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  • Writer's pictureDavid Cheung

Eating in Thailand

Dining out in Thailand is an experience that every visitor should indulge in. From street food vendors to fine-dining establishments, Thailand offers a wide range of dining options to cater to all tastes and budgets. In this article, we'll explore some of the best places to eat in Thailand and what dishes to try.

Street Food

One of the most popular ways to dine in Thailand is through street food. The country is renowned for its delicious and cheap street food, which offers a great opportunity to sample local cuisine. Bangkok's street food scene is one of the most famous in the world, with popular dishes such as pad Thai, som tam, and mango sticky rice readily available.

Other street food hotspots in Thailand include Chiang Mai's night bazaar and the Sunday Walking Street in the old city.

Local Markets

Another great option for sampling Thai cuisine is through local markets. Thailand is known for its vibrant markets, where you can find everything from fresh produce to street food and souvenirs.

Markets such as Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok and the Night Market in Chiang Mai offer a great opportunity to sample authentic Thai dishes such as khao soi (curry noodle soup) and moo ping (grilled pork skewers).

Traditional Restaurants

For those looking for a more formal dining experience, traditional restaurants in Thailand offer a range of options. These restaurants offer a variety of Thai dishes, including seafood, curries, and noodle dishes. Some popular traditional restaurants in Thailand include Cabbages & Condoms in Bangkok, which serves up a range of traditional Thai dishes in a quirky setting, and David's Kitchen in Chiang Mai, which offers a fine-dining experience with a focus on local ingredients.

Rooftop Bars and Restaurants

If you're looking for a memorable dining experience, rooftop bars and restaurants offer stunning views of Thailand's skyline while you enjoy delicious food and drinks. Bangkok's Sky Bar, located on the 63rd floor of the Lebua at State Tower, is one of the most popular rooftop bars in Thailand. With a range of cocktails and a view of the city skyline, it's the perfect place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

What to Try when in Thailand?

When it comes to what to enjoy while dining out in Thailand, the possibilities are endless. Some must-try dishes include:

Tom Yum Goong

Tom Yum Goong is a popular spicy and sour soup from Thailand that is usually made with shrimp. The soup typically contains a variety of ingredients, including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chili peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and fish sauce.

The dish is often served with a side of rice and is a staple in Thai cuisine. It is known for its bold and complex flavour profile, which combines sweet, sour, and spicy flavours.

In Thai, "tom" means "soup," "yum" refers to the sour and spicy flavour profile, and "goong" means "shrimp."

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a popular dish from Thailand that typically consists of stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables, eggs, and meat or seafood, all cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. The dish is often served with a side of crushed peanuts, fresh lime wedges, and bean sprouts. It is a staple of Thai cuisine and is widely available in Thailand as well as Thai restaurants around the world. Pad Thai has a unique flavour profile that combines sweet, sour, and savoury flavours, making it a favourite of many people.

It is also often customized to individual taste preferences, with ingredients like tofu, chicken, shrimp, or pork added as desired.

Guay Teow

Guay Teow is a type of noodle dish that is popular in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. The dish typically consists of rice noodles, which are stir-fried or served in a soup with a variety of meat or seafood, vegetables, and seasonings. The ingredients can vary depending on the region and the cook's preferences.

For example, in Bangkok, Guay Teow is often served as a soup with pork or beef, bean sprouts, and green onions, while in the south of Thailand, it may be served with seafood and chili paste.

In addition to being a popular street food, Guay Teow is also a common breakfast food in Thailand. It is typically served hot and is often enjoyed with additional seasonings such as chili flakes, fish sauce, and lime juice. The dish is a favorite of many people for its comforting and satisfying taste, as well as its versatility and customizability.

Mango Sticky Rice

Sticky mango rice is a popular Thai dessert made from glutinous rice, fresh mango, and coconut milk. The rice is soaked in coconut milk, which gives it a creamy and slightly sweet flavor, and then steamed until it is tender and sticky. The mango is usually sliced and served on top of the rice, adding a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish. Sometimes, the rice is also topped with crispy mung beans for added texture.

Sticky mango rice is a staple dessert in Thailand and is often sold by street vendors or served in restaurants. It is typically eaten as a sweet treat after a meal, but can also be enjoyed as a snack or even for breakfast. The dish is known for its creamy texture and unique flavor profile, which combines the sweetness of the mango with the richness of the coconut milk and the subtle nuttiness of the glutinous rice.

Dining out in Thailand offers a unique opportunity to sample authentic Thai cuisine in a range of settings. From street food vendors to rooftop bars, there's something for everyone. So, the next time you're in Thailand, be sure to explore the local dining scene and savor all the delicious flavors that this beautiful country has to offer.


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