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One of the most famous attractions of Bangkok is its street food. And rightly so – the sheer amount of food wherever you go in this city is mind-boggling.
I spent one week in in Bangkok in March 2015 and found street food almost everywhere – it can almost seem like street food vendors are following you! It’s hard to go more than 100 yards and NOT have a street food cart cooking some delicious smelling food.
Since the choices are so overwhelming if you go to a major street food market, it can take some time until you find something you truly like. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t like one particular item – just keep on trying and the sheer amount of choice will ensure that you’ll eventually find something that you really like.
For this trip, I visited the street food markets at Soi 36 in Sukhumvit and Victory Monument and here is my report.
Table of Contents
Why eat Bangkok Street Food?
– it is cheap
– it has a relaxed outdoor atmosphere
– you can try a lot of dishes at the same time
– you can see your food cooked in front of you
– WYSIWYG, so there’s no confusion or anything lost in translation
Why not to eat Bangkok Street Food?
– Bangkok in March, April or May is excruciatingly hot, even at night, so staying outside is a challenge
– lots of street food is carb-laden and NOT healthy
– most street food alleys teem with motorbikes and cars
– it’s not much cheaper than cheap local restaurants
– hygiene is not perfect and can upset some stomachs
If you ask me, you should definitely go and try it at least once!
Bangkok Street Food at BTS Victory Monument
The Victory Monument area is fantastic, since the carts and stalls are cheaper here, and it is easy to reach since it’s also a transport hub. It’s also available during both day and night – I had lunch here before my trip to Ayutthaya.
The area takes some exploring through the swarming crowds to find something that you like.
I had green chicken curry and chicken with sweet chili sauce – both with rice. They also came with a soup and separate veggies as well as a rice cracker and water. All this for 95 baht ($3) made it an insanely great deal.
The sheer amount of food stalls will blow you away – you can literally sample hundreds of dishes just walking around the Victor Monument area for hours.
The portion size is mostly on the small side – I usually needed at least two orders before I stopped being hungry. But that is great if you are just interested in tasting several dishes.
Bangkok Street Food at Sukhumvit Soi 36 (BTS Thong Lo)
If you stay in Bangkok, there is a good chance that you will be in the Sukhumvit area, since most of the hotels are located here. If so, the street food market at Soi 36 (next to the Thong Lo BTS station and the Marriott Soi 57) is the closest for you.
You cannot miss it when you exit Thong Lo BTS.
I found the quality and price level here somewhat disappointing. The stalls cater mainly to foreigners and while some items like the mango & sticky rice were excellent, they were also expensive at 60 baht. For chicken satay and pork barbecue with a Singha beer, I paid another 220 baht. That’s just about $10 for all items – not bad, but for Bangkok it’s on the expensive side for sure.
There is a multitude of different soups made from meat bases that can be had with all sorts of noodles.
Another dish I found here is the rotisserie chicken – Thailand’s version of a tandoori. The huge oven was mounted to a street cart. The whole chicken comes with a sweet chili barbecue sauce and sticky rice. A portion works out at 40 baht or just $1. The chicken was of excellent quality (especially as chicken used in Thailand is often not very good).
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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