The best Bangkok street food tours offer immersive experiences with expert culinary guides with a deep knowledge of Thai cuisine, dishes, ingredients, and Thailand’s culinary history and culture. They give you a taste of a place while connecting you to the people who cook and eat Thai food.
We’ve long encouraged you to sign up for a food tour as soon as you arrive in a destination to kick-start your eating adventures, especially if you’re visiting a city for the first time. A well-planned food tour with an expert guide who helps you navigate the cuisine and culinary culture is a great way to get beneath the skin of a place.
A good food tour, especially a good street food tour, should introduce you to the food that locals eat on the streets, at markets and in simple eateries, it should give you a taste of the dishes that locals love, and show you when and where and how to buy and eat them, while giving you some insights into the food history and culinary culture of the place.
The best Bangkok street food tours that we’ve selected below – all tried and tested – do just that. They offer enjoyable but enriching experiences with culinary guides with a strong knowledge of Thai street food, the ingredients used, how dishes are cooked, and the stories behind the cooks who make them.
The best Bangkok street food tours give you a taste of a place while using food to connect you to the locals who cook and eat Thai street food.
Best Bangkok Street Food Tours for Thai Food Lovers and Street Food Enthusiasts
Thailand’s capital boasts some of the best street food feasting in the world, but many visitors to the city struggle to find great street food in Bangkok. This is because you need to know where to go. Contrary to popular opinion, not all Thai street food is good, so best let these culinary experts guide you.
Best Bangkok Street Food Tours in Old Bangkok and Chinatown
These are the best Bangkok street food tours in Old Bangkok, Bangrak and Chinatown as far as we’re concerned, all tried and tested.
Historic Bangrak Tasting and Culture Tour
This Historic Bangrak Tasting and Culture Tour is one of the best Bangkok street food tours for first-time visitors to Bangkok. The small-group tour offers a fantastic introduction to Thai street food while introducing you to the oldest part of Bangkok. It was the first Bangkok food tour we tested out after years of travelling to and living in Bangkok and that’s because it was launched by Bangkok’s first food tour company, which was started in early 2011 by three young Thai foodies after returning home from studying in the USA. Having missed Thai cuisine so much, they realised they were more passionate about food and finance. Since the beginning, their aim has been to help travellers to Thailand eat like Thais, and this culinary walking tour through Bangrak, Bangkok’s oldest neighbourhood, does just that. Although Bangrak isn’t far from Chinatown, it didn’t have the reputation of being a foodie neighbourhood for foreigners, yet that’s what it was for locals. You’ll sample 12 much-loved dishes and drinks on this 3.5-hour walking tour along Bangkok’s oldest street and surrounding lanes at legendary local eateries that have been in the same family for multiple generations.
Yaowarat Chinatown Street Food Tour
Bangkok’s Chinatown is street food central and the first point of call for self-proclaimed foodies. But there are so many eating spots, from roadside stalls and laneway carts to shop-house eateries that the abundance of choices makes the decisions as to where to eat overwhelming. Another one of the best Bangkok street food tours, this Yaowarat Chinatown Street Food Tour will save you a great deal of culinary anxiety and give you an introduction to Bangkok’s Thai-Chinese street food with a tasting of ten dishes and drinks. After meeting the guide at Hua Lamphong MRT station your small group will take a short stroll to the first dining spot, a stall that specialises in a local favourite, fish balls in pink soup. A wander down Yaowarat Road, Chinatown’s main drag, begins with a visit to a Chinese temple to learn a little about local traditions, before the next stop, a sampling of dim sum, followed by a detour to a fried Chinese doughnut stall with a Michelin star. Next up is a sampling of seafood at one of Yaowarat’s best-known seafood stalls, a famous peppery pork noodle soup, followed by a dessert of sesame dumplings in a sweet ginger tea. The tour runs no matter what the weather is like. It was raining heavily when I tested this out, which didn’t bother our little group one bit. For further footpath feasting in Chinatown after your tour, check out our Yaowarat Road eating itinerary.
