Thai food is loved across the globe, and throughout Thailand you will find an exceptional range of quality dishes – you’ll never be more than few steps away from someone cooking delicious food. Thai food is typically eaten with wooden chopsticks (noodles and sushi) and a silver spoon called a chon (rice and soups).
Some of the best meals to be found in Thailand are from the street food stands. Typically a meal here will cost between 30-40฿ (0.67 GBP–0.89 GBP / 0.86 USD–1.15 USD) in north and centre of the country, but may creep to 50-60฿ (1.11 GBP–1.33 GBP / 1.44 USD–1.73 USD) in the southern tourist islands.
So what is there to eat in Thailand? Typical Thai dishes include:
1.Pad Thai (which means ‘Fried noodles, Thai style’) is a noodle dish ubiquitous to Thailand and available for 30-50฿ ( (0.67 GBP–1.11 GBP / 0.86 USD–1.44 USD) as a potion on the side of the street. Consumed as much for breakfast as it is for a late night snack, this dish contains vegetables, shrimps, fish sauce and is usually topped with ground or crushed peanuts.
2. Green curry. Available as a red or green curry (difference being the type of chilli used as the basis for this dish- red is slightly hotter, and green has a more mild level of heat). Usually served as a soup-like curry with chicken and basic vegetables, and a portion of rice on the side. 40-50฿ (0.89 GBP–1.11 GBP / 1.15 USD–1.44 USD) a dish.
3. Tom yam soup. A coconut and tomato based soup with shrimps and vegetables. This is normally served a red colour due to the fiery chillies mixed in, but if it is served to you a white-cream colour, you are supposed to add your own chilli to suit your level of taste from the pot of crushed chillies on the table. 50-90฿ (1.11 GBP–2.00 GBP / 1.44 USD–2.59 USD) a bowl.
4. Mango sticky rice. Many people (including myself to start with) wrongly assume this to be a desert. It is in fact a main course that can be eaten in the same way chicken and rice would be. Usually about 40-60฿ (0.89 GBP–1.33 GBP / 1.15 USD–1.73 USD) a portion.
5. Som Tam Salad. Papaya salad is a mix of crushed papaya and beansprouts, crushed together to create a dish that gives a unique blend of both sweet, sour and spicy flavours. Usually about 40-60฿ ( (0.89 GBP–1.33 GBP / 1.15 USD–1.73 USD) a portion.
6. Meat skewers. If there is one thing that’s just as common as a 7-11 store in Thailand, it’s a stall with inexpensive grilled skewers of moo ping (pork skewers) or kai yang (chicken skewers). For 5-10฿ (0.11 GBP–0.22 GBP / 0.14 USD–0.29 USD) you can grab a stick of grilled meat, and add a sachet of kow neuw (sticky rice) for another 5-10฿ (0.11 GBP–0.22 GBP / 0.14 USD–0.29 USD).
7. Banana roti. This greasy pancake can be made with a number if added ingredients normally though the typical choice is with banana, sugar, milk (thick sweet condensed milk, not the stuff you’d have on your cereal) and topped off with a chocolate sauce (and before you get excited your sauce is coming out of a Nutella or Hershey’s tub, given the high import cost of these products it is more likely an old bottle that has been refilled with an artificial chocolate paste…). 10฿ (0.22 GBP / 0.29 USD) for a small plain roti, up to 30-40฿ (0.67 GBP–0.89 GBP / 0.86 USD–1.15 USD) for one with all the trimmings.
8. Heavenly fried rice may look like a novelty item created just for tourists, but this is as quintessentially Thai as pad Thai! A pineapple is cut in half, scooped empty, and then refilled with fried rice, pineapple, chicken, prawns and veg. It may not be as cheap as other Thai foods, at 100-150฿ (2.22 GBP–3.34 GBP / 2.88 USD–4.32 USD), but just think of the number of Instagram likes you’ll get!
9. Toasted sandwich. Okay, perhaps a slight cheat on this list, but if you want to ‘eat like the locals’ (or even just want to save a few pennies), you’ll inevitably find yourself chomping on a microwave meal at 7-11 or Family Mart. Don’t worry if you don’t have a microwave in your hotel, as they will warm it for you. Take your product up to the desk and as you pay ask for it to be warmed (no extra charge). They’ll put it in a microwave behind the counter for you and a minute or two later you’ll be presented with your toasting hot snack. 20-25฿ (0.44 GBP–0.56 GBP / 0.58 USD–0.72 USD) (prices are fairly constant but raise by 10-20% in tourist or remote areas). The shredded pork croissant and ham and cheese toasties are my recommendations.
Has this list of Thai food inspired you to visit Thailand yourself? Check out my ultimate travel guide to Thailand.