6 Beginner-Friendly Thai Street Food

Discover great street-side dishes to indulge in, and some tips on how to enjoy them to the fullest

Not only is Thai street food famous for its bold flavours and fresh ingredients but it is also a quintessential part of Thai culture. Street food is a popular dining option for both locals and tourists alike due to an array of factors like convenience, affordability, freshness, variety, and it’s also a way to get in touch with the local culture. You can find food stalls and street vendors literally scattered around the city almost everywhere, day and night. Although Thai street food is full of flavour, it is also varied, so there is certainly something for everyone. 

If you’re familiar with South Korean influencer and street food enthusiast Shin Ji Hyun, you could also follow her Instagram footsteps and try dishes such as Mango Sticky Rice, Roti, Khanom Buang, and the many refreshing fruit carts around the city. With her guidance, you can experience the best of Bangkok street food.

And if you’re not up for queuing in a long line at popular and over-crowded Jay Fai, we suggest you hit the road and explore the following list and get a few tips; you might even surprise yourself with a new favourite delicacy!



Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a dish you can’t miss when you start exploring Thai food. Now also added to the online Oxford Dictionary, the dish typically consists of stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables, eggs, tofu, and a protein such as shrimp, chicken, or beef. 



Som Tam (Papaya Salad)

Perfect for hot days, Som Tam is an iconic Thai street food dish. Also known as Papaya salad, it consists of spicy, sweet, and sour flavours mixed in with shredded unripe papaya, tomatoes, green beans, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, peanuts, and dried shrimp. It is a must-try dish for anyone visiting Thailand, and is widely available at street food stalls, markets, and restaurants throughout the country.



Moo Ping (Sticky Rice and Grilled Pork)

Usually served with sticky rice and a spicy sauce on the side, Moo Ping are pork skewers marinated in a sweet and salty sauce, famous as a breakfast dish.



Kuai Tiao (Noodle Dishes)

Noodle stalls are everywhere in Bangkok. With your preferred type of noodles (which there are plenty of), Kuay Tiao comes with either chicken, duck, pork, beef as well as wontons, meatballs, and vegetables.



Pad Gra Prow (Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry)

A classic Thai dish, Pad Gra Pow is a stir-fried dish made with ground meat, usually chicken or pork, garlic, chilli, oyster sauce, and Thai holy basil leaves. The flavourful dish is usually served with steamed rice and topped with  a fried egg.



Tom Yum Soup

Served almost everywhere across the country from local street eateries to fancy restaurants, Tom Yum is a savoury soup cooked with an abundance of herbs, lemon grass, fresh galangal root, kaffir lime leaves, and usually includes chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, and tomatoes. The soup is often garnished with fresh cilantro and served with steamed rice.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy street stall dining:

Look for busy stalls
If you see locals queuing up for their favourite dishes, this is usually a sign that the food is tasty and great value for money.

Check for cleanliness
Eat at stalls that are clean and look for food that is being prepared with good hygiene practices. Also, avoid food that has been sitting out for a long time, so make sure the food is cooked fresh.

Be open to try new things
If you see a dish that looks interesting, don’t be afraid to try it as Thai street food is filled with unique and delicious dishes. Every dish can surprise your taste buds!

Bring your own bottle of water
This is a must, especially if you’re someone who can’t handle spicy dishes well. Therefore, a bottle of cool water will come in handy whenever you need to cool down after a spicy dish.

Pay attention to ingredients
Because Thai food is often cooked with multiple ingredients, make sure to ask before you order if you’re vegan, vegetarian, have any food allergies, or dietary restrictions.