The demise of legendary foodie haunt Soi 38 might have led some to predict the end of the line for Sukhumvit’s street food scene, but little could be further from the truth.
The area might not have the same reputation for sidewalk feasting as Banglamphu and Chinatown, but that’s not to say it doesn’t pack in its own stock of neighbourhood stalls and simple restaurants churning out the good stuff.
With that in mind, here’s our roundup of some of Sukhumvit’s best street eats.
It comes with one caveat: amazing street food is hidden in plain sight just about everywhere, so this is by no means a comprehensive list. If we’ve missed off the Sukhumvit street kitchen that makes your day worthwhile, let us know in the comments!
Thong Sai E-Sarn Food: Sukhumvit 18, Asok
Recommending Isaan food stalls in Bangkok is close to being a pointless task, given they’re found on just about every street corner. But for street food junkies wandering through parts of Sukhumvit, it can sometimes feel as though there’s everything but street food on offer.
Endless shopping malls – check. Sit-down restaurants – check. But street food – where?
We’ve been there and felt your pain, and want you to know that you can count on a stalwart vendor just inside Asok’s Sukhumvit 18, on the left-hand side.
There are actually two Isaan stalls right next to one another, but we tend to plump for the second one in, if only because it seems to be open more regularly. It gets busy as the night goes on, so it’s a spot where you’ll want to arrive early-ish.
Service can be erratic, too, but we’ll forgive them for that as long as they keep serving up solid Isaan staples like somtum puu pla rah with fermented gourami fish. They also do great namtok and laab meaty salads, plus grilled catfish and chicken.
Expect to spend ฿200-300 for a greedy spread of dishes for two to three people. Evenings only.
Bamee Slow: Sukhumvit 63, Ekkamai
Sometimes the simplicity of egg noodles, with grilled red pork and wonton dumplings, can deliver the best kind of satisfaction. That’s certainly the case at Bamee Slow, where frequent queues are testament to the popularity of the dishes on offer.
Whether you’re the kind who takes your bamee dry or with broth, the secret here is the soft-boiled egg that’s thrown into the mix for extra special results.
A bowl of noodles will set you back ฿40. Bamee Slow is found at the entrance to Ekkamai Soi 19 and is open evenings only.
Hom Duan: Sukhumvit 63, Ekkamai
Craving a taste of Chiang Mai? Good northern Thai food can be hard to come by in Bangkok, but thankfully it’s in abundance at this low-key eatery just a short walk from Ekkamai BTS.
Sure, it’s not a bona fide street stall – it’s a former coffee shop, with the added benefit of air-conditioning – but we think you’ll forgive us for that once you taste the khao soi (฿65). This is a lighter version of the noodle dish than the coconut-heavy one many places turn out, but the broth is deeply flavoured, the on-the-bone chicken is tender, and the topping of crispy fried egg noodles is a generous one.
This winner of a casual restaurant also has an array of prepared curries (฿45-65) ready to ladle over rice or noodles – don’t miss the excellent gaeng hunglay, loaded with ginger and garlic, or the delicately flavoured green curry with heaps of soft aubergine.
Hom Duan is between Ekkamai Soi 2 and 4, a stone’s throw from British café London Pie; weekdays, 9am-5pm.
Hoy Tod Chaolay: Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor
Hoy tod omelettes are the arguably better-tasting sister of pad thai. Not for a minute pretending to be a health-conscious choice, they’re a fatty, oily and crispy concoction of eggy batter with mussels or oysters, served with an abundance of beansprouts and a generous dollop of sweet chilli sauce.
Like many places, the prized Hoy Tod Chaolay in Thonglor serves both pad thai and hoy tod, but if it’s the omelette you come for (฿50-60) then you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find it just inside Sukhumvit 55, on the left-hand side; open morning until late.
Tang Meng Noodle: Sukhumvit 49, Thonglor
There are certainly more flavourful dishes than khao man gai on the Thai food spectrum. But sometimes, you just can’t beat a simple plate of boiled chicken on silky rice glistening from the infusion of chicken stock. Though the restaurant’s English name appears to suggest otherwise, that’s the standout dish (฿60) at this old-school Thai-Chinese spot in Thonglor (and indeed, the Thai name raves about the khao man gai rather than the noodles).
Tang Meng also serves up a solid selection of made-to-order stir-fry staples like pad krapao, stir-fried holy basil with your protein of choice (฿60), and a winner guay deow kua gai dish of stir-fried fried chicken noodles (฿60). Tang Meng Noodle is on the corner of Sukhumvit 49; open until lunchtime only.
Banh Mi Ngo: Sukhumvit 101/1, Punnawithi-Udomsuk
It might be a bit of a trek for the downtown folk, but this low-key stall – around a 20-minute walk from either Punnawithi or Udomsuk BTS stations – serves up a particularly decent rendition of the Vietnamese street food staple banh mi. While it probably won’t win any awards over the original, the bread is decent and it’s stuffed with generous helpings of all the traditional fillings: think pâté, Laughing Cow cheese, salad vegetables, and chilli sauce.
Best of all, at ฿40 per piece it’s a steal. This is a dish that’s difficult to find in Bangkok other than at sit-down Vietnamese restaurants, where you can expect to pay several times as much, often for something of questionable authenticity. Banh Mi Ngo is just past Soi 21 on Sukhumvit 101/1, and is open from morning until night.
Pad Thai Fai Look: Sukhumvit 38, Thonglor
One of Soi 38’s most famous vendors hasn’t actually moved very far – Pad Thai Fai Look, or ‘pad thai on fire’, is now based on the ground floor of Sutthi Mansion on the corner of the soi. The award-winning stall is known for the giant flames that come roaring from the ultra-hot wok in which the skilled cook conjures up one of the city’s best plates of pad thai.
The signature dish (฿50) includes fresh prawns, squid and crab, as well as sour mango, hua plee banana flowers, and of course a generous handful of beansprouts. Vegetarian and chicken variants (the latter enough to make pad thai purists hyperventilate) are joined by other simple fried noodle dishes like pad kee mao and pad see ew. Evenings only, until the early hours.
Where are your standby Sukhumvit street food haunts? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image is by jaaron and is used under a Creative Commons licence