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The Essential Guide to Thai Food

With spicy curries and chewy noodles, there’s something for everyone when you order in Thai food. Sure, heading to Southeast Asia might be on your bucket list… but why wait that long to try this internationally-beloved cuisine?

From appetizers to desserts, we’re serving up the essential guide to Thai food. Read on to find out all the Thai faves you have to try.

Start it off right

Keep it healthy with chicken satay–delicious grilled skewers with a side of rich peanut sauce for dipping. Looking to go bold? Try som tum–a salad with tomatoes, long beans and green papaya, making for a perfectly balanced sour yet spicy vibe. Staples like egg rolls and fried tofu are standard on most menus.

Feeling under the weather? Thai cuisine boasts several spicy and sour soups that will help you kick that cold to the curb… like tom yum (with lemongrass, coconut and variety of veggies) and tom kha gai (another coconut-based soup with keffir lime, roasted chicken and you guessed it, veggies).

Noodles? Curries? Order it all

Pick a color, any color. Red, green, yellow–yep, all are popular Thai curry dishes ranging from mild to hot. And don’t forget the creamy, peanutty massaman curry.

But, get the noods… all the noods. The most recognizable and one of the top-ordered dishes on Grubhub has to be pad thai–a thin, rice noodle base, a chicken (or veggie) protein, toppings like crushed peanuts and bean sprouts, and a little lime on the side for an added kick. Then, there’s pad see ew–an equally popular dish–known for its wide noodles, soy sauce base and Chinese broccoli.

Wash it all down

Can’t go wrong with the OG: sweet, creamy and satisfying Thai iced tea. Coffee lovers, have no fear–iced coffee (or oliang)–is a more-than-comparable caffeinated alternative. Beer lovers can try the loved-by-locals Singha or Chang lagers.

Ending on a sweet note

Three words: mango sticky rice. It’s pretty simple: sticky rice doused in creamy coconut milk with freshly sliced mango on the side. No regrets will be had after ordering this. Oh, you want more options? Fine, fine.

Indulging? Go fried bananas or roti, crepe-esque desserts filled with the likes of hazelnut spread and/or bananas. Want something light and refreshing? Coconut ice cream FTW.

Looks like it’s time for you to try some Thai, right? Right.