Say the word Thailand, and many think of beaches, jungles, and smiling locals. I think of elephants. The one thing everybody thinks of is FOOD.

Thailand’s reputation as an eating mecca is wellllll deserved. (I was def very happy that I brought stretchy-waist pants along.)

Though there are an infinite amount of dishes and flavors to sample, these are five dishes that I highly enjoyed and would recommend as must-trys in Thailand.

1. Noodles, noodles, noodles!

Pad thai is probably Thailand’s most famous dish, and for good reason. This classic dish can be prepared in many ways, but usually is composed of stir-fried rice noodles, egg, peanuts, sprouts, and tofu and/or meat. It is seasoned with an unbeatable combo of lime juice and chili peppers.

Lady making pad thai on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand

It’s amazing, and best of all – it can be bought from a street vendor for LESS THAN ONE DOLLAR. Filling, simple, and cheap – this is everybody’s Thai travel staple.

I can’t discuss noodles, however, without addressing my love for pad see ew. Also known as “big noodles,” these are flat rice noodles with egg, meat/tofu, veggies, and soy sauce. Delish.

Pad see ew (big noodles) in Thailand

2. Something cooked in a pineapple

I don’t even know if it’s a typical Thai dish… but this fried rice cooked in a pineapple is seared in my memory as one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.

Fried rice in a pineapple in Thailand

The juices from the pineapple added such moisture and flavor to an already tasty dish. Bottom line: if you see something cooked in a pineapple, EAT IT.

3. Mango sticky rice

Long before I set foot in Chiang Mai, I had heard of its legendary mango sticky rice. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits, so I was very excited to try this northern Thai specialty.

Mango sticky rice Thailand

I was not disappointed. Fresh mangoes atop a sweet bed of sugary, coconut milk-covered rice. How do you say “Get in my belly!” in Thai?

4. Curry

There are many different types of Thai curry. Red, green, yellow, you can’t go wrong. Some are spicy, some are sweet, all are good. Have a blast sampling and discovering which is your favorite!

Red chicken curry in Thailand


I. Hate. Insects. They are disgusting. Eating them? Really? But, being as there are tons of insects being cooked and served at Thai markets, I figured I might as well try them out.

Cooked insects at market in Chiang Mai, Thailand
A bug buffet

For wusses like me, I’d probably recommend the fried variety. They are not something I’m going to be adding to my regular diet, but I’m glad I tried them, and it makes for a good photo op!

Eating bugs in Chiang Mai, Thailand
You get awesome pictures like this if you eat bugs.

The crickets even taste a bit like sunflower seeds – though you may be picking little legs out of your teeth for the rest of the day!

Did any of those strike your fancy? What did I miss?