Top dining experiences in Thailand
Cook your own – The all you can eat hot pots & buffets
When you visit Thailand it will not be long before you spot a ‘cook your own or giant buffet!
These busy evening diners will be full of small groups, families & couples, sharing a feast!
A very sociable way to enjoy dinner! Many of these establishments open in the early evening & won’t close until late.
Most will cost 150-250 Baht/head which is very fairly priced for the amount of food you can consume!
It seems there a few different kinds but the most popular cook your own allows you to cook up soups, broth, meats, fish & vegetables!
The cook your own is a very traditional local dining option & many families attend these restaurants, my first experience was in a low tourist area so I was solely surrounded by locals, with little to no English being spoken & no idea what I was doing,
a local from the next table spotted my amateur behaviour & lent a hand!
The head of the table will usually take charge of cooking, placing a little fat on top of the hot stove & water in the bottom.
The buffet style offerings mean you can select your own ingredients, creating whatever dish you desire!
Thailand knows how to do Sushi! Of course, you’ll find a mixture of qualities, but, there are many great Japanese restaurants in Thailand.
One restaurant in Nimman, Chiang Mai called has a Chicago theme so it’s walls are covered in memorabilia & awesome photo’s! The Thai born owner lived there for many years! His menu is a masterpiece, with rolls that look like art, if you like Sushi, you won’t be disappointed!
Good quality sushi comes at a price in Thailand when comparing to other dining options but not compared to western prices!
Extremely cheap sushi style rolls can be found as street food at around 5Baht a piece, but don’t expect much, you get what you pay for ?
From quirky cat cafes to doggy do little hang outs, pet themed cafes are popular in Thailand.
Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) is home to a number of these unique & unusual cafes, Ketawa, just beyond the Old City, is a dog café that homes many pedigree chums, these beautiful furry friends will await you in their own little area, so you can enjoy lunch or a drink in a hygienic fashion. Lovely!
Cats are everywhere in Thailand; the cafes are no exceptions! Perhaps they made themselves residents & then the theme evolved! Not all establishments have a mascot cat & joking apart, the specific Cat themed Cafes are cool! Let the furry friends fuss around you whilst you sip on a Matcha latte!
Fancy drinking your tea ‘potion’ from a cauldron style pot?
Head to The Witching Well in Pai, Northern Thailand! This witch themed restaurant serves its drinks in a magical way!
Choose your ‘potion’ from the menu & you’ll be served your tea in a cauldron! Funky!
Mango themed cafes seem to be popular in Nimman, Chiang Mai. With a whole range of variations on the menu, from traditional mango sticky rice to mango platters! If you like this tropical fruit, pay a visit to Mango tango in Nimman for a sweet treat!
Indulge on street food
No visit to Thailand is complete without a street food experience! Choose from endless amounts of night food markets that pop up out of nowhere, or one of the more famous markets that has many shopping delights as well as delicious food!
Traditional dishes like Pad Thai or Kao Soi, ice creams, sweet treats, fruit shakes, fried sandwiches (yes, they actually do that), BBQ bugs & other local delicacies, it’s all there for the taking!
Local hot spots
One of the most authentic dining experiences has got to be the random find on the way home from someplace. You smell it before you see it & there will be lots of locals tucking into their dinner! You know it’s good when it’s the local favourite!
For 20-30 Baht you could fill up on un-identified goodness! Use the chopsticks for the noodles & the little spoon to sip up the broth!
Fancy splashing out? Treat yourself to a top-notch meal in Bangkok, The Blue Elephant is a premium priced banquet that will leave your taste buds in a food coma! The chef takes immense pride in his food & certainly cooks with love!
Located 20 minutes out from Khao San Road, it’ll require a trip in a taxi but is worth it tenfold!
Although there isn’t a dress code, it’s an upper-class experience, so put on your smartest clobber & arrive with a sparkling smile!
Mango or Durian, the choice is yours! The traditionally known mango sticky rice is a tourist favourite, white rice cooked in coconut milk with fresh mango sliced on top, condensed milk & a little crispy sugary topping sprinkled to finish.
This tasty dessert is a must try whilst travelling Thailand, you can enjoy this sweet treat for around 30-50Baht!
The mango is also being replaced with durian, an unusual but tasty spin off on this authentic street food dessert!
It’s not just on the streets though, mango sticky rice is being jazzed up & served in restaurants & even after premium massages!
From Durian to BBQ bugs, no trip to Thailand is complete without a taste of a local delicacy! The Durian fruit is a Thai favourite, its distinct taste will linger for a while, it’s not to everyone’s liking but you’ll love it or hate it!
BBQ bugs on sticks are a little like cremated chicken, or so I’ve heard ? Most tourist spots will have someone offering these unusual street snacks, from worms to spiders, cockroaches to scorpions, crispy protein packed street snacks at the ready!
With so many dining experiences on offer in Thailand, be prepared to feel your taste buds explode & your mouth water on every street corner!
Top tip; if you don’t like too much spice, clearly ask for NO spice, if you agree to a little, it’ll be HOT!