Snacks, Markets and More
This three-hour 3km late afternoon Snacks, Markets and More walking tour from the Flower Market through Little India to Chinatown will introduce you to the diversity of Bangkok’s markets and the street food snacks Bangkokians love to graze on and it’s another one of the best Bangkok street food tours. The walk takes you through seven different markets, including Ban Mo, The Old Siam, Phahurat, Sampaeng, Khlong Thom, Charoen Chai, and Talad Mai, which sell everything from textiles and antiques to electronics, car parts, and even guns. It’s not a shopping tour, but more of an insight into everyday life of neighbourhoods you might not otherwise explore. Along the way you’ll stop by mobile vendors, food carts and footpath stalls to sample a wide array of snacks, most planned pit-stops, but some spontaneous. Ran by Expique, a local food tour company that also runs a terrific cooking school in the Flower Market called The Market Experience, the tour can be done in combination with a cooking class, beginning soon after you lunch on the food you make. While this is super-convenient in terms of logistics, especially if you’re on a short stopover and tight schedule, it unfortunately means that you might be too full, as we were, to sample many snacks. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Old Bangkok Food and Culture Walk
This Old Bangkok Food and Culture Walk is another of the best Bangkok street food tours and a great choice for food-lovers who are bit more familiar with Thai cuisine. Ran by the founder of Chili Paste Tours, culinary guide Chin Chongtong, the private walking tour provides a brilliant introduction to Old Bangkok, albeit a different area to the tour above, focusing on the backstreets, laneways and alleys of Banglamphu. You’ll stop at markets, mobile carts, food stalls, and shophouse eateries, where cooks have been refining family recipes for generations. You’ll try a typical Thai-style breakfast noodle soup, snack your way along a secret market that only locals know about on a lane lined with century-old shop-houses, call into an atmospheric 80-year-old medicinal herb shop, taste central Thai curries, soups and salads, and cool down with a homemade coconut, mango or durian ice cream at a 70 year-old shop ice cream shop. Expect to taste specialties from all of Thailand’s regions, including a Central Thai herb fish soup and shrimp salad, Southern Thai curries, Northeastern Thai spicy salad and sausage, and a Northern Thai salad or curry noodle soup. You’ll also get the opportunity to try grilled frog and fried insects, Thai-style sweets, tropical fruits, and traditional Thai drinks. A warning: it’s a lot of food – we are professional eaters but unfortunately had to decline quite a bit as we were bursting. Don’t eat breakfast beforehand and perhaps skip dinner the night before too!
Off the Beaten Track Street Food Tours
Thonburi Food and Canals Adventure
The majority of visitors to Bangkok don’t get across to Thonburi on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, except to visit Wat Arun, and that’s a shame as it’s low-key vibe, diversity and lack of tourists is appealing. Once a capital of Siam, Thonburi is a breath of fresh air after the chaos of Bangkok, with its sprawling suburbs, laidback neighbourhoods of traditional wooden homes, rickety stilted canal-side houses, fruit orchards, and floating markets frequented largely by locals. One of the best Bangkok food tours we’ve tried, this Thonburi Food and Canals Adventure gives you a taste of that. It begins at BTS Talat Phlu station, where you’ll ride local transport to Talat Phlu market to sample Chinese chive dumplings, an intense beef soup and Thai snacks before strolling through pagoda grounds to a wet market. After trying traditional Thai coffee and Chinese fried doughnuts you’ll begin a cruise on a long-tail boat along Thonburi’s canals. You’ll stop at an Artist House with a small art gallery and old stupa, before strolling to your next stops to try a red river prawn curry and, nearby, a peppery rolled noodle pork soup. Back on the boat you’ll bounce along the canal to the Chao Phraya River and Wang Lang Market for a final meal of northern Thai food. You won’t need dinner.
Offbeat Floating Markets Food Tour
For many tourists to Thailand, a visit to the Mae Klong Railway Market to see the train trundle right through the centre of the market is a must, yet there wasn’t a single tour we could recommend until this Offbeat Floating Markets Food Tour launched. Easily one of the best off the beaten track food tours, it’s an excellent option for culinary travellers who probably cringe at the thought of Mae Klong (but can’t resist seeing it) and would much prefer discovering more off the beaten track floating markets more popular with Thais. This full day tour takes you to three different markets, including Tha Kha Floating Market for breakfast cooked on and served from rowboat vendors, where you’ll cruise the canals to visit a coconut palm plantation to observe coconut sugar being made; Bang Noi Floating Market, which has a retro vibe, and offers the opportunity to sample traditional drinks and “granny dishes” made with fresh, local, homegrown produce; and Amphawa Floating Market, a hipster market with an abundance of street food specialties that can be tried, along with cool little shops and stalls selling art, crafts, ceramics, clothes, and accessories. A highlight is the seafood, as the markets are close to the Gulf of Thailand. Once again, skip breakfast and perhaps dinner the night before, as you’ll get to try a whopping 17 dishes and drinks.
Book Bangkok Street Food Tours and Floating Market Tours
Have you done a culinary tour in the Thai capital? What do you think are the best Bangkok food tours for Thai food lovers and street food fans? We’d love to get your tips in the comments below.