5 Places to Eat Thai Street Food in Bangkok

Thai Street Food

Eating Thai street food is one of our favourite things to do in Bangkok.

It’s hard not to find a street corner with a row of carts lined up dishing up meals like noodle soup, BBQ pork, fish cakes and delicious curries.

Is your mouth watering as much as mine?

The good news is that eating street food has many benefits to you as a traveller  – it’s generally safe (you can see what’s being cooked and it’s fresh), you get to interact with the locals, It’s authentic, delicious and the best way to give back to the local economy.

Eating Thai street food in Bangkok is incredibly cheap, as is the street food in all of Thailand. A bag of fish cakes will set you back 20 baht (less than a $1) and a noodle soup around 60 baht ($2).

How do you know where to eat street food in Bangkok?

Craig and I really believe the best place to eat street food is the street you are on. Go to the areas that are thriving with locals—always a sign that the food rocks.

Just know a few of your fave dishes in Thai, so you can order the right thing. Have it written down in Thai language if you can. If all else fails use your eyes to choose and then point and smile.

I know most of you are eager to really eat at the BEST places for street food in Bangkok. There has to be a list somewhere right?

Well according to our guide Tim, from Absolutely Fantastic Holidays, there is. Tim is a Bangkok local and shared with us what is widely considered throughout the Bangkok community to be the

5 Places to Eat Street Food in Bangkok

1. Chinatown

OMG, if you love authentic street food you will love visiting Chinatown in Bangkok. There are hundreds of street stalls, markets, carts and restaurants. Night time is when Yaowarat, as Chinatown is also known as, will rock your taste buds.

We can really understand why this comes in at Number 1. According to Jim Thompson, who took us on a walking tour of Yaowarat last year, Chinatown is the place where street food first began in Thailand over 200 years ago when Bangkok was the major trading hub of South East Asia.

Thai Street Food
Dumplings

Just look for the ad hoc stalls, the plastic tables and chairs, feast out on delicious food and wash it all down with a Singa beer.

We lived a short walk from the outskirts of Chinatown and loved wandering down for our evening meal of Thai noodles with gravy. At 20 baht how can you say no?

Thai Street Food
oyster omellete – Chinatown special

2. Silom Road

This is the only area on the list we have not experienced recently, although we did venture to this area of Bangkok whilst living in the city in 2002.

Being the central business district of Bangkok there are a lot of people, hungry people wanting a quick meal in between office hours. That means you’ll find a lot of street food options.

Soi Convent and Soi 20 is where you probably most want to go to gorge on cheap Thai food.

Thai Street Food

Thai Street Foodcredit: monojussi

3. Soi Rambuttri

This is one of our favourite streets in Bangkok. It is one of the few places you can escape the madness of Bangkok. When we lived in Bangkok this street was known as Dog Shit Alley, because of the number of dogs that paraded up and down the rat infested street. We loved eating and drinking here. It was cool before it was the hipster-cool it is now. It has had a major uplift and is now a pretty Bangkok oasis.

Thai Street Foodcredit: zealous

We were surprised Soi Rambuttri made the list as it seems such a small area, but Tim assures us the food there is known to be first class. It’s also really cheap.  We didn’t eat there this time, except for Kalyra who gorged herself on a cheap banana pancake with chocolate – one of our fave 2am treats after a night in the Alley.

Thai Street Food

4. Banglamphu

When we explained why we didn’t understand how Soi Rambutri and Banglamphu were both on the list – as Dog Shit Alley is in Banglampoo – Tim explained that the street food is a little different.

Banglamphu is the area around the river, near the Golden Palace that comprises the backpacking travel area of Khao San Road and So Rambutrri.

If you want the really great street food, then walk to the end of Khao San Road, turn right past the police station opposite the Wat and Soi Rambuttri and lining the streets will be many many street stalls and carts. Also the streets adjacent to Khao San.

Thai Street Foodcredit: amsfrank

We can absolutely affirm that this is a great place to eat street food in Bangkok. This was where we ate dinner most nights when we lived in Bangkok, we loved to feast on fish cakes and noodle soup.

Thai Street Foodcredit: amsfrank

5. Soi 38 Sukumvhit

We don’t feel we had the normal Soi 38 street food experience. We were excited to feast on this street as we had heard so much about it, but only felt disappointed upon arrival.

There were only a few carts lining the street, we envisioned much more, and the selection didn’t seem all that great. Mind you, we did have a very whiny 5 year old at the time so probably were not really focused. We ended up jumping in a small stall just to have some peace.

Thai Street Foodcredit: faithmonsoon

The Tom Yum Goong we ordered was one of the worst we have ever had. Maybe because we are so used to Bangkok street food, we weren’t that wowed by Soi 38. Many people are though, so I would go and see for yourself.

Thai Street Food
Tom Yum Goong
Where do you think is the best place to eat street food in Bangkok?
Caz
Caz Makepeace is the co-founder of y Travel Blog and has been traveling the world since 1997, first solo, then with her husband, and now with her two daughters. Get her free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow her on Google+

37 Comments on “5 Places to Eat Thai Street Food in Bangkok”

  1. All of this looks so yummy!
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  2. Apparently the best Pad Thai Goong (Shrimp Pad Thai) in the city is in a little hole-in-the-wall joint on Manachai Road. It’s located on the right at the end of the long, wide boulevard that’s a 10-15 minute walk from Khao San Road.

    One word: heavenly! :)
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  3. I’ve only really tried Sukumvhit yet they all look amazing and well worth a try. If I’m ever in Bangkok again I’ll be sure to look out for all this great street food.

