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Street food junkies on the hunt in Thailand

Street food junkies on the hunt in Thailand

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

When we started planning our time in Thailand, the only thing we heard about more than beautiful beaches was the food, specifically the street food: fruit smoothies, sliced fruits, sweets, noodles and, yes, insects!

We’re known to love street food, and after months in North America without it (no, food trucks and pizza slices don’t quite count), this almost mythical street food in Thailand was calling. As soon as we touched down in Bangkok, we set off to find some of the Thai delicacies that people were raving about.

Follow your nose

Seeing these two ladies pushing their carts in Bangkok’s traffic, we knew they were going to set up their stalls somewhere and decided to just follow them… if there are two, there must be more!

bangkok street food cartsIt turns out, we were right. Throughout our time in Thailand we never had any trouble finding a night market, a day market or a walking market to test out Thai street food.

bangkok street food vendorsPad Thai for 30 Baht ($1) – score!

chinese bun and jessJess discovered these steamed Chinese buns filled with red bean paste and had to eat them every time…

Glorious Tropical Fruits

bangkok fresh mangoMangoes taste the best in Thailand.

bangkok fruit vendorsMost stands don’t specialize only in mangoes, though. There’s papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit and mixed fruits…

street food stall with fresh juice…and we love our daily dose of fresh squeezed orange juice, for only 20 Baht ($0.60)!

So…what do we have here?

bangkok street foodWe pass food stand after food stand of vegetable dishes, and meat, served with either rice or noodles. Sometimes, it’s hard to identify what things are…

bangkok street foodThese mini toasts looked delicious, but with the meat on top this wasn’t for us. In fact, we realize that much of the street food out there isn’t for vegetarians…

bangkok street foodLoads of meat on a stick…Nope, not for us…

bangkok street meatNot sure what this is supposed to be when it’s ready…

bangkok potato chipsBut then we discover this genius invention. Chips on a stick. Yep. This deep fried goodness might not be the healthiest snack, but and well worth the 20 Baht ($0.60).

street food ThailandLike anywhere in the world, in Thailand much of street food is deep fried: vegetables, fish, potatoes and even bread.

chiang mai noodles in marketBut these markets don’t just have snacks. Full noodle dishes are usually available for $1 or less, such as this Pad See Ew (far left in the picture above), served with vegetables and sometimes egg. This is one of our favorite Thai dishes.

omelet in banana leafAnother popular snack are omelets grilled in a banana leaf. Usually there is one more ingredient added, such as mushrooms or shrimps.

Thai street foodAnother egg snack: a sort of grilled hard-boiled eggs in a chili sauce. I like these, Jess can’t stomach them at all!

quail eggs chiang maiNeither of us can make ourselves eat these eggs above. These tiny little eggs are quail eggs. It’s hard to explain why we’ll eat chicken eggs but no other bird eggs, but even the 10 Baht ($0.30) price tag can’t get us to nibble on these popular bite-size eggs.

street food ThailandEven more popular are fried silk worms, but we definitely didn’t eat these!

chiang rai fired crickets… or these guys – whatever they are!

pork on a stick chiang maiInitially we wanted to sample what we thought was tofu on a stick…until we found out that these are made of pork.

Thai street foodSame with these little banana leaf parcels – looks vegetarian from the outside, but it’s filled with pork.

Thai street foodFinally something we can eat – these little parcels were indeed vegetarian, filled with sticky rice.

sticky rice lollipopsMore sticky rice: grilled sticky rice ‘lollipops’…these we could eat, but they are not that good.

street food ThailandMuch to our surprise, we discovered that sushi is a Thai street food favorite! While the quality of the sushi in the night markets is not always great, there are tons of varieties, including veggie ones like seaweed, avocado, tofu or egg.

Thai street foodAnother popular snack is Mieng Kham, a little leaf parcel that combines Thailand’s four main flavors spicy, salty, sweet and sour. The leaf is filled with peanuts, honey, chili and lime (and shrimp fot the salty flavor in the non-veg version). Just these basic ingredients create a flavor explosion in your mouth! We came to love this snack in our cooking class in Koh Lanta, and we were always happy when we found Mieng Kham in the night markets.

Going Bananas for Sweets in the Streets!!

Let’s move on to sweets – my favorite part of a visit to a night market.

chiang mai cake ballsThai people love their sweets, so there is a huge selection of foods to satisfy even my sweet tooth: cakes, crepes, fruit, rice pudding, pancakes. This list is really endless, especially if you like bananas, which are served up baked, fried, deep-fried, on a stick, inside a waffle, inside a pancake…

street food thailandWhile the waffle bananas were delicious (obviously!), we weren’t big fans of the sticky rice with banana…

fried bananas thailandOne of my favorite banana snacks: deep-fried and battered bananas, cut in little pieces and drizzled with sweet condensed milk. Yum!

deep fried bananadessert toast thailandIt seems simple, but why not? These pieces of white toast are usually served with sweet spreads, jams, chocolate or fruit sauces.

Thailand street foodWe weren’t sold on the toast, but we do love these odd coconut cream taco concoctions you see everywhere!

crepes night marketWhile Jess can usually be found munching on those potato chips on a stick, I am hunting down my absolute favorite Thai sweet – these delicious crepes, freshly made, piping hot with the toppings of your choice.

Sure, there are plenty of meaty street food options, but the fact is that Thailand has the best street food we’ve come across, with a much bigger selection than in Central America or Mexico, our other two favorite places in the world to hunt down the best street food!

Have you been to Thailand? What’s your favorite Thai street food?.

Drew | The Hungry Partier

Wednesday 12th of February 2014

Awesome pics and even better photos!! I am going to Bangkok in 2 days, and I am SO excited to eat some local street food after reading this post.

Cheers and Happy Travels :)



Sunday 16th of February 2014

Thanks, Drew! I am sure you'll enjoy the street food in Thailand as much as we did :)

Peter Lee

Thursday 24th of January 2013

Hilarious, but quite intelligent !! But I like the idea of following those two ladies pushing their carts to find way to the street food in Bangkok. Thailand is really a paradise for foodies. I love this place mainly due to its beaches, food and people.


Saturday 26th of January 2013

Thanks, Peter! Couldn't agree more - Thailand's a food lover's paradise!! Can't wait to go back :-)

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Friday 28th of September 2012

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Wednesday 29th of August 2012

well looks like you found alot more and better food! but quail eggs are good! really miss the food there.. and miss being in thailand! 7 weeks was not enough! lol


Thursday 30th of August 2012

Thanks Bernie :) Trying more of the awesome street food is a great reason to return to Thailand, no? ;)

Lawrence Michaels

Saturday 7th of July 2012

Did you happen to see the ant eggs that they sell in the market? It looks a bit like cottage cheese. I'm amazed every day by the crap Thai people will eat.


Sunday 8th of July 2012

We may have seen them, but I don't think we realized what they were. It's pretty amazing all the 'food' they sell in the markets :)