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Vietnamese Restaurant Vocab: #1 Best Guide For Travelers!

July 5, 2022
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Are you heading toward Ho Chi Minh city but still not confident about your Vietnamese language skills? Well then, learn basic Vietnamese restaurant vocab to make your journey in Vietnam a memory full of joy. After all, food is the first thing that pops up in our minds whenever we are exploring a new place. We know that every country offers something unique, especially when it comes to its cuisine, and that is truer than ever whenever speaking about Vietnam. From healthy wraps to soups and other hearty dishes, the range of traditional food you'll encounter in this country will certainly help you keep a fit body during your travel. Ready to find out more? Keep reading below!

The Vietnamese Food Culture

Before we get on with the guide to help you in Vietnamese restaurants, it is a must to have a little knowledge about the delicious food of Vietnam that the restaurants offer.

Like the cuisines in most Asian countries, the Vietnamese food culture is filled with flavorful items that feature rice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and vegetables as their core items in almost every dish. Unlike western Mcdonald's and Dominos pizzas, a traditional Vietnamese platter is more about boiled, fresh, and healthy vegetables collected from the massive mountain ranges with numerous plantations. Also, some of the private homes even have their own mini-gardens where they grow their own fruits and veggies. To put it simply, it's like the country is embracing the farm-to-table concept. 

Once you enter Vietnamese restaurants, you will be able to see all the fresh vegetables and food items that are sure to excite your appetite. Apart from the rice production and rice-based food culture of Vietnam, there is also a street food world that you can venture around and explore. Street food like fried noodles, rice cakes, bánh mì, and raw pig blood sausages are just some of the food that you must try out.

While westernization has taken its toll on every country, Vietnamese people have not let go of their traditions. Even now, when you visit restaurants in the country, you will see traditional wooden sitting arrangements, hand-made wooden plates, and bowls, all decorations that have little to do with American styles. In fact, many restaurants have only a Vietnamese menu, which is one reason you should also learn about food-related words to make your experience better and more enjoyable. You do not want to be stuck looking at the menu wondering what every word means, right?

20+ Easy Vietnamese Restaurant Vocab

Vietnamese restaurant vocab

In this section, we will first discover some of the common restaurant words that the locals use with proper translations in the Vietnamese language. Learning these will help you communicate easily and also enhance your language skills. So, let's get started and learn Vietnamese with the fascinating words.

  • Alcohol = Rượu bia
  • Bill = Hóa đơn
  • Bottle = Chai
  • Bar = Quán ba
  • Coffee = Cà phê
  • Cost = Giá cả
  • Cafeteria = Quán cà phê
  • Club = Câu lạc bộ
  • Cashier = Thu ngân
  • Credit card = Thẻ tín dụng
  • Cuisine = Ẩm thực
  • Cutlery = Dao kéo
  • Diner = Bữa tối
  • Dish = Món ăn
  • Drinks = Đồ uống
  • Dessert = Món tráng miệng
  • Food = Món ăn
  • Fork = Cái nĩa
  • Glass = Thủy tinh 
  • Gourmet = Người sành ăn 
  • Grill = Nướng
  • Ice = Đá
  • Main course = Món chính
  • Manager = Người quản lý
  • Menu = Thực đơn
  • Money = Tiền bạc
  • Napkin = Khăn ăn
  • Plate = Đĩa ăn
  • Rervation = Sự đặt chỗ
  • Rooftop = Sân thượng
  • Starter = Người khởi xướng
  • Spoon = Thìa
  • Smoking Zone = Khu vực hút thuốc
  • Table = Bàn
  • Tablecloth = Khăn trải bàn
  • Tray = Cái mâm
  • Toothpick = Tăm
  • Tip = Mẹo
  • Utensils = Đồ dùng
  • Waiter = Phục vụ nam
  • Waitress = Nữ phục vụ

Some Common Foods You Need To Know

While the above list mentioned all the essentials of a Vietnamese restaurant, you can check out Vietnamese food vocab to better understand what the menu says. In case you want to know it immediately, here is a list of common food and dish words in the Vietnamese language.

