Eating Cheap Food in Bangkok | Eat in Thailand for under $7 a day

Eating Cheap Food in Bangkok | Eat in Thailand for under $7 a day

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On a budget and need cheap food in Bangkok? If you are planning a trip to Thailand and you are on a tight budget then take a read of my guide to eat in Bangkok and anywhere else in Thailand for under $7 a day.

Thailand is the perfect place for those thrifty travelers who are watching the pennies. You can find plenty of budget accommodation and food options right across the country. There is a good reason why Thailand is a backpackers and Digital Nomads paradise.

How to Save Money in Thailand – Eat Street Food

The number one best way to save money in Thailand is simple; eat Thai food. Or to be more specific; Eat Thai street food! It’s cheap and delicious and surprisingly you often have less chance of getting sick eating street food in Bangkok than you do eating in a restaurant.

So if the thought of eating from a street vendor turns your stomach and has you reaching for your anti-bac hand gel, you might be in for a bit of a culture shock! To really experience Thailand, and make sure you aren’t blowing your budget, you are going to need to get over your fear of festering poultry and unwashed hands.

I can honestly say I ate from street carts for most of my three weeks there and not once did I get an upset belly…The Singha beer is another matter, though!

Eating Cheap Food in Bangkok

Where to find Cheap Food in Bangkok

In Thailand, you can’t walk for long without seeing a street cart selling food. Many of the carts will also have some tables and chairs for you to sit on while eating your food.

There are a few options to look out for:

  • Walking streets – This is basically a market, they close the road off, and it becomes a pedestrian-only street. There is always plenty of stalls offering food.
  • Food markets – This normally consists of a lot of food vendors with a large section centrally where you can sit and eat your food.
  • Street Carts – These are the street vendors who are spotted around the streets. They don’t normally have a seated area.
  • Restaurants – I found that even some of the most expensive restaurants still had Thai food on the menu for about 50-70 tbt. So when I wanted to sit inside with some air conditioning and get out of the heat for a bit by sticking to Thai food, I was still able to stick to our budget.

If you just need a pizza or a cheeseburger they can be found! You will probably pay between 100 and 200 tbt (£2-£4) for western food. Vegetarian food you may have to work a bit harder to find. But there is plenty of great vegetarian food in Thailand to be found. 

Eating Cheap Food in Bangkok

The cost of Breakfast in Thailand

Cost: 10tbt-200tbt

There is no such thing in Thailand as breakfast (well there is actually they have a dish called Joke, but I didn’t come across it once in Thailand). That said they have cottoned on to our western ways and most places will offer some sort of western version of breakfast. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Most of the sausages are chicken sausage
  • The bacon is streaky (like you get in the US)
  • Eggs are eggs- You normally get them fried, boiled, scrambled or as an omelet
  • In general, I found most places call a traditional English breakfast an “American Breakfast.”
  • If you want a western breakfast, it will normally cost you 100-200 tbt if you compare that to eating normal Thai food which will cost 30-60 tbt that’s a fair amount more.
  • If the thought of curry or noodles for breakfast makes you shudder then go for fruit. You can get it everywhere, and it’s super cheap. If you want it all cut up nice for you grab a ten tbt bag from one of the vendors.

If like me you aren’t a real person until you have had at least 1 cup of coffee you can normally get a half decent one for about 50-60 tbt

Thailand street food including cantaloupe and mango in a plastic bag ready for sale. Bangkok, Thailand. Selective focus

Eating Cheap Food in Bangkok

The Cost of Lunch and Dinner in Thailand

Cost: 30 – 70 tbt (£0.80 – £1.20) 

Thai food, spicy papaya salad

The Cost of Drinks in Thailand

We found the drinks were about the same everywhere we went:

  • Coke, Fanta, sprite, etc. 40-60 tbt
  • Water 10-20 tbt
  • Tea and Coffee 50-100 tbt

A Budget for Eating Thai Food in Thailand

Breakfast – Bag of fruit and a coffee 70 tbt

Lunch – Pad Thai and a bottle of water 60 tbt

Dinner – Thai Green curry and a Coke 100 tbt

Total 230 tbt (or $7)

A Budget for Eating Western Food in Thailand

Breakfast – Western style cooked breakfast and a coffee 150 tbt

Lunch – Toasted cheese sandwich and water 150 tbt

Dinner – Pizza and a coke 200 tbt

Total 500 tbt (or $15.00)

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Final Thoughts

I love Thai Food and eating in Bangkok was pretty much a dream come true for me. I can honestly say I didn’t have a single bad meal in Thailand eating local food. However every time I opted for a Western-style meal I was pretty disappointed both with the taste and on how much money I spent. Take my advice and stick to local food as much as you can.

My golden rule for eating anywhere is if there are plastic tables and chairs you are getting the real deal!

Looking for somewhere to stay in Bangkok? I highly recommend staying at The Yard, it’s the best hostel in town, and they have private rooms if you don’t like the idea of sharing.

Are you backpacking Thailand on a budget? Looking for cheap food in Bangkok? This post goes through ways to stick to a $7 a day food budget while traveling Thailand. #BackpackingThailand #CheapEatsThailnd #BackpackersBudget #ThaiStreetFood #StreetFood

I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.

This post was proofread by Grammarly


Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • – I LOVE especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Megan Indoe

    This is something we loved about Thailand! You could get great meals for so cheap! I fell in love with the different curries and ate a version at least one meal a day. Especially if you cut beer, although that is also tempting because it’s so inexpensive, it’s easy to come in under 5 pounds a day!

    1. Claire Summers

      Haha I went a little crazy on Chang the first night so I had to calm it down after that. So tempting though!

  2. Susan R

    I’m a big fan of Pad Thai too! It’s interesting to see how reasonably you can eat in Thailand. We’ve only been to Bangkok, Phuket and Kao Lak and didn’t get an opportunity to go to the street markets in our timeframe sadly but they sound like a bargain. Thanks for the detailed information

    1. Claire Summers

      My pleasure! Sad you didn’t get to sample the street food but hope you had a great time while you were there 🙂

  3. Sandy N Vyjay

    This is quite a useful piece for eating out in Thailand. We were in Bangkok and Pattaya for a couple of days and bought some stuff from a local departmental stores. Being vegetarians our options get narrowed, but we did eat a lot of noodles with veggies. But Thailand does have a range of options spanning all budgets for eating..

    1. Claire Summers

      I was a meat eater when I went to Thailand. I’m now a vegetarian so I’m guessing I’ll run into a few more issues when I return. Glad to know I’ll at least be able to eat noodles and veggies!

  4. Vibeke

    It is so fascinating how cheap Thailand is. I have only been to Bangkok but would love to go back and explore more of Thailand, especially when it is so cheap. I love Thai food and know I would eat so much in every corner when I visit Thailand 😀

  5. Colby

    This post is making me miss Thailand so much and all its delicious food! The fruit was so good and fresh, and the fruit shakes…omg I was seriously addicted to those things. Thailand is where I fell in love with curry. Great post!

  6. Iuliana Marchian

    This is a very interesting post. I was in Nepal last year and ate several times in the street or local eateries. Unfortunately, they weren’t boiling the water for what they were cooking and I had major stomach problems after eating in the street. However, the food seemed tasty and hearty. And yes, you don’t have any chance to spend too much.

    1. Claire Summers

      Oh no! Yes sadly that can happen a bit in a lot of places. I think I’ve been lucky. Plus I. Thailand it’s normally safer to eat street food. Especially fish as it’s actually fresher. So sorry this happend to you!

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