Cheap Eats Thailand
The three most expensive items during any vacation or holiday overseas include dining, accommodation & transportation. When in Thailand there are many ways in which you can save a bundle of money even during peak high season. No matter if you are on a short holiday, an expat or long term visitor, everyone can save money, especially when it comes to dining out in Thailand.
Forget the hotel restaurant, let me show you how to spend as little as 90 cents on a delicious, nutritious meal by eating where the locals eat - oh & you don't have to eat spicy food!
Many dishes to choose from
Learn how to decipher the prices at a local restaurant, how to order food & when to pay. Once you try it, you can't deny it! Everything from seafood, vegetarian & meat dishes are on offer including a free drink station & salad bar.
So come with me to the Bear Restaurant in downtown Patong, Phuket during the peak holiday season to see for yourself just how easy it can be. The link to my video can be found below.
Many foreigners avoid eating in local Thai restaurants because they think that only spicy food is served. Others are reluctant due to the language barrier. By knowing what to do & how the process works these issues are easily overcome.
Tip # 1 - Find A Good Restaurant
Look for a restaurant that is popular with the locals (by the numbers of people gathering there), this ensures:
- The food is fresh,
- The food is of a high quality,
- The price is cheap.
Tip # 2 - Check Out The Prices
Boards are often displayed throughout the restaurant & can be found:
- At the front of the shop,
- At the rear of the shop,
- At the Cashier's counter.
One, Two or Three dishes.
Tip # 3 - Cash Is King
Forget your credit card, restaurants accept cash only. Besides, your meal is going to be so cheap you won't need to use it anyway.
Tip # 4 - There Is No Menu!
Simply point to the dishes you wish to eat - its that simple. No more minutes of indecision - you can see the dishes for yourself with your own eyes - so you know exactly what you will be eating - not contemplating over a picture or description of the dish.
The Bear Restaurant (for example) in Patong, Phuket price their meals as follows:
- 1 dish - 30 - 40 Baht (including rice).
- 2 dishes - 40 Baht (including rice).
- 3 dishes - 50 Baht (including rice).
There's also a range of seafood dishes on offer - particularly fish with prices varying according to the size of the fish,
- Small Fish - 30 Baht.
- Medium Fish - 40 Baht.
- Large Fish - 50 Baht.
There's also a choice of egg 'toppers' available - fried or boiled, spicy or regular fried or boiled at a cost of 10 Baht each.
Of course vegetarians aren't forgotten with a huge range of meat free options available.
Hot (spicy) or Not?
It's easy to identify which dishes are spicy are which are not - simply point to the dish on display, the food service staff know & understand the word (spicy) so they can clarify which dishes you will like. Most Europeans don't usually enjoy spicy Thai food - this is recognized & understood by most Thai's in the restaurant business.
Free Salad Bar
While the salad bar may look a little sparse compared with what's on offer back home - trust me, the salad greens provided are fresh & flavourful, tasty & nutritious. The cucumbers are crisp & full of flavour, the leafy greens are really tasty as are the snake beans & other raw vegetables on offer.
Check out my YouTube video & join me for tour of the restaurant.
An ice bucket is located near to the salad bar with clean cups, purified fresh drinking water can be found in the jugs on each table.
I dine at this restaurant most every day now, after trying many other restaurants around town & nothing, nothing stacks up for freshness & variety. Who could argue with me when there's over 40 dishes on offer each & every day.
Today I ordered the small whole small fish in a sweet chilli sauce, a chicken curry with a vegetarian noodle dish & rice. My dining companion (a local Thai lady) ordered the snails & a mushroom stew with rice. We shared a plate of salad & drank chilled water.
Total cost: 150 Baht
That amount equates to roughly:
- GPB £1.67 per person
- USD $2.40 per person
- AUD $3.00 per person
I couldn't get a happy meal from McDonalds for that back home in Australia (besides who'd want one!). Thai food is healthy, nutritious & tasty - it keeps you coming back for more.
When meal time is over, simply head over to the Cashier who'll tally up the total on a calculator for you & pay the bill - be kind & leave a tip if you can, it will be much appreciated.
So why don't you give it a try for yourself on your next visit to Thailand & drop me a line to let me know how it went. In the meantime, why not checkout my Cheap Eats in Thailand video.