The Best Place in the World for Street Food Just Banned It (No!)

The Best Place in the World for Street Food Just Banned It (No!)

This can't be happening.

By Alesandra Dubin

Globe-trotting foodies, brace yourselves for some serious culinary disappointment. Because a far-flung destination that draws people from around the world just to sample its street-food offerings has just put the kibosh on the whole practice.

Indeed, authorities in Bangkok, Thailand have banned street food from major roads within the capital city — drumming up intense backlash. Both locals and destination food fans are aghast at the ban, which would take thousands of vendors off the streets by the end of the year in the interest of protecting “order and hygiene," according to city hall.

What gives? Well, Thailand’s junta, which seized power in 2014, has promised to "clean up the country," focusing on issues like late-night drinking, corruption, and sex work, according to an explanation in The Guardian.

At stake are delicacies such as spicy prawn soup and papaya salad — all set to disappear from the street scene. And CNN had only just this month named Bangkok as the city with the best street food on earth.

Update: Swiftly backtracking — or clarifying — authorities now say Bangkok's street food stalls won't be banned after all. (Whew.)

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