Thai street food eateries make a big splash in 2023 Michelin Guide list
A total of 189 budget-friendly dining venues across Thailand have been selected for the 2023 Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list, it was announced on Thursday.
Street food eateries make up a significant part of the entries — 84 in total, compared to 105 restaurants.
The 2023 Bib Gourmand selection comprises 82 restaurants and food shops in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces, 13 in Ayutthaya, 27 in Chiang Mai, 23 in Phuket, and 11 in Phang-nga.
Another 33 are in the four representative cities of Thailand’s Northeast (Isaan) region — newly covered in the sixth edition of the Michelin Guide Thailand. There are nine eateries in Nakhon Ratchasima, 11 in Khon Kaen, six in Ubon Ratchathani, and seven in Udon Thani.
Out of the 189 venues, 53 have made it to the list for the first time while six are promoted entries.
Thursday’s announcement came a week before the Michelin Star Revelation Ceremony and the official release of the Michelin Guide Thailand’s 2023 edition next Thursday (November 24).
Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide, said that the high proportion of street food eateries on the Bib Gourmand list marks Thailand’s “quintessential culinary scene as an ultimate street food haven for budget-savvy diners”.
For him, street food is practically a savoury way of life in Thailand, as it is ubiquitous throughout the country, offering an incredible variety of unique, flavourful dishes.
“Street food provides not only an authentic Thai eating experience, but also a cultural adventure into the tasty Thai culinary tradition,” he said.
According to Poullennec, the Bib Gourmand selection was meant to “help boost gastro-tourism across Thailand and enhance the economic vitality of local communities” as the Covid-19 crisis was subsiding. This would be particularly true for the Isaan region, which Michelin Guide covers for the first time this year.
“Above all, we expect to inspire gourmets and travellers alike to enjoy their mobility experience in exploring local culinary delights across the country’s different cities,” he said.
Bib Gourmand, symbolised by the famed “Bibendum” or “Michelin Man” licking his lips, recognises both restaurants and street food eateries for offering high-quality food at budget-friendly prices of no more than 1,000 baht — for a three-course meal, exclusive of beverage.