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Nov 16, 2008 11:39 AM

Question about Bangkok street food

How many Chow-hounders have either indulged in or would be willing to eat Thai food, and how many others would be skeptical due to cleanliness or other issues?

For those who have tried Thai street food, what have you had and what are your impressions?

For those who haven't or wouldn't, why would you?

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  1. The street food in Bangkok was tasty and clean. If you're worried, simply select vendors that are cooking food to order. There may be a language barrier, but as long as you can settle on a price ahead of time (preferably via a local who does speak English), you'll get what you want by some pointing and a friendly smile. I had two great meals in alleyways and a third, which was only okay, on the street outside of my budget hotel. The key is to watch where the locals head. Eyeball what they're eating, and try to watch as they pay, to get an idea of the price. Expect to be overcharged, otherwise.

    1. Thai street food cant be beat. I've never had a problem with it, and I''ve eaten everything from fruit smoothies to roasted roaches and mealworms. Most of my other western friends have over indulged on pad thai from the street, and it has always been good.

      1. thai street food is DA BOMB.

        in bkk, there are a few good stalls scattered on sukhumvit sois 8 and 38. i've never had an issue with overcharging...
        soi 8 has a lady who makes braised pork knuckle on rice - if i had to die tomorrow, that would be one of the last things i'd want to eat.

        if you're still not keen, there are some great food courts in malls with similar food, e.g. MBK and Emporium (both have separate international and local food courts - go local). it'll cost you about 20baht more (which is nothing) - buy coupons at the counter to pay with at the stalls (you can refund unused coupons).

        the only precaution would be for ice

        by the way, i think this post needs to be moved to the greater asia board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: e_ting

          This is an awesome suggestion. As strange as it seems to someone from the West, the food courts are great places to get decent local eats in many parts of Asia. I've loved the department store food courts in other Asian countries, but I feel the ones in Bangkok are really a notch above. It's clean, it's air conditioned, and a lot of them have pictures or displays of what they're serving so you can just point.

        2. Bangkok is one of the few cities where there really isn't much point in splashing out on expensive indigenous food. The stuff you get off the street stalls is often just as good. The trick seems to be to look for a stall that has plenty of locals eating at it. Either point at what you like the look of or if you see someone eating something that looks good, try asking them what it is - Thai people are friendly and helpful by nature and will usually do what they can to help you out.

          That was how I found my way to eating a delicious dish from a stall in Soi 5 Sukhumvit a few weeks ago. Called (I think) tom chiu, it was pork balls with a few greens in an incredibly deep, satisfying pork stock that must have been days in the making. It's not at all spicy (although I have no problem with spicy myself) - the Thai lady who introduced me to it said that the Thais don't put chillies in this one.

          1. I've eaten street food all over Thailand and never gotten sick. I wouldn't eat ice, and I would be careful of fruit that you don't see being peeled, aside from that however, eat everything.