During the project of eating my way true Bangkok, I have both been tipped and have stumbled over quite some noteworthy street food vendors. Sometimes the faces have been there for a lifetime, sometimes the face belong to the third generation, cooking the speciality of their grand parents. The same ingredients and methods, the very same dish. All of them with a dedication to serve their faithful customers. I have collected a few of them in this photo essay, some of them with a real charming character. Click on the hyperlink to see full reviews, maps and how to get there.
Khao Tom Jay Suay
Khao tom or boiled rice is excellent in combination with a a set of other dishes. It normally comes in small bowls with a watery rice. I have a few favourites when it comes to khao tom restaurants in Bangkok, one in the Thong Lor area, one in the Sri Yan area and this one, Khao Tom Jay Suay, in Chinatown. It’s slightly out of the ordinary tourist menu, and I have never seen a westerner here, but this webpage is about getting peoples attention to the good food and the good vendors in Bangkok and to forget about all the dull and bland food you get everywhere. The rice is not the focus here, it’s all the other dishes you order.
Name: Khao Tom Jay Suay
Food: Rice soup to combine with different dishes, both fish based and meat based.
Open: Daily from
Phone: 02 223 9592
Address: 547 Thanon Phlap Phla Chai
How to get there: 50 meters from Nay Mong
Rice topped with red roasted pork (khao moo daeng) and crispy pork belly (khao moo krob) can be a truly delicious plate when the sweetness of the sauce is made with a careful approach as it otherwise can be to dominating. At Si Morakot, between Hua Lamphong station and Chinatown, you get the real deal. A truly superb plate that also comes with slices of tasty Chinese sausage. They have been in the business for more than 60 years, and know what works. It’s also a safe route for all those not willing to flirt with spiciness in Thai cuisine. A bonus is Wat Traimit and the world’s largest solid gold Buddha just a minute away. See full review at StreetsideBangkok.com
Food: Khao moo daeng (ข้าวหมูแดง) – rice with barbequed pork, and Khao Moo Grob (ข้าวหมูกรอบ) – rice with crispy pork. They will normally ask if you want an egg added, but if you want to be up front you can say sai kai. Or to be sure to get the whole thing order khao moo daeng moo krob sai kai.
Open: Mon 11am – 2pm, Tue-Sun 11am – 7pm & 9.30am – 6pm
Price: 48 Bath with an egg
Phone: 02-266-9816, 081-567-9006
Address: 80-82 Soi Sukon 1
How to get there: Take the MRT (Metro) to Hua Lamphong. Take exit 3 and walk for 4-5 minutes. You can also come by express boat. Go off at Ratchawong Pier and walk from there.
Street vendor around Haram Mosque
The guy above have been here for as long as I have walked Bangkok. Thai massaman curry with chicken is his speciality. Also a couple of other dishes. A very pleasant and gentle man. The guy with his two wives is serving the food every Friday during the morning prayer in a small allay from Charoen Krung Road Soi 36. It’s 20-30 meters from the entrance to Haram Mosque. A great spot for Thai massaman curry is by the way Roti Mataba, opposite Phra Sumen Fort in the Banglamphu area.
Open: Only Friday morning/lunchtime.
Street food vendor at the Sunday Vietnamese morning market
The mother and son is selling delicious barbequed bananas close to the Sunday Vietnamese morning market in the Banglamphu area. Daytime vendor. Be aware that the bananas are burning hot when you get them, so give it a few minutes before you start eating it. The Sunday morning Vietnamese market is a fun morning activity, not big, but charming. My best advice is to go for Som Sii who runs one of the corner stalls, furthest away from the church. Ask for her name and you get guided – standing with the entrance to the church in front of you, walk down to the right and to the end, and you find her on the right side. She served a lovely portion with Ban Kan Kha, a vietnamese noodle dish with pork. Not the clear broth as you normally get with noodles, but an almost milky like consistence. A tasteful treat even without the use of condiments. But as always, the adding is your own business.
Name: Sunday Vietnamese market
Address: Samsen road Soi 11-13. It is located directly behind the entrance to St Francis Xavier Church. It’s north of Sumen fort at Phra Arthit road, almost up to Ratchawithi road crossing Samsen road.
