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1. Shumai at Aroi Salapao
Don’t let the shop’s name stop you at just the plump and fluffy salapao (in four different fillings—minced pork with salted yolk, roasted pork with shiitake, black sesame and taro, B18 each). The big, dense and tasty shumai (B6 each) may be even better.
Inside Nang Loeng Market or 123 Phaniang Rd., 02-282-2391, 080-234-7881. Open daily 6am-5pm.
2. Roasted duck and pork at Jib Kee
In operation for more than 80 years, this three-unit shop-house right across from Nang Loeng market still draws in considerable foot traffic. The duck is the highlight here, be it the tender roasted version or the deeply-flavored braised duck soup (B20). Also don’t miss the pork belly as it comes lean and crispy with satisfying grilled notes. B35-50 for rice topped with roast meat.
355-359 Nakorn Sawan Rd., 02-281-1283. Open daily 9am-1pm
3. Saikrok pla naem at Mae Lek
This lesser-known snack of rice and pork sausage with an accompanying mixture of snakehead fish crumbs and herbs (B50/set) is one of the most compelling reasons to visit Nang Loeng Market. Add some kick to the dish with a dose of fresh chili.
Inside Nang Loeng Market, 02-281-2261. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2pm
4. Guay tiew kae at Suwimol Guay Teaw Kae
Tucked down a small alley, this stall has been serving its delicious kae noodles (B45) for over 60 years. The highlight has to be the seven varieties of look chin (pork, fish, shrimp and tofu balls and dumplings), made daily in-house.
Trok Nang Loeng 2, 089-881-9976, 02-286-1970. Open Thu-Tue 10am-5pm
5. Pork tongue stew at the unnamed shop on Supamit Rd.
The humble shop tucked on the road behind Nang Loeng market specializes in just two things—pork curry and pork tongue stew (topped on rice at B30 each). Both dishes pack plenty of nostalgic charm with mild but impressive flavors. Add some non-greasy, grilled goon chiang (Chinese sausage) for B35.
93/9-10 Supamit Rd., 02-282-3918. Open Mon-Sat 8am-2pm
6. Braised duck at Sor Rungroj
The result of hours of simmering, the duck at this 50-year-old shop is tender and easily falls apart at the touch of your chopsticks. The braised duck noodles (B45) is our pick from the expansive menu.
141-3 Nakorn Sawan Soi 6, 02-629-9800. Open daily 9am-9pm
7. Braised beef at Nuea Toon Nang Loeng
Currently run by its third generation, this braised beef noodle shop is almost impossible to get a seat at during lunch hours. Accompanying the five-hour braised beef is a savory broth that’s packed with aroma. Order a side of rice (B6) to your braised beef soup (B60) and soak up those flavors.
11 Nakorn Sawan Soi 2, 02-282-0608. Open Mon-Sat 10am-2:30pm
8. Kanom tuay at Montha
With their thick top layer of coconut milk on soft rice batter, the tiny traditional ceramic bowls of kanom tuay (B25/8 pieces) really stand out here. Freshly steaming her treats during selling hours, the third-gen owner doesn’t meddle with the classic recipe.
Inside Nang Loeng Market, 02-280-7535, 086-714-5603. Open daily 9am-2pm
9. Thai desserts at Nanta
Taking recipes from her ancestor who worked in Wang Lang royal kitchen, Nanta makes traditional Thai desserts including steamed kanom gluay (banana cake), kanom tarn (palm cake) and kanom pueak (taro cake, all B35/box). All are delicious.
Inside Nang Loeng Market, 02-282-5142, 02-629-9670. Open daily 7am-2pm