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Chinese Vocabulary: Restaurant Dining

Ask For the Waiter or Place an Order Using These New Words

by Qiu Gui Su
Updated April 27, 2017

Chinese food is popular world-wide, but nothing beats the real deal.

If you travel to China or Taiwan, you will undoubtedly want to sample the fabulous
cuisine. There is a range of Michelin star restaurants like Ryugin Taipei in Taipei or
T'ang Court in Shanghai. Of course, there are also more affordable but equally as
delicious restaurants, eating halls, and food stalls that are scattered throughout.

This list of restaurant dining vocabulary will help you communicate with waiting staff so
you can express any dietary preferences. That way you can order a dish that you will
enjoy! Or do you need another pair of chopsticks or an extra napkin? You can ask for
these items after learning these new words.

Click on the link in the Pinyin column to hear the audio file.

General Terms
English Pinyin Traditional Simplified

restaurant cān tīng 餐廳 餐厅

waiter / waitress fú wù yuán 服務员 服务员

menu cài dān 菜單 菜单

beverage yǐn liào 飲料 饮料

get the check mǎi dān 買單 买单

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English Pinyin Traditional Simplified

spoon tāng chí 湯匙 汤匙

fork chā zi 叉⼦ "

knife dāo zi ⼑⼦ "

chopsticks kuài zi 筷⼦ "

napkin cān jīn 餐⼱ "

glass / cup bēi zi 杯⼦ "

bowl wǎn 碗 "

plate pán zi 盤⼦ 盘⼦

Dietary Restrictions
English Pinyin Traditional Simplified

I am vegetarian. Wǒ chī sù. 我吃素。 "

I cannot eat… Wǒ bùnéng chī … 我不能吃… "

Food Items and Ingredients

English Pinyin Traditional Simplified

salt yán 鹽 盐

MSG wèi jīng 味精 "

pork zhū ròu 豬⾁ 猪⾁

spicy food là 辣 "

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sugar táng 糖 "

Here is some more vocabulary for Chinese food.

Sentence Examples 
Now that you have learned these new Mandarin vocabulary words, let's put them
together. Here are a few sentences you may often hear in a restaurant. You can try
saying them yourself or use create your own sentences.

Fúwùyuán, wǒ kěyǐ zài ná yīshuāng kuàizi ma?

Waiter, can I get another pair of chopsticks?

Wǒ bùyào wèijīng。
I don't want MSG.

Wǒ hěn xǐhuan chī zhūròu!

I really like to eat pork!

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