5 Places to Eat 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 Thail 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 the best street food in Bangkok?

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

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 Thai 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, Bangkok

Simlom Road 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 Bangkok 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

3. Soi Rambuttri

This is one of our favourite streets in Bangkok. Soi Rambuttri 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 Thai food 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 Food

credit: 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 pancakes 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 Bangkok 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 Food

credit: amsfrank

We can absolutely affirm that this is a great place to eat the best 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 Food

credit: 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 Food

credit: 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

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73 thoughts on “5 Places to Eat Bangkok Thai Street Food”

  1. 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! 🙂

      1. It’s a great little collection of pad thai places but they all use the same recipe. Anyone trying to go by taxi or asking for walking directions should ask to go to “Pad Thai Pratu Pee” (which means “Ghost Gate” pad thai… not sure where the colorful name came from.)

        It’s located on Mahachai Road, but locals just call it Pratu Pee.

        1. The name of Pra Tu Pee came from its function over 250-150 years ago. This Pratu or gate was designated to be used as a passage for the dead from the inner city for crementary at the temple (Wat Saket- aka Golden Mountain Temple) outside the city wall.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. Hi Angela,

      That was what our guide Tim said, Chinatown is known as having the best street food in Bangkok, and it’s hard to argue really, we’ve had some great dishes there!

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. Hi Caz,

        Thanks, definitely on the mend 🙂
        Flights should be sorted today so we can head home, keen for some QLD action!

        PS, not sure if I’ve ever said it but I love your writing, I could get lost in your site for ages.

        1. Oh thank you so much Trudy. I really appreciate that. Most of the time I think I am really crap so that has really brightened my day. I’m glad you are feeling better. Qld will certainly boost you up.

    1. 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!

  5. 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.

    1. 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!!

      1. 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

        1. 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

          1. 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.

  6. 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!

    1. 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

  7. 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.

    1. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Hi There, I recently went to Bangkok,and stayed in the Soi Rambutri alley. A very clean and quiet room. The food choices and quality was very good in the area,including the streets beside khao san rd I found the pad thai most delicious Aroi mak mak 🙂 I am fortunate to be married to a Thai woman,and get to try many thai dishes prepared by her. She is a very good cook. I look forward to going back to Bangkok,and some other areas of Thailand next year.

  11. after reading your article, i am dreaming all the foods, the taste, different flavors …so wonderful and much more with different types of tropical fruits.
    want to go there now…

  12. Want real Tom Yum Goong or Tom Yum Thale (seafood) – Soi 38 is NOT the place!!

    I would go to Hwa Kang (MRT) – Noi Seafood is the place.

  13. To be honest when it comes to local food in Thailand, or most of S E Asia, street food wins every time. Sure, many first time travellers have been told horror stories of unhygienic establishments and stomach upsets, but in my experience of visiting Bangkok sometimes there’s not much difference between a $3 meal and a $30 one!

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  15. I also like Thai food. There are many food in Chinatown.
    And also do not miss the best activity, Escape Hunt. Check out on TripAdvisor and give a try!

  16. Just reading this is making my little tummy rumble. Thanks for the great list. When the Kids and I were in Bangkok recently, we went to the street market near On Nut BTS which was pretty lively. I was worried Boy would get food all over himself but he behaved. Girl, quite rightly, refused to let Boy anywhere near Pizza Hut but I wish we had known about this list before.
    Kluk

  17. I love street foods! My friends told me that you only get to know the country if you try their different street foods as you can see how their prepare and serve them, plus you get to explore the people’s true behavior when walking to their public places. I’ve tried their oyster omellette and that was really great plus some of their barbecue. I have a list of their best restaurants and thought it might be useful in your next journey, here it is http://bangkok.klapsons.com/the-18-best-restaurants-near-the-chao-phraya-river-in-bangkok/

  18. Bangkok and Asia in general is an awesome area for street food. I have been twice to Bangkok and each time I ate wonderful things. I would totally also recommend to go to the Ratchawat Market and order some roast duck. I am fond of both food and traveling and I am actually working for an events company in London that lists many food / cooking related events so when I am traveling I am always looking for which food market to go.

  19. Honestly, I don’t feel Thai food delicious, even it is difficult for me to eat except Thai hot pot and some grilled dishes on streets. Nevertheless, I have to recognize that Thai dessert is amazing, especially mango sticky rice, ice cream and crepe. Anyways, thanks for your post.

  20. Re: Dog Shit Alley

    Soi Rambuttri was never known as Dog shit Alley. The alley you refer to runs between Rambutri and Khao San. It is the alley with Cherry Laundry in it.

    I lived and worked in the area for many years and know the area intimately.

  21. Its nice to know that you have fun eating Thai cuisine and even your little one too! 🙂 Anyways, did you also try the private cooking lesson while you’re here?

  22. We had some amazing street food along Thanon Tanao on the corner of I believe it was Bunsiri Rd with approx 8 tables outside on the corner. Each chicken or pork dish was 50 baht which were all great, came to the table within minutes and the sweet and sour crispy pork was to die for. We ate there 5 times in 5 days. They are only open from around 8:30am-3pm but packed with locals at lunch each day and very friendly staff. Do yourself a favour and try this place out. My wife did take a pic of the sign on the wall so I will see if I can find out the name.

  23. Thai street food sounds so incredible! Can’t wait to try it myself! It seems that street food is such a big part of a trip to Thailand 🙂 Nice post.

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