The Picturesque Alleys of Sam Phraeng: A Delicious Thai Food History Lesson
Bangkok is beloved for the energetic and vibrant city it is, but sometimes you just need a calm weekend activity to slow things down a bit. Sam Phraeng is the place to be to spoil your taste buds and experience a glimpse of Bangkok a century back in time.
The Sam Phraeng old town is lined with street stalls, shops and picturesque historic buildings with Sino-Portuguese architecture. “Sam” meaning three and “Phraeng” meaning crossroad consist of three parallel roads, Phraeng Phuton, Phraeng Nara and Phraeng Sapphasat, connected by Tanao Street are rich with history and have a unique village-like atmosphere, but most of all, it's food heaven. Each road has their own highlights of must try food stalls with recipes passed down through the generations.
We went there to explore what different kinds of favorite bites the area has to offer. Here are some of the places we stopped by that we thought you and your friends definitely can’t miss.
Phraeng Nara Pork Balls
Phraeng Nara Pork Balls are made by 100% pure pork thigh meat to ensure the best flavor, without adding other hidden ingredients that will add to your carbs load. If you’re going on a food stall hop, why not start off here? At only 7 baht a stick you get 4 pork balls doused in sweet and spicy sauce that will tingle your taste buds.
Opening Times: Daily, 9am - 9pm
Auntie Sri Traditional Thai-style Tacoes
“Kanom Buang” is a Thai style crepe dessert. Aunti Sri’s original Kanom Buang recipe has been passed down through 3 generations from her grandmother who was the head chef in one of Thailand’s royal palaces. They’ve been in business for over 80 years with 2 classic fillings you can choose from: Sweet (Coconut, homemade Foi Tong, and dried fruits) and Savory (Shrimps, coriander, and coconuts).
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday, 11am - 5pm
Traditional Chinese Pig Brain Soup
Have you had pork brains before? If not, here’s your chance to try such delicacy. This place serves a traditional tom yum-like chinese recipe that dates back over a hundred years. The flavorful spicy and sour soup is accompanied by pork innards, tofu, pickled squid, handmade pork balls, and of course pork brains. The soft texture and the rich and slightly sweet taste of the brain goes very well with the broth and will have you asking for a second bowl in no time.
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday, 9am - 4pm
Chikatcha Fresh Coffee
The catchy name ‘Chikatcha’ comes from the Sanskrit language meaning “to eat and drink”. This place has been in business for over 80 years and passed down through 3 generations. At one point it was once turned into an electronics store, and even though it’s back to a coffee shop now, the shelf are still decorated with gadgets from way back then. What makes this place special is that they serve you some awesome Roti along with your choice of freshly made coffee.
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday, 8:30am-4pm
Phraeng Phuthorn Egg Noodles
It’s been over 70 years now that this place has been serving homemade egg noodles. Every noodle strings and dumplings are freshly handmade everyday with no preservatives. Their honey glazed red pork are still roasted with the traditional method with charcoal in a wooden barrel. Today they have up to 6 branches around Thailand under the brands “Wongmin” and “Phraeng Phuthorn Egg Noodles”.
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday, 10:30am-4pm
Kua Gai Suki
As simple as it is, this is the spot to get some outstanding Thai-style Sukiyaki and Pan-fried noodles with chicken, two of the most popular dishes in Thai cuisine. There’s nothing much to say about this place as it is very straightforward, so we’ll let the food speak for itself. You can have the “Kua Gai” with pork, chicken, or seafood and “Suki” with or without soup. It is frequented by locals especially during lunch hours that you might have to wait a bit for your food, but trust us, it’s worth the wait.
Opening Times: Monday-Friday, Hours may vary each day
Thai Tham's Pork Balls and Pig Brain Soup
The name “Thai Tham” meaning “made by Thais” comes from the pride of the original owners back in 1957. They were proud that this shop is made by Thai people and that they were able to pass on the recipe for many generations. The best dish that you can’t miss is the pork brain soup that has a Chinese flair and brimmed with handmade side ingredients such as fish balls, stuffed tofu, Chinese sausage, and crispy fish skin. The pork brain is cooked so well and the broth packed with so much flavor, that demand is so high that they always run out of food way before closing hour.
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday, 7am-2pm
Udom Pochana Restaurant
This restaurant has been with Phraeng Puthorn for over 80 years. From one generation to another, their family recipe of simple Chinese dishes that are a favorite with the Thai locals. Some of the menus include barbecued red pork and crispy pork with sauce, beef stew, pork and beef curry, and fresh spring rolls. One of the reasons why this place remains on the top list is that over the years they’ve always maintained their superb taste and excellent quality for every customer to enjoy.
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7am-3:30pm
Beat the Bangkok heat with some homemade ice cream. Believe it or not, it’s actually kind of hard to find good traditional Thai coconut ice cream these days, but Nattaporn is one place that doesn’t disappoint. They have been whipping up some of the best scoops from carefully selected ingredients for over 70 years. You can even enjoy the classic flavors like chocolate and coffee, or fruity delights like mango and durian. One cup goes for 25 baht and if you’d like multiple flavors you must order another cup, so be prepared to handle two or three cups at once.
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
It wouldn’t be a complete food hunt in Thailand without mango and sticky rice. Since 1932, Kor Panit’s has been serving us with an original recipe derived from the predecessors who worked in the royal palace’s kitchen. The special rice is carefully selected and hauled all the way from Chiang Rai, while the diligent cooking method maintains the tradition and history, which made it a local favorite and known and popular beyond our country's borders.
Opening Times: Daily, 7am-7pm
“Bualoy” is a traditional Thai dessert consisting of colorful rice balls, coconut milk, and various toppings. This place offers you choices of steamed taro, candied pumpkin, boiled corn, and aromatic coconut meat. Their creamy coconut milk is a little salty and has a sweet after taste, but not too rich to finish. They even have a sweet soft boiled egg and salted egg yolk available as a little twist. Ketkaew might not have a long history like other shops on the list, but they are just as popular.
Opening Times: Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30am-9pm