Top 5 must-eat Bangkok dishes

It’s no secret that Bangkok is one of the biggest foodie destinations in the world. But with so many options to choose from – how do you know exactly What and Where to Eat in Bangkok?

  26/04/2019 14:27
Bangkok is indeed a shoppers paradise and also a widely recognized food city to satisfy the appetites of foodies from around the world.


Simple but satisfying, Thai street vendors elevate grilled, skewered meat to the next level. The best satay meat is marinated in a spiced coconut milk mixture and served with a peanut sauce and onion-chili relish.

Hidden among the labyrinth of food haven Chinatown, Chong Kee rose to the status of local legend as the kitchen of Vichai Lumlerokit, a chef who has barbecued for the royal family—so you know the quality spares no expense. While satay is available on almost any street corner in Bangkok, the dry meat and MSG-coated sticks pale in comparison to Chong Kee’s tender, smoky snacks. The pork or liver comes with a tart cucumber onion relish and sweet peanut sauce to deliver a uniquely Thai-Chinese taste.

Tom Yum Goong

One of Thailand’s most popular soup dishes, Tom Yum Goong is somehow both sour and spicy, packed with a medley of herbs and flavorful shrimp. It’s easy to find around Bangkok, with many food stalls specializing in the dish.

A longtime local staple of Petchaburi Soi 5, P’Aor, also sometimes spelled Pee Aor, serves up its classic specialty in small, medium, large, or extra-large portions. Its creamy and intensely flavorful broth is a rare find among Bangkok stalls’ slightly watery versions, but the accolades are evident by the quality of its inner fixings. The noodle soup can be served with additions like jumbo shrimps, crab, salmon, fresh squid, and even lobster, and the taste adjusted to individual spiciness preference. Be aware the price jumps considerably for more premium options like the lobster, however.

Som Tam

Originating from Northeastern Thailand, this Isaan staple is an immensely popular snack or appetizer that is crunchy, light, and cooling—with of course, a kick of heat. Shredded, unripe papaya is tossed with a dressing of fish sauce, garlic, lime, and hot chilies, and sometimes dried shrimps are sprinkled on top.

An iconic haunt among locals craving the pungent spiciness of Northern Thai cuisine, Som Tam Jae So’s papaya salad is as authentic as it comes. They craft all varieties according to tastes and preferences, sometimes adding crab and apple snails, with the extra kick of heat Isaan food is famous for. While specializing in their namesake som tam, other favorites include the grilled chicken wings and Isaan meat salad, or laab neua.

Pad Thai

Arguably the most well recognized Thai dish in the world, this wok-fried noodle dish was introduced to the kingdom only about 60 years ago due to national rice shortages. Today, it’s found on nearly every street corner in Bangkok, made fresh and adjusted to personal tastes.

This Michelin-rated street stall has been serving some of the city’s best Pad Thai since 1966. Easily recognizable from its near-permanent queue, Thais and tourists alike order its “Superb Pad Thai” en masse, featuring enormous fresh prawns, crabmeat, squid, and mango. Its efficient chefs dole out portions quickly though, so don’t let the line put you off. Wait times vary from 10 minutes to an hour, but the meal is worth it.

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango and sticky rice makes the most delectable flavor combination. When in Bangkok, I find it so hard to resist, if I see street vendors selling it. No matter if it is dinner time or just time for a mid-afternoon sweet snack. But outside of the mango season (April to May), it’s not as easy to find.

Luckily then, there are permanent mango dessert stores to be found inside many of Bangkok’s mega malls, including my favorite, Yenly Yours. Yenly Yours has multiple locations, including the conveniently central shopping centers of MBK Center, Central world and Siam Center. The air conditioning is also a welcome relief from the Thailand heat.

If you’re feeling greedy, or are sharing with a friend, I recommend lashing all out with the Yenly Yours Mango Treasure. It’s a huge serving of mango sticky rice topped with mango ice cream and topping, for 149 baht (about $4 USD). Alternatively, there’s also a huge range of mango smoothies on offer, for a more reasonable 89 baht ($2.50 USD). Enjoy!

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