tasted on December 4, 2005 —
While there are many high end and high quality restaurants and food
experiences to search for on this planet, perhaps the most reliable
quality food experience in the world is street food. Of course there
are exceptions, and some countries are better than others, but in
general I believe this. Street food is most of the world's answer to
fast food and there are several reasons why it's often your best bet
for something great to eat. Mostly it's because quality is about
focus and street food vendors have no choice but to focus. The space
limitations alone require it. They also help force the street food
vendor to restock with fresh ingredients each day. And in much of
Asia the street food is a local tradition and authentic. It doesn't
get much better than that.
After that type of introduction you'd think that I'd
have a seriously detailed survey of Bangkok street food. You'd be
wrong. But only because I suck. I think it would have taken me weeks
to really get even a shallow but semi-complete view of the street
food experience. Instead you'll get a super basic (and incomplete)
intro as well as a decent number of
pictures of what I was able to find in my few days in Bangkok.
Some random tidbits in no particular order:
- There are three main places for street food
(you'd think there would be only one - the street) in Bangkok.
They are 1)
the street (even
late into the night), 2)
food courts in malls (or entire malls), and 3) the huge
outdoor markets (like the
Chatachuk weekend market).
- The malls are a good place to get your bearings. The food is
excellent (again unlike food courts in North America) and it's a
controlled environment in which
- The food is incredibly cheap. For some reason the malls have
these systems where you have to buy the
mall food scrip. If you have any leftover you just turn it
back in for cash. Their not making money on the exchange rate so
I guess they think it's easier to pay with their coupons.
- The food is incredibly good. And there are tons of options.
I especially enjoyed everything that was deep fried. And in many
everything was deep fried.
- Did I mentioned the
deep-fried bacon-wrapped hot dogs?
Fish balls are woefully underrated. In Asia they know how to
make fish balls. Chewy, spongy, smooth, and super savory. Some
days I felt I could go through about a hundred of them.
had these little
mini chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry donuts. I don't know
why I was surprised to see them, but I was. That said, they were
super delicious. Why does miniaturization always make things
Bottom line, if you're lucky enough to be in
Bangkok, Thailand, or just about anywhere in Asia, I highly
recommend you sample early and often as you pass one food stand
after another. You pretty much can't go wrong.
It doesn't have anything really to do with street
food. But I love the soda variations I find around the world. What
the hell is