This is an informational post so a fair warning that this may get a little long-winded but the delicious pictures at the end make it well worth the read. Being from the South of the US I would like to think I know a thing or two about what it takes to make a good meal and I believe I have discovered a few of the best spots to get your foodie on while in Sukhothai, Thailand. Everyone from North Carolina has their own barbecue spot they hit up at least once a week where the old waitress who’s smoked too much knows your name and exactly what you would like to order. Well, I can honestly say that I’ve established myself as a “regular” at many food carts. I might not be able to speak a great deal of Thai but I’ll be damned if 80% of what I do know doesn’t have something to do with food.
25 Baht Lady
Since I can’t read Thai and don’t know the names of the location I have dubbed my go to lunch spots as Mama Rice and 25 Baht Lady. Both “restaurants” sit behind my school and are a stones throw from each other. 25 Baht Lady has what I have dubbed to be the best Sukhothai noodles (guay tiao tom yum) in town. She knows this is all I ever order when I visit her and all I need do is sit down and after a few minutes a fresh bowl of noodles and pork are placed under my nose. Various rice dishes also pepper her menu but go with the Sukhothai noodles and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. As her name implies each meal is only a low 25 baht! That’s less than $1! *Open for lunch only.
A little bit more directly behind Kwang Tong School is Mama Rice who focuses on an assortment of rice dishes with different curries and vegetables. My go to dish is prik gaeng tua (red curry paste with fried pork and green beans). Each dish is 30 baht but you can add a fried egg on top for just a few baht more. *Open for lunch only.
Temple Corner Lady
Later in the day I tend to venture a bit further from my home towards the bridge and hostels to fill my belly. Probably 5 out of 7 nights a week I will visit a nice lady (they all are kind really) posted up on the corner just outside of Wat Ratcha Thanee and is so referred to as Temple Corner Lady. She works late into the night with her little boy fulfilling the needs of Thais and foreigners alike. Her menu is quite extensive, and in English, but I tend to choose pad kra pow moo (minced pork with peppers and thai basil). Her broth soup is also some of the best in town. Prices start at 30 baht. *Open for dinner only.
Anong’s Pad Thai
I definitely just found out the real name of this food cart tonight! You must try the pad Thai if you make your way through Sukhothai as it’s prepared with a different noodle than most locations in Thailand. Anong’s Pad Thai is set up just across from a bakery down the alley next to To Rung Market. The pad Thai is cooked with your choice of meat and comes in an American sized portion. Basic pad Thai is 30 baht but with meat it goes up to 35 or 40 baht depending on your chosen animal. *Open for dinner only.
If you’ve been in Thailand for awhile you’ll eventually start to crave Western food and that’s where Pizza House comes in to fill the void. A Russian and his Thai wife own this shop as well as the guesthouse behind it. They just finished building a new stone pizza oven for tasty personal pizzas (150-190 baht) and they also craft tremendous hamburgers (90 baht) covered in their own special sauce nestled between a homemade bun. Pizza House can seem really busy sometimes so just be patient when you go. He can be quick tempered when the stress is high but the end result is usually worth it.
Hawaiian Bakery (CLOSED)
Maybe it’s their price or just that I’m forced to walk by most of them each day but there are some really great spots to get an extra snack after dinner or if you are on the go. Situated on a corner near the clocktower, Hawaiian Bakery crafts tasty little rolls of bread that taste like a King’s Hawaiian roll (hence the name I gave them) and are stuffed with a variety of fillings. You can choose something salty like ham & cheese, “healthy” with raisins, or sweet with taro. Each roll is 20 baht.
10/5/15 Update: Not even a full two weeks after this post debuted I must report that Hawaiian Bakery is permanently closed. Sorry y’all missed out.
You can reach Donut Cart by taking a left at Temple Corner Lady when coming from the bridge. A short way down the road after the much healthier fruit and vegetables vendors is a brightly lit cart filled with sweets such as donuts and butter breads. I try not to walk this way to often because most items are only 5 baht apiece.
Khao Niao Cart
If I am short on time or just want something to take back to the apartment, khao niao moo (pork with sticky rice) is a great choice. There are a variety of styles to pick out and I tend to lean towards moo kim which is a salt-cured style pork. Khao Niao Cart is almost always at her location just north of Hawaiian Bakery in the evening and she knows exactly what I want when I walk up. She even wraps it up in a banana leaf so no worries about trying to find a trash can because we all know that is a task in and of itself when in Thailand. *Open for dinner only.
Do Hi Coffee (CLOSED)
Let’s be honest, coffee is not Thailand’s strong suite. This place is so infatuated with Nescafe and Birdy that it’s near impossible to get a truly great cup of coffee. That being said, Dinkle, who owns Do Hi Coffee, makes a really great hot coffee or iced mocha (yes, I have developed a taste for those here). The shop is always peaceful and she speaks wonderful English if you are looking for conversation. Her son, Justin, is also really into superheroes and Adventure Time so you know this geek enjoyed hearing him rave about the two. Keep an eye open for it because aside from the name on the door there isn’t really anything that tells you this is a coffee shop. *Open Monday – Saturday.
4/10/16 Update: That’s now two on the list who have closed. Such is the way of small Thai businesses.
Saturday Night Market
Pictured at the top of the page, Sukhothai’s biggest market runs on Saturday nights just over the bridge when coming from the Chopper Bar area. It stretches for about 1 km along the Yom River and features a variety of foods, clothes, and local entertainment. The beginning of the market focuses primarily on the food and the further back you venture items such as clothes and other trinkets are on display. Be sure to catch some of the performances in the park where some of the kids from our school have been known to perform. This market is of the more local variety so if you are in need of elephant pants or other tourist friendly items you may be let down. Most vendors have arrived by 5 PM and it begins to shut down around 9 PM. *As the name implies, Saturday night only.
The food is astounding in Sukhothai and I’m happy enough with my go-to food spots. If you’re ever in Sukhothai be sure to check one or two out and let me know what you think!
As you can see I have definitely found some great places to satiate my hunger in Sukhothai. Do you have any food staples that you must have when you travel? What’s your favorite dish you’ve found while away from home? I’m always looking for something new to eat.
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