Let the grazing begin
In recent years the Ari area has become an enclave of expats and moneyed Thais that's best known for trendy cafes and bars. Those seeking a cheaper meal will find a strong selection of street food running from Ari BTS station down Soi Ari and into Ari Soi 1.
While there is a delicious street food scene on Soi Ari all week long, day and night, Saturday and Sunday draw the largest number of vendors selling everything from fresh squeezed tangerine juice to homemade Isaan sausage to Chinese-Thai staples like yen-ta-fo (noodle soup with fermented soy bean broth) and khao man gai (chicken rice). And that just scratches the surface.
A stretch of vendors located on Soi Ari between sois 1 and 3 are packed closely together with a wide array of treats. Grab Chinese veggie dumplings or grilled bananas before moving into sweet terrain with some khanom beuang (mini-taco-shaped fried sweets) or roti sai mai (threads of coloured sugar eaten with unleavened bread) For a more proper sit-down meal, head to a good ba-mii (wheat noodle soup) shop at the corner of Soi 1, or a shop whipping up pad Thai at the corner of Soi 2.
Wander down Soi 1 and you'll find a cluster of slightly flashier streetside shops serving bubble tea and fresh coffee during daylight hours -- and drawing queues of office workers at noon. Across the way is Summer Street, a popular food truck serving grilled seafood from 16:00 until late. Fresh fruit also abounds in the area.
It is just a small stretch of street but it’s a charming and delicious stop for a grab-and-go lunch filled with Thai comfort foods and just about the sweetest vendors and cooks you’ll ever find. Soi Ari is also known as Phahonyothin Soi 7. If you are taking the BTS, take exit 3 at Ari station. From there walk towards Phahonyothin Soi 7 and turn left. Your nose will lead you to all the eats.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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