Must-Try Food in Thailand
Guay Teow (Noodle Soup)
Thailand is known for its amazing noodle dishes and Guay Teow is used to describe any type of noodle soup. Whether you like pork, beef, or chicken, you can add it to your Guay Teow and savor it any time of the day with wontons, meatballs, lime juice, chili pepper, and fish sauce.
Pad Thai (Thai-Style Fried Noodles)
Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s most popular dishes and is a must-try for tourists. It is made with small, thin, or wide noodles and stir-fried in a hot wok with beansprouts, onions, eggs, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili, and palm sugar. Even though it usually contains seafood, it can be substituted with chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables. Available on almost every corner in Thailand, it is a cheap and delicious dish you should try!
Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
The moment you taste Tom Yum, you are greeted with a refreshing blend of herbal flavors such as lemongrass, chili, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, lime juice, tamarind, coriander, and fish sauce. This spicy dish is usually made with delicious shrimp or large prawns (but you can substitute it for chicken) and tastes even better when you pair it with steamed white rice. If you are one of those who can’t handle the spiciness of the dish, then don’t worry because coconut milk is often added to the soup to lower the level of spiciness and to add some creaminess and sweetness to the flavor.
There is a dish similar to it called Tom Kha Gai (Chicken in Coconut Soup) which is less spicy and made with coconut milk. You can substitute a few ingredients to get a vegetarian version of this.
Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
Khao Pad is a simple yet delicious Thai dish that is basically just fried rice with some eggs and onions. You can add prawns, crab, chicken, beef, tofu, basil, or vegetables or make it even more delicious. The dish is usually served with cucumbers on top and various condiments.
Som Tam (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
Som Tam, or spicy green papaya salad, originated from the north-eastern state of Isaan in Thailand. The classic Som Tam consists of shredded green papaya, cherry tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, dried shrimp, runner beans, palm sugar, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and plenty of chilies pounded together using a mortar and pestle, which brings out the intense delicious flavors of the ingredients, enhancing the taste of the sweet-sour-spicy dish. There are different types of the same dish and may include peanuts, dry shrimp, or salted crab. While some people love the spiciness of it, others find it hard to handle.
Pad See Ew (Thick Noodle Dish)
Pad See Ew is a popular Thai Street Food made of wide rice noodles stir-fried in a hot wok with thick dark soy sauce, eggs, chicken, pork, or beef as well as either Chinese broccoli or cabbage. You can skip the meat to turn it into a vegetarian dish. If you don’t like spicy food, this might be a good option for you. However, for those who do like their food a little spicy, you can add extra dried chili flakes, vinegar, or both.
Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts)
Kai Med Ma Muang is loved by locals and foreigners alike. It is a really simple but sweet and flavourful chicken dish stir-fried with cashew nuts, soy sauce, honey, onions, chilies, pepper, mushrooms, and different vegetables. Even though there’s dried chili mixed in it, it’s not really spicy and is edible for those who can’t handle spice.
Laab (Spicy Salad)
Laab is a northeastern-style salad that originated in the northeastern province of Isan. It is made with meat or mushroom and mint and might include chicken, pork, and mushroom. It is best for those who like spicy food.
Chai Yen (Thai Ice Tea)
Thai iced tea, also known as Thai milk tea and cha yen, is a creamy, refreshing drink sold all over the streets of Thailand. You can often spot people in Thailand walking around sipping this drink in the scorching heat on the streets. It is a delicious drink made from Thai tea, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and sugar. It not only tastes good but smells great too!
Kao Niew Ma Muang (Mango and Sticky Rice)
To meet your sweet tooth cravings, try Kao Niew Ma Muang (Mango and Sticky Rice). Khao Niew Ma Muang or Mango sticky rice is a traditional Thai dessert made with rice, fresh mango slices, palm sugar, and coconut milk or often condensed milk. It is usually eaten during the summer months of April and May, which is the peak mango season in Thailand.
Halal Food in Thailand
Bangkok has a range of halal restaurants and street-side carts for Muslims, making it pretty convenient for Muslim tourists. However, it’s best to be careful and always first ask about the cooking conditions (for example, whether the food came in contact with pork since it is forbidden for Muslims to eat pork) and ingredients used in the food whenever you eat anywhere, especially from street vendors, as street food is usually not Halal in Bangkok.
