Enjoy China’s street food-大排档 (dàpáidàng)

Are you a “吃货(chīhuò) foodie? ” In every Chinese city there are fast, affordable and delicious restaurants available on the street or at traditional markets. In English we call this: street food, hawker fare, stall food, or food vendors. You can sit on a small chair and hear the sounds of the city while enjoying a great value in dining. The owners don’t need to spend on decoration, so you can enjoy amazing meals at a cheap price. Sure, it’s not “Five-Star,” but you’ll leave happy!
In Chinese we call this “大排档 (dàpáidàng).” Of course, the food doesn’t come off the “street,” it is just eaten within view of the street (and often past midnight)!


You will find a huge variety of delicious food at the “大排档 (dàpáidàng).” These include various snacks, BBQ, noodle soups drinks and many more. Some foods unusual to a foreigner, such as the “臭豆腐 (chòudòufu) stinky tofu” can also be found.
You can recognize “大排档 (dàpáidàng).” from the simple décor, spices on the table, and disposable “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” that are easy to grab from any seat. Take a seat and enjoy!


Jīntiān wǎnshang, wǒmen qù chī dàpáidàng ba?
今天       晚上,      我们   去  吃    大排档   吧?
How about go out for the street food tonight?

Qítā fànguǎn dōu guānmén le, wǒmen qù chī dàpáidàng ba.
其他   饭馆     都     关门     了, 我们   去  吃  大排档    吧。
All the restaurants are closed now, so let’s grab some street food.

Búyào dānxīn nǐ de zhuózhuāng, wǒmen zhǐshì qù chī dàpáidàng.
不要     担心  你 的      着装 ,       我们   只是  去  吃   大排档。
Don’t worry about your attire, it’s just a street food restaurant!

When and How to Use “大排档 (dàpáidàng)?”

If your Chinese friends suggest an expensive restaurant and your pockets aren’t full, you may simply want some tasty street food! Feel free to express your love of “大排档 (dàpáidàng)” and comment on the nice weather outside. “大排档  (dàpáidàng)” doesn’t describe the type of dish you’d like, so continue the conversation from there.

HSK 3 quiz

1. A good place to go for “大排档 (dàpáidàng)” is:
A. the shopping mall
B. a hotel
C. the street
D. a restaurant
2. When do Chinese people usually enjoy the delicious food at the “大排档 (dàpáidàng)?”
A. In the morning
B. In the afternoon
C. In the evening

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