Southeast Asia is a food lover’s paradise, and Thai is one the most popular cuisines in the region. The food is fresh, delicious and cheap. With a wide selection of street food, cheap and cheerful restaurants and fine dining, there is no end to the places to eat to find tasty, authentic, local food. So for you the traveler and fellow food lover, this is a foodies guide to the best of Thailand. Use it to plan your food tours, cooking schools and eating!
Exploring the Food in Thailand
If you want to add a whole new dimension to your understanding of the local food, we highly recommend you take a cooking class. It is a great way to spend a half or a full day and will provide a more in depth insight into the food and culture of the area. Many will include a trip to the local market and having a guide along can provide some great details that you just don’t notice on your own. Plus you can ask all the questions you want about some of the more exotic things you will find in the markets of Southeast Asia.
With little refrigeration, most people shop at least once a day if not more. For street food and local restaurants this means the food is fresh! It was most likely bought only several hours ago at the market. Fruit and vegetables tend to be picked and sold within a day or two at the most.
Look for busy food stalls and restaurants and look for where the locals eat. Both are signs the food is good. Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai have fantastic street food. Many evening markets are set up just for the locals to eat and they feature a huge variety of choices for your evening meal.
So without further ado, here are our suggestions for where to go and what to do to find the best of food in Thailand.
Foodies Guide to the Best of Thailand: Chiang Mai
If you love food, don’t miss Chiang Mai. In the northern highlands of Thailand. Chiang Mai is the place you’ve been looking for. Much smaller than Bangkok, it is easy to move around and find everything. It is also located in the heart of Thailand’s agricultural area, and the variety of fruit and vegetables available reflects this.
Warning: It is one of those places you might not want to leave.
A few recommendations for food lovers:
Street Food Tour
Chiang Mai has some serious street food, the whole town eats on the street (seriously lots of homes and apartments do not have kitchens). The variety and availability is just incredible. And it is cheap- eating for $2 per person per meal for good fresh food is common.
If you’d like to learn more about where and what to eat, you can take a street food tour.
There are a lot of Thai cooking schools in Chiang Mai and I am sure you can find one to suit your needs. You can take a half day, full day, hands on, group, private or just watch a demonstration. Some include a trip to the local market as well.
We enjoyed a Thai cooking class with one of the local providers and can’t recommend it enough.
You can find other travelers reviews of cooking schools in Trip Advisor.
Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center
You may wonder why this makes the list, but this is a great opportunity to enjoy a traditional Thai banquet and learn about Thai culture. It features dancing and music. The background to the dance and the stories of the songs are interesting. The local hill tribes dance and play their traditional music as well. The Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center is the best bargain in town and a most enjoyable evening.
Foods to Try in Thailand
For all you adventurous eaters, here is a list of classic dishes to try in Thailand. The links contain more information about the dish and the food culture and customs in Thailand.
And if you are still looking for more ideas, Click on the FULL STORY button on the link below for a more extensive list of all the things you should eat when you visit Thailand.
Check out All the Things You Should Eat When You Visit Thailand
by Compass&Fork at Mode
A Traveler’s Guide to the Flavors of Thailand
We have written a guide to all the flavors and ingredients common in both Thai and Vietnamese food. It includes pictures of the ingredients, history and background as well as the common uses. If you are traveling to Thailand and want to explore the food, it is an essential guide. Download it and take a copy with you on your tablet or e-reader. You can download a FREE copy by subscribing to the newsletter.
Planning Your Trip
Looking for reasons to visit Thailand? Check out our guide to books, cookbooks and movies about Thailand. You are sure to find something on the list to inspire you.
For more information about things to see and do in Thailand you might enjoy:
- A First Time Visitor’s Guide to the Best Temples of Thailand
- For Fine Thai Silk Jim Thompson is all you Need to Know
Leave a Comment About A Foodies Guide to the Best of Thailand for Your Fellow Foodies!
We hope you enjoyed our Foodies Guide to the Best of Thailand. Have you been to Thailand? Are you planning a trip? Let us know if you have other Thai favorites or tips for fellow foodies in the comment below! We would love to hear from you.