Top Thai Foods in Ultimate Eatlist

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide

Remember when I first featured the top Philippine foods?

Then today we go to the Land of Smiles and Hospitality as I will share to you the top Thai foods that are included in the latest Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eatlist, a travel and food guide for many travellers like us.

And since I’ve noticed that I am gaining more attention from our readers in Thailand, I thought that I owe you this food feature.

If you agree with the foods on this list, please leave your comments below!




Top No.05 – Som Tum

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel
Image: @wendy_chloe_ Instagram

Rarely does a salad generate so much hype, but then som tum, or green papaya salad as many of us know it, is no ordinary salad. Som tum is a bang! Of flavour – it’s sour, salty, sweet and intensely fiery. It’s also texturally extraordinary, combining the crunch of peanuts with cool slivers of pale green papaya and carrot, and small, sweet, juicy shrimps and tomatoes. It’s sold from street vendors all over Thailand, but is particularly beloved in the capital, Bangkok, where it feels like there’s a seller on every corner.



Grabbing a plate of som tum on the street, amid all the traffic chaos and stifling heat, is a rite of passage for visitors to the city, but if you would prefer to revere your salad in relative peace and quiet, the restaurant Som Tam Nua, at the Siam Center on Siam Square, has a worthy version – tamed slightly for Western palates but still delicious. Somtum Der in Silom is also excellent, and you can adjust your spice level to taste – be warned, however, as the spiciest salad will blow your socks off.

Where to Eat It?

From the street vendors in Bangkok, or at Som Tam Nua, Siam Center, Siam Square
or Somtum Der, 5/5 Saladaeng Road, Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Bangkok




Top No. 41 – Massaman Curry

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
Image: @rico_mame Instagram

In common with many Southeast Asian cities, eating out in Bangkok is one of the best culinary adventures imaginable. On every street, alley and canalside you’ll find countless vendors’ carts selling both the familiar – the likes of moo ping meat skewers, pad thai, and tom yum goong – to the utterly unique – like black sesame rice dumplings in hot ginger, taro root ice cream or Massaman curry. This latter is unlike most Thai food, replacing sweet and light flavouring with dense, heavy spices more common to Central and southern Asian dishes. Cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cumin, bay leaves nutmeg and mace flavour the unctuous curry sauce, but that could be any old curry, right? What gives the dish its unique flavour is the clever comingling of these spices with more local ones; galangal, white pepper, shrimp paste, tamarind and coconut cream are all added to the mix, as well as roasted peanuts, to create yet another reason to explore Bangkok’s truly original food scene.

Where to eat it?
Hang out at W Market global food courtyard near the Phra Khanong BTS station with live music, street artists and a beer.


Top No. 173 – Tom Yum Goong

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
Image: @tatawaterlibrary Instagram

When it comes to Bnagkok’s best tom yum goong, everyone has an opinion on which restaurant reigns supreme. First, establish if you’re after nam sai, the clear broth, or nam khon, with a creamy milk of evaporated milk. Creamy or clear, your soup will be spicy and sour, and rich with lemongrass, kaffir lime and chilli. A cult-like fandom exists for the soup in Bangkok, where favorites hang quickly; some research will glean the social media darling of the moment.



Where to eat it?
The creamy soup is rarer than the clear – try the former at Mit Ko Yuan, 186 Thanon Dinso, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok




Top No. 264 – Pad Ka Pao

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
Image: @oztelem Instagram

Why is pad ka pao one of the most popular street dishes in Bangkok and beyond? Picture this.

A vendor shrouded in a haze of aromatic smoke throws minced chicken or pork with chillies and green beans into a hot wok. Then he adds a big handful of holy basil, a fragrant shrub that grows rampant across Southeast Asia. As the basil wilts, it perfumes the meat and turns a simple dish into something sublime. Served over rice with a fried egg, it’s unbeatable in any time.


Top No. 279 – Khao Soi

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
Image: @iampreciousness Instagram

Khao soi, influenced by neighbouring Myanmar, is eaten all over northern Thailand but hasn’t yet made the leap to restaurant menus overseas. So here’s another excuse to book a holiday to Thailand to satisfy your curiosity, or craving, depending on whether you’ve tasted the soup before. In Chiang Mai, your khao soi options are vast, from simple street-side set-ups with plastic chairs to open-air cafes packed with happy diners, and even fine-dining establishments – where you’re not necessarily paying for better flavours, just air-conditioned comfort. Whichever you choose, look for the busiest places as a sign that their soup is good. Khao soi should have a smoky, coconut flavour with notes of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric; egg noodles and juicy tender chicken pieces; and be served with lime, chillies and pickled mustard greens.

Where to eat it?

