Thailand Food Reccomendations - From Street Food to Resorts?
I am planning a trip to Thailand (for our honeymoon) and am looking for some great recommendations on places to eat. We usually travel as backpackers, ultra cheap, so we looove street food and would love to know where to get some of the best! We don't plan on spending much time in Bangkok, however.
Since it is out honeymoon, we will probably spend a few nights living it up at a resort somewhere, so we are very interested in finding a resort with great food, as well.
Aside from specific places we should be sure not to miss, we would also love to have a few specific dishes and regional cuisines we should be sure not to miss.
It also seems like there are some great cooking schools/classes in throughout Thailand, so if anyone has an 1st hand knowledge of that, we'd appreciate it!
One of us is also an urban organic farmer here in the Bay Area, where we live, so if you have recs on farms to visit, we would appreciate that as well!
Basically, if you know of food in Thailand, we wanna know ;)
Khaosan Road is a great backpacker place, it also offers plenty of food options... Chatuchak weekend is another great place to sample local delights. The food courts in any of the shopping malls are are also good. Just point at what you would like to eat. If you want any thing more specific, let me know.
excellent street food neighborhoods in Bangkok:
Si Yan in Dusit (corner of Sam Sen and Nakhon Chaisi)
Nakhon Chaisi Road further east
Thanon Thanao near the Giant Swing
Thong Lor is a trusty standby, too, and the easiest to access for visitors
Skip Khao San Rd. street food, it is *really* disappointing. But, if you're in the area, head to Mister Pas on Phra Athit for some modern Thai cooking. Really impressive, small, casual spot. Also Hemlock is a good bet, tho not as good as Mister Pas.
Resorts generally do not have great food (certainly can be beautifully and professionally prepared but... missing that extra something you find in local places).
Cooking classes, there are so many! and the right one really depends on what you're looking for. i blogged about this, with a bit of info and guidance, here -- http://suzynam.com/blogthai/2009/04/0...
Farms... just outside of Bangkok near Khao Yai there are a couple of farms. Check out Chockchai Farm. the whole area is quite beautiful, too. and there are wineries!
There are some organic farms in Chiang Mai region, not sure about around Bangkok tho.
if you get a chance try some iberry. it's a local ice cream chain that serves local flavor sorbet - spicy tamarind, green mango, santol, mangosteen, etc. different branches will carry different flavors.
eatingasia.typepad.com has some really good street food recs for locations all over southeast asia. they should have some bkk and chiang mai posts as the writer and her husband used to live there.
i recently tried koko's in siam square which has lots of vegetarian friendly fare. had lots of dishes i had never tried before - dried and fried shitake mushroom stems, fried fish with basil and ginger. lots of good stuff.
resorts with great food do exist! i have two choices in phuket, for ultimate luxury go to trisara, for a more down to earth version, go to sala phuket. both are great romantic resorts with great food.
in bangkok i recommend trying le lys, savoey seafood (and do order the crab with curry powder), there's also a great italian restaurant called enoteca in the sukhumvit area. a new restaurant with a great ambience is bo lan. they have a tasting menu that's worth sampling.
oh, and there's a true gem of a place called koffee link (at the end of the street outside the shangri-la hotel) i usually stay at the peninsula so it's the end of the street from the peninsula pier), it has the best coffee, best chocolate trip cookies and croissant with ham and cheese! it's not thai food i know but it's a great place!
You aren't going to Lao and I don't know if you're going to NE Thailand / Isaan. Lao is one of my favorite cuisines after 40 years working all over the globe. You can get Lao food at street stands all over Thailand - look for the big, low, cylindrical baskes of sticky rice (khao niyao). Ask for that along with laab (with the greens and sauces), papaya salad, roast chicken, Lao sausage, Lao dried meat, ... the street stands don't have the full range of Lao foods. But look for it. Promise.
The first link has some useful info about food, especially the menu translator.
The second link is just a commercial tour operator. There is no reference to food whatsoever and after reading the homepage, there is some very serious misinformation there. I live in Chiang Mai and believe the tour operator is stating his personal opinion as if they are facts.
I took a cooking class at Bapai that I thought was really good. http://www.baipai.com
It's in a very pretty location, they pick you up from your hotel and it's all very pretty and civilized. Definitely not like taking a cooking class in someone's home kitchen. But might be the sort of thing you'd want to do on a honeymoon! There were definitely a few couples there gazing into each others eyes as they pounded lemongrass with a mortar and pestle. They also sell nice , reasonably priced gifts there if that's your buzz.
A really nice, quiet part of Thailand with good food is up around Sai Yok and the River Kwai. Resotel Resort on the river is a really lovely place to stay, is not expensive and has awesome food. You can go cycling around, hire cars etc, and all the food stalls around the place will serve you great food. Check out my blog as it has a review of this hotel and also the whole area. www.causticcandy.com
Chiang Mai also has great food. I prefer northern Thai food to southern as it's hotter and has more influence from Laos/Cambodia etc. Have a lovely time.