Open: Sunday 6am – 10am. Best time to get there is around 9am to 9.30am
Charoen Wiang Pochana
Duck is one of my favorite proteins when it comes to Thai food. Charoen Wiang Pochana is a good choice. Another one is Prachak Pet Yang close by. Both are very good. In the Ratchawat and Sri Yan area you have Rawanstar Roasted Duck, my overall favorite in Bangkok. But that said, Charoen Wiang Pochana will make you happy. Ask for the ba mee egg noodles with slices of roasted duck.
Name: Charoen Wiang Pochana (เจริญเวียงโภชนา)
Food: Roasted duck, barbecued pork and ba mee egg noodles (priority one when here)
Price: 40 – 50 THB
Open: Daily from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Address: Bangrak, Charoen Wiang, Bangkok, Thailand
How to get there: Located in the heart of Bangrak and just across the street from Robinson shopping mall, Charoen Wiang Pochana (เจริญเวียงโภชนา) is easy to get to and in a great location.
Boat Noodle Alley
Boat noodles is a Bangkok experience worth checking out. They serve them all over town, but few spots are more known then Boat Noodle Alley just north of the Victory Monument. Several vendors are situated along the small canal, and it’s 10-12 Bath a bowl. Some of them even have a bonus, eat 20 and you’ve earned yourself a free pepsi. There isn’t one restaurant in particular at Boat Noodle Alley, but several vendors in a row along the alley that runs in parallel with the canal, all of them sticking to the same philosophy.
Name: Boat Noodle Alley (a few vendors lined after each other).
Food: Boat noodles
Price: 10-12 Bath a bowl
Address: Boat Noodle Alley
How to get there: Take BTS to Victory Monument and walk North along the overhead walkway in the direction of the night market. Keep to the right around the big roundabout. Walk it trough the end, then take the steps down to the street, turn 180 degrees, walk for a few meters and you will see the alley starts on your left side. You can also step down from the overhead walkway as soon as you have passed Ratchawithi Road, then pass through the night market and take the small bridge over the canal. The better option for vendors will be the one to the right where you see the sign of free pepsi if you eat 20 bowls.
Noodle stall in Phetchaburi Soi 10
Some holds Petchaburi Soi 10 high when it comes to street food. I don’t, but as always, there are some exceptions. And the couple working in this small noodle stand to the left at the very entrance of Soi 10 is worth a visit. The broth are genuine homemade old Thai style with a depth and balance that you don’t see everywhere. The pork stock is clear with a distinct flavor and you know it has been cooked for hours as soon as you land your first spoon. The pork isn’t the most expensive parts, but it doesn’t really matters. The beef also comes with a wonderful flavorful broth, and a spoon of blood is added to give it the depth. And that’s the real secret behind this dish. Blood adds taste. It’s that simple and this is also by the way how excellent and classic boat noodles is made. The street food vendor is also popular among Burmese.
Open: Most vendors are open evenings and into the night. Some daytime vendors as well.
Khao Tom Sri Yan
Sometimes you pop into these old-school shophouses, of course if you have dressed up with an open mind when you stepped down on the street. Khao Tom Sri Yan is one of those charming, and to a certain extent nostalgic, restos that carries a history. And you see it immediately, especially if you go there prime time eating hours.
Your first observation is probably the cliental occupying the seats. With very few exceptions, they’re almost all regulars. Most of customers has crossed the line where they can be considered experienced in life. Secondly, the furnitures. When most of the furnitures are solid and dark wood, you know they have quite some years on their back. The third thing to notice is whatever tit is that has deserved a spot on the walls. It can be old frames or photos, old articles, or something else that is telling a history. It’s all easy to spot if you just know what to look for.
The point of bringing these things up is the quality of the food. A shophouse that has survived 30 or 40 years or even more, tells a story of good quality and solid food. Thai’s are not spending time on mediocrity when it comes to their meals.
The food is old-school with long traditions. The fish is good, with steamed snapper in soy sauce as one of the signature dishes. Stewed pork knuckle is another choice, not to forget the fresh vegetables that really tastes great. Stir fried kale with crispy pork is also good. I have not tasted the spicy Chinese Sausage salad, but I will do. Chinese sausage (kun chiang) is really good when it is of good quality.
