Lesson 16: Vietnamese vocabulary about food and beverages

Understanding food and beverage vocabulary is crucial when dining out, shopping for groceries, or simply exploring the culinary delights of Vietnam. “Lesson 16: Vietnamese vocabulary about food and beverages” provides comprehensive vocabulary, phrases, and examples related to food and beverages in Vietnamese.

Common Food Vocabulary

1. Basic Food Items:

  • Cơm — Rice
  • Phở — Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)
  • Bánh mì — Bread
  • Thịt — Meat
  • Cá — Fish
  • Rau — Vegetables


2. Types of Meat:

  • Thịt bò — Beef
  • Thịt gà — Chicken
  • Thịt lợn — Pork
  • Thịt vịt — Duck


3. Common Vegetables:

  • Cà rốt — Carrot
  • Cà chua — Tomato
  • Hành — Onion
  • Rau xà lách — Lettuce


4. Fruits:

  • Táo — Apple
  • Chuối — Banana
  • Cam — Orange
  • Nho — Grape


5. Other Common Food Items:

  • Trứng — Egg
  • Sữa — Milk
  • Bơ — Butter
  • Phô mai — Cheese

Common Beverage Vocabulary

1. Basic Beverages:

  • Nước — Water
  • Trà — Tea
  • Cà phê — Coffee
  • Nước ngọt — Soft drink


2. Types of Coffee:

  • Cà phê sữa — Milk coffee
  • Cà phê đen — Black coffee
  • Cà phê đá — Iced coffee
  • Cà phê trứng — Egg coffee


3. Types of Tea:

  • Trà đá — Iced tea
  • Trà xanh — Green tea
  • Trà chanh — Lemon tea


4. Alcoholic Beverages:

  • Bia — Beer
  • Rượu — Alcohol/liquor
  • Rượu vang — Wine

Useful Phrases and Dialogues

1. At a Restaurant:

  • Cho tôi thực đơn, làm ơn.
  • Please give me the menu.


  • Đây là thực đơn, xin mời.
  • Here is the menu, please.


  • Tôi muốn gọi món phở bò.
  • I would like to order beef pho.


  • Bạn có muốn uống gì không?
  • Would you like something to drink?


  • Cho tôi một ly cà phê sữa đá.
  • Please give me an iced milk coffee.


2. At a Market:

  • Cái này giá bao nhiêu?
  • How much is this?


  • Cái này mười nghìn đồng.
  • This is ten thousand dong.


  • Tôi muốn mua một cân táo.
  • I want to buy one kilogram of apples.


  • Táo này hai mươi nghìn đồng một cân.
  • These apples are twenty thousand dong per kilogram.


3. In a Café:

  • Cho tôi một ly trà đá.
  • Please give me an iced tea.


  • Bạn có muốn thêm đường không?
  • Would you like extra sugar?


  • Không, như vậy là đủ rồi.
  • No, that’s enough.

Cultural Tips for Dining in Vietnam

  1. Respect for Elders: When dining with Vietnamese people, it’s customary to let the eldest person start eating first.
  2. Sharing Meals: Vietnamese meals are often served family-style, with shared dishes in the center of the table.
  3. Using Chopsticks: Practice using chopsticks as they are commonly used in Vietnam. Don’t stick them upright in a bowl of rice, as this resembles incense sticks used in funerals.
  4. Tipping: Tipping is not expected in most places, but it is appreciated in high-end restaurants and for exceptional service.
  5. Bargaining: When buying food at markets, bargaining is common. Start with a lower price than you are willing to pay and negotiate from there.
  6. Thanking the Cook: If you are invited to someone’s home for a meal, it’s polite to compliment the cook and thank them for the meal.

Having a good grasp of food and beverage vocabulary in Vietnamese will enhance your dining and shopping experiences in Vietnam. This guide provides essential vocabulary, practical phrases, and cultural insights to help you navigate various food-related situations with confidence. Practice these terms and phrases regularly, and don’t hesitate to use them in real-life scenarios to improve your fluency and understanding of Vietnamese cuisine.

Lesson 17: Ordering and paying at a restaurant in Vietnamese