Chinese Vocabulary: Restaurant Dining

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

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

EnglishPinyinTraditional  Simplified
restaurantcān tīng餐廳餐厅
waiter / waitressfú wù yuán服務员服务员
menucài dān菜單菜单
beverageyǐn liào飲料饮料
get the checkmǎi dān買單买单


EnglishPinyinTraditional  Simplified
spoontāng chí湯匙汤匙
forkchā zi叉子 "
knifedāo zi刀子 "
chopstickskuài zi筷子 "
napkincān jīn餐巾 "
glass / cupbēi zi杯子 "
bowlwǎn "
platepán zi盤子盘子

Dietary Restrictions

EnglishPinyinTraditional  Simplified
I am vegetarian.Wǒ chī sù.我吃素。 "
I cannot eat…Wǒ bùnéng chī …我不能吃… "


Food Items and Ingredients

EnglishPinyinTraditional  Simplified
MSGwèi jīng味精 "
porkzhū ròu豬肉猪肉
spicy food "
sugartáng "

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!