fried with chicken or pork and served with rice and a fried egg. 

Pad gaprao is a beloved classic you cannot go wrong with!

Underrated street food in Thailand

8. Som tam

green papaya salad

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With all the fried food available in Thailand, you might find yourself craving a dish to maintain a balanced diet. We’ve got you covered with som tam (green papaya salad). The dish is made through the pounding of numerous ingredients — grated sour green papayas, garlic, chilli, fish sauce, peanuts, and a lot more!

If you’re looking for a healthy meal, som tam is definitely one of the best food in Bangkok.

9. Khao kha moo

pork trotters

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Despite being quintessential Thai street food, khao kha moo is better known among locals than tourists. It is a slow-braised pork leg served with rice. Compared to their Chinese counterpart, these pork trotters have less oil and vinegar while being sweeter.

With its salty-sweet flavour, khao kha moo is a comforting dish that you must try.

10. Guay jab nam sai

If you think guay jab nam sai (rice noodles with soup) doesn’t sound like the most exciting dish, you’d be mistaken. The soup has a pepper-ish spiciness and a rich garlicky aroma. 

However, what truly makes the dish stand out is the pig innards and meat mixed with the soup. Not for the faint-hearted, it often comes with pork maw, entrails, liver, heart, tongue, and much more!

11. Goong chae nam pla

raw prawn dish

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Reminiscent of Japan’s prawn sashimi, goong chae nam pla features raw prawn soaked in sour and salty fish sauce. Topped with bitter gourd, shredded cabbage, and a generous helping of chilli and garlic, this dish is a favourite among locals.

With an abundance of fresh seafood, goong chae nam pla is undoubtedly one of the best street food in Bangkok.

12. Leng saap

Lastly, leng saap (pork spine soup) is the perfect dish for a hearty meal. The dish consists of pork spine seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce, and coriander. Served in large, affordable portions, Leng Saap will definitely satisfy even the most voracious of appetites!

Also read: 12 Must-Know Thai Expressions & Phrases Every Tourist Should Learn

And that concludes our list of 12 street food in Thailand and what to expect! From popular to underrated, spicy to sweet, this list will satisfy even the pickiest palette. So the next time you’re planning a trip to Thailand, make sure you try out some of these local delicacies!

About Author

Chow Cheng Yang
Chow Cheng Yang

Cheng Yang can often be found in his natural habitat — in his bed with a cup of coffee and a science-fiction novel. With his undying love for jazz music and old movies, he likes to think of himself as a bit of a hippie. When he's not busy with work or school, he spends his free time playing the guitar or practising calligraphy.