Top Three Thai Foods!

Top Three Thai Foods!

Thai food is world famous and well known for its blended and vibrant flavors! The four flavors that are most popular in dishes are: spicy, salty, sweet, and sour.  At restaurants/stalls you will see four small jars which have: 1) spicy flakes, 2) sugar, 3) vinegar with chilies, and 4) fish sauce, sometimes with or without chili’s.

The beauty of Thai dishes is that each restaurant or vendor makes each dish with his/her own style. So while each dish uses generally the same ingredients, the taste and texture can vary. The best part is finding the style that fits your palate and enjoying the subtle differences!

There are many choices ranging from seafood, meats, soups, noodles, and lots of curries.  The one constant element is rice. Thailand runs on rice and is usually included in all meals. In fact, the Thai phrase for ‘have you eaten?’ is ‘gin kow mai krup/kha?’ which literally translates into ‘have you eaten rice yet?’

Thai food is so vast and delicious that it was hard to chose only three dishes but below are our top three choices that are musts for anyone visiting Thailand!


Pad Thai

This is one of the most famous dishes from Thailand. Pad Thai is fried rice noodles with garlic, egg, bean sprouts, tofu, chives, and a mixture of Thai sauces. Pad Thai can be served with pork, chicken, shrimp, or mixed seafood.

When mixed together every bite is a blend of flavors and textures: vegetables, noodles, meat, and a hint of peanut and dried shrimp!

Local hint: You can ask for your pad Thai to be wrapped up completely in an egg! Ask for ‘Pad Thai hok kai’!


Papaya salad

‘Som tum’ is a vegetable salad; it is a mixture of unripened papaya, dried shrimp, tomatoes, peanuts, chilies, long green beans, baby eggplant, lemon juice, and various Thai pastes and sauces.  All of these mixed together make for a refreshing, sometimes spicy, blend of Thai ingredients for a healthy meal.

‘Dam dang’ (cucumber salad) uses the exact same ingredients as above, but instead of papaya, this salad uses diced cucumbers.

Local hint: These salads are best eaten with sticky rice and grilled chicken!


Tom Yum soup

Tom yum is a spicy soup made with: onions, chilies, tomatoes, mushrooms, lemon grass, galangal, lemon, kaffir leaves, coriander, and a mixture of Thai sauces.

This style of soup can be had with pork, chicken, or most famously shrimp. Tom yum is a Thai staple and usually enjoyed with rice and/or other Thai dishes.

Thai meals are communal in that each person has a plate/bowl of rice and they share several dishes together. This is the same for soups; each person takes the portion they want in a smaller individual soup bowl.

Local hint: This soup is best had slightly spicy so don’t be shy to ask for more chilies! The Thai word for spicy is ‘pbed’.



Thai food is mouthwatering and there are options for everyone. Timid eaters or non-spicy eaters should not worry, as there are so many choices with a wide range of flavors and most dishes can be ordered ‘non-spicy’.

While in Thailand try to break away from the tourist restaurants and try a Thai place or local street vendor to fully immerse and enjoy all of what Thai food has to offer!!

If anyone has any questions about Thai food or would like recommendations, please just leave us a comment below!


Thailand Manager

Prakriti Malhotra is the founding director of Inspire. She has over 12 years’ experience helping individuals plan their overseas volunteering trips whether it be for their gap year, a sabbatical from work or a post retirement adventure.
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