Expressions Vocabulary

How to Order Food in Indonesian

Want to try delicious food across Indonesia? Our guide on “How to Order Food in Indonesian” will teach basic phrases and words that you can use to order your meal in the local language. 

Find the best ways of ordering food in Indonesian with our comprehensive guide. From polite greetings to navigating menus and enhancing your culinary adventure with essential phrases and tips. Selamat makan (enjoy your meal!)!

Greetings and Politeness

Some words for greeting the restaurant/warung owner and staff: 

  • Selamat pagi – good morning 
  • Selamat siang – good afternoon (normally around 11AM-2PM)
  • Selamat sore – good afternoon (normally 3PM – till dark)
  • Selamat malam – good evening 
  • Apa kabar?– how are you? 
  • Baik – good

Navigating the Menu

Depending on the restaurants that you go to, sometimes they don’t have a menu. You just point out the side dishes (called ‘lauk’) you want along with your rice. Regardless, here are a few words you need to know. 

  • Nasi – rice
  • Mie – noodles
  • Ayam – chicken
  • Ikan – fish
  • Daging – meat
  • Telur – egg 
  • Tempe – tempe
  • Tahu – tofu 
  • Sayur – vegetables
  • Sambal – chili paste
  • Goreng – fried
  • Bakar – grilled
  • Kopi – coffee 
  • Susu – milk 
  • Teh – tea 
  • Kelapa muda – young coconut 

Ordering Basics

Make ordering a breeze with essential phrases: 

  • Saya mau pesan …. – I would like to order
  • Berapa harganya? – how much is the price? 
  • Mau makan apa? – What do you want to eat? 
  • Mau minum apa? – what do you want to drink? 

Special Requests

Some requests that you may need:

  • Tanpa gula – without sugar
  • Saya alergi kacang – I’m allergic to peanuts
  • Tidak pedas – not spicy

Using the toilet

Indonesians don’t use a toilet, but they borrow. Here are some expressions you need: 

  • Boleh pinjam toilet? – Can I use the toilet? 
  • Ada toilet? – Is there any toilet? 
  • Di mana toiletnya? – Where is the toilet? 
  • Toiletnya di sebelah sana – The toilet is over there. 

Paying the Bill

When you’re ready to pay, you can say: 

  • Boleh minta notanya? – Can I have the bill?

In some restaurants, the servers don’t bring bills. Instead you go to the cashier and tell them your table number or show them a card with your meal price given when they served your meal. With that, you will need to work on numbers

Dialog example for making food order in the restaurant

Waiter: Selamat malam… Mau pesan apa, Mbak? (Good evening. What do you want to order?)

Buyer: Ada buku menu, Mas? (Is there any menu book?)

Waiter: Ada, Mbak. Ini silakan. (yes, here you are please)

Buyer: Saya mau pesan makanan laut ya, Mas. Nasi dua porsi, udang asam-manis, kepiting bakar, dan sayur lalapan. (I want to order seafood. Two portions of rice, sweet and sour shrimp, grilled crab, and lalapan vegetables)

Waiter: Minumnya apa, Mbak? (What do you want to drink, miss?)

Buyer: Kelapa muda dua, ya. (two young coconuts, please)

Waiter: Kelapa mudanya mau utuh atau di gelas? (do you want the whole coconut or want it in a glass?)

Buyer: Utuh aja, Mas. (the whole, please)

Waiter: Pakai es, Mbak? (do you want ice, miss?)

Buyer: Nggak, makasih. Tapi dikasih jeruk nipis dikit, ya. (No, thanks. But please add a little lime)

Waiter: Ada lagi? (anything else?)

Buyer: Itu aja. (that’s it)

Waiter: Baik, tolong tunggu sebentar. (Fine, please wait for a while)

Buyer: Makasih banyak ya, Mas. (thank you very much)

Dialog example for taking away

Seller: Pagi, Pak. Ada yang bisa dibantu? (Morning, Sir. How can I help you?)

Buyer: Pagi, Bu. Saya pesan nasi goreng satu ya. (Morning, Ma’am. I want to order fried rice)

Seller: Bungkus atau makan sini? (Take away or dine in?)

Buyer: Bungkus, Bu. (Take away, ma’am)

Seller: Pedas atau yang biasa? (spicy or a normal one?)

Buyer: Biasa bu. Saya nggak suka pedas (The normal one, ma’am. I don’t like spicy (food))

Seller: Ok. Sebentar ya. (Ok. Just a moment). 

Buyer: Baik bu (okay, ma’am)

A few minutes later.
Seller: Ini nasi gorengnya. Harganya Rp15.000. (Here is your fried rice. The price is IDR15,000)

Buyer: Wah .. cepat ya. Ini uang saya Rp20,000. (wow.. That was quick. This is my money, IDR20,000).

Seller: Ini kembaliannya, Rp5.000. Makasih ya. (This is the change, IDR5,000. Thank you.)

Buyer: Sama-sama (You’re welcome). 


Knowing how to order food in Indonesian is really handy especially if you buy your meals from a small restaurant or restaurants far from tourist areas. The vendors in these restaurants rarely speak English. Even just learning the basics will enable you to get what you want and you will put a smile on local people’s faces. Indonesians love it when foreigners speak their language. 

Selamat makan (enjoy your meal!). 

In case you want to improve your Indonesian with a professional teacher, you can learn online with us.

By Jembatan Bahasa

Jembatan Bahasa is a professional and highly rated Indonesian language school based in Bali, Indonesia. Our teaching team is experienced and certified to teach Indonesian as a foreign language. Some of them have over eight years of teaching experience and have taught in a prestigious international school in Bali. Interested in learning Indonesian with us? WhatsApp us at +6282 145 950 737 or email at