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10 Local Foods To Try In Thailand


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Hannis Heron


When it comes to experiencing the vibrant and diverse cuisine of Thailand, there is no shortage of tantalizing flavors and mouth-watering dishes to try. From spicy curries to savory street food, Thailand offers a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds begging for more. While popular Thai dishes like Pad Thai and Green Curry have gained international popularity, there is a world of local delicacies waiting to be discovered. If you truly want to immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Thailand, it’s time to venture beyond the tourist trail and try some of the lesser-known local foods. In this article, we will explore 10 must-try local foods that will not only satisfy your cravings but also give you a true taste of the rich culinary heritage of Thailand.

Pad Thai

No visit to Thailand is complete without savoring the most iconic Thai dish – Pad Thai. This stir-fried noodle dish is a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and savory flavors, packed with ingredients like rice noodles, eggs, tofu, shrimp or chicken, bean sprouts, peanuts, and lime juice. It’s a quintessential Thai street food that will leave you craving for more.

Tom Yum Goong

Indulge in the spicy and aromatic delight of Tom Yum Goong, a traditional Thai soup. Made with a combination of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilies, and shrimp, this fiery soup will awaken your taste buds. The tangy and refreshing flavors make it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Massaman Curry

Experience the richness of Thai cuisine with Massaman Curry, a unique blend of Indian and Thai flavors. This creamy curry is made with tender chunks of meat (usually beef or chicken), potatoes, onions, and a medley of aromatic spices like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. The combination of flavors creates a mouthwatering dish that will leave you wanting more.

Mango Sticky Rice

Indulge your sweet tooth with the heavenly combination of fresh mangoes and sticky rice. This dessert is a Thai favorite and features perfectly ripe mangoes served with coconut-infused sticky rice. The dish is crowned with a generous drizzle of sweet coconut cream, giving it a divine taste that will transport you to dessert paradise.

Som Tam

Spice up your culinary journey with Som Tam, a zesty and refreshing Thai papaya salad. Made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, and chili peppers, this salad packs a flavorful punch. The combination of sweet, spicy, sour, and tangy flavors makes it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Green Curry

Explore the vibrant and aromatic flavors of Thai cuisine with Green Curry. This spicy curry is made with a paste of green chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and fragrant herbs like basil and kaffir lime leaves. The curry is usually prepared with chicken or fish, creating a delectable dish that will ignite your taste buds.

Khao Soi

Discover the rich and aromatic flavors of Northern Thailand with Khao Soi. This curry noodle soup is a mouthwatering combination of egg noodles, tender meat (usually chicken or beef), and a creamy coconut curry broth. Topped with crispy noodles, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, this dish is a true culinary delight.


Satisfy your cravings for grilled goodness with Satay, a popular Thai street food. Skewered and grilled marinated meat, usually chicken or pork, is served with a tantalizing peanut dipping sauce. The combination of succulent meat and the rich, nutty sauce creates a flavor explosion that will leave you wanting more.

Pad Kra Pao

Experience the bold and spicy flavors of Pad Kra Pao, a stir-fry dish packed with fresh basil leaves, chilies, garlic, and your choice of meat. Whether it’s chicken, pork, or beef, the aromatic blend of herbs and spices creates a mouthwatering dish that pairs perfectly with steamed rice.

Thai Iced Tea

Cool down in the tropical heat with a refreshing glass of Thai Iced Tea. This vibrant orange-colored drink is made with Thai tea leaves, condensed milk, and served over ice. The combination of the robust flavors and creamy sweetness makes it a popular choice to beat the heat.

So, get ready to immerse yourself in a culinary adventure and indulge in the vibrant flavors of these 10 local foods to try in Thailand. From mouthwatering curries to refreshing desserts, Thai cuisine will undoubtedly leave you craving for more.


After exploring the diverse culinary scene in Thailand, it is clear that the country has a rich and vibrant food culture. From the spicy goodness of Tom Yum Goong to the flavorful delights of Pad Thai, Thailand offers a wide variety of local foods that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re a fan of seafood, meat, or vegetarian dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The use of fresh ingredients, aromatic herbs, and bold spices create a symphony of flavors that truly make Thai cuisine stand out. So, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a culinary adventure and try these 10 delicious local foods when visiting Thailand.


1. What are some must-try local foods in Thailand?

Some must-try local foods in Thailand include Pad Thai, Green Curry, Tom Yum Goong, Som Tam (Papaya Salad), Mango Sticky Rice, and Massaman Curry.

2. Are Thai dishes very spicy?

Yes, Thai dishes are known for their spicy flavors. However, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can always ask for milder versions or specify your preferred spice level when ordering.

3. Are there vegetarian options available for local Thai foods?

Yes, there are plenty of vegetarian options available in Thai cuisine. Dishes like Pad Thai, Green Curry with tofu, and Som Tam can be made with vegetarian ingredients.

4. Is street food safe to eat in Thailand?

Street food is a big part of the Thai culinary experience, and it’s generally safe to eat. However, it’s always advisable to choose vendors with good hygiene practices and opt for freshly cooked food.

5. Can I find these local Thai foods outside of Thailand?

Yes, many Thai restaurants around the world offer these popular local dishes. However, the flavors and authenticity may vary, so trying them in Thailand will give you the most authentic experience.