The sweet, spicy, and tangy combination of Som Tam, also known as Som Tum, Thailand’s papaya salad, can be found in the side streets of Bangkok. Thai chilis, fresh garlic, dried shrimp, sweet palm sugar, fish sauce, and ingredients are crushed and mixed together in a mortar pestle to make the delicious sauce that coat the thinly sliced green papaya, creating a crunchy, flavourful texture. Mixed with some protein, there are many varieties of Som Tam that you can find in Bangkok. Check out our list to find the best Som Tam in Bangkok.
5/5 Silom Soi 3 Bangrak, Silom, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Slightly more upscale than the usual street food version, you can sample different versions of Som Tam in the concrete walls of La Deng. Just a couple of blocks from the Silom Station, La Deng specializes in Som Tam and they have differet ways of making it, from the traditional varieties with crab or shrimp toppings to experimental ones like Som Tam with fried fish, salted egg or crispy fried pork skins. With a price range of 50 to 60 Baht, you can sample each dish and find out how you like your Som Tam.
SOM TAM JAY SO
Soi Phiphat 2, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand
Called by a different name, Tam Pa, the papaya salad here has a different taste from the usual Som Tam served in Bangkok. An Issan specialty, Tam Pa comes with a dressing that has a good mix of tangy, spicy, and pungent. While you are here, you might as well sample the specialties from the Western region of Thailand. For a guide on other Issan dishes, check out: ALL OF THE FLAVOURS: AN ISSAN FOOD GUIDE.
Siam Paragon Basement, 991/1 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
A more upscale version of the popular Bangkok street food, the price range of the Cafe Chilli’s Som Tam ranges from 110THB to 300THB, making it one of the most expensive places to get Som Tam. What they serve here, however, are Som Tam dishes with toppings that you won’t find in any of the street stalls, like salmon and blue crab.
SOM TAM DER
5/5 Saladaeng Rd, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand
Find your favourite street food in a restaurant decked with wooden paneling, adult-sized chairs, and equipped with AC. Here, their fiery som tam is served with an Issan twist, like their Som Tum Kor Moo, a papaya salad served with grilled pork neck, or Som Tum Hoy Dong, which comes with pickled cockles. You can also go for the loaded version which literally has everything in it, Som Tum Pa Neua, also known as the Jungle Salad.
BAAN SOM TUM
9/1 Soi Sriviang, Pramuan Road | Intersection of Pramuan Road and Soi Sriviang, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
A popular destination for young professionals, the closest BTS station to Baan Som Tum is Surasak. With a great range of Som Tums, the most unique one in their selection is the Fried Som Tum. Reviews vary regarding this extra crunchy, deep-fried version of Som Tum, but if you are hankering for some chips (or fries), why not try the Thai version with Som Tam dressing as the dip? They also serve a good range of tasty Issan dishes. The only downside, however, is that ordering can be tough as you will need help from the staff to decipher the menu. On a busy day, you might have to wait a while to be served. The best thing you can do is to invite a local for lunch.
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