One of the most memorable and defining features of Bangkok (and Thailand in general) is its “street food.” Street food comes from mobile carts, cases, stalls, griddles and kitchens parked alongside any street in the city, where Thai people are cooking up some of the most flavorful fare you’ll find anywhere in the world. Just walk out the door on any given night or any weekend morning and let your nose lead the way. No visit to Bangkok is complete without doing so, regardless of any guidebook that might warn you against it.
There is satay — countless forms of meat on a stick with accompanying dipping sauces. There is barbecue — drumsticks, wings, sausages, meatballs and hotdogs wrapped in bacon. There are infinite snacks — popsicles, frozen pineapple, cupcakes, doughnuts and fried bananas. There are mysterious stalls with piles of oddly shaped tidbits and finger foods. Regardless of the format, street food nearly always has simple, exceptional flavor.
Occasionally, a street food cart requires further investigation, like this one seen at the Chatuchak weekend market — one man pedaling a bike full of dried squid who stopped to roll out a few fresh products for his customers.
Different times of day bring different types of food. I took a walk along Rama I on Sunday morning and a whole new range of delights were up for sale, from shumai to spicy mango to steam cakes. Just twenty baht for a half-dozen hot-off-the-griddle mini coconut pancakes!
You want Thailand? Street food is Thailand. It doesn’t get more authentic than this. No beach or fruity cocktail required.