Vietnamese language basics: Food and Drinks

Exploring Vietnamese Language Basics: Food and Drinks

As a Vietnamese language teacher, I understand the importance of mastering vocabulary related to food and drinks. Not only does it enhance your ability to navigate local cuisine, but it also allows you to connect with Vietnamese culture on a deeper level.

In this lesson, we’ll delve into some essential Vietnamese words and phrases related to food and drinks, complete with English pronunciations for easy learning.

Vietnamese Food Vocabulary:

  1. Phở (fuh): This iconic Vietnamese noodle soup is a must-try for any visitor.
  2. Bánh mì (bun mee): A Vietnamese sandwich typically filled with meats, pickled vegetables, and herbs.
  3. Bún chả (boon cha): Grilled pork served over rice noodles with herbs and dipping sauce.
  4. Cơm gà (kohm ga): Chicken rice, a simple yet delicious dish of rice served with poached or roasted chicken.
  5. Bánh xèo (bun say-oh): Crispy Vietnamese pancakes filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.

Vietnamese Drink Vocabulary:

  1. Trà (ch-rah): Tea, a popular beverage enjoyed throughout Vietnam.
  2. Cà phê (kah fay): Coffee, a staple of Vietnamese culture often enjoyed with condensed milk over ice.
  3. Nước mía (nook mee-ah): Sugarcane juice, a refreshing and sweet drink commonly sold by street vendors.
  4. Bia (bee-ah): Beer, with popular local brands including Saigon, Hanoi, and Bia Hơi (fresh beer).
  5. Nước đá (nook dah): Iced water, a common drink served alongside meals.

Useful Phrases for Ordering Food and Drinks:

  1. Xin chào, tôi muốn đặt món. (Sin chow, toy moon dat mon): Hello, I would like to order.
  2. Cho tôi một phở bò và một trà đá, xin cám ơn. (Chow toy mot fuh bah va mot ch-rah dah, sin kahm uhn): I’ll have a beef phở and an iced tea, please.
  3. Có cà phê sữa không? (Koh kah fay soo-ah kohng): Do you have Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk?
  4. Tôi thích một ly nước mía, xin cám ơn. (Toy tik mot lee nook mee-ah, sin kahm uhn): I’d like a glass of sugarcane juice, please.
  5. Mang ra cho tôi một bánh mì gà, xin cám ơn. (Mahng ra chow toy mot bun mee ga, sin kahm uhn): Bring me a chicken bánh mì, please.


Learning basic Vietnamese words and phrases related to food and drinks is essential for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture.

Whether you’re ordering from a street vendor or exploring local eateries, mastering these vocabulary items will enhance your experience and allow you to connect more deeply with Vietnamese cuisine.

So, go ahead and practice these phrases, and get ready to savor the flavors of Vietnam! 🍜☕🇻🇳