A Must-Have Experience: Thai Street Food

After having spent several months in 2009 living in Khuk Khak and many subsequent trips back to Thailand, I have discovered that some of the BEST Thai food comes from roadside food stalls. The food found in these unassuming stalls literally blow you away with their delicious offerings and their small price tag. While many people may shy away out of fear of hygiene or stick to the staple of pad Thai, I’m here to say that you really haven’t experienced Thai food until you’ve tried Thai street food!

Thailand's many grilled street food options.

Thailand’s many grilled street food options.

One of the more common food stalls that you find on the street is of the meat-on-a-stick variety. To be honest, I’m not much of a fan for anything on a stick, with the exception of popsicles and corndogs, but when you can get a big, tender honey-glazed bar-b-que chicken, a set of five pork balls, or grilled squid on a stick for 20 baht (the equivalent of 60 cents USD), how can you resist? And believe me, I don’t even try. As an added bonus, they make for a fantastic snack on the go!

Cool down in Thailand with a fresh fruit smoothie.

Cool down in Thailand with a fresh fruit smoothie.

In case you didn’t know, Thailand is hot, even during the rainy season. Most days you need a nice, cold beverage to help cool you down. Thai iced tea with milk is practically a national drink and it’s the perfect solution for hot days, but when I’m in the mood for something truly refreshing, I opt for a fruit smoothie from a roadside vendor. Be it banana, watermelon, something exotic like dragon fruit, or my personal favorite, coconut, 20 baht later, I’m cool and ready to hit the beaches again!

Khao kha moo, a delicious Thai roadside staple.

Khao kha moo, a delicious Thai roadside staple.

Perhaps one of the best parts about trying Thai street food is the discovery of great traditional dishes that don’t normally appear on a Thai menu. Take for instance one of my favorite Thai meals, a delectable and mouth-watering rice dish called khao kha moo made with stewed pork leg and a boiled egg with a side of mustard greens. The sauce from the stew is then poured over the rice for added flavor. It’s so good and can be found at many roadside stalls for a usual 35 baht (just over $1 USD), though quizzically, the satisfying dish rarely makes an appearance on a menu at a sit-down restaurant.

Typical Thai street food stalls.

Typical Thai street food stalls.

Although I definitely have my favorite restaurants for great Thai food, I have discovered a world of delicious, yet simple Thai cooking from food stalls and I’m certain that there are more tasty delights just waiting to be discovered. I, for one, am up for the adventure in trying out something new from the next roadside stall I pass by in Thailand. I highly recommend you try it as well!

Categories: Thai food, Thailand

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