Famous Streets for Food in Southeast Asia

Famous Streets for Food in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian cuisine is world famous for its varieties and influences. While many of the foods in these diverse countries feature rice and noodles, the preparation is quite different from location to location. From fish sauces in Vietnam to spicy chilies and lime in Thailand, seasonings vary widely. To get a true feel for the culture of any country, it's necessary to sample the cuisine. Food streets are the ideal means of sampling, as they provide inexpensive bites of diverse foods.


Food streets in Thailand can be found in public spaces and off the beaten path in small alleys near temples and markets. Because a good portion of Thailand is landlocked, the surrounding countries have had a profound impact on its varying cuisines. Many of the most famous food streets in Southeast Asia are found here, where a wealth of cuisine awaits.

Food Streets in Bangkok:

Yaowarat Road is also known as Thailand's own Chinatown. A variety of Chinese cuisines can be found along this road, which is bursting with activity at night.

Phahurat Road is near Yaowarat. It is sometimes called Thailand's "Little India." Foods with Chinese and northern Indian influences can be found here, along with standard southern Thai fare, such as noodles or Pad Thai.

Sukhumwit Road: Although not associated with one particular type of cuisine, there are many different foods available on this busy street. In addition to Thai cuisine, Indian and European cuisines are often found here as well.

Soi Lang Suan: Street dishes that are fusions of Chinese, Thai and European cooking can be found along this street.

Silom Road: There are several food streets near this area, and many dishes contain seafood. These streets are bustling very late most evenings.

Khaosan Road: This well-known street in central Bangkok is known for its markets, reasonable hostels and hotels, and food stalls.

Food Streets in Chiang Mai:

Suthep Road: Near the base of Suthep mountain, the street food is often fresh and includes battered, fried herbs, fresh fruits and desserts made from coconut. More traditional northern Thai cuisine can be found here as well, which centers around sticky rice and may include curries or stir frys.

Chiang Mai Sunday Market: Curries, fried meats, herbal concoctions and coconut sweets can be found on Sunday evenings.


Cambodian food often centers around seafood. Its large coast brings fresh fish and other seafood to the table. Curries of fish, tropical foods, rice, spicy sauces and rice noodles are all staples in the Cambodian diet.

Food streets in Phnom Penh:

Area surrounding Independence Monument: Salty-sweet curries, fish dishes prepared with fresh herbs, long beans and lotus can be found here.

Street 178 Noodle Shops: Find a variety of fried green onion cakes and noodles as well as fresh sugar cane juice on this street near the national museum.

Food streets in Kep:

Crab Market: A variety of seafood dishes including stews and curries can be found here.


Vietnamese cuisine includes soups, curries and rice dishes prepared with a variety of fresh herbs such as lemongrass and basil. Fish sauce is a staple in the Vietnamese diet, as are vegetables and pork.

Food Streets in Hanoi:

Old Quarter: Green rice, called com, is sold here in small leaf packets. The rice is sometimes served sweet for an unusual dessert.


Lao food includes salads, pickled vegetables and chilies, and herbal drinks. Sticky rice is eaten by hand here, and fish sauce and lemongrass are essential ingredients in most dishes.

Food streets in Laos:

Luang Prabang Night Market: This is actually an alley with rows of carts selling sticky rice, herbal drinks and other dishes.

Riverfront Market in Vientiane: Stalls along the Mekong River sell grilled fish and herb dishes, along with other treats.

Article Written By Kendall Olsen

Kendall Olsen has been writing for more than 20 years She is a University of Missouri-St. Louis Gateway Writing Project Fellow and has published instructional materials with the McDonald Publishing Company. Olsen holds an Ed.S. in educational technology, an M.Ed. in secondary English curriculum and instruction, a B.S. in elementary education and a B.A. in art history.

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