A Traveler's Guide To Must-Try Traditional, Halal, Kosher & Vegan Food in Thailand
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Last updated - 11:49 PM
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Thailand is known for its mouthwatering yet cheap food. From street vendors to cozy restaurants, the food scene in Thailand excites tourists from all over the world. Our guide tells you about some of the must-try traditional dishes in Thailand and provides you with lists of restaurants where you can find halal, kosher, or vegan food so that your taste buds don’t miss out on the amazing food in Thailand.


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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

 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

  • Nadimo’s, Bangkok

  • Swat Star, Bangkok

Phuket

 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

  • Arabia Restaurant

  • The Sandwich Club

  • Marina Kitchen

  • Casablanca Restaurant

  • 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

  • Le Brooklyn

  • Cairo Restaurant

  • Dubai Shisha Restaurant

  • The Golden Kinnaree

  • Navrattan Restaurant

  • Khan Baba

  • Narynn Kitchen

  • Ali Baba

  • Ali Baba 3

  • Le Brooklyn

  • Navrang Mahal

  • The Panwa Café

  • Makan Buffet Halal Restaurant

  • Padiran Persian Cuisine

Chiang Mai

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:

  • JCafe Kosher Shoppe - Bangkok

  •  Dairy Pizzaria

  • The Kosher Place

Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Koh Samui:

  •  Dairy Pizzaria

Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Chiang Mai:

  • ‎Sababa Israeli Restaurant

  • Chabad of Chiang Mai Kosher Restaurant

Kosher Supervised Restaurants in Phuket:

  • ‎Chabad Phuket

  • Pizza Restaurant Chabad 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 

Chiang Mai is one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in Thailand and has over  200 vegan-friendly restaurants. 

Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai 

  • Reform Kafe

  • Asa Vegan Kitchen and Studio

  • Goodsouls Kitchen

  • V Secret Street Food

  • Mr Green

  • Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Rad Rabbit

  • Ama Vegan Kitchen

  • Im Jai - Veg Food Stall

  • Free Bird Cafe 

Bangkok 

Bangkok is popular for its delicious street food and you can find mouth-watering vegan food items pretty much anywhere. 

Vegan Restaurants in Bangkok:

  • Broccoli Revolution

  • Como Metropolitan hotel 

  • May Veggie Home

  • Rasayana Raw Food Cafe

  • Veganerie

  • Barefood Bangkok

  • Broccoli Revolution

  • Vistro

Phuket

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.

  • Yo Vegan

  • Blue Elephant Phuket. (fine dining)

  • The Vegan Table

  • Kon Cook

  • Yo Vegan

  • Pure Vegan Heaven

  • Santosa Vegan Restaurant

  • Natural Efe Macrobiotic World

  • Sai Than Boon

  • Vegan Booty Burger

  • Yee-chai

  • Atsumi Raw Cafe

If you happen to be in Phuket in October, you can visit the Annual Vegetarian Festival.

Koh Samui

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

  • Lamai Veggie

  • Vegan Khunnay

  • Rakpak

  • Pure Vegan Heaven

  • Horizon Cafe

  • The Yogarden


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