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!

Also see – 99 Thai Phrases for Travellers

Watch our video below 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.

See here for more useful Thai phrases for travellers.

Dave Noakes Bio Pic, with Nikki Scott
Nikki Scott | Founder & Editor

Nikki is the founding editor of South East Asia Backpacker. At age 23, she left the UK on a solo backpacking trip and never returned. After six months on the road, she founded a print magazine about backpacking in Asia. The rest is history.

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