At an open-air shophouse near the night bazaar; or Khao Soi Somer Jai, Fa Ham, Mueng Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50000




Top No. 444 – Pad Thai

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
Image: @bishwarup_88 Instagram

Of the multitude of Thai culinary exports that have found flavour worldwide, pad thai is probably the most famous. The genius of the dish lies in the light balance of flavours and textures. In overseas interpretations you’re likely to find that spices are added with heavier hand, but on the street of Bangkok the food-cart chefs have spent years and years perfecting their one dish with a deft touch. The best pad thai you’ll ever eat will be here, and it will have rice noodles coated in a lip-smacking mix of tamarind paste, sugar, lime juice, chilli, garlic, fish sauce and white pepper. To the noodles are added shrimp, Chinese chives, minced green onion and an egg, before it’s all flash-fried in a wok over a high heat. Bean shoots and chopped peanuts are added as a flourish to finish. The complex and delicate flavour profile is testament to Thailand’s rich culinary history and the skill of Bangkok’s street-food cooks, a skill that rivals any classically trained chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant.




Top No. 481 – Sai Krok Isan

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
image: @patricksyd Instagram

Thai food rookies should be adventurous eaters to order sai krok isan, but you’re in Bangkok’s Wang Land market (and if you’re in town, you should be), you’d be mad not to try this awesome sausage. Take the leap and be rewarded with one of Thailand’s most satisfying snacks: fatty minced pork and rice stuffed in sausage casings, fermented until tart, cooked over a smokey grill. To serve, that sour flavour and smoke are countered by crunchy, spicy sides.




*****

Oh writing this blog making my tummy crave for these on my plate! Am actually browsing my Traveloka app for my next flight to Bangkok!

thai foods, thailand food guide, thailand travel, Lonely Planet food guide
If you what to know more about the TOP 500 foods around the world, then grab a copy of the latest Lonely Planet Ultimate Eatlist!


Will you come with me and explore Thailand’s culinary heaven?


xoxo, Blair



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20 comments :

  1. I don't know anything about Thai food except I know we do enjoy it at a restaurant. All of this looks really good.

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    1. I am happy to know that you love Thai foods as well, yeah same here sometimes I don't know the name but I cant forget the taste and experience.

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  2. I love all kinds of foreign foods. I've never had the chance to try any of these, but they sound so delicious!

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  3. This is an incredible list. My favorites are Som Tam, Tom Yum, Khao Soi, Pad Kra Pow, Massamman Curry as well. Though I get all the vegan versions of this myself being one.

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  4. OMG you just made me so hungry! I love Thai food and its one of the many reasons I keep going back. Som Tum is my absolute favourite Thai dish and I love mine with the fermeneted crab. It adds to the saltiness of the dish although sometime it is soooo spicy I can't eat it. Love that Lonely Planet book! I should look it up. Perfet Xmas present!

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    1. Hello Amy!
      I am so happy to know that you also love Thai foods and that keeps you coming back in Thailand. I also love the Som Tum with spicy flavor!

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  5. I've spent about 8months of my life in Thailand in the last 16months! I agree with all of your food selections! My personal favourites are Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry! Awesome article, and thanks for sharing :D

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    1. I love Thailand coz it feels like home, the Philippines.

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  6. I absolutely love Southeast Asian food and Thai tops the list! Massaman curry is something that's commonly available outside Thailand so I end up having a lot of it. However, several other dishes such as Pad ka Pao I haven't seen so much around outside Thailand. Pad Thai is yet another favourite. Thai food in Thailand, however, cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world!

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    1. I agree! There are also some Thai restaurants here in the Philippines, but they can't copy the authentic Thai flavours!

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  7. The pictures are so amazing Blair! So professional, way to go!

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  8. Yummmmmm! I am so totally hungry after reading this post. I absolutely love Thai food - I love their balance of flavors and the kick of spice. Som Tum is one of my favorites although I always have to tell them to really tone down the chilli...down to like 1 or even half a chilli, depending on how spicy they chilli is! I've seen Thais that add like 4-5 chillis in. Massaman Curry is also quite nice, although I do prefer the green curry. Pad thai is also a wonderful dish and perfect for a light yet filling meal.

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    1. Hahaha I agree! It's like many Thais find it normal to put a lot of spicy flavours, so you have to tell them to tone it down a bit. Sometimes its a pint of spicy powder, but for me its a lot!

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  9. I love Thai food and my favorite is actually the Tom Yum Goong. OMG! I am seriously craving for one after reading your post. (Plus, your photos are really stunning!)

    I would love to try their Sai Krok Isan. It looks really like our chorizo. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hope you can visit Thailand and enjoy these foods!

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  10. Wow, this post made me hungry! I tried all of the things on this list but I just realized how much I miss Thai food. The thai food we get here in Europe is nowhere near as good as the one you get in Thailand...

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    Replies
    1. Many can replicate the Korean foods, Japanese, Italian and others - but not the Thai foods.

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