Essential Chinese Vocabulary for Ordering in Restaurants HSK2

Ready to boost your dining game in places where people speak Mandarin? Picture yourself ordering with confidence in a local spot, making the staff think you’re a Mandarin expert. And all while soaking in an amazing cultural experience. But, do you know the important words and phrases for ordering in Chinese restaurants?

This article will show you the essential phrases and words to make your meal more enjoyable in Mandarin-speaking spots. We’ll go over everything from how to order to Chinese dining customs. Whether you love food, you’re exploring, or you’re interested in Chinese meals, this guide is perfect for you.

Get ready to improve your language skills and go on a food journey. Together, we’ll look at the key Chinese vocabulary for ordering meals. Let’s see how speaking the language of food can truly connect us.

Why Learn Chinese Food Ordering Phrases?

Learning to order food in Chinese can really improve your mealtimes in places where they speak Mandarin. This skill is great for those who travel often to China, or for anyone who enjoys real Chinese food. Knowing the right words can help you talk to the restaurant staff about what you like to eat and any special diet needs you may have.

If you can order in Mandarin, a whole new world of food is open to you. You won’t have to limit yourself to what’s on the English menu. You can talk to the servers, ask for their suggestions, and even change your dish a bit to better suit your taste.

When you learn these phrases, you can look at the menu, ask about the food, and make requests if you have allergies or dietary needs. This gives you more control over what you eat.

Using Chinese to order food also shows that you respect the local ways. It makes your dining experience more special because you feel a part of how Chinese people see food. You get to enjoy and understand their cooking more, and you can have interesting chats with the people working at the restaurant.

So, whether you love food, like exploring new places, or just want to dive into Chinese food culture, learning to order in Chinese is a great idea. Stay tuned to learn some useful Mandarin phrases for your next visit to a Chinese restaurant.

Common Mandarin Phrases for Dining Out

When you eat out in places where Mandarin is spoken, learning some common phrases can be very useful. These phrases help you order food and ask for advice. They also let you thank the waiter. Here are some important phrases for a better meal:

Ordering Dishes

  • 我要这个。Wǒ yào zhège.(I want this one)
  • 看起来怎么样?Kàn qǐlái zěnme yàng? (How does that look?)
  • 请再来一瓶啤酒。Qǐng zàilái yī píng píjiǔ. (One more beer, please)

Asking for Recommendations

  • 有什么特别推荐吗?Yǒu shé me tèbié tuījiàn ma? (Got any special recommendations?)
  • 这是什么样子的?Zhè shì shénme yàngzi de? (What’s this like?)

Expressing Gratitude to the Server

  • 感谢您的服务。Gǎnxiè nín de fúwù. (Thanks for the service)
  • 很棒的服务。Hěn bàng de fúwù. (Great service)

Know these phrases when you dine out in Mandarin places. It makes reading menus and getting advice easier. It lets you thank the staff too.

Feel free to use these phrases next time you eat out in a Mandarin-speaking place!

Chinese Dining Vocabulary

When you go to a Chinese restaurant, it’s wise to know a few special words. These words are about how people eat and show respect. Knowing them helps you fit in and be polite. Let’s learn some key terms for Chinese dining.

1. Chopsticks

Chopsticks are the main tools for eating in Chinese meals. They come in pairs and are often made of wood. Remember to use them to pick up food, holding them with your dominant hand at the end.

2. Tea

Drinking tea is a big part of Chinese culture during meals. It’s usually a kind gesture to be given tea as you sit down. There are many tea types, like green, jasmine, and oolong. First, pour tea for others, then for yourself.

3. Dim sum

Dim sum means small dishes. People eat these meals during brunch or lunch in specific places. They enjoy dishes like dumplings, spring rolls, and rice noodle rolls.

4. Lazy Susan

A Lazy Susan is a spinning tray in the middle of the table for sharing. It makes passing dishes easy without needing to reach too far. Use care when turning it, to avoid any spills.

