After about three weeks in Thailand, we finally became comfortable with the adventures of street food. I highly recommend that you do not use the same caution with which we did and instead just dive right in. My main concern was I had no idea what to order, since many of the carts don’t have a detailed menu (duh). Oh, and the fact that I’m a vegetarian. The two issues combined can definitely lead to some hesitation.
Once we decided to change our flights, our budgets got a little tighter knowing we had to make them last for four extra weeks. We decided to go on the 100 baht diet, meaning all of our meals needed to be roughly 100 THB (about $3) or less. There is no better or more feasible place to do this than on the streets.
It’s not that we never ate street food before, we just tended towards restaurants. Boy was that a mistake. The food not only tastes fresher but actually looks better coming from the street vendors.
Being a vegetarian, I was concerned about cross-contamination. The street vendors tend to use a single cooking surface and mix everything up together. Either my stomach has gotten stronger over the last three weeks or this isn’t an issue because since we jumped right in, I’ve been fine. They have also been so kind to wash the surface with boiling water so I won’t get leftover meat in my meal.
So check out a few of our favorite street foods and prepare to get hungry just looking at them.
Fruit shakes are a popular snack and I loved grabbing them before the beach or for breakfast. At night many of these stands sell buckets which is much cheaper than buying alcohol at the bars.
Banana pancakes are definitely my favorite snack. A bit like a crepe but different. I would get bananas folded inside with nutella and sweet milk on top.
You can find coconuts just about anywhere in Thailand. On the streets or in restaurants. We got them on the islands.
Grilled corn is another popular item and is usually sold along with other kebabs or barbecue skewers. Fast and delicious.
We also had fun trying random foods sold off moving carts. These beans were a bit sour and we later learned they are best when cooked. Oops.
So many kebabs and skewers. I once was able to get them with tofu, pineapple, mushrooms and tomato but most serve just meat.
You can also find wraps and sandwiches in the more crowded areas.
These guys did falafel pitas but I just bought a huge bag of the falafel when I was craving something a bit different from the same old pad thai. And it only cost me 30 baht!
But of course, the pad thai is absolutely delicious and the freshest when bought off the street carts.
They will whip it up with egg, meat or tofu in a few minutes and it almost always costs half the price of the pad thai offered in nearby restaurants or less.
And when its time to get adventurous there are plenty of carts boasting fried bugs and reptiles. Maggie bought this scorpion off a man walking around with a tray but we also bought them off the big bug cart. I actually passed on this treat.
And the one cart I avoid? Dried squid. You can smell it a block away and the one time I got stuck on a ferry with a girl snacking on these, I thought I was going to lose it.