Street food in Phuket is among the tastiest and is certainly the cheapest way to experience genuine Thai cuisine. The convenience and affordability (almost everything costs 50 baht or less) make it the meal of choice for Thais, as well as tourists seeking the real local experience. In Phuket, street food can be found on market stalls, large carts, motorbike sidecars, or even in rattan baskets carried across the shoulder of wandering vendors, honking a little horn to announce their presence.
Phuket street food is incredibly easy to find. Practically every intersection and convenience store has a vendor parked up outside. Groups of them congregate in specific areas each evening, creating an impromptu and entirely mobile market. You can also always find them driving or walking around during the day, particularly by the beach. The safest ones to buy from are those that are either extremely popular (particularly with locals) and those that cook their merchandise fresh before your eyes.
The following list compiles the best street food in Phuket, which are locally popular and are absolute must-tries while you are here.
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By far the most common and most popular Phuket street food, it is also remarkably simple. Noodle soup is made from egg or rice noodles in broth, usually with beef, chicken, pork or fish balls as well as ground beef, seafood, vegetables or tofu. It is usually served with a host of condiments such as ground chilli flakes, fish sauce and chilli in vinegar, allowing you to spice it up as much as you please. It is a cheap, filling and tasty meal and is very widely available around Phuket, including from carts, stands and small restaurants. Most stalls offer different types of noodles, including glass vermicelli, flat white noodles and instant noodles. Read More...
These stalls provide filling portions of deep-fried chicken drumsticks, wings and thighs, usually served with sticky or yellow rice. With the Thai-style batter, their chicken is significantly tastier – in our opinion - than any similar product available. It is also quite a lot cheaper, so you can easily walk away with a large meal for about 50 baht. The stalls selling fried chicken are generally stationary and are especially common in markets around Phuket.
Moo Ping and Khao Niao
One of our favourite street food snacks, moo ping is marinated grilled pork on a skewer, usually served with sticky rice (khao niao). The marinade is quite sweet and really tasty, containing fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic and coconut milk. It makes the meat particularly tender and aromatic, though it also makes it quite sticky. Available throughout the day, moo ping is particularly popular as a breakfast.
Originating from the Issan region in the northeast of Thailand, the spicy and sour salad is now practically the national dish. Not an easy meal to prepare, you will find vendors with giant pestle and mortars attached to their carts churning away at it constantly. The main ingredient is green papaya, along with chilli, lime, fish sauce and palm sugar. Common additions include brined crabs, tomatoes, yardlong beans and carrot. Its combination of sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavours is quite an assault on your taste buds! It is particularly easy to come across in Patong.
This is essentially a Thai-style pancake, but one which can be both savoury and sweet. It is best known as a dessert, where you will find it stuffed with slices of banana, lathered in condensed milk and cut into small (and extremely sweet) squares. The savoury version is more popular with Thais, generally served with a curry dish on the side or stuffed inside. The spicy breakfast option is a particularly invigorating way to start your day. In both cases, the vendor’s cart is often fitted with a large hotplate on which they will prepare the pancake fresh.
Kanom Jeen is a breakfast favourite in Phuket, consisting of sticky rice noodles in tight little bundles, topped with a choice of curries and a collection of crunchy vegetables. This is mostly served up on larger carts and stalls (often with a few tables and chairs set up nearby) because there are few sidecars which could carry this many ingredients, allowing you to mix and match beef, chicken, fish and crab curries as well as radishes, beansprouts, and green beans, then all the sauces, spices and condiments. It is a big mix of textures and tastes, from the soft noodles to the watery curries to the tender meat to the crisp veggies.
Satay is among the globally best known and most popular dishes in Thai cuisine (despite the fact that it actually originated in Indonesian cuisine) and is well-liked in Phuket street food for its great taste and convenience. An ideal on-the-go sort of snack, it consists of sliced or diced chicken, beef or pork on a skewer, grilled with a mildly spicy seasoning. Vegetarian options made with tofu are sometimes also available. It is almost universally served with a peanut sauce and a vinegary salad.
There are two forms of this dish: mee hokkien (stir-fried Hokkien noodles) and mee nam hokkien (Hokkien-style noodle soup), both containing seafood and thinly-sliced barbecue pork, with variations adding eggs and dumplings. Originating from the Fujian (formerly Hokkien) province of China, it was brought to the island by immigrant families centuries ago and has since become a staple of Phuket. Not an especially spicy option; it is hearty and filling. It is particularly prevalent in Phuket Town, notably from the Lock Tien Food Court.
Look Chin is basically just grilled meatballs on a stick, generally including beef, pork, chicken and fish. You will also find sausages and even entire squid, similarly skewered. They are all served with one of two sauces (or a mixture of both) – a brown sweet chilli sauce and a fiery red nam jim spicy sauce. Simple and filling, they make a very satisfying snack and are particularly popular at markets.
Usually found cutely parcelled up in something like a bun case made out of banana leaf, haw mok is a small serving of steamed and curried crab or fish mousse made with chilli paste and coconut milk, making it look a little like a custard tart. Usually more of a snack or accompaniment to a larger dish than a meal in its own right, it has a rich and tangy flavour which makes a tasty addition to kanom jeen, in particular.
Other local Phuket street food
Closely resembling a spring roll – which are themselves quite a common street food in Phuket, particularly from beach vendors – por phee differs in one important way; it is not deep-fried. Resembling Vietnamese rolls, it isn’t cooked at all and instead contains fresh ingredients in a thin, translucent wrapping. They are usually purely vegetarian, containing carrots, cucumber, roasted nuts, lettuce and herbs, though you might find them with grilled chicken. Common dips include sweet chilli sauce, peanut sauce,
A recipe from the Baba communities of Straits Chinese immigrants in Phuket Town, bue tord is a little bit on the odd side. It consists of shrimp and grass, both battered and deep-fried – it’s as simple as that. The crispy snack is surprisingly tasty and is frequently found on market stalls around the island, though less frequently in tourist areas.