5. Banquet-style dining

Many Chinese restaurants offer banquet-style dining. This means ordering a lot of different dishes to share. It’s a fun way to try many flavors with your group.

Chinese Dining Vocabulary Definitions
Chopsticks The traditional Chinese eating utensils made of wood, bamboo, or plastic, used to pick up food.
Tea A popular beverage in Chinese dining culture, served as a complimentary gesture and often shared with others.
Dim sum Bite-sized Chinese dishes served in small portions, commonly enjoyed during brunch or lunchtime.
Lazy Susan A rotating tray placed in the center of the table to facilitate sharing of dishes.
Banquet-style dining A communal dining style where a variety of dishes are ordered and shared among diners.

Getting to know these words and phrases helps a lot when dining out. It lets you enjoy Chinese food and customs, feeling more comfortable and respectful.

Mandarin Phrases for Restaurant Orders

Knowing essential Mandarin phrases for ordering in a restaurant can make your meal more enjoyable. This is true whether you’re at a local street stall or a fancy eatery. These phrases help you clearly tell the server what you want and need for a great meal.

Selecting Dishes

Here are some phrases to help you pick dishes from the menu:

我想订购这个。它是什么?Wǒ xiǎng dìnggòu zhège. Tā shì shénme? – “I want to order this. What is it?”

我想要不同的准备。是否可以?Wǒ xiǎng yào bùtóng de zhǔnbèi. Shìfǒu kěyǐ? – “I’d like a different preparation. Is it possible?”

Stating Preferences

Use these phrases to tell them how you like your food:

我是素食主义者,有无肉菜肴吗?Wǒ shì sùshí zhǔyì zhě, yǒu wú ròu càiyáo ma? – “I’m vegetarian, are there meat-free dishes?”

尽量辣一点,谢谢!Jǐnliàng là yīdiǎn, xièxiè! – “Make it mildly spicy, thanks!”

Making Special Requests

If you have allergies or special requests, these phrases can help:

请再加一点调味料。Qǐng zài jiā yīdiǎn tiáowèi liào. – “Please add a little more seasoning.”

Learning these Mandarin phrases can help you make the most out of your dining experience. Be sure to speak politely and clearly. Enjoy your meal!

Key Chinese Words for Ordering Food

Knowing some important Chinese words is very useful when you eat at a Chinese restaurant. These words help you tell what you like, try new food, and make sure you enjoy your meal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian, have special needs, or just want to taste something different. Here are a few Chinese words to make ordering easier:

Cuisine Types:

  • 火锅Huǒguō – Hotpot
  • 炒饭Chǎofàn – Fried rice
  • 小笼包Xiǎolóngbāo – Soup dumplings


  • 肉Ròu – Meat
  • 豆腐Dòufu – Tofu
  • 菜Cài – Vegetables
  • 海鲜Hǎixiān – Seafood
  • 鸡蛋Jīdàn – Eggs

Cooking Methods:

  • 烤Kǎo – Roasted
  • 炒Chǎo – Stir-fried
  • 煮Zhǔ – Steamed
  • 烫Tàng – Boiled

Learning these key Chinese words for ordering food will help you a lot. It will be easier to understand the menu and say what you like. From trying something new to enjoying an old favorite, knowing a bit of Chinese will make the restaurant better for you.

Basic Chinese Phrases for Eating Out

Knowing some basic Chinese phrases can make dining in Mandarin-speaking areas easier. It can help you talk to waitstaff and show respect for local customs. Here are key phrases for greetings and thanking about the food:


  • 你好Nǐ hǎo – Hello
  • 再见Zàijiàn – Goodbye

Table Manners

Being polite at the table is a big deal in Chinese culture. Remember these phrases:

请坐Qǐng zuò – Please have a seat

买单Mǎi dān – Ask for the bill

给我水Gěi wǒshuǐ – Can I have some water?

