Thai Food: 15 Types of Thailand Dishes You Have to Try in Bangkok
Discover Thailand’s best by wandering around Bangkok wherein you’ll find some of the most delicious Thailand dishes in the country.
Do you know what native Thais say when they meet? Hello? Hi? How are you? Nope! They usually ask “Have you eaten?” instead of those regular greetings. It proves that Thais really adore and appreciates their own cuisine. The same habit of this greeting can also be found in Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok.
Bangkok, one of the most popular backpackers’ destinations in Southeast Asia, serves diverse types of cuisine ready for you to try. Bangkok is even famous for its street-foods, which has unlimited dishes to choose from at a low cost.
Here we have a list of a variety of Thailand dishes that you have to try when you come to Bangkok.
1. Tom Yam Goong
Do you know what Thailand’s national food representative is? If you answer Tom Yam Goong, you are on the right track. That is because Tom Yam Goong is one of the most popular Thailand dishes. Tom Yam Goong is a soup made from shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, citronella, and lime leaves.
There are two types of Tom Yam Goong. The first type is Tom Yam Goong Nam, which is made from coconut milk and cream. The second type is Tom Yam Goong Nam Sai which is made without both coconut milk and cream. It has a sour taste and healthier since coconut milk has more fat in it.
You can find this dish easily in Bangkok, from street food to a classy restaurant, they serve this almost anywhere. Our recommendation is Banana Leaf Restaurant which is located in Silom Complex, Silom Road, Bangkok. This restaurant is in the basement floor and it opens every day from 11 AM to 9.30 PM.
2. Pad Thai
If Tom Yam Goong is Thailand’s national soup, then Pad Thai is Thailand’s national noodle. Pad Thai is estimated being around since the Ayutthaya Empire (1350-1767). It is very popular among locals and tourists.
Pad Thai is made from rice noodles that are being fried along with other ingredients like tofu, peanuts, shrimp, green onion, bean sprout, fish sauce, and lime extract. It has a chewy and mild texture. Scrambled eggs are added on the dish and Pad Thai can’t be more perfect.
Pad Thai is available in countless street carts and restaurants around the city. One of the best places to enjoy the delicious Pad Thai is in Thip Samai which is located at 313 Maha Chai Road.
3. Gaeng Som
Gaeng Som is another Thai’s authentic soup. It’s made from vegetables like carrot, cabbage, baby corn, and bean or in Thailand, called Pak Ruam. Gaeng Som had orange soup which has a sour and sweet flavor.
You can find Gaeng Som easily in Bangkok. One of the best places that served this dish is Arhan Isaan Rot Det Restaurant. It’s in 3/5-6 Thanon Rangnam Road, Ratchawithi, across King Power complex.
4. Gaeng Keow Wan
You might be familiar with regular curry that has a yellowish color. But have you ever tried Green curry? If not, you can try it in Thailand. It’s called Gaeng Keow Wan. This dish uses green curry paste as a base ingredient. They make this paste from green chili. The paste then combined with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, chicken, basil, Thai eggplant, and Thai spices like lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaf. Gaeng Keow Wan has a thick soup and served along with white rice or thin rice noodles (khanom chin). It has savory and sweet flavors at the same time.
This dish is getting more popular since the 20th century. Nowadays, you can find this menu in almost every restaurant and stall in Bangkok.
5. Som Tam
For those of you who were on a vegetarian diet, have a taste of Som Tam. This dish is the most popular salad in Thailand. It’s is also popular for one main reason, the delicious flavor of Som Tam was even approved by CNN and made on the list of the 50 most delicious food in the world in 2011 and 2018.
Som Tam means “salad made in a mortar”, this is because it ground spices like garlic and chili in a mortar or krok in Thais, until it became a paste. The vegetables on the dish comprise grated papaya, tomatoes, lime juice, sour juice, dried shrimp, fish sausage, cane paste, and green bean. Sometimes it served along with sticky rice.
Because of its popularity, you can find Som Tam literally everywhere in Bangkok. The most popular places among tourists are in Soi Siam Square and Prachathipat road.
6. Khao Niew Moo Yang
Thailand surely has a lot of interesting and unique dishes. Have you ever tried to eat skewers with rice? Maybe that combination wasn’t strange at all. But how about the rice being changed with sticky rice that tastes sweeter than the regular rice and had a sticky texture? To answer your curiosity about this taste, you may try Khao Niew Moo Yang when you come to Bangkok.
Khao Niew Moo Yang is a dish made from grilled pork skewer combined with sticky rice. This dish has a delicious taste and easy to make. You can find this dish almost everywhere in Bangkok, from an alley to a classy restaurant serving Khao Niew Moo Yang.
7. Kao Na Phet
Duck might be less popular than a chicken, but it’s fattier and more distinct than chicken. If Beijing is popular with Peking Duck, Thailand has Kao Na Phet which is not less delicious with Peking Duck. Both dishes have their own types and tastes.
