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
2. Boo Paht Pong Karee – fried crab in chili/curry powder
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
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
6. Big Prawns – if you like prawns or shrimp, Thailand is the place to have it.
7. Morning Glory – vegetable dish you’ll find at most Thai restaurants
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
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
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
11. Papaya Salad – shredded green papaya, chilis, tomatoes in a fish sauce/lime “vinaigrette”. Careful on the chilis though!
12. Vermicelli salad – like papaya salad, but with vermicelli noodles instead of papaya
13. Larb – meat salad, typically found in Northern Thailand
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
21. Tom Yum Soup – hot and sour soup cooked with shrimp
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
23. Mango Sticky Rice – sticky rice with coconut, and fresh mango
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
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.
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