I will be in Bangkok for some days in the beginning of October, after which I will be on a guided tour up in Chiang Mai. The second part of this trip will be fully guided and I don't have to plan anything.

I would like to go exploring a bit and live a Thai's everyday life. For starters with meals:

  • What are the street food options? I don't mind spicy food but I would like to avoid risking a poisoning.

  • What are the "friends food" options? E.g. where do Thais go out with their friends for a meal?

  • What are the "fancy food" options? E.g. where would a local take out his girlfriend for a date?

  • Question was splitted – Noldor130884 Aug 31 '15 at 9:09
  • As much as I agreed with you before, I don't now. I'm not talking about "nightlife" in general here, but only about food (and maybe drinks). Also I'm not looking for specific advise, but a general answer to understand what people do in the night (Example: what's the Thai way of "going to the pub after work to have a beer" as they do in UK). – Noldor130884 Aug 31 '15 at 9:20
  • ^^ This could be a misunderstanding: the question is about food: - street food - fancy food (where would you take your girlfriend for a dinner out?) - "friends food" (where would you go to have a bite while chatting or so?) I'll try to make it clearer in the question, but still I'm not splitting it again :) – Noldor130884 Aug 31 '15 at 9:25
  • I've edited the post to make it more clear. I hope you don't mind. – JonathanReez Aug 31 '15 at 9:30
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    @Noldor130884 Checkout this guys youtube channel youtube.com/user/migrationology he can tell you alot about thai street food & where to eat. – Simon Sep 12 '15 at 18:28

Food options will depend on where you are, there is food available everywhere and lots of good choices. It would help folks answer to know you will be staying or hanging out in Bangkok.

Street food is safe to eat, Thais take pride in preparing good food. Most is prepared in front of you from fresh ingredients. The only real food to be wary of is the dish up items that are cooked elsewhere, but even these can be good, just watch where lots of Thais go.

Where Thais go with friends varies depending on their goal for the evening, lower income Thais love the mugatas, cook your own dinner buffets where you eat all you care for a couple hundred baht. Others prefer going out for drinks and dinner at a place with music or karaoke. Try asking some of the hotel staff where they go out for food and drinks after work. But keep in mind small places preferred by Thais don't always have English language menus.

You should try one night in Chinatown, were seafoood restaurants set up street kitchens with choose your own seafood displays.

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  • I'm staying in the very center of Bangkok, so I guess it would be very easy to move – Noldor130884 Sep 1 '15 at 5:36

Tom answered the street food question.

I like to add to the friend question that I find Thais go to "Hot Pot" or "Moo Kata" places. Both are very good for communal meals.

From Wikipedia about Hot Pot:

..consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood.

Moo Kata is a form of Hot Pot from Chiang Mai. Additionally to placing the goods in the stock to cook it you can grill your vegetables or meat in the middle of it. Like a mix of BBQ and Hot Pot - Love it!

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  • Basically a thai Raclette :) Thanks a lot for this info! – Noldor130884 Sep 11 '15 at 8:20

Years later, it is worth to add Sukhumvit Soi 38 Street Food Court, whose stalls offer many different options: street food to eat on your route or a selection of dishes to taste while sitting at a table. Also, it is possible to find the same dish cooked by different vendors next or close to each other, judge the menus and compare the prices.

Another spot in Bangkok that offers a great selection of street foodies and Asian dishes and menus in different areas, restaurants and venues is without any doubt Chatuchak Market, one of the largest of Asia.

Despite very different, both these two places are easy to reach with public transports but are definitely not made on purpose for attracting amounts of western tourists.

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