The world is full of unique and memorable experiences. You can take a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower, or sit in a New York City yellow Taxi cab and snap photos while you tour the city. But what are some unique experiences you can only encounter when traveling to Thailand?
Personally, we think eating is one of the most entertaining ways to experience a new culture. After all, everyone has to eat, right? However, it’s not just about stuffing your face with street food; there are many more unique options for travelers looking for something rare and memorable to eat. Foodies love Thai cuisine, and we know you will too!
The great thing about eating and exploring the culinary scene in Thailand is that it is never dull as this destination is home to several unique eats and out-of-this-world dining experiences.
Here are some of the best unique eating experiences in Thailand!
Try Thai Food at a Morning Market
Suppose you’ve ever watched Anthony Bourdain eat a scorpion on TV. In that case, you probably have some inkling of Thai food’s uniqueness. However, Bangkok’s Chinatown and Trok Mor market areas are full of bizarre, exotic, and traditional Thai food experiences to try.
For instance, you can enjoy unique dishes like traditional Thai congee, flavored porridge, soy milk, Patonggo (Thai/Chinese donuts), Moo Ping (grilled pork skewers), Kanom Krok (traditional coconut pancakes, and Thai iced coffee.
Eating at Na-Oh Bangkok
If you’re looking for adventure, Na-Oh Bangkok is the place for you. It is located in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, the City of Dreams.
Eating at Na-Oh Bangkok will be one of the most unique dining experiences you will have during your stay in Thailand. The interior looks like the inside of an airplane with delicate and luxurious furniture. The unique theme and high-end service make it ideal for private parties and special dining occasions. Dining here is like being transported to a different time and place.
The food is exceptional and consists of many traditional Thai dishes with a twist. You can find expertly-cooked gnocchi, scallops, foie gras, and more. The service is impeccable, and the waiters are attentive and knowledgeable about the wide variety of food and drinks. The prices at Na-Oh Bangkok are reasonable while offering travelers one of the most unique eating experiences in Thailand.
Experience the Coolest Bar on Khaosan Road at Bar Darn
Bar Darn is a great place to try the local cuisine, and is also one of Thailand’s most unique eating and drinking experiences. Be prepared to feel immersed in an underwater world!
Bar Darn, a fun name that plays on the Thai word for groundwater, is the latest addition to the backpacker-centric Khaosan Road.
Signature cocktails here are, you guessed it, underwater-themed—pretty much everything related to water and the sea. We have a few suggestions to try.
The Deep Dive drink is a mix of Regency, coconut rum, squid ink, and lemon soda for something strong and refreshing (and it will turn your lips black, too!).
For something colorful and easy to drink, grab Coral, which is a mix of white rum, watermelon, lychee jelly, vanilla, elderflower, and coral tuile.
With exquisite aquatic-themed cocktails and magnificently unique dishes to pair them with, you’ll find yourself returning to Thailand year after year to taste the pleasures of Bar Darn.
Eating at Good Noodle in Thailand
If you’re looking for a more low-key, intimate experience, Good Noodle is the place to go. The restaurant is known for its creative, delicious, and unique dishes served in a casual but classy setting.
Once you arrive, you have to pick out your noodle packet from the shelf. Be warned – there are several options to choose from, so it would be difficult to pick just one kind. (Think of it like a 7-11 convenience store…only 30 years in the future with thousands more choices!) Good Noodle carries brands from Thailand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and more. Flavors range from pork to tom yum kung, to spicy chicken, to cheesy carbonara. It can be overwhelming, but it is most certainly unique!
After you pick your noodle option, you can select your toppings and ingredients! There’s a big cooler in the middle of the restaurant, where you can choose pre-packaged and individually wrapped (a safety precaution due to COVID-19) servings of mushrooms, cabbage, bacon, shrimp, and more.
You bring your tray, laden with ingredients, to the counter, where you pay and are given a special paper bowl with a foil bottom. Finally, it’s time to cook your lunch!
It is also a great place to bring the family, as you can all choose the different types of noodles and ingredients to cook for yourselves and have fun sharing and trying the various flavors. Good Noodle is one of Thailand’s most unique eating experiences and is a great place to go for a casual meal.
Enjoy Fresh Seafood in Thailand
Fish, seafood, squid, and more are consumed regularly in Thailand. You can find fresh seafood restaurants on nearly every block in Bangkok and the cities along the coast. (Just a few recommendations include: Ministry of Crab or Lord Jim’s in Bangkok, Kamala Seafood in Phuket, or the Coco Restaurant & Bar in Ko Chang.)
Try crab or lobster cooked in coconut milk or a hot and sour squid dish. Some of the best seafood can be found in the southern coastal cities, such as Krabi, Phuket, and Koh Samui. The seafood is always fresh, and it’s a fantastic way to experience Thai cuisine.
Find Unique Street Food in Thailand
You can find excellent street food in Thailand at any time of day. Locals tend to hit the morning markets, while tourists can find a wider selection of unique eats at the night markets. There, you can find papaya salads, roasted corn on the cob, meat skewers, noodle dishes, fried rice, dried squid, barbecued fish, fresh juice, and other tasty snacks.
More uniquely, Thai street food includes a wide variety: from desserts to grilled fare, to stir fries and noodle soups – there’s something for everyone.
Attend a Cooking Class in Thailand
For some genuinely unique Thai dining experiences, try attending a local cooking class. There are several options for this in Bangkok and other major Thai cities. Some cooking classes allow you to prepare a full multi-course Thai meal, while others give you the option to prepare a single dish. While these cooking classes might not be suitable for a solo traveler, they can be a fantastic option for couples and small groups of friends who want an immersive cultural experience.
Many cooking classes also include a trip to a local market where you can select ingredients and learn more about Thai cooking culture. You can also find cooking classes in major Thai beach towns, where you can cook while seated on a beach or in a nearby park. (Thai and Akha Cooking Class in Chiang Mai, Phuket Thai Cooking Class, and Pink Chili in Bangkok are all good examples.)These cooking classes are a great way to experience the Thai culture and are one of the most unique dining experiences in Thailand.
Overall, Thailand is a great place to go for unique dining experiences. The country boasts a wide variety of distinct culinary traditions and ingredients, and Thai food is generally known for its bold flavors and spiciness. However, it’s important to note that, though Thailand is known for its spicy cuisine, many of its vendors are accommodating when it comes to customizing spice levels and even omitting spice altogether.
The restaurants we listed here are a starting point for your culinary adventure in Thailand. Once you’ve hit the restaurants you learned about, you’ll find another new experience around every corner. Thailand is a land of experiences, especially when it comes to food.
Now that you know where to go, it’s time to start planning a trip to Thailand, where you will enjoy some of the most flavorful dishes you’ve ever tasted.