50 Mandarin Words You Need to Know to Order Food in China

In 2014, more than 128 million people visited China, making it one of the most-visited countries in the world. If you are planning a trip, one thing you should know is that China is a large country with many languages and regional dialects. This can be confusing for even domestic Chinese tourists traveling in-country, let alone foreign visitors. Mandarin Chinese, the country’s official language, can be understood almost anywhere. Before going to China, familiarize yourself with these important words in Mandarin Chinese for ordering food. This will come in handy at restaurants and hotels in Shanghai, Beijing and other popular destinations in China.

  1. Rice Mi Fan
  2. Water Shui
  3. Tea Cha
  4. I want this. Wo yao zhe ge.
  5. Eat Chi fan
  6. It’s delicious! Hen hao chi!
  7. Thank you! Xie Xie!
  8. Noodles Mian
  9. Stuffed steamed bun Baozi
  10. Dumpling Jiaozi
  11. Beer Pijiu
  12. Fruit juice Guo zhi
  13. Coffee Ka fei
  14. Chopsticks Kuai zi
  15. Spoon Shao zi
  16. Fork Cha zi
  17. Restaurant Fan guan
  18. Sichuan hot pot Sichuan Huo guo
  19. Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles Lanzhou Lamian
  20. Beijing duck Beijing Kao ya
  21. Shanghai steamed bun Xiao long bao
  22. Kung pao chicken Gong bao ji ding
  23. Sweet and sour pork Tang cu li ji
  24. Chinese barbecue Shao kao
  25. Fried Rice Chao fan
  26. Ma Po Tofu Mapo doufu
  27. Wonton Huntun
  28. Vinegar Cu
  29. Soy sauce Jiangyou
  30. Salt Yan
  31. Hot pepper La jiao
  32. Menu Cai dan
  33. MSG Weijing
  34. Pork Zhu rou
  35. Beef Niu rou
  36. Chicken Ji rou
  37. Shrimp Xia
  38. Tofu Doufu
  39. Tomato Xi hong shi
  40. Bean sprout Dou ya
  41. Potato Tudou
  42. Scallion Cong
  43. Eggplant Qie zi
  44. Sweet Tian
  45. Spicy La
  46. Mutton Yang rou
  47. Waiter/Waitress Fu wu yuan
  48. Cheers Ganbei
  49. Pay the bill. Maidan.
  50. How much money is this? Duoshao qian?

So if you’re booking a flight to Hong Kong, Guangzhou or another Chinese city and you’re currently preparing for your big trip, study these 50 words. You’ll be able to handle yourself at any restaurant with much more ease. After all, eating is a big part of traveling. Knowing Mandarin Chinese restaurant vocabulary will be an invaluable help on your journey.

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on July 7, 2015