Why Bangkok’s Thai Street Food is a Highlight to Every Visit

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  2. April 12, 2013 10:40 pm

Why Bangkok's Thai Street Food is a Highlight to Every Visit

Dinner and a Show: Bangkok’s Irresistible Street Food Scene

Street food is a way of life in Bangkok, and a big reason why those who visit can’t wait to come back for more. This isn’t a city with a few food carts clustered on a corner, it’s a city where every neighborhood has streets two-deep in carts and stalls. The variety is dazzling, and part of the fun is choosing what to have. The food is fresh, fast, and prepared as the customer looks on. Chefs cook with bravado and skill, and watching flames leap from woks as they simultaneously toss vegetables, scramble eggs and grill meats on griddles the size of manhole covers provides entertainment in itself.

Thai cuisine is based on balancing four essential flavors, sweet, sour, salty and hot. Often, dishes such as noodles are served plain, for customers to season from jars of condiments. Fortunately, street eating is so inexpensive here it’s possible to graze and sample with wild abandon. A single dish with meat and vegetables is usually less than two dollars, while $10 dollars will buy a multi-course meal that’s more than enough for two. Popular dishes include papaya salad, spicy shrimp soup, pork satay and fried noodles with shrimp and spices. Don’t hesitate to try something new, though. It’s all delicious.

Finding great street food isn’t difficult. Wherever hungry people gather, the competition is fierce. University areas, outdoor markets and streets near offices and hospitals all abound with vendors. Highly rated eat streets include Sukhumvit Soi 38, Ramkhamhaeng Soi 29, Khao San Road, Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road, the Chiang Mai night market, and the Victory Monument area, especially Ratchathewi and Rangnam streets. Because Bangkok can be very hot at midday, people tend to eat later, and many food streets are at their most vibrant from early evening through late night.

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