World's Most Delicious Street Food
Risk Factor: medium
The Scene: An estimated 12,000 vendors operate in the Thai capital. Of those, only 8,400 are licensed with the city, which does twice-a-year spot checks for E. coli and salmonella, banned pesticides, and additives. Look for stalls with a sticker of a smiling plate with the words clean food good taste!—a stamp of approval from health officials.
Where to Go:Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown; the Soi 38 night market off Sukhumvit Road; and near the Hua Lamphong MRT stop.
What to Order: Som tum gai yang (green papaya salad with chicken); khao mok gai (Thai-style chicken biryani); bamee ped (egg noodles with roast duck); khanom bueang (crispy sweet pancakes).
What to Avoid: Som tum made with small black crabs, often taken from filthy canals. Only eat hoy tod (mussel omelettes) if they’re from a reputable, busy stall. If you order laarb (minced pork or chicken salad), make sure it’s fully cooked.
Thai Phrase Book
Six essential phrases for intrepid foodies, courtesy of Chinawut Chinaprayoon of Bangkok Food Tours.
I like it a little bit spicy.
Taahn ped dai neet-noi.
I’d like to order...
Saang ahaan noi...
May I see the menu, please?
Kaw menu noi ka/krup*.
* Women say “ka”; men, “krup.”
No ice, please.
Mai-ao naam- keng ka/krup*.
May I have bottled water, please?
Kaw naam-plao ka/krup*?
Gep-thang duay ka/krup*.