Freshwater tilapia is an Udon Thani specialty, and the best place in town for pla pao (roasted fish) is Taw Baw Pla Pao (Moo Ban Sinchaithani; tel. 0423-27119) where the flakey fish is served whole with lettuce wraps and condiments like spicy sauce, pineapple, onion, roasted garlic, peanuts, and ginger. The menu is only in Thai so prepare for some pantomiming but the meal is worth the language barrier. Cheers with a Singha when your order arrives!
For very, very fine dining—this is the region's best restaurant—wrangle a reservation at Samuay & Sons (133/25 Phonpisai Rd.; www.fb.com/SamuayNsons; tel. 0863-096685). The menu changes seasonally to make use of the best produce—80 percent of which is sourced locally and organically—and dishes are a past-meets-present interpretation of classic and forgotten recipes.
For a range of cheap and casual snacks, head to the Night Market, on Prajak Road, just west of the train station.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.