26 foods you should say sawadee to in thailand

I’ve grouped these into what I think is probably legit, somewhat legit, and most likely for tourists. 


1. Khao Soi – fried egg noodles in a coconut/curry broth. This dish can be found in Northern Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar

Ugo Restaurant 1
Khao Soi @ Ugo Restaurant in Chiang Mai. Not very authentic but we didn’t have time to try the real Khao Soi places while we were up North

2. Boo Paht Pong Karee – fried crab in chili/curry powder

Apr 2018 iPhone 263
Chili crab @ Linda Seafood in Phuket

3. Nam Prik – a dip made from pounding chilis, shallots, garlic, fish paste, and lime juice that’s typically eaten with vegetables. I even tried making my own at home, which came out surprisingly good. My favorite thing to eat nam prik with is pork rinds

4. Pla – crispy whole fish with garlic/chilis

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Pla @ Linda Seafood in Phuket

5. Steamed Fish – there are many variations of this but some kind of concoction with lime is good. The tartness from the lime cuts out some of the fishiness

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Steamed fish with chili, garlic, and lime @ Linda Seafood in Phuket

6. Big Prawns – if you like prawns or shrimp, Thailand is the place to have it.

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Prawns @ Lek Seafood in Bangkok

7. Morning Glory – vegetable dish you’ll find at most Thai restaurants

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Morning Glory @ Linda Seafood in Phuket

8. Coconut water – coconuts are plenty here, so it’s also pretty cheap. You can get one for 40 baht, which they’ll chop open for you

Apr 2018 iPhone 950
Coconut for about 1 USD at a side stall on a road in Chiang Mai

9. Beer – Chang, Singha, and Leo seem to be their most popular beers. It’s a basic lager, but it is super refreshing at the beach, or if you need to cool down your mouth set afire from the Thai chilis

Day 1 - Bangkok - Dinner @ Ruen Urai 3
Mom and Pops enjoying some local beer before dinner

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10. SangSom Rum – you’ll see this rum everywhere in Thailand. I’m not a rum-drinker but it’s still worth trying – preferably in some tropical drink form, while lying on a beach

Somewhat Legit

11. Papaya Salad – shredded green papaya, chilis, tomatoes in a fish sauce/lime “vinaigrette”. Careful on the chilis though!

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Papaya Salad @ No. 9 Restaurant in Phuket

12. Vermicelli salad – like papaya salad, but with vermicelli noodles instead of papaya

Day 1 - Bangkok - Dinner @ Ruen Urai 4
Vermicelli Salad @ Ruen Urai in Bangkok

13. Larb – meat salad, typically found in Northern Thailand

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Pork larb @ No. 9 Restaurant in Phuket

14. Thai Curry – there are many different variations of this, including green curry, red curry, penang curry, and Massaman curry, just to name a few. These are probably the ones they make for tourists, which seem to be on the milder side. I’m sure Thais eat the ‘Thai spicy’ curries instead of these

Day 1 - Bangkok - Lunch @ Baan ThaThien Cafe 4
Coconut curry @ Baan Thien Cafe in Bangkok

15. Khao Soi Kai Gorm – braised pork, made by the “Cowboy Hat Lady” at Chang Puak Night Market in Chiang Mai. This was probably legit until Anthony Bourdain started going there (may his soul rest in peace), and then all of the tourists (like me) started going there because of him

Apr 2018 iPhone 956
Chang Puak Market – Cowboy Hat Lady posing with her stewed pork legs

16. Raan Jay Fai – crab omelette in Bangkok, which earned a Michelin star. Be prepared to wait though. The spot is small and it does take a bit for her to actually make the omelette

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Jay Fai in action
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The famous crab omelette that we waited two hours in total for
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Cross-section of said crab omelette

17. Mango – don’t leave without trying some of their mango. It’s probably the sweetest and freshest mango I’ve ever eaten in my life

Day 1 - Bangkok - City Centre 6
Mom enjoying some fresh mango

Probably For Tourists

18. Pad Thai – stir-fried rice noodle dish made with (usually) shrimp, egg, bean sprouts, tofu, fish sauce, garlic, and chili pepper flakes. You’ll find this everywhere in Thailand, and for 100 baht (about 3 USD), you can usually find a pretty good one

Apr 2018 iPhone 232
Pad Thai @ No. 9 Restaurant in Phuket
Apr 2018 iPhone 773
Pad Thai from a street market in Phuket

19. Pad See Ew – stir-fried broad rice noodles with soy sauce, Chinese broccoli, egg, and usually some sort of thinly sliced meat. Another popular street food, like Pad Thai, that you will likely find throughout the country.

Day 1 - Bangkok - Dinner @ Ruen Urai 5
Pad See Ew @ Ruen Urai in Bangkok

20. Pineapple Fried Rice – I don’t really like cooked fruit, but a lot of vendors that sell this will serve it in a pineapple half, which I must say is beautiful

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Pineapple fried rice from a street market in Phuket

21. Tom Yum Soup – hot and sour soup cooked with shrimp

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Tom Yum Soup + Omelette @ Big C Supercenter

22. Thai Iced Tea – strongly brewed Ceylon tea with sugar and condensed milk. If you’re not a beer-drinker, this is another good drink that will cool your taste buds from the Thai spicy foods

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Fancy Thai iced tea with a Thai Tea crepe cake @ Favour Cafe in Bangkok

23. Mango Sticky Rice – sticky rice with coconut, and fresh mango

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Mango sticky rice in the making

24. Thai Ice Cream – ice cream rolls that are now popping up everywhere in NYC. Make sure you try it in Thailand though, because they’ll incorporate fresh native fruit, like mangos and dragonfruit

Bangla Night Market 41
Thai ice cream rolls in the making (3 USD)

25. Big C Super Center – OK, so not technically a food, but still worth checking out if you’re in Bangkok. There’s a good variety here but it seems like most of the stalls sell your typical Pad Thais and Currys – not to say it’s not good though! All you have to do is preload a card you get at the info desk with some money, and you use it like a meal plan like you’re in college.Apr 2018 iPhone 1545

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Apr 2018 iPhone 1557
Mango Honey Toast @ Big C Supercenter

And i’m not sure where this one fits in but if you’ve read my other “Food You Should Try While In…” posts, then you’ll know that I like McDonald’s, and I especially like trying it in other countries.

26. McDonald’s – they have items like rice and congee on the menu. I was at the airport when I saw the congee but unfortunately, they ran out

BKK to HKT 1
McPorridge at BKK
Apr 2018 iPhone 838
Some kind of fried chicken with rice dish in Chiang Mai

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