Ordering Food In Thai

Ordering food in Thai is a very necessary skill that you need to learn when visiting. Thai food is amongst the most popular in the world — and for good reason. There are so many flavors and tastes that make up the cuisine in Thailand, so there is a lot of variety. There is the spicy, the sweet, the savoury, and the sour. Together, they make some of the best dishes you will ever try.

While many restaurants in tourist areas will likely understand English to an extent, learning the Thai words and phrases will really open up more opportunity to try the local cuisine in a more authentic and likely cheaper way. So here are some important words and phrases you need to know when you go to eat in Thailand.

The Food Culture of Thailand

Did you know that some local Thai apartments do not have a kitchen or ‘ khraw ‘ (ครัว) as they are known in Thai? This just goes to show how popular the street food and eating out culture is in Thailand. It is because food is tasty and inexpensive, especially if you know where to eat and what to order.

However, as good as eating out can be, it does mean that you no longer have control on the ingredients. Sometimes, you may want to cut down on things, or even add more of something. Thankfully, you can learn a few phrases to let the chef know what you want.

Here are the words for some of the flavors.

Khem (เค็ม) — Salty

Waan (หวาน) — Sweet

Ped (เผ็ด) — Spicy

To say you want a little bit of something, you can use ‘ nit noi ‘ (นิดหน่อย).

Ped nit noi (เผ็ดนิดหน่อย) — A bit spicy

If you want a lot of something, you can use ‘ mak ‘ (มาก).

Ped mak (เผ็ดมาก) — Very spicy

or you could even say:

Ped mak mak (เผ็ดมากมาก) — Very very spicy

Thai people love their food spicy so, if you really want to make sure you don’t get any spiciness, you can use ‘ mai sai ‘ (ไม่ใส่) to let them know not to put something in the food.

Mai sai prik (ไม่ใส่พริก) — Do not put chilli

Mai sai keluer (ไม่ใส่เกลือ) — Do not put salt

Ordering Food in Thai

Excuse me. Do you have sticky rice? Kho thot (ka/khrap). Mii khao niao mai (ka/khrap)?

If you go to a restaurant or somewhere that has a menu, you can ask for it by saying ‘ kho duu menuu (khrap/ka)’ (ขอดูเมนู(ค่ะ/ครับ)).

While we have looked into reading the Thai language, it may take some time before we are fluent enough to read menus. If that is the case, it is best to look and see what ingredients they have in their cart. However, if you want to order something from a street food stand and it is not obvious if they have something, you can ask a simple question:

I want sticky rice Chan yak dai khao niao (ka/khrap)


If the answer is yes, they you can say:


Of course, you will need to know the Thai word for what you want to eat, so make sure you practise your food vocabulary. Otherwise, these phrases are quick and easy to remember and will be very helpful when trying Thai food.

Also, don’t forget to learn the Thai numbers. It will make paying for your food much less of a hassle. In a restaurant, you can ask for the check by saying ‘ keb ngern duai ‘ (เก็บเงินด้วย) or ‘the check, please’.

Learning the Language of Food

Many people come to visit Thailand for the food alone. It is obvious why — lots of fresh, tropical fruits, unique flavours, and famous dishes make Thailand an important stop for anyone who loves to eat. Being able to walk down almost any street and find something new to try never really gets old. Now, armed with these words and phrases, ordering food should be much easier.

To improve your vocabulary and test your skills further, try the Ling Thai app. It is the ideal way to prepare for your next trip to Thailand and a great way to pass the time until you visit and eat the best pad Thai you have ever tasted.

Originally published at https://simplylearnlanguages.com on May 15, 2019.

Ling is a game-like language learning app with a pack of 60+ languages. You will learn languages in fun ways!

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

YouUs Gonghwachun Yusanseul Ramen Review

An unopened cup of YouUs Gonghwachun Yusanseul Ramen.

From Tahini to Sabra to Sweet Potato: The Appropriation of Hummus in Israel and the United States

Olives, The Next Tariff Victim

Favorite braised beef recipe launches new cooking column — San Francisco Chronicle

The Ruminant Digestive System: The RUMEN

Why Throwing Out Food Makes You An A**hole

News: Oregon: Portland: Cascade Brewing announces 2017 releases including 7 new beers

Coffee Talk #6 — Lex Wenneker from Friedhats Coffee Roasters

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ling Learn Languages

Ling Learn Languages

Ling is a game-like language learning app with a pack of 60+ languages. You will learn languages in fun ways!

More from Medium

Death of a Salesman: Lessons on Destiny

Themes of The Great Awakening: And How They Relate to Current Mental Health Culture

The Power of Communication - Tammy Jersey

What would happen if we all stopped shopping for clothes?

A picture of a grazed strip in acres of cotton field.