Name: Khao Tom Sri Yan
Food: Old School Thai food with focus on fish and dishes like stewed pork knuckle and vegetables.
Price: 40 – 80 Bath +
Open: Daily 5 pm – 1 am
Address: 103 Nakornchaisri Rd.
How to get there: BTS to Victory Monument and a 15 minutes taxi drive from there. Or you come the waterway. Payap pier takes you directly to Sri Yan market in Dusit district. The pier is a short 5 minutes walk away, just follow the Nakhon Chaisi road from the pier. The resto is on the other side of the road from the market entrance. There is no BTS or MRT nearby. Busses are an alternative.
Chairoj is probably the most minimalistic shop house restaurant I have ever visited. It’s as naked as it can be, except for the table and chairs. The atmosphere has never been an issue here. They make food and serve it. Nothing more, nothing less. But the food is good.
The pale yellowish and greenish walls are empty, except for a small sign in red on a white background. A few fans in the roof, the bright neon lights. Even the vintage wooden tables are empty, just the greenish surface. No containers of chili, vinegar or fish sauce, no napkins. A few papers on the office desk at the back where the older couple is overviewing the activity. Nothing except for the tables and chairs on the brownish cement floors either. And a fridge they don’t seem to use in the back of the room.
Food: Chinese with a Thai touch and western influence
Price: Cheap. Most dishes 80 Bath
Open: 11 am – 8 pm. Sometimes they are closed around 3-5 pm, but difficult to know when. They say they are open 11 am – 8 pm. It’s a family run restaurant.
Address: 467/25 Ayutthaya Road. Almost at the intersection with Phya Thai Road.
How to get there: Take the BTS to Phaya Thai. Take exit #3 and turn left into Ayutthaya Road. Cross the street under the bridge and you see it. About 100 meters from the intersection of Ayutthaya Road and Phaya Thai road. Parking is difficult. There is no signs outside, but it is next to the Phaya Thai Dentist Group.
Mitr Ko Yuan
Few dishes and even fewer soups, if any, are as good as Tom Yam Kung, the famous Thai shrimp soup. Unfortunately there are quite some pit falls in making it. Mitr Ko Yuan avoids them all. The soup is delicious and tasty with a good acidity base. One of the better once in town. Mitr Ko Yuan opened their doors in 1966. Despite their popularity they have never expanded. And they have never changed, the hand-written menu from the opening year that still is posted on the wall. And to be honest the prices haven’t changed that much either. It’s gone from 10-15 Bath a dish to 60-80 Bath a dish. That’s almost 50 years in between.
Name: Mitr Ko Yuan
Food: A wide variety: Stir fried, snapper dishes (fish), clear soups, hot and sour soups, prawns, spicy salads, cuttle fish, vegetables, shells like soft boiled cockles, egg dishes.
Open: Mon – Fri 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Address: 186 Dinso Road.
How to get there: Located in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok on Dinso Road Almost opposite the City Hall. Taxi is your best option if not in the area. Bus alternatives to Dinso Road are 10, 12, 19, 42, 89, 96.
Phone: +66 (0)2 224 1194
Mont is an institution in Bangkok and it dates back to the early 1960s, a time when fresh milk was rare and rather unusual for Thai’s. Restaurants like Mont were the only places to buy a glass of fresh milk in Bangkok, and they coupled that with delicious steamed and thick toasted bread served with various toppings.
Today, this family based restaurant is exceedingly popular among university students and serves plenty of toasts, with toppings ranging from chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter to my favorite, coconut custard with pandanus leaf. It’s an absolutely ‘to-die-for’ topping. Many Thai’s prefer a version with farm fresh milk. See full review at StreetsideBangkok.com
Name: Mont Nom Sod
Food: All kind of toasts, like butter and sugar, condensed milk, orange jam, coconut custard (orange and green), chocolate, creamy corn soup, peanut butter, creamy taro (Mondays only), durian creamy pumpkin (full moon days only), butter and egg Sangkaya or Pandumus Sangkaya.
