Vietnamese Food Phrases To Order Local Restaurants

This is a comprehensive guide to Vietnamese food phrases. Learn how to order food and drinks in Vietnam. Find out more and enhance your dining experience now!

Enhance your dining experiences and navigate local eateries confidently with essential phrases. Embark on a gastronomic adventure, tantalize your taste buds, and embrace Vietnam’s rich culinary heritage. Get ready to savor mouthwatering dishes, forge meaningful connections, and create lasting memories. Let’s dive in!

Greetings and Basic Phrases

1. “Xin chào”

This means “hello” and is used when entering a restaurant or approaching the staff to create a friendly atmosphere.

2. “Anh/chị có bàn trống không?”

This means “Do you have an available table?” It’s a polite way to ask about table availability and get seated promptly. You will use “anh” for male and “chị” for female. 

3. “Tôi muốn đặt món”

Use this phrase to say “I would like to order” when you’re ready to choose from the menu.

4. “Xin hãy cho tôi…”

This phrase is used to politely request something. For example, you can say “Please give me a glass of water” as “Xin hãy cho tôi một ly nước” or “Please give me the menu” as “Xin hãy cho tôi thực đơn.”

Vietnamese Food Phrases

1. “Phở”: Pho is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup made with beef or chicken. It has flavorful broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and condiments.

2. “Bánh mì”: Bánh mì is a tasty baguette sandwich with grilled meats, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and chili sauce.

3. “Gỏi cuốn”: Gỏi cuốn are fresh spring rolls made with rice paper, herbs, vermicelli noodles, and shrimp, pork, or tofu. They come with a dipping sauce.

4. “Bún chả”: Bún chả is a dish from Hanoi with grilled pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a dipping sauce.

5. “Cá kho tộ”: Cá kho tộ is a caramelized fish dish. Fish is simmered in a savory, slightly sweet sauce and served with rice and pickled vegetables.

6. “Hủ tiếu”: A Vietnamese noodle soup featuring a flavorful broth, rice noodles, and a variety of meat toppings.

7. “Bún bò Huế”: A spicy and aromatic Vietnamese soup, hailing from the city of Huế, known for its beef, vermicelli noodles, and lemongrass-infused broth.

8. “Bánh xèo”: Crispy Vietnamese savory pancakes filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs, typically enjoyed with fresh lettuce and dipping sauce.

Ordering Food

1. “Cho tôi một phở gà”

This means “One chicken pho, please.” Use this phrase if you want the chicken version of pho. You can replace “gà” (chicken) with “bò” (beef) or any other protein you prefer.

2. “Tôi muốn một bánh mì thịt”

You can use it to order a tasty meat-filled banh mi sandwich. You can specify the type of meat you want, such as “thịt nướng” (grilled meat), “xíu mại” (meatball), or “chả lụa” (pork sausage).

3. “Cho tôi xin một dĩa gỏi cuốn”

This phrase requests a plate of fresh spring rolls. It means “Please bring me one plate of fresh spring rolls.” Enjoy the refreshing flavors of gỏi cuốn during your meal.

In addition to these specific phrases, it’s useful to have some general phrases. For example, “Có thêm nước chấm không?” means “Can I have extra dipping sauce, please?” or “Cho tôi xin thêm muối” means “Please bring me some more salt.” These phrases help you customize your meal and make it more enjoyable.


1. “Cho tôi một ly trà đá”

This means “One glass of iced tea, please.” Vietnamese iced tea, called “trà đá,” is a popular choice with meals. It’s a refreshing blend of black tea and ice, sometimes sweetened with condensed milk.

2. “Tôi muốn một ly nước mía”

Use this phrase for a glass of sugarcane juice. “Nước mía” is made from pressed sugarcane stalks and is a cool and rejuvenating drink.

3. “Cho tôi một chai bia”

If you want a cold beer, say this phrase to request a bottle of beer. You can specify the brand or type you prefer if you like.

Vietnam also offers a variety of tropical fruit juices, smoothies, and unique beverages. When exploring local cafes and street vendors, you might come across “sinh tố” (fruit smoothies), “nước ép trái cây” (freshly squeezed fruit juice), or “trà sữa” (milk tea). Feel free to ask for recommendations or inquire about popular local drinks.

Using polite language and a friendly tone when ordering drinks is important. Start your order with “Xin hãy cho tôi” (Please bring me), followed by the specific drink you want.

Cultural Tips for Dining in Vietnam

1. Share the experience: Vietnamese dining is often communal, so order a variety of dishes for everyone to try. Sharing creates a sense of togetherness.

2. Chopstick manners: Practice using chopsticks before your trip. Use them to pick up food gently, avoiding stabbing. If you’re not comfortable, ask for a fork and spoon.

3. Toasting and drinking: Toasting is important in Vietnamese culture. Raise your glass slightly, make eye contact, and wait for the senior person to initiate the toast.

4. Use both hands: When receiving or passing dishes, use both hands as a sign of respect and gratitude.

5. Take your time: Vietnamese meals are enjoyed at a relaxed pace. Savor each bite, engage in conversation, and appreciate the experience. Rushing is impolite.

6. Show gratitude: Say “Cám ơn” (thank you) to the restaurant staff and your dining companions. Expressing gratitude creates a positive dining atmosphere.

To make the most of your dining experience in Vietnam, remember these key points:

1. Learn basic Vietnamese food phrases and cultural customs.

2. Use polite language, practice chopstick etiquette, and enjoy communal dining.

3. Explore the diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine and embrace new experiences.

By immersing yourself in Vietnamese food and culture, you’ll have memorable dining adventures. Keep exploring, try new flavors, and embrace the captivating nuances of Vietnam’s food scene.

When it comes to survival situations and immersing yourself in Vietnamese culture, mastering the Vietnamese language becomes crucial. In this regard, Vietnamese Language Studies (VLS) is your ideal choice.

At VLS, we recognize that every student has unique learning needs and aspirations. At our institution, we take pride in fostering a welcoming and inclusive learning environment that attracts students from all over the world. By joining VLS, you not only gain fluency in the Vietnamese language but also gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s rich culture, traditions, and history.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn Vietnamese culture and language with VLStudies. 


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