People in Thailand take food so seriously that sometimes instead of “How are you?” you’ll be greeted with “Have you eaten?”
From street stalls to high-end restaurants, food here is excellent. But there is no city in the world that can beat Bangkok on the amount of street food available. Don’t equate price with quality, as some of the best dishes in the country are found in the humblest places.
• Unless there’s a line of people waiting, just grab any empty chair and have a seat. In some places there’s a server and a cook, but if it’s just a cook, you’ll need to get up to order.
• Most street-food vendors do not speak English, but you can either discreetly point to what someone else is eating, or trust that they’ll serve you the most common or popular thing they make. Vendors usually specialize in just one or two dishes, making ordering easier.
• Utensils are in a small box or utensil holder on the table. Napkins are either very small pieces of tissue or rolls of paper in dispensers.
• Condiments, such as fish sauce and chilies, are brought to your table when your dish is served and will often be taken away for the next patron after you’ve taken what you need.
• Water may be served out of a pitcher, but is always either boiled or purified. Sometimes the water served is tan or brown in color; that just means it’s been boiled with tea leaves. If you want bottled water or soft drinks, just ask. Most vendors have some bottled drinks.
• Tipping is generally not expected at street stalls.