Thailand is home to one of the most popular and mouthwatering cuisines in the world—Thai food. And if you are planning to visit this country, sampling the spicy food here should part of your travel experience.
Pattaya being a popular beach destination and multicultural place, it attracts thousands of people from all over Thailand and the entire world. Each of these people brings with them the best of their region’s spicy and sour specialties. In addition to the already available loads of fresh seafood from the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya comes out as a food lover’s paradise and the most notable food hub in Thailand.
Whereas there may be several high-end restaurants catering to Thai and other cuisines, there is no better way to experience Thai food than eating from the street stalls of Pattaya. As you pave the streets and approach food stalls, rich aromas of spicy dishes will capture your attention begging you to have a bite.
The best part is that the street food stalls are literally in every corner of the streets and ridiculously affordable – usually about 20 baht a throw. This makes it easy for visitors to fully cater to their culinary needs with local delicacies while they are on the go. To help you have a wonderful time eating your way through the streets, here is a list of the top 10 best street food to eat in Pattaya.
Top 10 street food in Pattaya
Gai Yang with Khao: Chicken with Sticky Rice
This is one of the simplest and most straightforward dishes in Pattaya – the reason why it is very popular.
It consists of just simple grilled chicken and sticky rice. It may be served with several dip sauces like the mundane sweet chili sauce. Although it is ‘on the go’ food generally eaten by hand, it can become quite messy on your hand at times.
Pla Pao: Salt-Crusted Grilled Fish with Lemongrass
Walking past the streets of Pattaya, it is common catching sight of a bundle of lemongrass sticks shoved into a whole fish’s mouth. Unknown to most visitors is that what they are usually seeing is a very popular tasty meal in Pattaya. The dish features a thick crust of salt coated over fish.
This is done to keep its flesh moist and succulent while it is exposed to heat on the grill. The lemongrass is normally used to infuse a fruity and sour flavor to the meal. It is a very popular evening dish since it can be eaten with a garlic chili seafood dipping sauce.
Som Tam: Green Papaya Salad
Although this dish is originally from Issan, it is nowadays very popular with the local people in Pattaya. However, most tourists still have a varied opinion concerning its taste. The dish features raw papaya, tomatoes, beans, dried seafood, peanuts, carrots, lime, garlic, fish sauce, and chilies – its most vital ingredient.
All these are placed in a wooden bowl and then pounded well before being served. Before you sample it, take heed that you need to have a very high tolerance for hot spicy food. However, you can also ask for a milder version of the dish which usually comes with fewer chillis.
Moo Ping: Thai Grilled Pork Skewers
This is a must-try food for every Pattaya tourists who doesn’t consider himself or herself a vegetarian. The dish consists of grilled pork that is served with a portion of sticky rice and the chef’s very own sauce on a wooden skewer. You may discover that there are other various forms of meat on skewers including flat chicken, basted in marinades and cooked slowly to make a tender and delicious snack. It is a great alternative for someone who loves digging in burnt sausages.
Kai Jeow: Thai-style Omelette
This is another popular street food in Pattaya which will not only satisfy your hunger but also save you money. The dish is a street-style breakfast, often very common among the busy locals in the morning as they leave for work. It consists of of a platter of fluffy omelet that is served on a bed of cooked rice.
It can be flavored with either fish sauce or chilies. It is advisable to find your way to the stalls early enough if you want to start your day with the freshest Kai Jeow dish.
Satay: Grilled Meat Skewers
While Pattaya is notorious for on-the-go food on wooden sticks, chicken and pork are by far the most common. Satay is a very popular takeaway food that you will find lots of street vendors selling. The dish consists of skewers of meat that is served with peanut sauce. You can pick from pork, beef, chicken, fish balls and even intestines.
Note that the marinade will differ as you move from one vendor to the other. Regardless of where you buy it from, it will still be a good balance of sweet and spicy.
Tom Yum Goong: Spicy Shrimp Soup
Practically speaking, Tom yum goong is the flavor that defines Pattaya. The dish is made up of two words derived from two local words: “Tom” meaning boiling process and “yam” meaning a kind of Lao and Thai spicy and sour salad.
The food is typically Thai and Lao hot and sour soup made up of lemongrass, chili, galangal, shallots, lime leaves, and fish sauce flavors. The dish can be served with fresh local prawns and straw mushrooms which typically provide the meat of the dish.
This is another very popular dishes you will find being sold by numerous street vendors in and around Pattaya. In Pattaya, the words “Khao Gaeng” literally means “cover rice with a topping”. As the name suggests, this dish consists of stir-fried curried rice either using meat, vegetables or both perfectly stacked on the top.
Khao Niaow Ma Muang: Sticky Mango Rice
Being Thailand’s best-known dessert, you will find numerous vendors and stalls dedicated to only this sweet dish. It is a very simple food that consists of sweetened sticky rice that is served with slices of mango.
This is all coated with thick coconut cream and a smattering of sesame seeds. Since freshly cuts fruits are easily available in Pattaya, you can also try different types of fruits with the sticky rice. You will discover that each fruit adds a very different taste to the dish.
Pad Thai: Stir-Fried Noodles
Being a staple food in Thai, Pad Thai is considered as the best introduction to the Thai cuisine for any visitor. The dish consists of wide noodles, eggs, onion and meat of your choice as its base (usually prawn which is widely found in Pattaya). For an extra crunch and texture dimension, crunchy bean sprouts may be added to this meal. Since it can also be accompanied by other types of meat and vegetables, it comes out as a very highly adaptable Thai dish.