Ordering in a Japanese restaurant

If you’re traveling in Japan you’ll definitely be eating out and ordering in a Japanese restaurant, so don’t miss this free lesson! We’ll teach you the basics you need to know so you don’t go hungry – just listen to the audio and practice saying these Japanese words and phrases aloud. When you’re ready, why not try them out on the staff at a local Japanese restaurant?

Feel like some sake? Need some extra rice? No problem! After this lesson you’ll be ordering from the menu in Japanese like a pro, and impressing everyone at the table with your Japanese language skills. Is your mouth watering?

Let’s get started!

Ordering in a Japanese restaurant

Running sushi - Japanese food

In Japan there are restaurants where you will be seated by the waiter or waitress. Other times, you may be asked to choose the table yourself. In some restaurants the menu will be on the table already otherwise the waiter will bring it over to you as soon as possible.  After being greeted you could get asked one of the following questions…

おのみもの は なに が いい です か

お飲み物は何はいいですか

Onomimono wa nani ga ii desu ka?

What would you like to drink?

ごちゅうもん おきまり です か

ご注文お決まりですか

Gochūmon okimari desu ka?

Have you chosen already?

なに を めしあがり ます か

何を召し上がりますか

Nani o meshiagari masu ka?

What would you like to order?

ぜんさい は いかが です か

前菜はいかがですか

Zensai wa ikaga desu ka?

Would you like a starter?

なに に なさい ます か

何になさいますか

Nani ni nasaimasu ka?

What would you like?

Sometimes all you might get asked is…

はい、 なに を

はい、何を

Hai, nani o?

Yes, please?

You could answer by saying one of these phrases…

もう すこし まって ください

もう少し待ってください

Mō sukoshi matte kudasai.

One moment, please.

まず のみもの を たのみたい です

まず飲み物を頼みたいです

Mazu nomimono o tanomitai desu.

I’d like to order something to drink to start with.

まだ きめて いません

まだ決めていません

Mada kimete imasen.

I don’t know yet.

Japanese plates

Not sure what you fancy eating? Just ask the waiter what he recommends…

おすすめ ひん は なん です か

お勧め品は何ですか

Osusume hin wa nan desu ka?

What can you recommend?

きょう の ひがわり メニュー / ていしょく は なん です か

今日の日替わりメニュー / 定食は何ですか

Kyō no higawari menyū / teishoku wa nan desu ka?

What is the daily special?

きょう の スープ は なん です か

今日のスープは何ですか

Kyō no sūpu wa nan desu ka?

What is the soup of the day?

Here are the names of some dishes and drinks that you might find on the menu…

ミネラル ウォーター

-

Mineraru wōtā

Mineral water

ジュース

-

Jūsu

Juice

ビール

-

Bīru

Beer

あか ワイン

赤ワイン

Aka wain

Red wine

しろ ワイン

白ワイン

Shiro wain

White wine

シャンパン

-

Shanpan

Champers / Bubbly

さけ

Sake

Sake

Japanese drink

ぜんさい

前菜

Zensai

Starter

メイン

-

Mein

Main

デザート

-

Dezāto

Dessert

つけ あわせ りょうり

付け合わせ料理

Tsuke awase ryōri

Side dish

スープ

-

Sūpu

Soup

サラダ

-

Sarada

Salad

ソース

-

Sōsu

Sauce

やさい

野菜

Yasai

Vegetables

じゃがいも

じゃが芋

Jyagaimo

Potatoes

おこめ/ごはん/ライス

お米/ご飯

Okome/Gohan/Raisu

Rice

にく

Niku

Meat

ラーメン/うどん/そば

ラーメン/うどん/蕎麦

Ramen / Udon/ Soba

Noodles

ぶた にく

豚肉

Buta niku

Pork

とり にく

鶏肉

Tori niku

Chicken

ぎゅう にく

牛肉

Gyū niku

Beef

In order to get the dish you want simply say…

おかんじょう を おねがいします

お勘定をお願いします

Okanjō o onegaishimasu.

The bill, please.

おいくら です か

お幾らですか

Oikura desu ka?

(I would like to pay) How much is it?

Once you finished your meal you ask for the bill…

…を ください

-

…o kudasai

I’ll have…

…を おねがいします

…をお願いします

… o onegaishimasu

I would like… please

In Japan, the waiter or waitress will bring the bill to your table but you will have to pay at the cashier, usually at the entrance of the restaurant. If you are eating out with a group you might want to ask to pay together, or separately…

いっしょ に おねがいします

一緒にお願いします

Issho ni onegaishimasu

We will pay together

べつ べつ に お願いします

別々にお願いします

Betsu betsu ni onegaishimasu

We will pay separately

It is not expected to tip in Japanese restaurants. Gratuity is included in the check. If you want to express your gratitude, it is common for Japanese customers to yell out, “Gochisō-sama”, which suggest “I have enjoyed the dinner very much”.

ごちそう さま

ご馳走様

Gochisō sama

Thank you for the food!

That’s it for today’s lesson.

Here are a few recommended Japanese lessons to try next!

Mata kondo!

Signature

Sayaka Matsuura
Rocket Japanese


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