Street food in Silom – What Kate and Kris ate
We worked as English teachers in an office building on Silom Road in Bangkok. Like all Bangkok, you can get great street food in Silom. The number of offices and businesses in the area mean that all day there are lots of little stalls selling a whole range of delicious Thai street food.
The Thai street food stalls in Silom are completely movable and change throughout the day. The wok, seats and crockery are all packed up onto the wheeled cart and pushed away, to be replaced by a different stall.
I’ve noticed that while during the day, the Thai street food stalls in Silom are almost completely in Thai, with maybe a couple of English words, the stalls in the evening cater more to tourists and have more English menus.
Tips for eating street food in Silom
- Most Thai food is eaten with a spoon and fork. You rarely get a knife because there’s no reason to cut things up. Noodle soups are served with chopsticks and a small spoon for the liquid.
- If you’re worried about getting sick from Thai street food, choose a place with lots of locals eating at it. Silom is a big business area and most workers eat at similar places all the time. They know if it’s safe or not. Saying that, we’ve not been sick from eating street food.
- These dishes cost 40-60 baht each. You can get a full meal for just over a dollar. Thailand is a cheap place to eat! Check out our cost of living for Bangkok post.
- Most dishes come with various condiments, such as sugar, dried chilli, fish sauce, and chillis in vinegar
Here are a few of our favourite dishes. Most of these can be found on Soi Convent off Silom Road.
One of my favourites is Khao Man Gai – chicken rice. The chicken is steamed and laid over a bed of rice which has been cooked in stock. It’s served with cucumber and you spoon a sauce of Thai peppers, garlic, ginger and soybean paste over the top.
There are a couple of stalls selling this dish in Silom. We usually go to one at the top of Soi Convent. If you prefer to sit inside, there are a couple of shops near Sala Daeng BTS station which also offer this.
Red Pork and Rice
The same stall on Soi Convent that sells the chicken rice serves Khao Moo Daeng – red pork and rice. The red pork is served with chinese sausage over the rice, and covered in a sweet red sauce. Again, if you prefer to sit inside, there are two good red pork shophouses next to the Sala Daeng BTS station.
Khao Mok Gai De
A bit further down Soi Convent in Silom is a stall selling Khao Mok Gai De – Thai chicken biryani. The curry flavoured rice is served with a marinated chicken leg, fried onions and cucumber. There is a side dish of a sweet dipping sauce, and between two of us, a big bowl of clear chicken broth which is spicy and has taste of lemon.
Along with the chicken and pork rice dishes, there are several types of noodle soup available.
Kway Teow Noodle soup
This clear soup contains beansprouts, thin rice noodles and fish balls (basically, balls of fish protein) with slices of fish cakes. This one is sold by the same stall that sells the chicken rice and pork rice. They’ve even started selling through UberEats so you can get it delivered.
Yen Ta Fo (I think)
This soup is sold by a generally packed with people and manically busy stall. The soup is red and slightly spicy. You can choose the type of noodles you want (by pointing!) and then it comes with a range of ingredients, including pork, wontons, fried tofu and fish balls. You can have it with peanuts as well.
Khanon Jiin noodle soup
The woman who sells this usually has three large metal vats of soup. She puts the fresh rice noodles in a bowl and then ladles on the soup. The soup has a coconut milk base and is a mild red or green curry. It comes with fish balls in it if you want, and if you are feeling very adventurous, she can scoop in some of the chicken’s feet that are at the bottom (we don’t bother with that bit!).
On the table, there are the different accompaniments typical to this dish: raw bean sprouts and long bean, sliced cucumber, a variety of fresh Thai herbs, pickled vegetables, dried chillis and fish sauce. You can also buy a hard boiled egg to put in.
For more on Thai noodle soups, check out Lucky Peach’s Guide to Thailand’s Noodle Soup Dishes.
Khao Rat Gaeng
Something you see a lot in the streets of Bangkok, and around Silom in around mealtimes are tables with trays of different Thai dishes. They often include curries, Pad Kapow (spicy pork mince with Thai basil), various stir fries, and vegetable dishes. You get a plate of rice and choose 1-3 dishes to be scooped onto the top.
A couple of street food stalls on Soi Covent are take-away only, but there is one in an alleyway near the BTS station with tables and chairs to sit down. It’s easy to order because it can all be done by pointing, and it’s a good way to try different Thai dishes.
One issue is that the trays of food can sit out for a while, and can be cold when you get there. Some people would say you are more likely to get sick from street food that is sat out, but we’ve always been o.k and these places are full of Thai workers at lunchtime.
If you’d rather sit in air-conditioning, there’s one in a shophouse by the BTS station that has lots of trays outside. You choose your dishes and then sit inside the shop to eat. It’s called Siblings Noodle House in English, which is odd because they don’t really serve noodles. We’re not even sure the staff are related. They are very friendly though. There’s no English on the sign outside, but you can see it from the trays of food.
Along with all the Thai street food stalls where you can sit down and eat, Silom also has loads of take-away stalls.
At the top of Soi Convent, and also in an alleyway by Dean and DeLuca, there are street food stalls selling spicy salads. Yum mama is instant noodles (called ‘Mama’ noodles, because that’s the name of the company that make them), mixed with seafood, tomato, lettuce and sausage and covered in a spicy sauce made of lime juice, fish sauce, chillis and fresh coriander.
You can also get tum talay – spicy seafood salad, and a couple of other dishes.
Poh Pia Tod – Spring rolls, Tau Hu Tod – fried tofu etc.
A couple of street food stalls in Silom sell these selections of fried goods, including spring rolls, tofu and fried vegetables. You order what you want, the cut them up with scissors and put them in a big or pot with chilli sauce on.
Sausages, meat and fish balls on sticks
These are everywhere in Thailand, particularly outside schools. You can get frankfurter style hot dogs, fish balls, and meatballs on sticks. You choose the ones you want and then they are heating over a BBQ. They are often served in a bag with spicy sauce, or with cabbage and other vegetables.
Gai Tod – fried chicken
Along Silom Road outside the United Centre there is often a small market selling clothes and food. There you can get a lot of takeaway street food, including various types of fried chicken and pork.
Khanom Buang – Thai crispy pancakes
These peculiar snacks are rice flour pancakes, topped with meringue and a variety of fillings. The yellow are strips of egg yolk, the green is pandan.
Correct me if I’m wrong with the names of these dishes, as I can’t read the Thai script on the food carts!
If you want to know more about different street food in Bangkok, check out this awesome post by Migrationology: 100 Thai dishes to eat in Bangkok.
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