Useful Thai Phrases: When Ordering Food in Thailand

Just arrived in Thailand? Learn a few Thai phrases to use when ordering street food, and you’ll sound like you’ve been here a lot longer!

Earn smiles from the locals and maybe a bit of discount on your purchases too! From how to ask for your meal not spicy, without MSG, or tell the waiter you’re vegetarian, to how to order a beer, with or without ice, or your fruit shake without sugar – these useful Thai phrases will help you kin dee (eat well) in Thailand!

Watch our video filmed at a night market in Mae Sot, Thailand and then see below for a glossary of terms…

Glossary of Thai Food and Restaurant Phrases:

When you arrive in a restaurant:

  • Maynoo mee mai ka/kaap? – Do you have a menu please?
  • Maynoo passa angrit mee mai ka/kaap? – Do you have an English menu?
  • Mee arry arroy bang ka/kaap? – What do you have that’s good to eat?

Rice:

  • Khao pad – Fried rice.
  • Khao suey – Boiled rice.

Noodles:

  • Goyteow – Noodle soup.
  • Sen yai – Big noodle.
  • Sen lek – Small noodle.
  • Sem mee – Vermicelli rice noodle.
  • Sen bamee – Yellow noodle.
  • Haeng – Dry.
  • Nam – Soup.

Foods:

  • Moo – Pork.
  • Moo daeng – Red pork.
  • Gai – Chicken.
  • Neua – Beef.
  • Talay – Seafood.
  • Gung – Prawn.
  • Pla – Fish.
  • Pak – Vegetable.
  • Lookchin – Meatball (who knows what meat?).
  • Kai dao – Fried egg.

Food preferences:

  • Kin jay – Vegetarian.
  • Mai sai namtang – No sugar.
  • Mai sai pong choo rote – No MSG.
  • Kin tua mai dai – I can’t eat nuts.
  • Kin gung mai dai – I can’t eat prawns.
  • Kin talay mai dai – I can’t eat seafood.
  • Mai ped – Not spicy.
  • Ped mak mak – Very spicy.
  • Mai sai prik – No chili.

Some popular street food dishes:

  • Pad Thai – Fried noodles Thai style.
  • Pad see ew – Fried noodles in soy sauce.
  • Gai pad med mamuang – Chicken cashew.
  • Pad grapow moo/gai – Stir fried pork/chicken with holy basil.
  • Moo grob – Crispy pork.
  • Pak boong – Morning glory.
  • Peyawan gai – Chicken curry.

Drinks:

  • Beer – Beer (surprisingly).
  • Nam – Water.
  • Nom – Milk.
  • Nam Som – Orange Juice.
  • Gaffe yen/ron – Coffee iced/hot.
  • Nam polamai – Fruit juice.
  • Nam keng – Ice.
  • Gaew – glass.

Other phrases:

  • Arroy – Delicious.
  • Chob mak mak – I liked it a lot.
  • Im mak mak – I’m very full!
  • Hong nam yootinai ka/kaap? – Where are the toilets?
  • Kop khun ka/kaap – Thank you.
  • Sawasdee ka – Hello/Goodbye.
  • Cheur gan my – See you again.

Wrapping up:

  • Tow ry ka/kaap? – How much?
  • Chick bin ka/kaap – The bill.
  • Kit tang ka/kaap – The bill (slang).
  • Tang mod tow ry ka/kaap – Altogether how much?
  • Sai tung dai mai ka/kaap? – Can you put it in a bag for me?
  • Mai sai tung ka/kaap – I don’t want a bag, thanks.

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Useful Thai Phrases When Ordering Food
Founder & Editor at South East Asia Backpacker | Author\'s Blog

Nikki Scott is the founder & editor of South East Asia Backpacker. A traveller-turned-entrepreneur, she left the UK in 2009 and after 6 months on the road, she started a bi-monthly print magazine about backpacking in Asia. South America Backpacker soon followed and today she runs her backpacking enterprise from her base in Spain. Her honest and fascinating book, Backpacker Business, tells the story of her success in the face of adversity.

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Trust us, we can't wait either...

  • Updates on travel in Southeast Asia.
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Trust us, we can't wait either...

  • Updates on travel in Southeast Asia.
  • A mix of fun & thought-provoking articles.
  • Honest trip planning advice.
A girl on a beach in Asia.