Anyone that knows me will tell you that I have an insatiable sweet tooth. In my world, dessert isn’t reserved solely for a post-dinner treat but rather as the finale to any given meal throughout the day. Sometimes dessert comes after dessert. Let’s be real -- if I don’t have it, I’m wishing I did!
Linda on the other hand, has a preference for savoury tastes. She’ll more likely be caught elbows deep in a bag of chips than a cookie jar. I prefer fruits; she prefers vegetables. It creates an interesting dynamic come snack time; we’re always looking for ways to satisfy the gluttony in both of our palates.
So you can imagine our excitement when we discovered the diversity of delicious treats that Thailand has to offer. And often, you can find them right around the corner.
Here are our ten favourite Thai snacks!
1. SO much ice cream!
In a part of the world where dairy is a rarity, I found ice cream snacks to be surprisingly plentiful (and fantastic)! The presentation and effort that they put into their ice cream makes the difference. With every bite, you want to savour it. Let it melt in your mouth. It’s an experience in itself and you can have it in many forms and flavours. That is, with the exception of the ice cream with lychee jellies in a hot dog bun. That was... unusual.
Our favourites were the rolled ice cream and the coconut ice cream.
2. The Waffle!
I’m not sure whether or not this brand is specific to Thailand but we came across the small stall inside Victory Monument station and fell in love. Not only were the waffles delish but the lady serving them was so kind. These waffles come filled with your choice of a wide variety of flavours including taro, custard or chocolate (our three favourites). They’re fresh, warm and so tasty! We didn’t see these anywhere other else during our visits to Thailand so if you’re in the area, definitely stop by.
3. Bubble Tea!
Sure, you can get bubble tea anywhere. But the convenience of having well-made bubble tea everywhere we went is pretty special to us! Linda became a little bit obsessed and indulged multiple times each day. She was able to enjoy a handful of flavours and brands. Coco Tea’s passion fruit green tea with basil seeds was one of our favourites. This glorious golden drink was found amongst the shops in Asiatique. But it was no match for the unnamed drink stall in Patong on Soi Sansabai. They served an iced milk green tea that had us returning at least twice a day. We liked it so much that we tried to have it replicated elsewhere in the country but no one had even come close to matching it.
4. 7-Eleven Snacks!
Hear me out on this one! If you’re like me and you enjoy snacking late into the night, then you will appreciate the unusual and funky choices you’ll find at 7-Eleven. They are literally at every corner so you’re bound to cross one on the way back to your hotel. After long days of exploring, we developed an unwritten rule of stopping by for some refreshments and items to nibble on in bed. Preferably something we’ve never tried before – so we could eat, sleep and discover all at the same time. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
5. Boat Noodles!
If you’re seeking something light, savoury and fun then Boat Noodles are what you need. Served in two-bite portions, it’s essentially a bowl of rice noodles in a rich, almost tangy broth made from pork blood. So you can order one bowl for 14 baht (roughly 40 cents), mix the chilis and pork rinds to your heart’s content, devour it in no time and be on your way. Or, like most boat noodlers, continue ordering bowl after bowl until you’re satisfied. Wander around Victory Monument and you’ll find numerous options. You won’t regret it. Unless pork blood bothers you.
6. A Cold Chang for the Road!
If you’re familiar with the Thailand heat, you know you need to stay hydrated and cool. So long as you’ve sufficiently replenished your body with water, consider an ice cold Chang beer. They come in two sizes -- regular and entertainingly large. If you’re not susceptible to cooties, we suggest sharing them one large size at a time as they tend to get warm before you reach the bottom. But when they’re cold, they cool you right down! Paired with the fact that you can pick them up at any 7-Eleven and walk freely down the street with a Chang in hand, it makes for a fun, refreshing treat.
7. Market snacks!
Looking for a one stop shop for fun eats? Check out either the Chatuchak Weekend Market or Ratchada Night Market (or Train Night Market). Your palate will thank you. At both you’ll find unlimited food options: seafood, skewers, curries, fruit, noodles, desserts, ice cream and on and on! Same goes for drinks. If you want the ultimate 'you-can-find-anything' shopping experience, go with Chatuchak. If you want a chill, youthful atmosphere with local designers and bars, go with Ratchada. But either way you're a winner when it comes to snacks! Just don’t forget to bring 2 baht for the bathroom if you choose Chatuchak.
When I returned home from Thailand to the fruit selection here in Canada, I was so disappointed. All I can think of now is how succulent, fresh and juicy the fruit is in Thailand. And you can find it anywhere. You can opt to hand pick them from fresh markets for a more diverse selection, or you can pick them up on the go from food stalls that serve them in a bag with a skewer and (if you’d like) some chilis.
Durian is a must try but Mangosteen will forever be our favourite.
9. Street skewers!
It really doesn’t matter what they’re serving – we’ll take two! The assorted vendors that line the streets can pretty much do no wrong in my books. From chicken drumsticks (or other miscellaneous chicken parts) to curried squid and shrimps. Generally you’ll find them grouped together in busy areas or randomly set up on their own on a side street at lunch time. But each stall will serve a limited menu, often of just one or two items and they’ll do it very well. So you can hop from one stall to the next in a happy, heavenly state all the way back to your hotel.
10. Mango Sticky Rice
I saved the best for last. It’s truly one of my all-time favourite snacks and its origins are exclusive to Thailand. I was skeptical when I’d first heard about it; the combination of mango with rice sounded a little strange to me. But we made it a mission to try some before we left the country and it started a love-affair with this dessert despite it being pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The difference is in the coconut milk. This is a must try.