In Thailand, you’ll see as many food stalls and carts as convenience stores. If you wake up early to check out the morning markets, you’ll also find breakfast options at the perimeter of the market. Close to MRT and BTS stations, as well as schools and office buildings, you’ll see vendors selling food-on-the-go with people standing around it or sat on pavements, chowing down their breakfast. To get to school and work on time, breakfast in Thailand is either eaten on the go or packaged in plastic bags, paper bags, or Styrofoam boxes. Spot these dishes as you go through your itinerary and eat breakfast like a real Thai.
THE FRUIT CART
This is easy to spot. Every corner has its own see-through glass cart filled with fruits on a bed of crushed ice. This is pretty much their version of a refrigerator on wheels. Usually packed with guava, pineapple, mango, papaya, watermelon, and rose-apple, just point to the fruit you want and the vendor will chop it up for you. It’s usually served in a plastic bag with a stick and a condiment made of salt and chili. Just grab the stick, dip the chopped fruit into the salt and you’ve got a breakfast on the go!
Pro tip: Go slow on the watermelon and salt combo as it rarely agrees with tourists.
KHANOM FOR THE SUGAR RUSH
The term Khanom is used for any sweet snack sold on the side of the road. This may come in the form of fried bananas, tiny coconut pancakes cooked in a girdle, or even the sweet, flavored sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf. If you don’t feel like having a big breakfast, grab a bag of khanom and get that dose of sugar rush to get you started.
KAI LUAK FOR THE KETO TRAVELERS
Let’s say you don’t do carbs and sugar, and bread or rice are not in your diet. If that’s the case, look out for a coffee stall that is usually swarmed by tuk tuk/motorbike/taxi drivers and market workers. This is where you’ll find the Kai Luak: a soft-boiled egg served in a glass. With a bit of Maggi seasoning and a dash of pepper, take a quick gulp and wash it down with coffee. This brekky gives you your morning protein load and a caffeine buzz for the day.
YUPPIE KHANOM PANG
Slices of white bread topped with butter and sugar are quite common among office workers in Bangkok’s business districts like Silom and Sathorn. They’e usually ordered as a takeaway and eaten while walking or while riding the BTS/MTR to work.
SALAPAO ON THE GO
The Thai take on the Chinese baozi, you’ll see quite a variety of these steaming buns usually filled with red barbecued pork, minced pork, sweet red beans or cream. Get a bag and eat it while on the go. If you want to do it like a pro, peel off the shiny skin of the bun before eating it.
A SWIG OF NAM TAO HOO FOR VEGANS
Nam Tao Hoo is the Thai version of fresh soy milk. Usually found in donut food stalls, the hot soy milk is served with a bit of sugar and some basil seeds. You might cringe at the sight of having this hot, creamy beverage in a plastic bag, so it would be wise to ask the vendor to fill up your flask instead.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THAI BREAKFAST?
We’ve listed some Thai breakfast favorites that suit both locals and tourists alike. Let us know about your favorite Thai breakfast. Write us a comment below.