The vibrant and colourful streets of Bangkok are constantly abuzz with the sounds of laughing locals, horns of tuk tuks and motorbikes and the array of mixed fresh local cuisines. The waft of fresh seafood, fried veggies, spices, pineapple and other juicy fruits is what completely captivates me – while at first foreign, have now become some of my favourite scents.
But while the hidden treasures nestled in the nooks and crannies of Bangkok’s streets are glorious, the true beauty in this city lies within the happiest people I’ve ever met. Locals of Bangkok are always appreciating the beauty in life – in the smallest forms. I have never felt safer, more comfortable, accepted and welcomed in a city in my life as I have in Bangkok.
For those of you reading this in Melbourne, I’m sorry. I write this post in the aim of inspiring, not bragging (despite being grateful to trade in four layers for 40 degree weather).
For those of you planning a trip to Thailand, I highly recommend spending at least a few days in Bangkok, especially if you’re a foodie. And to the vegetarians, vegans and fellow Foddies (people on the low FODMAP diet) have no fear – Bangkok is full of amazing cafes and restaurants which cater towards people with dietary requirements. I’ve written this blog post as a short guide to some of my favourite street foods, cafes and restaurants in Bangkok.
Street food we tried
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or have some kind of food intolerance if there’s one thing you should do in Bangkok it’s eat street food. While we ate at some amazing cafes and restaurants (featured below), nothing is quite like getting a bowl of something fresh you’ve never heard of or tried for less than $2.
Our first street food experience was at the Floating Market on our second day. While the markets weren’t overly enthralling, we were fascinated by a lady making tiny dumplings on a boat with various vegetables inside. The lady spoke no English, but handed us a banana leaf filled with 8 tiny clear dumplings and two tiny chillies for 40 Baht (less than $2). We loved every mouthful, and although we didn’t know what was inside at first, we later figured out they were filled with carrot, mushroom, peanut and cane sugar. A few days later we found a stall at a market which identified them as Thai steamed rice skin dumplings – the mouth of the of rice.
Another amazing street food we tried at Khao San Road was fresh coconut ice cream for around 30 Baht ($1). Perfect for vegans and anyone intolerant to lactose – this cold dessert is topped with nuts and chocolate sauce. We saw stands at the Chatachuk Weekend Market with 8-10 topping options: from different sticky rices to jellies and nuts, so if you’re heading to the market wait and get it there.
If you’re not vegan another good street food (if you can find it) is a little mini taco looking sweet. The man who served us spoke barely any English but it looked too good not to try. Although we’re not certain, we think it was a mini coconut egg hard-shell pancake topped with shredded fruit and nuts. We paid 10 Baht ($0.45).
One of my favourite street foods was from a man just around the corner from our apartment – the popular egg crepe (a Thai street dessert). To make, the stall owner will spread crepe batter over a flat element, drop an egg and chopped banana inside the middle, fold it up and cover it with your chosen spread – I went for Nutella. You can find these around Bangkok – some carts will have up to 10 topping options for around 60 Baht ($2.40).
Where to eat out
Although Bangkok isn’t quite up to Melbourne’s brunch standards, it has serious game when it comes to smoothie bowls, quirky lattes and Buddha bowls. The city has so many amazing vegan and vegetarian cafes and restaurants – we were only able to get to a few, but my favourites are listed below.
Brekkie Organic Café
French-Parisian esque interiors, quirky antiques, quality coffee and serious smoothie bowl options.
Totally vegan, traditional Thai fusion brunch with killer Buddha and smoothie bowls.
Mango Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant and Arts Gallery
Cute and cosy hole in the wall with friendly staff and a menu which warms your soul.
Stay tuned to TML as more detailed articles on each cafe will be posted over the next week. I can’t wait for you to continue on my adventure throughout Thailand with me.