What to eat in Thailand

What to eat in Thailand

Saying where to eat in Thailand seems absurd to me, not only because everywhere you go there are restaurants and stalls but above all because for me Thai food must be enjoyed just like the locals do: on the street!

Traveling as a backpacker and having limited budgets, obviously I also save on food without, however, saying that I don’t eat, on the contrary.

Once you land it will be easy to see how there are carts with gas cylinders that cook everything and anything at prices that, translated into euros, are incredible. Let’s start 10 baht until 50 (i.e. from 20 cents up to 1 euro and a little more) to have spring rolls or noodles or rice with chicken, pork or seafood, soups, curries, pancakes, ice cream.

For those who want to exaggerate and feel like spending big with 200 baht (less than 5 euros) you can have a whole fresh fish. But this happens on special days.

A riot of smells and flavors that only the East can offer, smoke of roasted meat from the early hours of the morning that doesn’t stop until late at night.

So since I can’t recommend where to eat, I’ve tried hundreds of street restaurants and have always been satisfied, what I want to do is recommend what to eat and I want to give you the names in Thai.

In some less touristy cities than Bangkok, Chiang Mai or the islands, many restaurants are off limits for tourists, and not because you cannot go there but because the menus are in Thai and often the restaurant managers do not speak English, communication could become complicated or given the notorious attitude of the Thais who always say yes even if they don’t understand, you might find yourself eating something you didn’t want.

But if you just learn the names of some dishes you will be able to indulge yourself without having to eat the same “soup” every day.

Before proceeding, however, I must dispel a myth.

What we Westerners believe to be the typical Thai dish, the Pad Thai, actually it is not the typical dish of Thailand. It is a dish created for tourists which is obviously found practically everywhere but although not very far from Thai cuisine it is in fact not the typical dish. In fact, I believe that soups play a very important role in Thai culture.

Since I made this discovery, that is, 2 days after my arrival and further confirmation at the Thai cooking school in Chiang Mai, I have enjoyed trying everything, except cockroaches and worms.

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A note about the culture of food and eating in Thailand.

In Thailand, food is a fundamental part of every social occasion, food often becomes the very excuse to celebrate something and to share.

The sharing here it is in fact very important, unlike how we Westerners eat, the locals here order one thing for each diner, but each of these must be shared.

It is therefore always better to have a lot of people at the table, we eat more and then according to their culture eating alone brings bad luck (think of the bad luck I must have considering all the times I ate alone. I must have really made him sad!)

Generally a typical Thai menu includes: condiments, salty, sweet and spicy, a right combination if you think about it. So if you order something for each one you can eat a bit of everything without missing out on any of the 4 flavours.

It would therefore be a great experience to be able to eat with locals, share food with them and reaffirm the importance of food and eating together not only as a stomach filler but as a social event.

What to eat in Thailand


spring rollsStarters galore especially if you go to the food markets. You can find stalls selling only these dishes, spring rolls, fried vegetables, fried prawns, cockroaches and worms and so on and so forth.

By Pia Tod that is, spring rolls are some of the typical appetizers so when you want something fried you can find them anywhere and they generally start from 10 baht each or the small ones 5 baht for 3.

Som Tum aka Papaya salad. This is found in restaurants rather than on stalls but it is a fresh and above all not fried appetizer. The ingredients are obviously papaya, peanuts, soy, chilli, green beans and tomato.

Yum Woon Sen that is, the transparent noodle salad (made with beans) made with onion, tomato, chili pepper and chicken broth. Obviously the noodles.

First dishes

noodles thailandiaHere you are truly spoiled for choice and you can indulge yourself by practically trying a new dish every day.

The basic and generally repeating ingredients are: chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, rice or noodles.

Khaw Pad for the less daring. Fried rice with chicken and vegetables.

Pad Preaw Wan that is, fried vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce, perhaps the ideal would be to accompany it with a portion of rice.

Click Download to save Kai Pad Med MaMoang Him Ma Pa mp3 youtube com or fried chicken with mushrooms and peanuts.

Pad Kra Proaw or fried rice with basil and chicken.

Pad See Uw aka Chinese style wide noodles (perhaps my favourite).


soups thailandSoups are very important in Thailand and you will see them eaten even at 30 degrees and as your body adapts to the climate you will find yourself wanting one at midday.

Tom Yum Koong or spicy prawn soup.

Where did Tom eat? aka chicken in coconut milk. Good if you don’t make the mistake I made when I boiled the lemon in coconut milk making the broth practically acidic.

Tom Side or local style sweet and sour soup. In this dish we use lemongrass which is a very important ingredient in Thai cuisine.


curry thailandVery good and sometimes very spicy.

The curry comes in different shades of spiciness: green curry, red curry, panang curry and Khaw soi curry.

The curry paste is called Prik Gang Massaman and all of them can be cooked with chicken or meat and coconut milk is also added.

The following dishes can be eaten with the different curries:

Gang Kheow Wan Gai (green curry) Gang Kheow Gang Ped (curry rosso).

PaNang which is cooked using panang curry and Massaman Alley Which is cooked using Massamn curry.

My favorite is the typical Chiang Mai soup called Longing Soi and that anyone who comes to this city should absolutely try.


Thai sweetsIf you still don’t have enough, there are also desserts. Generally these are mainly found in restaurants, or at least I haven’t seen any on the street.
But if you don’t want to spend 80 baht for a dessert and want to invest between 20 and 30 and you love street food then you shouldn’t miss the pancake street food with banana and milk or chocolate, i coconut ice cream fresh ones that are placed in the cup made from the coconut itself or some of the sweet fried delicacies… you can’t go wrong you will find them on every corner.

If you want to try a dessert like I really liked the Khaw Neaw Ma Maung Free Mp3 Download namely the sweet rice with mango and the Glauy Baud Chee that is, banana boiled in coconut milk.

Thai food is excellent, I won’t deny that sometimes I miss a healthy plate of pasta with sauce but I respect the rice and beans that are eaten in Central America for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this time I can’t complain at all.

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