Kao Na Phet has a pretty appearance. It’s made from grilled duck and seasoned with Thais spices. This dish usually served along with duck stock and white rice. One of the famous restaurants who served Kao Na Phet in Bangkok is Hua Seng Hong Restaurant in Yaowarat road, it’s in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
Dessert & Snack
8. Durian Chips
Have you ever tried durian? Although it has a strong scent and flavor, this fruit which is called “the king of fruits” in Southeast Asia has so many fans. They mostly enjoy eating fresh fruit rather than processed ones. But if you’re not too keen on this flavor and scent, you can try durian chips which have smoother flavors and scents. In Thailand, it is one of the best dishes, especially if you’re not fond of eating fresh durian.
Like any other chips, this snack also has a crispy texture that makes you want to eat more and more. You can find this snack in big supermarkets and gift shops around Bangkok.
9. Khao Niew Ma Muang / Mango Sticky Rice
Mango sticky rice or in Thais called Khao Niew Ma Muang might be Thailand’s National Dessert. This dish must have to be on your list to try when you’re visiting Thailand. This dessert made from ripe mango combined with chewy sticky rice and sometimes they add condensed milk or coconut milk on it. Mango sticky rice has a unique, sweet, and delicious taste which makes you want to go back to Thailand when you’ve left the country.
Nowadays, there are so many fusions of this dessert, such as colorful sticky rice instead of the plain one or even adding more diverse of toppings on top of the dish. It’s easy to find mango sticky rice in Bangkok. Every corner of this town starting from street stalls to a classy restaurant sells this dessert.
10. Coconut Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream in this world? Ice cream always has a special place in anyone’s heart. With various flavors, you can choose your own preferred taste. In Thailand, you can find an Ice Cream that is made from coconut.
This dessert has a savory taste that comes from the coconut and served with various toppings like chocolate, sweet corn, nuts, red beans, jackfruits, and many other options of toppings. Coconut ice cream usually served using coconut shells itself and made it more original and attractive. You should definitely try this one of the most delicious Thailand dishes!
You can find this dessert literally everywhere in Bangkok. But when you have time, go visit the Chatuchak Weekend Market to taste this delicious ice cream.
11. Luk Chup
This beautiful dessert is very popular with locals. Luk Chup is a sweet that was made from bean marzipan and shaped to be fruits or vegetables. Then its dough is colored with food coloring, so it has beautiful appearances.
This dessert originally served for the noble in the past, but nowadays you can find Luk Chup easily in the dessert shop all over Bangkok. One store who served the best Luk Chup in Bangkok is Baan Luk Chup which located in Arun Amarin Road (near Soi 39), Thonburi, Bangkok. This place is open daily from 8 AM to 6 PM.
12. Tub Tim Krob
Tub Tim Krob also referred to Red Rubies. This culinary is made from chestnut water and shaped to be a cube and given a red color on it. It’s best consumed cold together with coconut milk. Sometimes, the seller uses jackfruit or other fruits as a topping on this dish. Tub Tim Krob is suitable to accompany your walk under the hot Thai weather.
13. Cha Yen/Thai Tea
Thailand is not only popular for its dishes, but also its beverages. Cha Yen or Thai Tea in recent years has skyrocketed in popularity, not only among locals but also tourists. No wonder, this is because the sweet, delicate, and fresh taste of Cha Yen can spoil your tongue.
They make this orange drink from Thai tea leaves or Bai Miang mixed with sweetened condensed milk and quite a lot of sugar. They enjoy this drink cold, but you also can still enjoy it in a warm state.
Finding a shop that sells Cha Yen is not difficult at all. If you see the sweet, thick brand “Carnation” on display in piles, it is almost certain that Cha Yen is sold at the store. Even though luxury restaurants don’t want to be outdone by roadside stalls, they also sell Cha Yen there.
14. Oliang (Thai Coffee)
If there is tea, there should be coffee. In Thailand, you can find Oliang or Thai Coffee, which is no less popular than Cha Yen. Oliang made from a local coffee added with sugar and sweetened condensed milk, then blend it until it forms the right mixture. Know that this coffee has a strong sweet taste. If you want a milder taste, just ask the seller to make it less sugar in your coffee.
Some stalls whose served Cha Yen also provides Oliang on their menus. Buying Oliang from the restaurant and local stall is considered the same taste, but the prices are different. If you had more money, you might be wanted to go to the restaurant, but if you want to save your money on your trip, it would be better if you choose local stall instead.
15. Nom Yen (Ice Milk with Syrup)
Last but not least, other popular drinks from Thailand are Nom Yen or Ice Milk with Syrup. Just like its name, this drink made from condensed milk combined with sala syrup. It’s best served cold and suitable to accompany your trip to Bangkok’s hot weather.
Just like Oliang, you can find this Nom Yen in the same stall as Cha Yen. Because of its popularity, you can find Nom Yen in every corner of Bangkok.
We consider Thailand dishes to have a strong taste because it’s using varieties of spices. But still suitable for tourists’ taste no matter where you’re coming from. So, which one of those dishes do you eagerly want to try?
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