  • Beef = Thịt bò
  • Bread = Bánh mì
  • Corn Beef = Bắp bò
  • Curry = Cà ri
  • Chicken =
  • Fish =
  • Fish sauce = Nước mắm
  • Meat = Thịt
  • Noodles = Mì sợi
  • Pork = Thịt lợn
  • Rice paper = Bánh tráng

Vietnamese Phrases To Use In Restaurants

Apart from words and terms, memorizing and learning Vietnamese example phrases related to restaurant behavior is important to communicate and express your concerns easily. The following example list is what you need to learn now!

Vui lòng cho tôi xin thực đơn?

Translation: Can I have the menu, please?

The phrase Vui lòng cho tôi xin thực đơn? is the first thing you want to say after settling inside a restaurant. This will help you ask for the menu politely to the waiter if it isn't present at the table already.

Hôm nay có gì đặc biệt?

Translation: What is today's special?

Asking Hôm nay có gì đặc biệt?, which means "What is today's special?" will help you enjoy the best food that exists in the particular restaurant. Being in a new place with new cuisine, the local's suggestions will always act as your best guide. So, make sure you use this sentence to not miss out on the chef's special.

An alternative can be Bạn đề xuất món gì?. It says "What do you recommend?" and means the same.

Cho tôi xin nước đá được không?

Translation: Can I have ice, please?

If you like ice-cold drinks, you would want to ask for ice or extra ice in the restaurant. To do so, you can utter Cho tôi xin nước đá được không? Saying it will give a clear sign to the waiters regarding what you need.

Tôi có thể xem hóa đơn chứ?

Translation: Can I have the bill?

After you enjoy your delicious food, it is time for the bill. To ask for the bill politely you can say Tôi có thể xem hóa đơn chứ?. It would allow the waiters to bring you your account without making you wait.

Dịch vụ thật tuyệt vời. Cảm ơn bạn.

Translation: The service was amazing. Thank you.

Now that you are done with your dish and bill, you do not want to leave without giving any feedback as a foreigner. So, if you enjoyed the service provided by the restaurant, you can say Dịch vụ thật tuyệt vời. Cảm ơn bạn. You are sure to make the locals happy with such a remark.

More Example Phrases

  • The bread was delicious = Bánh mì rất ngon
  • I want to try street food = Tôi muốn thử thức ăn đường phố
  • Trying pork was fun = Ăn thử thịt lợn rất vui
  • I love the sitting arrangement = Tôi thích sự sắp xếp ngồi
  • The restaurant looks really pretty = Nhà hàng trông thực sự đẹp
  • Can I have some more rice? = Cho tôi xin ít cơm được không?
  • How do you make the pho? = Bạn làm món phở như thế nào?
  • Is this item too spicy? = Món này có quá cay không?
  • The food is too cold = Thức ăn quá lạnh
  • I want some cold water = Tôi muốn một ít nước lạnh
  • Here is the tip! = Đây là mẹo!
  • Keep the change = Giữ tiền lẻ
  • Where is the manager? = Người quản lý ở đâu?
  • Can I use the bathroom? = Cho tôi sử dụng nhà tắm nhé?
  • Thank you for the amazing experience = Cảm ơn bạn vì trải nghiệm tuyệt vời

Learn With Ling App!

Learn Vietnamese

As we talk about learning Vietnamese, have you tried the Ling App yet? Ling App is a language learning app that is ever-ready with multiple words and example phrases to proffer the best guide in your journey. Thus, if you are willing to learn more than just restaurant vocab like sentence structures, music, or even the culture of Vietnam in general, you can do so by just downloading the app for free.

Ling has special features like an interactive AI chatbot that will help you improve your communication skills. The website contains hundreds of blog posts that will expose you to numerous meaningful content written with the help of language experts. What's even more interesting is that this platform is available both in the App Store and Play Store, making it the best choice no matter what device you are using. So, if you are ready to move ahead with your Vietnamese word lesson and have fun, download Ling App now and learn Vietnamese right away!

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