STREET food comes in various guises in Bangkok. Several of these vendors have been around for decades and have become a part of the city’s quintessence known throughout the world.
The recent confusion caused by messages from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) regarding its new agenda to return the sidewalks to the public by eradicating all street food stalls in Bangkok’s 50 districts has caused quite a stir in and around Bangkok. Sensing the anger and confusion of the Bangkokians. The BMA still hasn’t confirmed what the plan will involve. So in the meantime, locals and visitors can still take the time to explore the city and enjoy the food the streets of Bangkok has to offer.
This month, The BigChilli put together a guide to 10 legendary street food restaurants and stalls; some as old as 130 years old and are still going strong.
Chula Soi 36
Open twice daily from 9.30 am-2.30 pm, 3.30 pm-10 pm
This one-room restaurant on the corner of the shophouse has been going strong since 1985. While the mom and pop still help out around the restaurant, the second generation sellers are the ones in charge and have expanded to a total of three branches.
Well-known for serving delicious slow cooked duck in brown soup with noodles or rice for 50 baht or a choice of slow cooked duck wings, duck legs, or just meat and no bones in a pot as a bigger portion to share at 200 baht, this restaurant is packed with office workers and university students on a daily basis.
Located in front of Chula Soi 36 off Rama IV Road, this restaurant is not that difficult to find. Opening twice per day from 9.30 am – 2.30 pm and from 3.30 pm – 10 pm, but they do get busy during the rush hours.
Sia Po rice
Charoenkrung Soi 19
Open daily from 11.30 am – 10 pm
Established over 50 years ago, this humble little stall is in the care of the third generation seller.
The signature dish is called ‘Sia Po Rice’ or ‘Se Po Rice’ – a rice dish topped with a combination of grilled duck, red pork, crispy pork, pig stomach, liver, pig’s tongue and ear served with brown soup or sauce. It’s not easy to correctly made this dish, although it seems simple enough to prepare.+
Easily spotted since it’s the only small stall set on the table in front of Charoenkrung Soi 19, open daily from 11.30 am – 10 pm.
Sunee red pork
Open daily from 6 am – 8.30 pm
Another humble but extremely busy stall is Sunee Red Pork. This stall has been operating for over 50 years.
The food on offer is simple but what’s not so simple is the recipe for the delicious sauce. When serving the juicy red pork and crispy pork, the secret is not only in how the meat is prepared but also in the thick red sauce that covers the plate. This secret recipe sauce is passed on in the family and it still keeps people coming back for more.
The stall located along the rail and usually is the one with the longest queue. Opens daily from 6 am – 8.30 pm.
Nuttapon ice cream
Phraeng Phuthon Road
Open 5pm – 10.30pm on Tuesdays-Sundays
Being so close to the equator, we can’t miss some nice cold desserts. This ice cream stall has been around for over 70 years with the third generation currently running the business.
Offering traditional flavour of ice cream with a few other choices to keep up with the trend, the must-try is the coconut ice cream while other options available include milk, chocolate, coffee, Thai tea, and mango. Customers can choose up to three toppings per order for no extra charges. The toppings include an array of sweet corn, palm seed, sweet potato, red beans, Jack fruit, and more. The owner is steadfast so if you didn’t ask for toppings when you order, you get none.
Located in the old town on Phraeng Phuthon Road, this one-room ice cream stall closes every Mondays and opens from 5 pm – 10.30 pm.
Chicken noodle Suan Mali
Suan Mali Alley
Open daily 4 pm – 10.30 pm
This little stall has been serving roasted chicken noodles in the same location for over 60 years. Originally known as roasted chicken Nai Hong, the humble stall nestled in the intersected sois next to Ann roasted chicken noodles.
Choose from one of three types of noodles; the chicken is roasted until almost cooked then the noodles and egg are added to the mix with some seasonings and served hot. The roasted chicken and noodles are crispy on the outside but soft and tender on the inside. Making for a very delicious yet simple meal during the day priced 40-50 baht.
Located in Suan Mali Alley off Soi Thewi Worayat, the stall is reachable from Sua Pa Road and opens daily in the evening from 4 pm – 10.30 pm.
Somsak Roasted Crab
Charoenrat 1 Road
Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 5 pm – 10.30 pm
Open since 1985, this street food stall has been serving the people of Bangkok for 30 odd years and has since expanded to two more branches run by different siblings.
The most famous dishes are the roasted crabs or roasted prawns served with glass noodles in a pot made fresh on the spot. Customers can choose to order per serving at 290 baht or per weight. Also available are boiled cockles and boiled mussels at 70 baht per plate.
There’s a trick on how best to prepare the meal. Scoop up the crab or the prawns, mix the vegetables and glass noodles with the sauce in the pot then scoop the meat back in and the dishes will be that much more enjoyable. The stall offers lemon water to clean up after the meal but wet tissues would be very useful to have.
Located on Charoenrat 1 Road, this push cart offers more than 10 tables on the sidewalk. Open only in the evenings from 5 pm to about 10.30 pm, the stall is closed every Monday. There’s no booking available and if you want to make sure to get a table, better get there early.
Nai Ek roll noodles
Open daily from 8am – 1.30am
Open since 1960, this roll noodles restaurant offers a variety of dishes to choose from. Nai Ek Roll Noodles began humbly as a small push cart on the street selling noodles to passersby. Known for the delicious soup, it has persevered and expanded to a good size restaurant today.
On offer are a variety of noodles, steamed dumplings, and other ready-made dishes but the signature menu is definitely the roll noodles. The roll noodle soup is full of flavour with a strong peppery kick at 50-100 baht per plate. Also available are the crispy pork with rice (B80-150), pork entrail soup. And pork spareribs stew with rice, to name a few must-try dishes.
Located prominently on Yaowarat Soi 9, this large restaurant with tables spill onto the sidewalk is very hard to miss. The restaurant opens daily from 8 am – 1.30 am and the busiest times are during the evening rush hour.
Ploenchai bread and coffee
Open daily 7am – 4pm, close on Sundays
This bread and coffee (or tea) place has been around for 50 odd years and is currently in the care of the original owner’s son.
The place serves a selection of Thai coffee and tea with grilled buttered bread. It is sharing the room with a noodle shop so customers can get both food, dessert, and an assortment of drinks in the same location. The selection of drinks includes hot or iced chocolate, coffee, tea, milk, iced lemon tea, and iced plum drinks for 25-30 baht. The buttered bread is pre-heated and customers can order roasted or grilled at 12 baht a piece.
Located on Siphya Road opposite from Chinda Thawin Alley, this one-room stall is too small to accommodate all the furniture so the tables are set on the sidewalk. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 7 am-4 pm.
Open daily from 8.30 am - 8.30 pm, close every other Mondays
In operation for over 50 years, the current three branches are run by the sons and daughters of the original owner.
Made from organic pork meat marinated in a secret combination of curry powder, coconut milk, seasoning sauces and then grilled over charcoal fire, the price starts at 6 baht a piece with a choice between meat only or meat with fat.
Located on Nanglinchee Road, the satay will be sold out quick so best to get there early. The stall opens daily from 8.30 am – 8.30 pm and closes every other Mondays.