Pattaya, Thailand is known mostly for nightlife and adult entertainment, however, do you know that Pattaya is also known for its delicious street food? Pattaya offers various types of cuisine for all including, vegan, or vegetarians, and if you are a first-timer to Thailand, then this article will be a bible for you.
Introduction to Thai Food
Thai cuisine is a flavourful cuisine prepared with maximum flavours and spices. Even though the cooking method of each Thai cuisine is different and most of it contains either seafood or Fish Sauce. Thai people love Sour and Spicy food. Thai cuisine has varieties of dishes which has regional significance like
Central: Food from Thai kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya which focuses on traditional food from the Dvaravati culture. Coconut milk is used everywhere and is the main ingredient.
Isaan or North Eastern: The North-East connects Laos, therefore, the cuisine has a major influence of Khmer.
Northern: This reason was once ruled by the Lanna Kingdom and is the homeland of Lannaese.
Southern: The cuisine has Hainanese and Cantonese influence which also includes ethnic Malay, former Sultanate of Pattan.
Traditional Must-Try Food
So as you read in the introduction, Thai traditional food varies from region to region. Some of the food I would recommend you to try are
Central: Tom Yum Soup, Tom Kha Gai, Pad Kra Pow Gai, Green Curry Chicken, Gaeng Daeng, Pad See Ew and many more.
Isaan or North Eastern: larb salad, Gang Naw Mai, Sai Krok Isan, Namphrik Pla, Yam tao, Namphrik Nam oi, Gai Yang and many more.
Northern: Khao Niaw, Khao Soi, Miang Kham, Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiao, Kaeng Hang Lei and many more.
Southern: Gaeng som pla, Khao yam, Nam prik goong siap, Gaeng sataw and many more.
Pattaya is also known for there plethora of street food shops lined along the streets serving various types of cuisines. The most famous and the known food is Fried Chicken, Satay, Phat Kaphrao, Pladuk Phat Phet, som tam (Papaya Salad), coconut cupcake, and of course Stucky rice, Coconut & Mango. There are more Street Foods available in Pattaya, just explore by walking around.
Pattaya is also known as the fishing village of Thailand, therefore, seafood is available everywhere. Even though seafood is available everywhere there are a couple of places where they serve the freshest. Some of the beach restaurants serve live seafood which you can order and get cooked on request. The best and must-try seafood you should try are Shrimp, Lobsters, Parrot Fish and fresh raw muscles.
How to Find Vegan/ Vegetarian Food
Many might say that finding Vegan/ Vegetarian Food is difficult but it's untrue. There are some places which serve Vegan/ Vegetarian Food like Indian restaurants in Pattaya. However, if you are looking to try some vegetarian Thai dishes then try Papaya Salad, Thai pineapple fried rice, Thai Grilled Eggplant, Mushroom Fried Rice, Tofu Noodle Soup With Lemongrass, Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup, Vegetable Thai Yellow Curry and many more.
You can also find some really weird Thai delicacies in Thailand. Some of them are available openly on the streets. If you are into those sort of food then I would suggest you try Crocodile Satay, Jelly Fish, Dancing Shrimp (Goong Ten), Silk Worms, Fried Insects, Waterbugs, Bamboo Worms, Scorpions, Grasshoppers, Balut and many more. Yummy?
Tips to Find a Good Place to Eat
You can be from any country, one suggestion for everyone. Do not look for your country cuisine in Pattaya, try Thai food instead. I will never say that all Thai restaurants are good but it's very easy to identify the best once. These are some few tips to identify Good restaurants to Eat in Pattaya.
Thai Restaurant which has a local Thai menu, board or promotions without a single English letter. Those restaurants serve good quality Thai Food.
Eat where the locals eat.
Check if the restaurant is busy, if yes then make sure to explore.
Tell your local Thai girlfriend to take you to Good Thai restaurant.
The food costs in Pattaya, Thailand is very cheap. Your per meal charges might be as less as 50 baht. Even seafood is not very expensive however some restaurant where they serve live seafood might charge you extra depending on the weight you buy. The best buy for Live shrimp is around 800 baht per kilo, 1000 baht per kilo for parrotfish and around 800-1000 baht for a fresh live lobster. The frozen or dead seafood is much cheaper.
Thailand has a bunch of delicious cuisines. Make sure to follow my guidelines and enjoy being in Pattaya.