Expressing Satisfaction with the Food

To show you’re enjoying your meal, use these phrases:

  • 好吃Hǎo chī – Delicious
  • 太好吃了Tài hǎo chīle – It’s really tasty
  • 挺好吃的Tǐng hǎo chī de – It tastes great

Learning these phrases makes dining in Mandarin-speaking places easier. Use them to make your food experiences better and respectful.

Essential Chinese Phrases for Ordering Dishes

Learning some key Chinese phrases is super useful when eating in Chinese restaurants. They help you share what you like and understand the menu better. This way, you can fully enjoy the tasty Chinese food. Let’s look at phrases for ordering starters, main dishes, sweets, and drinks:

1. Ordering Appetizers

  • 打扰一下,请问有开胃菜吗?Dǎrǎo yīxià, qǐngwèn yǒu kāiwèi cài ma? – “Excuse me, do you have any appetizers?”
  • 请给我带来一部分…Qǐng gěi wǒ dài lái yībùfèn… – “Please bring me a portion of…”
  • 我想拥有…Wǒ xiǎng yǒngyǒu… – “I would like to have…”

2. Ordering Main Courses

  • 我想订一些蔬菜…Wǒ xiǎng dìng yīxiē shūcài… – “I would like to order some vegetables…”
  • 我想要一份…Wǒ xiǎng yào yī fèn… – “I would like to have a serving of…”
  • 你有Nǐ yǒu – “Do you have…?”

3. Ordering Desserts

  • 我想要一些糖醋菠萝丁…Wǒ xiǎng yào yīxiē táng cù bōluó dīng… – “I would like to have some sweet and sour diced pineapple…”
  • 请给我一份…Qǐng gěi wǒ yī fèn… – “Please bring me a serving of…”
  • 我想吃…Wǒ xiǎng chī… – “I would like to eat…”

4. Ordering Drinks

  • 请给我一杯茶…Qǐng gěi wǒ yībēi chá… – “Please give me a cup of tea…”
  • 我想喝一杯…Wǒ xiǎng hè yībēi… – “I would like to have a glass of…”
  • 有茶点吗?Yǒu chádiǎn ma? – “Do you have any refreshments?”

Using these key Chinese phrases will help you order many kinds of dishes. By practicing these, you can dive into the tasty world of Chinese food. Enjoy exploring the menu at Chinese restaurants!

Useful Mandarin Vocabulary for Restaurant Dining

Dining in a Mandarin-speaking area can be exciting. Knowing basic Mandarin words helps a lot. It can make your restaurant visit better. Learn terms for food, ingredients, tastes, and how to order. This way, you can enjoy your meal fully and understand the menu better.

Here are some important Mandarin words and phrases to learn:

Menu Items:

English Mandarin
Dumplings 饺子 (jiǎozi)
Noodles 面条 (miàntiáo)
Hotpot 火锅 (huǒguō)
Steamed Fish 清蒸鱼 (qīngzhēng yú)
Roast Duck 烤鸭 (kǎoyā)


  • 西红柿Xīhóngshì – Tomatoes
  • 牛肉Niúròu – Beef
  • 鸡肉Jīròu – Chicken
  • 菜Cái – Vegetables
  • 海鲜Hǎixiān – Seafood


  • 咸Xián – Salty
  • 酸Suān – Sour
  • 辣Là – Spicy
  • 干Gān – Dry

Common Restaurant Terms:

  • 服务员Fúwùyuán – Waiter/waitress
  • 菜单Càidān – Menu
  • 套餐Tàocān – Set menu
  • 发票Fāpiào – Receipt
  • 招待Zhāodài – Reservation

Learning these Mandarin words can boost your dining experience. You will be more confident ordering food. Whether you’re a food adventurer or enjoy local dishes, knowing this will enhance your dining in Mandarin-speaking places.

Must-Know Chinese Words for Ordering in Restaurants

When in a Chinese restaurant, knowing key words helps you share what you want effectively. Take a look at these Chinese words for ordering. They will make your experience better.