    Chocolate banana pancake, hmmm now you’re talking.
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    • Yeah, not Thai food, but gee those chocolate banana pancakes come in handy for the kiddies (and adults) :-)

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  4. I love the street food in Bangkok! I only wish I had planned to spend more than three days there when I went back in December. I have to say, the best street food, in my opinion, was found in Chinatown. There was a lot of variety and I found the Chinese influence on Thai food very interesting and yummy. I want to go back soon and spend more time in Bangkok, mainly to eat more street food! This list will come in handy for my next visit.
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  5. How do you say “yum” in Thai?

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  6. It was a bad idea reading this before breakfast where my only choices are apples and stale biscuits. So hungry now!
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  7. Great list! We have a forced one week stay in Bangkok right now and while most of our time is spent in our hotel room while I rest and recover we have been venturing out for our daily street food fix. I keep teaching myself vegetarian in Thai then forgetting so saying no meat and doing crazy hand signals at least seems to amuse the locals. One woman last night waved some lettuce at me then cackled like crazy…. Lucky I ended up with amazing grilled organic mushies – that’ll teach her for making fun of vegos!
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    • Great story Trudy!

      But just jumped over to your facebook page and oh no! So sorry to hear about your ear infections and ruptured ear drum. I know exactly the pain you are going through. I have ruptured both ear drums, one twice, due to ear infections. It is hideously painful.

      i hope it will ease off soon. Although it is good that you can go outside, you must be getting better.

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  8. Beautiful Bangkok city is the capital of Thailand and it’s offer you fantastic tours. If you are planning a Bangkok tour and fun filled Bangkok packages an ultimate choice then Hungry Bags helps you to find and booking a beautiful bangkok tour or bangkok packages at very reasonable price.

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  9. Katherine

    Hi Caz,
    Does Jim Thompson still do tours of Yaowarat?
    Katherine

    Reply
    • Hi Katherine,
      He doesn’t. He just took our group of journalists as a favour to Thai tourism, it’s not a business he runs unfortunately!

      Reply
  10. In Bangkok for three weeks and loving your tips on the best places to eat street food. Unfortunatly I’m eating at Burger King because I know only a very few Thai dishes and cannot read the menu to see if those I do know are there. Any tips on how to deal with a street menu (when unabe to read Thai) and place an order? One more Whopper and that creepy “King” mascot is going have to watch his back……I’m not sure I’m going to be responsible for my actions.

    Reply
    • Point and hope for the best!! Start with places where falangs usually go, (like these 5 places) They usually will have an English menu or at least one with pictures. You’ll start to get used to the dishes. If you really love a particular dish, write down the name of it and perhaps get someone to write it in Thai. Then when you go to a street cart, you can show them that and they should be able to sort that dish out for you. We gotta get you out of Burger King!!

      Reply
      • Thanks Caz,

        My wife and I sorted our first street meal tonight and after three days of the “King” it was great. Three dishes came in at 160 baht – so I think we copped the ‘tourist’ price (agian) – but the food was excellent and we have another eighteen days to check out other dishes. I suppose a few baht over the odds is to be expected.

        Thanks for the great blog/info.

        D

        Reply
        • Hang on – now I think about it 160 baht is pretty good. The Thai menu had no dishes higher than 40 but 160 is still a great price.

          cheers Caz

          D

          Reply
          • Yeah 160 baht is pretty good for falang prices. You can definitely pick up cheaper, but now you know what to look out for you’ll find the cheaper deals. So glad you you enjoyed the experience!! Way better than the King.

  11. I agree – especially in Thailand (but in many other places too) street food is where it’s at!

    I know some people are a little bit worried about eating on the street with kids, but if you’re at a busy place, it’s a good sign that the food is delicious, clean, and has tons of repeat customers for a reason.

    It’s also really cheap and how most locals eat on a regular basis. I have noticed though that some of the street food around touristy areas has gotten pricey, so it’s worth watching out for. Almost all street stalls are still in the 30-60 baht range, but I’ve noticed a few places along Sukhumvit Road that are charging 180-300 baht for those same dishes… on the street!
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    • We noticed that too James! Thanks for sharing the tip. You really do have to go a little deeper to find more of a local’s price. Love getting 40 baht meals from the street carts

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  12. Soi 3 for unbelievable middle eastern food!!

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  13. […] 5 Places to Eat Thai Street Food in Bangkok […]

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  14. This is great! During our last trip to Bangkok we stayed in a rental apartment and asked the guys downstairs where we could find good street food nearby. They told us the street food is dangerous in Thailand and to only eat in Chinatown and there was no street food nearby. We explained we are not typical western tourists but they refused to offer a suggestion other than the Thai-Italian restaurant next door. Instead we walked outside, followed our nose, and found a family grilling up great meats just a half block away, with fantastic soups and ice cold beer. I love the street food in Bangkok! Thanks for sharing.
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    • They probably had shares in the restaurant!! Thailand’s street food is the BEST! There’s no way I’d go to an Italian restaurant in Thailand

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  15. Hi, I live in London and I am a big fan of Thai food. I love eating at the Thai restaurants in London whenever I get time. Thanks for sharing the best places for eating street food in Bangkok, they will do a great help in case I plan to travel there in the future.

    Reply
  16. I would recommend 1 more place is Wang Lung Pier ( Siriraj Hospiatal). That’s the best place ever

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  17. I read your blog all the time, I love you guys sharing stuff and even though we don’t know you, it feels like we do because we all have the same addiction.
    I haven’t been to Thailand yet but I’m planning to, I’m gluten free though and I hate shellfish. I’ll eat anything else though. Would I struggle eating in Thailand? This is one thing that bothers me about traveling there.

    Thanks

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  18. […] Sample some Thai street food. […]

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  19. Soi Ari!

    How this has not made your list is beyond me! THE best street food, second to none!

    Reply
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