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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 05 Tips to Eat Street Food in Thailand – Indulge Guilt Free
Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Tips to Eat Street Food in Thailand – Indulge Guilt Free

Home to beautiful Mae Ping River, Chiang Rai is part of the beautiful north. Street food reflecting the culture and traditions are hard to resist. Stick to the following tips and eat without a care.


Take along Food Allergy Dining Cards

A food allergy information card translates to the chef just what you cannot eat. Highly recommendable to take along on any trip, the cards would justly be more useful at dine in restaurants in Chiang Mai; rather than the street food kiosks. At a dine-in the waiter will take your card to the chef who will know what you can and can't eat. However for instance the trader at the food stall is chef, server and seller all rolled into one, as such going through a food allergy card may not be feasible to them but in the long run if you do have food allergies it is better to be prepared than sorry.


Write Down Food Allergies and Learn the Thai Phrase

Learn the Thai phrase for which ever food you are allergic to; for instance you could ask a friendly waiter or receptionist at your Chiang Mai hotel to help you out. Simple phrases like 'No Oyster Sauce' mai ow sot hai will go a long way in clarifying what you don't want added to your meal.


Check the Ingredients BEFORE Disclosing you Allergies

Always ask what the ingredients are before you mention allergies. In Thailand the aim is to please and if you say something like 'I am allergic to peanuts does this contain any'? The answer maybe 'no', when in reality the food may have peanut sauce or oil in small quantities which the vendor may think is harmless. The aim is to please and make you try the food; so caution once more is better than being sorry.


Stick to Food with Single or Limited Ingredients

In Chiang Mai there is plenty of cuisine to sample and in the heart of Chiang Mai city, home to the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, Lanna ruins and ancient temples; you will come across food markets bustling with all manner of aromatic cuisine. Cooked food will contain various ingredients as per traditional Thai cooking methods. As such sticking to items such as fruit smoothies, fruit on a stick, bacon wrapped mushrooms, quail eggs; omelettes and so on will be safer as they are not loaded with all manner of herbs, spices and sauces. Avoid glazed food, curries and cooked meals. Hey, on the plus side, you can still try plenty of mango and sticky rice; one of the best street food meals to have.


Watch Food Being Prepared for other Customers – Before Ordering

Street vendors prepare food for large crowds at nominal rates; they may not always wash pans between uses etc. Stand back and observe a vendor prepare a meal for someone else before ordering. This will give you a sense of cleanliness and how the food is prepared.