One of the
joys of living in Thailand is Thai food. Wheather it is
served at a restaurant at 5 star hotel or at an open-air
road-side cafe, the food in Thailand is not only great to the
taste buds but is made from the freshest ingredients and most
Many people come to Thailand just to take courses in the
cooking schools popping up all over. If you would like to
get a head start on learning Thai cooking, click on the logo
below and go to the Thai Food Tonight site to not only get great
recipes but to watch instruction videos on how to make your
favorite Thai dishes.
Click logo to see Thai cooking videos
Here's some more Thai recipes.
Thai-Cooking-The Taste of Thailand
Thai Restaurant Food
There are many choices in this category. There are upscale
restaurants that can cost as much as anywhere in the world.
Some of these are associated with the big hotels, some are
independently run. Many local magazines will run
restaurant reviews. If you enjoy, and can afford, upscale dining
then you won't have a hard time finding something you will like.
If you have to, there are many fast food restaurants in the
bigger cities. McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC,
Baskin and Robbins, Dairy Queens, Starbucks, and others are
there if you need to get that "Farang food fix" when you need
Most hotels have buffets. These can range in price from
quite expensive to very reasonable. They will allow you to
sample many Thai dishes (and western, Japanese, and Chinese as
well) in one sitting. You don't have to order at a buffet
so you won't have to learn the names for the Thai dishes.
Then there are the roadside rice and noodle shops. These
are inexpensive and sometimes very good. Some small
bistros in places that tourists frequent will have an English
menu. Most won't. Check for cleanliness and when you
find one that serves the food just as you like it then you can
become a regular.
Thai Food Words to learn
the names of some of your favorite Thai dishes.
Notes on Eating in Thailand
Use of chopsticks: Chopsticks are
used almost solely with noodle dishes since noodles are
originally from China, just like spaghetti, and chopsticks are
Chinese. There is a scene in the banned movie The King and
I where the king of Siam is shown sitting on the floor eating
with chopsticks. There were many reasons the Thais
disliked and thus banned this movie. Showing the king
eating like a Chinese was just one of them. Definitely don't use
chopsticks when eating rice from a plate. No, it is not that
it is impolite. It's that it is almost impossible to eat
rice off of a plate with chopsticks. That is what a spoon
and fork are for.
Use of spoon and fork:
Rice dishes are usually served on a plate (as opposed to the
Chinese style of eating rice from a bowl). The Thais eat
rice by placing a spoon in the strong hand and a fork in the
other. The fork is used to push the food onto the spoon
and the spoon is brought to the mouth. The fork is never
used as it is in the west to skewer a piece of food and bring it
to the mouth.
Eating with a group:
Group eating, sometimes known as "family style" is when there
are a number of dishes on the table and each person has his/her
own plate of rice. The incorrect way to eat like this is
to take something from each dish, put it on your plate and then
eat it all at once. The Thai style is to take one spoon
from a dish, put it on your plate, mix it with a little rice,
and eat that one bite before going on to another dish, and
another bite. We suggest that when you are invited out to
eat with a group, wait a bit and observe. Do what you see
others doing and maybe you will be invited out again next time.
Paying the bill: There most likely will be a battle
to see who pays the restaurant bill. This is normal.
It will usually turn out that I might pay this time and you will
pay next time but you still have to have the battle as a show of
face. It evens out in the end. If you invite someone
to eat with you then it is more or less expected that you will
pay. If you are the oldest person at the table then you
probably should pay. If you are all equal then the battle
will ensue. Have fun but remember to pay when it is your turn.
You'll just have to remember who paid last time.