In Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Sukhothai, the islands, and on our homestay there were access to local markets, big and small that as well as selling great fresh fruit to go also had available dried spices and pre-mixed curry pastes. These are always the cheapest places to shop and although very little of the packaging and labeling is recognisable provide the cheapest and best quality produce.
There were certain things that I was really excited to experience, and subsequently loved, that don’t fit into my usual post format. Mainly strange crisp flavours, lasagna won here, and milk tea in abundance.
So here’s a summary of some of the best places we found across Thailand. Certainly not exhaustive but worth keeping an eye out.
So there’s something pretty special about visiting supermarkets overseas, I think, and Big C is like all my supermarket dreams come true. Spend time browsing all the weird and wonderful food that make you wish you had self-catering facilities, while picking up dried mango, weird crisp flavours, chilli sauces and anything else you feel will entertain your friends and family on your return.
I found myself stocking up on all Milo products as well as snacks, sauces, and treats to cook on my return home.
I love when fast food joints do western style food alongside rice. Chester’s is Thailand’s answer to KFC and as well as burgers, chicken nuggets (fried with Thai basil), and hot dogs they also serve karage chicken with rice and salad. When you’re stuck in an airport, or have an iffy tummy, or both this is absolute comfort food.
I have a strange obsession with trying things in McDonald’s that don’t exist elsewhere and the pork samurai burger was not a disappointment. The burger is sticky with a bbq-d flavour and insanely moorish. Polish off with a milk tea, if that’s your jam.
Food in Thai service stations was an absolute revelation. It seemed that at every miscellaneous place we stopped there would be someone serving amazing noodles or curries. Alongside most of these service stations was a Café Amazon. On the pricer side sure, but half the price of Starbucks, these coffee shops served Thai milk teas and coffees in hot, iced, or frappe versions. I ended up polishing off more iced teas than I can count.
So I would never usually recommend a 7-Eleven but it is worth mentioning for its great range of Thai crisps. Think sweet thai basil. tom yum, lasagna (random!) and all that’s in between. Don’t be afraid to try a few different sweets and crisps whilst in Thailand as everything I tried was fantastic.