  1. Main: Pick this word when choosing a main course.
  2. Appetizer: Use it to say you’d like a starter.
  3. Dessert: Use this word for desserts.
  4. Price: Ask for the cost. This word is understood everywhere in Chinese restaurants.
  5. Specials: To find out about specials, use this.
  6. Portion: Want to choose the size? Pair this word with small, medium, or large.
  7. Spicy: Love spicy food? Say this word.
  8. Vegetarian: For vegetarians, this is your word. It lets the server know what you need.
  9. Takeout: To have your meal packed to-go, use this.
  10. Beverage: Use this word when you want a drink.

Learning these words will help you confidently order in a Chinese restaurant. You’ll be ready to explore the menu and express your likes.


Learning key Chinese words for ordering food makes dining in Mandarin-speaking places more fun. You will be able to tell the server what you like to eat, what you can’t eat, or any other needs. This helps you get the food you want and lets you enjoy local food culture more.

To speak Chinese well in restaurants, you need practice. Keep using these phrases, and you’ll feel more at ease talking to the staff. This skill will improve your dining times a lot.

From trying out the lively street food to fancy restaurants, knowing basic Chinese helps a lot. It lets you explore many food options. So, start learning today. Soon, you’ll be enjoying the true tastes of places where Mandarin is spoken, more than ever!


Why is it important to learn essential Chinese vocabulary for ordering in restaurants?

Learning key Chinese words for ordering at restaurants is crucial. It lets you talk about what you like to eat and any dietary needs. This way, you make sure you enjoy your meal and eat what you want.

How can knowing Chinese food ordering phrases benefit me?

Knowing these phrases helps you a lot. You can look at menus, ask for advice, and order just what you like. It also makes you show respect for Chinese ways and allows you to chat with people when you eat.

What are some common Mandarin phrases for dining out?

For eating out, you might say “请给我们菜单” (qǐng gěi wǒmen càidān). That’s “Please give us the menu”. Or, if you want roast duck, you’d say “我想点一份烤鸭” (wǒ xiǎng diǎn yī fèn kǎoyā), meaning “I’d like to order a roast duck.”

What specific vocabulary should I know for Chinese dining etiquette?

Some dining etiquette words are “筷子” (kuàizi) for chopsticks, “茶” (chá) for tea, and “干杯” (gān bēi) for cheers.

What Mandarin phrases should I use for placing orders in restaurants?

Ordering food is easy with phrases like “我想点” (wǒ xiǎng diǎn) for “I’d like to order”. Also, you can say “请给我” (qǐng gěi wǒ) meaning “Please give me.”

What are some key Chinese words for ordering food in restaurants?

To order food, you need to know words like “菜系” (càixì) for the type of food, “食材” (shícái) for its ingredients, and “烹饪方法” (pēngrèn fāngfǎ) for how it’s cooked.

What are some basic Chinese phrases for eating out?

Common phrases when eating out are “你好” (nǐ hǎo) for hello, “谢谢” (xièxiè) for thank you, and “很好吃” (hěn hǎo chī) to say it’s delicious.

What are some essential Chinese phrases for ordering specific dishes?

For specific dishes, you might say “我要点一份开胃菜” (wǒ yào diǎn yī fèn kāiwèicài) which means “I’d like an appetizer”. Or, for rice, you’d ask for “请给我一碗米饭” (qǐng gěi wǒ yī wǎn mǐfàn). That means “Please give me a bowl of rice.”

What useful Mandarin vocabulary should I know for restaurant dining?

For dining, learn words for what’s on the menu, like “鱼” (yú) for fish, “牛肉” (niúròu) for beef. Also, know about flavors, like “酸” (suān) for sour and “辣” (là) for spicy.

What are some must-know Chinese words for ordering in restaurants?

Important words for ordering include “价格” (jiàgé) for price, “份量” (fènliàng) for portion size, and “菜类” (càilèi) for types of food like vegetables or seafood.

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