Thailand street food: A photo essay

What’s sweet, spicy, and savory all over?
The tastes of Thailand.

The best way to learn about a new culture is to try it. Literally. Talk to the locals, walk the streets, and sample the food. In the world-famous markets of Bangkok, you’re encouraged to do all three—all at once. The city’s light-up-your-senses street food scene reflects Thailand’s personality, history, and traditions in the tastiest of ways.

Alec Hanselman, a Tour Consultant at EF, spent eight months living and teaching in Bangkok. Now he’s sharing his street (food) smarts.



Start your day the Thai way
To beat the Bangkok heat, Alec recommends a plastic bag (you read that right) of Thai iced coffee, or oliang. Thailand street food vendors typically mix it with condensed milk and simple syrup before serving it up in a bag for easy sipping on the go.



“There is bargaining involved in Thai culture, but the people are so friendly. They’ll help you carry bags, break change, translate—and they never expect reciprocation for their kindness. It’s called ‘The Land of Smiles’ for a reason.”



Look for lines
A long line is usually a sign that a place has great food, Alec notes. And since they’re constantly cranking out dishes for the rush of customers, you’re sure to get a fresh meal.



“A lot of mom-and-pop places set up on the street. On what would normally be a sidewalk, they set up tables and chairs, bring out a skillet, and all of a sudden you have a restaurant.”



Try everything
Alec’s favorite thing about Thailand street food? Everything is cheap, authentic, and quick. If something looks good, try it! You never know where your new favorite food might be hiding.



“The whole city is like one big restaurant. If the first stall you pass is out of your favorite thing, you can just walk down the street to the next one.”

Hungry for some adventures of your own?
Explore our tours to Thailand.


Madeline Muller

Madeline is a copywriter at EF tours. She loves sitcoms, tacos, re-reading books, and befriending dogs. Her favorite city is Budapest.

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