One of the most highly recommended areas for street food in Bangkok has to be Chinatown, specifically the Yaowarat Road. A mile long stretch of street vendors and restaurants serving Chinese influenced Thai food fills the road with many cars and taxi’s having trouble getting through in the evening as the place is packed with locals and tourists.
Yaowarat Road is easily walkable from either the Hua Lamphong metro station or if you are using the river alight at Rachawong. We took the short walk from the metro which passes beautiful buddhist temples, at which time prayers were taking place. The roundabout just before the turn off for the Yaowarat Road features a huge mural to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej one of many that flood the city to continue the year long mourning period.
Follow your nose at this point as the smell of street food gets ever stronger. We arrived on a sunday evening and the street’s were predictably busy. The hardest part is actually deciding where to eat and what to eat as every stall had a decent menu and tasty food on display. There are many actual street restaurants in this part of town, by that we mean there’s a central kitchen area by way of a cart and then a covered area, usually covered by tarpaulin, for customers to sit, eat and enjoy their meal.
Those customers would be the lucky ones as the heavens opened suddenly and a tropical rainstorm came down over us. Street vendors scattered to cover over their stalls and entire restaurants were packed away in seconds. There’s a good chance that if you were eating at this point you got a free soup with your dish, even if you hadn’t asked for it!
We seeked refuge under the canopy of a restaurant serving roast duck, torture for us as we were engulfed in the smell of roasted meat yet we couldn’t get near it. The rain subsided after a good few minutes and the street was back to its original position within seconds. Time to finally find dinner.
After a quick walk around the streets nearby and discovering that the vendors we had earmarked for quality were not operating this evening we headed back to the main road. There we came across a stall serving Thai curries that smelt amazing. Mr Tall’s was the name, even though the vendor was 5’10, tall perhaps by Thai standards. What followed was a unique experience as we ate fresh Thai green curry with rice on plastic stools with people weaving around us trying to get around. Proper Thailand this.
The curry itself was delicious and not too dissimilar to the standard of Thai green curry that we have back in the U.K. The only real difference is that the meat had been left on the bone so be careful when eating, particularly the rib pieces from the chicken. At 50 Baht (£1.10) per portion the price was perfect and we left happy handing our empty plates back to Mr Tall and thanking him in the process.
The final stop of the evening involved dessert. We caught sight of a stall doing Thai doughnuts with assorted sweet sauces, chocolate, caramel and the like. The skill level from the vendor to grill these doughnuts and play candy crush on her iPhone at the same time was something to behold. The grilling process gives the doughnuts a little extra crunch and the chocolate sauce makes the dish complete, yours for 30 Baht (£0.66).
Yaowarat is a great place to come and sample street food and restaurants all concentrated into one area. At night the atmosphere is lively and in the day the side streets are home to stalls selling fresh produce as well as street food. Value-wise we were happy with our meals and would definitely return for more the next time we’re around Bangkok, maybe bring an umbrella along too….
Nearest Metro: Hua Lamphong
Nearest River stop: Rachawong