Price: Cheap. 25+ Bath.
Open: Sunday-Thursday 2:00 pm – 11.00 pm, Friday-Saturday 2:00 pm – 12.00 pm
Address: 160/1-3 Dinsor Road
How to get there: Located in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok on Dinsor Road Almost opposite the City Hall. Taxi is your best option if not in the area. Bus alternatives to Dinsor Road are 10, 12, 19, 42, 89, 96.
If you stroll along the beginning of Mangkorn Road, close to the famous Leng Noei Yi Temple in Chinatown, you will be surprised by a crowd of people queuing or sitting on small, red plastic chairs without a table. That’s Jek Pui and you should do as the locals, find yourself a red chair and dig in or get some take aways from the menu.
Jek Pui is a rather famous food stall that has been around for more than 50 years, established by the father of the current owner. Jek Pui has been on this corner since day one, so it’s also a rather unique and authentic view of how it was some decades ago. The biggest change is probably to replace the wooden chairs with the red plastic chairs some years ago. See full review at StreetsideBangkok.com
Name: Jek Pui Curry Shop
Price: Starting at 40 bath
Phone: 08-1854-7110 /+66 2222 5229
Address: Corner of Mangkorn road (Dragon road) and Charoen Krung Road
How to get there: Take MRT (metro) to Hua Lamphong and walk from there. You can also take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ratchawong pier. You can take the express boat from Tha Tian pier or Tha Chang pier near the Grand Palace, or from Sathon pier near Silom area.
Jay Fai is acclaimed by food critics. Also internationally. Long before that she was acclaimed by her local patriots who came regularly to appreciate the tasty and fresh seafood served. Today, you still find food critics there, together with Bangkokiens in their Ferraris and top notch cars occasionally parked street side. And of course expatriates. But the ordinary local working woman and lad has disappeared from the scene, long time ago. Part of that explanation is the prices.
Ok, the prices. It costs. To put in perspective, it´s close to a 3 day salary for locals – for the crab omelet. What sets it apart from many other vendors is not only the prices, but the high end products. It can be the drunken noodles, the Rad na (a gravy) or the crab omelette, it all comes with ultra fresh prawns, scallops, crab meat, squid or whatever the ingredients being used. The old auntie has been doing that faithfully for 60 years. The dishes runs from around 480 Baht to 800 Bath + depending on the price of crab that day.
Name: Jay Fai
Food: Crab omelet, drunken noodles, seafood Rad na, ++
Opening Hours: Sun-Fri 3pm-2am
Address: 327 Mahachai Rd
How to get there: The easiest way is to grab a taxi at Hua Lamphong Metro station (also the closest Metro station to Chinatown). Next to that is grab a map and start walking. It´s about 15 minutes walk from Khao San Road.
Along Bangkok’s oldest road, the Charoen Krung Road built in 1861, you find a number of good spots for eating street side. One of them is the Muslim Restaurant, famous for their goat biryani only served on Mondays. But don’t worry, they also have chicken biryani on all opening days. The goat might be a more rare and special dish, but they are both very good. They also have dishes like Mataba (roti with chicken or beef filling) and oxtail soup, in addition to the usual yoghurts and lassies. The fall of the bones chicken biryani comes with a lightly spiced mint dressing and the usual slices of cucumbers in a sweat and sour sauce. The rice is soft and flavorful with a lot of spices and the accompanying sauce is also very good.
Name: Muslim restaurant
Food: Halal food
Open: Open 6.30am-6.30pm. Closed Sundays. Goat biryani only on Mondays.
Address: Charoen Krung 1354-56 (oppsotite corner of Silom Rd)
How to get there: BTS to Saphan Taksin or the Chao Phraya Express boat to Sathorn pier, and walk east for no more than 100 metres before turning left (north) onto Charoen Krung Road. Walk for 500 meters and you find them just after Soi 42. Silom Road starts almost opposite the restaurant. Look for the green script with the name above the entrance.
I hope this photo essay on street food in Bangkok can be a boost for your search for the best food there is in the city of angels. I wish you the best in luck in your search for different dishes and vendors and welcome you to the world of great tastes.