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Thai Food

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 delicious spices.

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 it.

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. 

Check out 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.