For culinary explorers like ourselves, we were in paradise. During our recent two day visit to the City of Angels, Tom and I took incredible delight in exploring different markets and sampling a large variety of dishes. The following is a summary of our favorite discoveries.
1)Or Kor Tor Market (map)
Considered one of the most upscale fresh markets in the city, Or Kor Tor Market was our favorite. Half of the market is dedicated to rows of beautiful fruits and vegetables, freshly caught seafood, and a variety of meats. There is also a scattering of stalls selling spicy peppers, dried fish, and other food products. The other half consists of vendors serving prepared food that may be eaten in the food court or taken home. The variety of dishes is incredible: Papaya salad, curries, meat skewers, fermented sausage, chili pastes, soups, and so many more. Whether you are a food adventurer or a food market novice, this place is for you.
Located next to the large Chatuchak “JJ” Weekend Market, Or Kor Tor Market is open daily from 6 AM to 8 PM. The easiest way to get to the market is to take the MRT subway to Kamphaeng Phet station, exit #3. Alternately, you can take the sky train to Mor Chit, but then you will need to walk about 10 minutes.
2)Huay Kwang Night Market (map)
This is not your typical night market. Huay Kwang caters to locals who have a late night craving for inexpensive seafood, noodles, curries, Issan cuisine, and other delicious Thai dishes. In addition to food vendors and restaurants, booths are hawking typical street market goods. However, the draw to this market is the food. If you are looking for a true “local” culinary experience, this place is it.
The market can easily be reached by taking the MRT to Huai Kwang station, exit #3. Although vendors start setting up around 6 pm, this is a late night market where things pick up after 8 pm. By the way, locals consider this a great “drunk” food place.
3)Chinatown “Yaowarat” (map)
Yaowarat is vibrant with Thai-Chinese tradition and food. Walking down the street, all senses are heightened with the food and activity buzzing incessantly. This is one of the most famous markets in the city, and should not be missed. During the day, wander through the blindingly bright gold shops or visit one of the many temples. At night, it’s all about the food. Thai, Chinese, fusion, seafood…It’s all there.
The market is not situated near a Sky train or MRT station. The closest MRT station is Hualamphong station. From there, you can take an inexpensive taxi or tuk-tuk. Activity abounds at all hours.
4)Victory Monument Boat Noodles (map)
Sampling boat noodles (noodle soup) is a “must do” when visiting Bangkok. The portions are equally small and inexpensive, allowing diners to sample a large variety of soup combinations. We noticed most restaurants served over ten varieties of boat noodles, differing by types of noodles and protein. Be sure to save room for steamed coconut pudding.
The conglomeration of boat noodle restaurants is located along the canal north of the Sky train Victory Monument station. Most of the restaurants operate from 11am-9pm
5)Siam Paragon Food Court (map)
Although not a market in the traditional sense, we added this to the list for one reason. Siam Paragon is one of the biggest shopping centers in Asia. You could virtually find anything your hearts desire here. But of course, we tracked down the food. Many of the food court’s numerous vendors serve street-food style eats in a “safe” environment. If you are looking for street food but are squeamish about less than “Western” standard cleanliness, this place is for you. We were very impressed with the variety and authentic taste of many of the offerings! Take the elevator or escalator down to the bottom floor and enjoy the sensory delights once you reach the food court.
Adjacent to the Siam Sky train station, the food court is open 10am-10pm.
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