The best food in Thailand can be found in the side-streets, called soi. In here, you can find famous Thai foods such as noodles, fried rice, skewers, and many more. They are cooked on the spot and, in just a few minutes, you can have your meal. Many locals and tourists eat here on a daily basis. It’s an attraction that can be found anywhere across the country.
Food Culture in Thailand
Whether you dine in a five-star restaurant or in a street stall, you can always expect a variety of dishes full of fresh ingredients. In Thailand, home-cooked meals are very uncommon. In some cases, in fact, homes do not have any kitchen space as households typically buy food from outside. Young children are used to getting food from across the streets.
For more upper-scale restaurants, tastes are usually catered for tourists and non-locals by adjusting the spiciness and sweetness of the flavor. Historically, Thai food has its roots from both Eastern and Western cultures. With the recent influx of tourists and expats residing in the country, food has never been this diverse.
Food Prices in Thailand
Buying food outside is cheaper than cooking food at home, relatively speaking. Pad Thai, for example, is a traditional Thai noodle dish which is stir-fried with shrimps, eggs, and other vegetables and herbs. This usually costs between THB 30-80 (around US$ 0.9-2.4), depending on the area of the stall and the quality of ingredients. Cash is the typical mode of transaction. Tourists must always be careful to check the price of the food before purchasing because some stall owners are not very friendly and may charge you at 'tourist’s price'. In regular restaurants, Pad Thai (and other similar kinds of food) are worth double or triple times more than street food in Thailand.
Food Trends in Thailand
Among all age groups, there is still huge popularity for Japanese, Korean, and any fusion food. You’d typically find restaurants that serve these flavors in shopping centers. Street food, in contrast, mainly cater to Thai food and sweets.
Another trend happening across the country is the posting of food photos in social media by the younger generation. More and more are going to cafés after school or hanging out with their friends on Friday nights to take pictures of what they eat. Shop owners use Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms as well to present their dishes to look na-aroa (yummy) and attract more customers.
The best way to find the newest trend in Thailand is to go visit some of the famous night markets in town. There, you can explore the upcoming trends among the locals.