One of my favorite activities that we did while in Bangkok was a street food walking tour of Chinatown. We booked the particular tour I am going to share with you after we were already in Bangkok for a couple days. In hindsight, I would have booked this tour months in advance to ensure that it wasn’t sold out – it was THAT good.
All of the guides are local chefs in Bangkok and you will try 16+ different dishes while discovering the culture of Chinatown on this 4 hour walking street food tour. Our guide even led us into the back alleys of Chinatown away from all the crowds, only to discover full sidewalk kitchens serving up the best green curry in Chinatown (more on that below). We could have never found these places on our own.
If you found this post first, and are interested in my full recommendation on things to do in Bangkok, check out my 4-day itinerary for Bangkok.
Today, I’m going to share with you the BEST Bangkok Chinatown Street Food tour that you must book for your trip!
No time to read now? Pin it for later!
Bangkok’s Chinatown Street Food Tour
As I alluded to above, this particular street food tour is different than the others because each guide is a local chef.
I’m not sure how we got so lucky to be on a walking tour with a chef, but this really elevates the experience as you will learn origins of the dishes you are trying, their cultural significance, and tips on how to fully enjoy the flavors.
As you wander through the vibrant alleys of Bangkok’s Chinatown, your guide will introduce you to the best street food stalls and hidden gems that only the locals know about.
We met at a central hotel in Chinatown, The Shangai Mansion, where we actually stayed during our time in Bangkok. Each group size is a maximum of 8 people, which is essential to get into the smaller street food vendors with ease. We really enjoyed this small group atmosphere as it made it easier to get to know others in the group.
Alright, let’s get right into it!
Bangkok’s Chinatown Street Food Tour by a Local Chef Review
Our first stop was along one of the main roads in Chinatown, at a local satay vendor called Satay Jae Aeng. This was a good introduction into the Chinatown area and we arrived prior to dinner rush. They even had a little table set up for us when we arrived so we could sit and enjoy our first couple tastings.
Here we tried satay, fish cakes, and suki soup. Our guide showed us how to properly eat the satay, by dipping it in the sauce and biting off a first piece, then using the skewer to pick up some onions and tomatoes on the second bite. The satay was sooooo good that we went back the next day to pick some up for lunch. We felt like such pros knowing the exact stall to go to and what to order!
Next we stopped by a local vendor for some Pennywort juice. I have never had this before, but think a healthy green juice. Pennywort juice is made from the leaves and stems of the Pennywort plant, a herb indigenous to Asia. Our guide explained that from an Asian medicine perspective, Pennywort has cooling properties helping the body to balance heat.
After we finished up our juice break, we ventured deep into the backstreet of the Durun Chai Community to find the hidden Jok One Table. Affectionately called “one table” because when they first opened, they truly only had one round table for customers to sit at.
The specialty here are the shrimp dumplings, for which they have a Michelin recommendation. I ate way too many dumplings at this stop for the number of “tastings” we had left. Also by this point, I started to realize that these “tastings” were regular meal portion sized.
Not slowing down at this point, we weaved our way through the back alleys until we found the famous, Jek Pui Green Curry Chicken dish.
Our guide led us to one of the most famous vendors serving Jek Pui Green Curry Chicken in Chinatown, Khao Gaeng Jek. This vendor has gained a stellar reputation among locals and tourists for their authentic and flavorful rendition of the unique Asian street food dish.
Even if I had found this spot myself, I wouldn’t have known it was a famous Jek Pui restaurant. It looks more like a community feast, with everyone lining up to be served this flavor-packed meal from vats on the street. Once you get your food, grab a seat with everyone else at one of the small stools to enjoy your meal. You’ll quickly find yourself immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lively streets, almost for a moment feeling like you are getting the hang of street food in Bangkok.
Now feeling pretty full, and not actually getting the hang of street food in Bangkok AT ALL, we take a walking break around Chinatown and stop for a sample of jack fruit.
Look at our cute guide holding up a jack fruit. Who knew jack fruits were so large?
During this part of the Chinatown Bangkok Street Food Walking Tour, we got a glimpse into the vibrant street life of Chinatown, with its lively markets, streets decorated with miles of cables, whizzing mopeds, and all around bustling atmosphere.
OK too much walking and not enough eating now.
Just kidding, I’m extremely full at this point, but must continue in the name of research.
Our next tasting spot is crispy pork and rolled noodle soup at Michelin recommended Guay Jub Ouan Pochana. The line to get take-away from this spot was around the corner, but our guide had a table waiting for us inside which maybe could fit 20 people total. This is part of the price you pay for the tour, to be able to get into famous spots quickly that you wouldn’t be able to on your own.
Is there any more room in our stomachs? We are going to find out soon.
One of our last stops was at this bustling seafood spot, T&K Seafood, along the main street in Chinatown. During the day this looks like just a normal street. But by night, tables are set up all over the sidewalk, most of which are completely full of young adults enjoying some drinks and food, while prawns are being grilled up street-side, made to order.
This really looks like the place to be in Chinatown. Here we tried the spicy sour soup (Thai Po Teak), grilled prawns, morning glory (water spinach), and grilled pineapples.
To top off the evening, we stopped by both a mango sticky rice vendor (yum! my favorite) and this Michelin recommended Chinese donut spot. Both were right around the corner from our hotel, and the starting/ending spot for the tour. This was the perfect way to cap off the night!
Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply curious to experience the local food culture, the Bangkok Chinatown Street Food Tour by a Local Chef promises to be a memorable and delicious exploration of Bangkok’s culinary treasures. Come prepared with an empty stomach (I cannot stress this enough) and an open mind!
Now you know the one activity you can’t skip on your next trip to Bangkok. Drop any questions about our experience with the chef inspired Bangkok street food walking tour in the comments below.
If your trip to Bangkok is really far in the future, or you just aren’t sure if this is the tour for you, any bookings made through the above link can be cancelled 24-hours beforehand for a full refund.
Looking for more Bangkok inspiration? You may also enjoy these posts:
Liked this Post? Pin it for Later!
What Camera Gear Do I Use?
- Camera Body: Canon EOS 6D Mark ii
- Wide Angle Lens: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
- Zoom Lens: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
- Super Zoom Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
- Portrait Lens: Tamron 35mm f/1.4
- Drone: DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro with RC Controller
- Camera Bag: Vegan Leather Backpack
- Tripod: Manfrotto Element Traveller
- SD Card: SanDisk Extreme Pro 256 GB
- External Travel SSD: SanDisk Extreme Pro 4 TB