I would like to dedicate this post to someone special in my life. This one goes out to my #1, seven. As in 7/11. Personally I think they should change their name to 10/10. Beyonce wrote her top 40 hit “7/11” after a trip to Thailand. Coincidence? I think not.
In the US, we strive to have a Walgreens on every corner. In Thailand, they strive to have a 7/11 every 10 feet. 7/11s literally have it all and are EVERYWHERE. I actually think that if they started offering hostel rooms in the backs of 7/11s there would be a waiting list. And there are no restrictions on how close they can be together – whether it’s down the street or even next d0or. In my tiny town of 15,000 people, there are even not one, not two, but THREE 7/11s. That’s a 1:1 ratio of 7/11 stores to Americans in town. Keep in mind, we don’t even have a supermarket, or any form of workout facility. But we have 7/11s.
Recently I watched “Chef’s Table” on Netflix. There’s an episode in Season 2 about a restaurant in Bangkok called Gaggan that was rated the #1 restaurant in Asia in 2015. During the documentary, Gaggan himself says that after he was inspired to do something magical with the Indian staple yogurt, he picked some up at 7/11. And he used that 7/11 yogurt to create a dish that elevated his restaurant to the #1 ranking in Asia.
7/11 also sells everything. When you’re traveling in different Thai cities and you spot a 7/11 in the distance, I swear it glows a little and angels swoop down. In a country where drunk food and junk food aren’t really a thing, 7/11 is the only thing open for a post-night-out snack. 7/11 is the only place you can pop in to buy quick convenience food on the go. 7/11 is the only place you can go to break a 1000 or even a 500 baht bill without getting dirty looks or getting straight out rejected. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, 7/11 saves lives. Especially when you’re living in a small town in a foreign country and have difficulty doing little things like buying meat that isn’t swarming with bugs.
That being said, here are a few of their offerings to illustrate my point.
These deserve the number 1 spot for a reason. Toasties are the closest thing you can get to a grilled cheese in a country that doesn’t do bread, grilled, or cheese. They have every flavor your heart desires, from cheese and mushroom to cheese and ham. Well, every flavor with cheese. AND they heat it up for you when you buy it, so it’s oozing melted deliciousness of synthetic cheese. Here’s a pic, photo credit myself at 4:30AM in Bangkok #foodintheair
The toastie with the mostie.
In the mood for a tuna pumpkin grilled cheese sammich? They’ve got da hook upppp.
The man behind the camera @HumansOfBangkok. Emphasis on man.
Anyone who knows me from home knows that I’m a huge food snob. In fact, when I was abroad in Italy I was referred to as “The Pompous Palatte.” And I, THE Pompous Palatte, fully endorse 7/11 sushi. Now I know in the US convenience store sushi would be fully condemned by anyone who knows the difference between a Big Mac Patty and meat – but it’s actually pretty good tbh. Sushiritos are trendy in the US, and Thailand is so ahead of the trend that they have them at 7/11. Especially in a country that doesn’t have sushi, they’re a close second to the Toastie in terms of importance.
3) Everything green tea flavored you could ever imagine
50 shades of GREEN. Personally I’m addicted to the stuff- green tea kit kats, green tea Collon bites, green tea pocky, green tea wafers, green tea toasties(jk on that last one). The green tea flavored everything is absolutely amazing. Get with the times USA. 500/10 would recommend giving it a shot.
4) The weirdest yogurt you could ever imagine
In 7/11s defense this yogurt is not limited to just their isles, I’ve seen it throughout Thailand. As I have also scarily observed bean and corn flavored sweets throughout Thailand, including icee, etc. This brand of yogurt is actually pretty good otherwise, I just personally would like to keep my sugary dairy vegetable-free.
5) Plane tickets
Real talk you can actually buy AirAsia plane tickets at 7/11. In the US this would probably require 6 forms of ID, a blood sample, and your firstborn child as security measures. Lacking a printer and reliable wifi access, this is a lifesaver for me. Chiang Mai for the weekend? Sure, I’ll just pop into 7/11 on my way home from work and pick up a ticket.
6) Seaweed AND seaweed flavored chips. Or 3.
6) Western-esque baked goods.
7) Hotdogs. They legit have an entire section.
8) Black goo jell-o. Because for some reason Thai people are alllll about that gelatin.
9) Collon biscuit rolls. Nothing super unusual about these, they just get a spot because they’re dope.
10) Roast chicken. Because why not.
There you have it. If you ever get a chance to come to the beautiful country of Thailand, make sure you put time in your itinerary to pay homage to the glory that is 7/11.