20+ Easy Khmer Restaurant Vocabulary


If you’re planning on visiting a Cambodian restaurant, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some Khmer restaurant vocabulary and basic phrases. Khmer cuisine is an integral part of Cambodian culture, much like in the rest of Southeast Asia. And by mastering a few essential words and phrases, you’ll not only impress the locals but also make ordering your desired food and drinks more effortless. Let’s learn more about that in this post!

Khmer food (អាហារ or ahar) is an integral part of daily life for the Cambodian people. Throughout the day and night, the smells of cooking pervade the air. In fact, food is so central to Cambodians that the first thing a foreigner might be asked when meeting a local is whether they have had anything to eat yet. For the locals, this is a polite way of asking how are you? Ready to learn more? Keep reading below!

Khmer Restaurant Vocabulary

A world of food and drink awaits you as soon as you step out of the door and into a tuk-tuk. From tasty street food to delicious menus in cafes and restaurants., it’s impossible not to find yourself drooling with all the flavors in the air. Here are some basic words to get you started.

Restaurant ភោជនីយដ្ធានPhochniy dthan
Caféហាងកាហ្វេHang café
Bar បារ Bar
Breakfast អាហារពេលព្រឹកAhar pel preuk
Lunch អាហារពេលថ្ងៃAhar pel thnai
Dinner អាហារពេលល្ងាចAha pel lngeach
Hungry ឃ្លានKhlean
Hunger សេចក្តីឃ្លានSech kdei klean
Thirsty ស្រេកទឹកSrek teuk
Thirst សេចក្តីស្រេកទឹកSech kdei srek teuk
(to) Eat ញាំNhoam
Food ម្ហូបMhoub
(to) Drink ផឹកPhoek
Drink ភេសជ្ជះPhes sa cheak
(to) Cook ចំអិនម្ហូបChamen mhoub
(to) Taste ភ្លក់ Phlok
Delicious/Tasty ឆ្ងាញ់Chhnganh
Bon appetit! / Enjoy your meal!រីករាយជាមួយនឹងម្ងូបRikreay cheamuoynung mngoub!
Cheers! / To your health!លើកកែវឡើងដើម្បីសុខភាពLeuk kev laeng daembi sokhpheap!

Khmer Flavours

When ordering various dishes off the menu, knowing the Khmer word for how you would like your food to taste is useful. Here are five words in the Khmer language everyone coming to Cambodia should learn before ordering food.


Basic Cutlery In Khmer

In Cambodia, it’s uncommon to be provided with a knife to eat with, unlike in the West. Instead, the standard way to eat Khmer cuisine is using a fork and spoon. To help you navigate through the restaurant and order your desired meal with ease, we’ve listed some useful words and phrases for cutlery in Khmer below.

Cutleryកាំបិតផ្សេងៗKambet pseng pseng
Spoonស្លាបព្រាSlab prea
MugពែងធំមានដៃPeng thom meandai

Khmer Food

If you are in Cambodia for more than a few days, you may hanker for some Western fare. Here are a few basic words to help you get by when the spicy noodle soup gets a bit much.

Bread នុំបុ័ងNom pang
Roll នុំគូតខ្យងNom kut kyorng
Butter បឺរBeur
Cheese ឈីសChhis
Honey ទឹកឃ្មុំTeuk khmum
Jam ដំនាប់Dam nab
Egg ស៊ុទSut
Soup ស៊ុបSup
Noodles មីMi
Rice បាយ Bay
Salad សាឡាដ់Salad
French fries ដំឡូងចៀនDamlaung chien
Yoghurt យ៉ៅអួរYaw uor
Sugar ស្ករSkar
Salt អំបិលAmbel
Pepper ម្រិចMri ch
Spice ម្ទេសMtes
Oil ប្រេងPreng

Khmer Drinks

To complete your Cambodian culinary experience, you’ll need a refreshing drink to accompany your delicious dishes. That’s why we’ve listed below some essential Khmer drink vocabulary to equip you with the necessary language skills.

Water ទឹកTeuk
Mineral water ទឹកបរិសុទ្ធTeuk borisoth
Soda water / sparkling water ទឹកសូដាTeuk soda
Still water ទឹកធម្មតាTeuk tomda
Juice ទឹកផ្លែឈើTeuk ple cheu
Beer ស្រាបៀរSra beer
Wine ស្រាទំពាំងបាយជូរSra tompeangbaychour
Champagne ស្រាសាំប៉ាញSra sam panh
Cocktail ស្រាក្រឡុកSra kralok
Milk ទឹកដោះគោTeuk dos koh
Cocoa ទឹកក្រូចកូកាTeuk kroj coca
Coffee កាហ្វេCafé
Tea តែ Te

Khmer Meat And Fish

For the carnivores among you, here is a handy list of meat and fish words in the Khmer language.

Meat សាច់Sach
Sausage សាច់ក្រកSachkrak
Small sausage សាចក់្រកតូចSach krak tauch
Ham សាច់ជ្រូកបន្ទះ Sach chrouk banteah
Chicken សាច់មាន់Sach mon
Fish ត្រីTrei
Beef សាច់គោSachko
Lamb សាចជៀមSach cheam

Khmer Fruit And Vegetables

If meat isn’t your thing, then here is a list of fruit and veg words to start learning so you don’t have to speak English to your waiter or waitress when choosing your meal.

Fruit ផ្លែឈើPle cheu
Vegetables បន្លែBan le
Apple ប៉ោមPaom
Orange ក្រូចKrauch
Strawberry ស្ត្របឺររីStro beu ri
Banana ចេកChek
Potato ដំឡូងDamlaung
Cucumber ត្រសក់Trasak

Khmer Sweets

And what about a tasty dessert? No meal is complete without something sweet. Cambodians have a bit of a sweet tooth, so here are some important words to use when you fancy a treat.

Chocolateសុកូឡា So kaula
Pieនុំផាយ Noum phay
Cakeនុំ Noum
Biscuitនុំប៉ោតNum paut
Ice creamការ៉េមCrem
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Learn Khmer With Ling!

At first, learning Khmer restaurant vocabulary may seem intimidating. However, with a bit of practice, you’ll quickly be able to order food like a pro. You may even impress some locals with your newfound language skills.

If you’re keen on expanding your Khmer vocabulary and learning more about Cambodia’s culture and people, the Ling app has a wealth of helpful learning tools and informative blogs, just like this one. Check out the Ling app or download it from Google Play or App Store. Enjoy your Khmer adventure, and bon appétit!

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