Review: Thai Street Food Challenge

I love Thai food.

I recognize this is a painfully obvious statement coming from someone with a Thai cooking blog who spent nine months in Thailand, and an inumerable number of hours in front of a wok trying to perfect recipes. I have to love something a great deal to put in that much effort, right?

So I get that you already know I love Thai food, but before you read this review, I need you to fully understand the extent of my love for Thai cooking and Thai food. I need you to truly comprehend how deeply that love runs within my veins. It’s not just a love; it’s a passion. One could say it’s almost an obsession.

For me, it isn’t just a plate of food. It’s an experience. I have come to appreciate the ingredients, the spices, the different methods of cooking, the smells, the subtle and not so subtle tastes, the culture, the history, and the emotion of the food.

Through the definition of that love, I have come to love one thing above all else … Thai street food. It isn’t just that Thai street food tastes amazing, but the vendors themselves put me in a constant state of awe. Their resources are sparce, their set up a bit archaic. But the food that comes out of their well seasoned woks is delicious each and every time.

I can honestly tell you that one of my favorite things in the world is eating at a Thai street food cart. There is always a new cart to try, always a new dish to consume. It’s one of the things I miss the most about Thailand.

And, that is why I absolutely love the blog The blogger’s name is Richard Barrow and he is a full time independent food blogger based out of Thailand (my dream job, by the way). I enjoy his blog for an insane number of reasons, but the main one is his Thai Street Food Challenge.

Completed back in 2010, this challenge was to do the following:

Eat Thai street food … and only street food.

His goal was to eat street food three times a day, every day, for an entire month (31 days). Every meal had to be different. He could not visit the same cart within the same week. The cart had to be a true street vendor – cart, stall, or shop. It could not be a restaurant.

That’s it. That’s the goal.

And he did it.

On his blog, he posts a picture of every single meal. He includes the name of the meal (in both English and Thai) and provides a brief description. He also lists how much the dish costs and posts a running total for the day. Let’s just say, I miss how inexpensive Thai food is in Thailand!

The first time I ran through the pages of this challenge and oggled over the scrumptious pictures, I think I actually drooled a few times. On my second run through, I jotted down a few of the dishes that I wanted to try at home. The third time? I decided to do my own mini version of this challenge when I return to Thailand for a visit in December.

If you are a lover of Thai food, or any good food for that matter, definitely check out While the challenge takes the cake for me, the rest of the blog is pretty fantastic as well. He also started a second round of the challenge last month and there are some new and equally as appetizing pictures posted.

If I had to rate this blog, I’d definitely give it a full five stars. Love it.

2 thoughts on “Review: Thai Street Food Challenge

  1. Julie Chan

    You really think that the street food challenge was that good? Tell me how many foreigners visiting Thailand would dare to eat on the street when all travel guide books recommend people to use bottled water to brush teeth? It’s not realistic and who wants to ruin a good time by risking eating on the street. Richard Barrow is just trying to make a name for himself but I highly doubt that he ate those dishes and even that, I read that he complained about having diarrhea. Please see it from another point of view too and not just blindly report what you see.

    1. kylenemichele

      Julie, I appreciate your comments and your point of view; however, I do believe this challenge was as good as I commented originally. As a “foreigner” who moved to Thailand for nine months, I tried just about everything I saw on the street and I never got sick a single time I was there. I watched my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers do the same as well as many of their visitors from the states. I don’t believe I’m blindly reporting on what I read – I do have personal experience in country as well. Richard may just be trying to make a name for himself, but I trust street food based on personal experience, though I also would not drink the water. Again, I appreciate all points of view, but I do also stand by my original entry.

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