Bangkok Halal Restaurants
Yana Restaurant, Bangkok
Usman Thai Muslim Restaurant, Bangkok
Jan Siew Al Hilal Restaurant, Bangkok
E-San Fung Thon, Bangkok
Nasir Al-Masri, Bangkok
Spice and Rice Thai Restaurant, Bangkok
Wrap it, Bangkok
Swat Star, Bangkok
Halal food is easy to find in Phuket, as Phuket also has a lot of halal dining options. However, it’s best to be careful and always first ask about the cooking conditions and ingredients used in the food whenever you eat anywhere, since most tourist beaches in Phuket do not have Halal food.
Phuket Halal Restaurants
Bang Mud Seafood Floating Restaurant
Dirham Halal Restaurant
Anwa Lookchin Pla
Kusuma Halal Thai Seafood
Makan Halal Restaurant
Kataturk Turkish Restaurant
The Sandwich Club
Istanbul Turkish Restaurant, Phuket
Ghadafi Halal Food, Phuket
Ban Sang Duan, Phuket
Sami KitchenSultan’s Grill and Authentic Turkish and Indian Cuisine
San Sabai Thai Seafood and BBQ
Dubai Shisha Restaurant
The Golden Kinnaree
Ali Baba 3
The Panwa Café
Makan Buffet Halal Restaurant
Padiran Persian Cuisine
Chiang Mai has a small population of Muslims so the number of halal restaurants in the area might be a bit limited.
Chiang Mai Halal Restaurants
Sababa Israeli Restaurant, Chiang Mai
Khao Soi Islam, Chiang Mai
Arabia, Chiang Mai
Le Spice, Chiang Mai
Ruammit1 Halal Restaurant, Chiang Mai
Asma Thai Food, Chiang Mai
Asma, Chiang Mai
Shere Shiraz, Chiang Mai
Ronee House, Chiang Mai
Tai Restaurant, Chiang Mai
Khao Soi Islam, Chiang Mai
For a list of halal restaurants in other parts of Thailand, check out this list here.
Kosher Food in Thailand
The cities in Thailand offer a large variety of kosher supervised restaurants, grocery stores, and catering services. Some restaurants also deliver or ship food to different locations around Thailand where it might be difficult to get a kosher supervised food supply.
Where to get kosher food:
Chabad House Restaurants and Food Stores
The Chabad Centers in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, and Laos each have a kosher meat restaurant, bakery, and food store on site.
Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Bangkok:
Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Koh Samui:
Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Chiang Mai:
Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Phuket:
Vegan Food in Thailand
It is pretty easy to lead a vegan life in Thailand. With fruit stands at every corner and the option to substitute meat with vegetables in most dishes, it is easy to get vegan food in Thailand. The cherry on top is that most traditional Thai dishes are made with vegetables, so even if you skip the meat, you will have a pretty delicious dish.
However, a lot of Thai dishes contain chicken broth, stock, and fish sauce, so be careful to ask first before you eat any of the dishes.
If you need to find vegan restaurants near you, you can always look it up on this app: HappyCow: Find Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants Near Me.
Chiang Mai is one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in Thailand and has over 200 vegan-friendly restaurants.
Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Bangkok is popular for its delicious street food and you can find mouth-watering vegan food items pretty much anywhere.
Vegan Restaurants in Bangkok:
Como Metropolitan hotel
May Veggie Home
Rasayana Raw Food Cafe
Phuket is also a vegan-friendly city and you can find vegan food in a lot of restaurants.
Vegan Restaurants in Phuket:
The Vegan Table in Phuket Town.
Blue Elephant Phuket. (fine dining)
The Vegan Table
Pure Vegan Heaven
Santosa Vegan Restaurant
Natural Efe Macrobiotic World
Sai Than Boon
Vegan Booty Burger
Atsumi Raw Cafe
If you happen to be in Phuket in October, you can visit the Annual Vegetarian Festival.
Koh Samui is also home to a lot of vegan-friendly restaurants and you can find vegan food easily.
Vegan Restaurants in Koh Samui:
Halapua by Kapuhala
Funky Vege Cafe
Pure Vegan Heaven