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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.