A Food Guide To Bangkok’s Districts

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It’s inevitable. Staying in your Sathorn Hotel, when, suddenly, you get an urge to go out of the hotel and get something good to eat. But when the restaurants and the bars can’t sate your hunger, then your option is Thai street food.

An exciting, if bewildering world, Thai street food can provide more intrepid diners with hours worth of culinary exploration, but only if they know where to go. Here’s a starter guide for the districts of Bangkok and their street food.

Chinatown

If you’re looking for street food in the Thai capital, you can’t skip on Chinatown, or Yaowarat, as the locals call it. Considered by many as the birthplace of Thai street food, it remains a prime foodie destination. Classics include satay meat threaded on bamboo sticks, grilled over open flames, served with other sauces, as well as lod chong Singapore, sticky rice flour modelled after a popular dish in Singapore. The latter is easy to get, as there’s one store bearing its name, located on Charoen Krung Road, just across the Sirirama Hospital, which one of the first stores to sell the dish in the capital.

Old Town

Old Town, also known as Banglamphu, named after the lamphu trees that were once ubiquitous in its many canals, is a great place to go for those looking for old-style Thai street food specialities, which tend to be hard to find anywhere else. Most of the vendors here have been selling food for decades, backed by generations of culinary knowledge. One of the common options are khao gang (curry rice); a selection of curries and stir rice that’s a popular breakfast and lunch option for those on the go, with varieties like gang kiew waan gai (green chicken curry) and gang som goong (sour curry with shrimp). There’s also tom yum talay (spicy lemongrass soup with seafood) and guay tiew pad kee mow (“drunken noodles”; fried with lots of chillies).

Sukhumvit

The area, named after the congested and popular road that runs through it, is a testament to how good food of all kinds follow money, regardless of the kind of neighbourhood it is. Chicken noodle vendors are popular here, like Guaythiew Pik Gai Sainampung at 392/20 Sukhumvit Road, between Sois 18 and 20, as well Hainanese-style chicken rice (khao mun gai). Here, there’s a lot of options for Isaan food, from the Thai north-east, popular among locals, thanks to their simplicity and spiciness, like grilled chicken (gai yang), sticky rice (khao niew) and grated vegetable salad (som tum).

Silom and Sathorn

Silom and Sathorn roads are considered the capital’s CBD (Central Business District). They’re great spots for a quick bite, some of them offering gourmet options. There are, however, options that take up little time and money. Here, you can get khao soy (curried egg noodles), and others. Ped thun (braised duck) is another popular option you can easily get after leaving your Sathorn Hotel, one that shows the Chinese roots of Thai food.

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