Sweet Thai chili, diced peanuts, glass noodles, and curries in every colour of the traffic light. Let’s do the Bangkok Jam.
Must Try in Bangkok #1: Pad Thai
This stir-fried rice noodle, often topped with finely chopped roasted peanuts, chilli flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon, is among Thailand’s most famous signature dishes.
It is typically served with peeled prawns and bean sprouts. It leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste.This dish feels fairly light, but in fact fills you up nicely. Always a great choice for lunch or dinner.
Easy to find on the streets of Bangkok.
Best Restaurant in Bangkok for Pad Thai: Thip Samai Pad Thai
A long-established favourite, even for locals. The restaurant opens up onto the street, with long queues for their traditional-style Pad Thai cooked on charcoal stoves, giving it is a deeper flavor.
Lots of variations on Pad Thai here, including the popular omelette-wrapped “Superb Pad Thai”. Takeaway, OK!
Thip Samai Restaurant
313 Maha Chai Road
Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon
Tel: +66 (0) 2221 6280
Open Daily: 1730 – 0130
Must Eat in Bangkok #2: Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
Shredded unripe papaya in a mixture of sweet, sour, spicy and tangy flavours – with a crunch. Due to the unripened papaya, the long strips of papaya are firm to the bite. The unripened fruit also creates a savoury flavour to the dish, rather than sweet.
Best Papaya Salad in Bangkok: Som Tam Nua
The two floors of Som Tam Nua on Siam Square are popular specialists for som tam. Of course you can get other Thai dishes, but there’s a whole variety of som tam in particular to try here.
It’s a quick casual dining setup, and there’s often a queue.
Som Tam Nua
392/14 Soi Siam Square 5
Rama 1 Road
Tel: +66 (0) 22 51 4880
Open daily, 10:45 a.m.-9.30 p.m.
Must Eat in Bangkok #3: Boat Noodles
The concept of boat noodles, known in Thai as kway teow rua, is simple: bite-sized portions of either rice (sen lek) or yellow egg noodles (ba mee) with meat or tom yam soup are served up in equally tiny bowls. You can choose between beef, pork or fish balls and with of meat, which is all topped off with a few fresh herbs. Seasoning like dried chilli and fish sauce can be added for extra flavour.
The curiously small size of each bowl really is the unique selling point of boat noodle alley. As a result, it’s common to see locals order dozens of bowls at a time, which are then stacked high on the tables making for an all-important photo op before departure.
Best Boat Noodle in Bangkok: Sutyot Kuetiau Lua Payak
Each bowl costs less than 50 cents and it comes in 4 flavours – Pork, Beef, Tom Yam and Yen Ta Fo (fermented soybean paste). For those who manage to sink 10 bowls of the noodles, a trophy is awarded in the form of a free bottle of Pepsi.
Sutyot Kuetiau Lua Payak
Victory Monument, Phaya Thai
Opens Daily, 11am to 9pm
Must Eat in Bangkok #4: Tom Yum Goong Noodles
One of the most famous Thai foods is the Thai Tom Yum Goong.
The best part of the Tom Yum Goong is the mix of flavours of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, fresh Thai chilies, and fresh lime juice, that all combine to create a healthy and soothing broth that will delight your taste buds. It is a dish most commonly served with shrimp (seafood), beef or chicken.
Best Tom Yum Goong Noodles in Bangkok: P’Aor
68/51 Soi Phetchaburi 5,
Between Soi 5 – 7, Phaya Thai,
Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand
Opens Daily, 10am to 9pm
Must Try #5: Pineapple Fried Rice
Another famous dish commonly found in Thailand is the Pineapple Fried Rice, which is mainly cooked with soft Jasmine Thai rice along with an assortment of ingredients such as minced garlic, shallots, and egg, before being served in a hollow pineapple.
Best Pineapple Fried Rice in Bangkok: Tealicious
Soi 49 Soi Charoen Krung
Famous Street Food Market: Yaowarat (Chinatown)
Stretching for 1.5km, Bangkok’s Chinatown offers a great variety of Thai-Chinese food. It’s most lively at night when all the stalls are open. Not just a tourist haunt, Yaowarat is where the locals gather to eat as well. Stir fry, glass noodles, seafood… lots of tasty options.
CC2.0/ Pietro Motta
Don’t bother waiting for queues to get shorter. Just jump in.
If you don’t have much time in Bangkok, go to Yaowarat street food market with an empty stomach and eat your way through Chinatown. You’ll pass some of Bangkok’s landmarks and must-visit streets within this area. For something a little more social, sign up for the Yaowarat Night Foodie Walk.
Asia’s Greatest Food Cities
Friends, countrymen, makan kaki, lend me your ears. I shall show you the way to paradise. Food paradise, that is. Loosen your belt and get your ENO ready, for we are about to journey through Asia’s Greatest Food Cities and mark out the treasures the great food gods have laid on the table.
In this series highlights the best food to try in each city, as recommended by locals who have lived & tasted it. Read on to find out the most popular local dishes and the best places you should go to try them.