Chinese Language Blog

Chinese Vocabulary – Western Food Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Vocabulary

We all know that Chinese food is amazing. After all, it’s one of the most varied and famous cuisines worldwide. From dim sum in the south, to Beijing roast duck in the north, and everything in between, you’ve got some incredible options for eating your way across China. We’ve already covered real Chinese food in depth here, so check out that recap post to find out all about Chinese meals, snacks, and drinks. While Chinese food is great, sometimes you just need a taste of home.

For travelers, students, and expats in China, once in a while you crave a bit of comfort food. Just because you want a taste of home, though, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try to order in Chinese. Here’s a list of Western food (西餐 – xī cān) vocabulary in Chinese to help you out:


  • cereal (谷类 – gǔ lèi)

  • bacon (培根 – péi gēn)

  • omelette (煎蛋卷 – jiān dàn juǎn)

  • donuts (甜甜圈 – tián tián quān)

  • pancakes (薄煎饼 – báo jiān bing)

Lunch & Dinner



  • hamburger (汉堡包 – hàn bǎo bāo)

  • hot dog (热狗 – rè gǒu)

  • french fries (薯条 – shǔ tiáo)

  • sandwich (三明治 – sān míng zhì)

  • pasta (意大利面 – yì dà lì miàn)

  • steak (牛排 – niú pái)

  • salad (沙拉 – shā lā)

  • soup ( – tāng)

  • pizza (比萨 – bǐ sà)

  • barbecue (烧烤 – shāo kǎo)


Slow Boat Beer in Beijing

Slow Boat Beer in Beijing

  • coffee (咖啡 – kā fēi)

  • Coca-Cola (可口可乐 – kě kǒu kě lè)

  • Sprite (雪碧 – xuě bì)

  • milk (牛奶 – niú nǎi)

  • beer (啤酒 – pí jiǔ)

  • wine (葡萄酒 – pú táo jiǔ)

  • cocktails (鸡尾酒 – jī wěi jiǔ)

Snacks & Desert

  • chicken wings (鸡翅 – jī chì)

  • cheese (奶酪 – nǎi lào)

  • potato chips (薯片- shǔ piàn)

  • popcorn (爆米花 – bào mǐ huā)

  • apple pie (苹果派 – píng guǒ pài)

  • cake (蛋糕 – dàn gāo)

  • ice cream (冰淇淋 – bīng qí lín)

Popular Western Places

The Golden Arches - very well-known even in China.

The Golden Arches – very well-known even in China.

  • McDonald’s (麦当劳 – mài dāng láo)

  • KFC (肯德基 – kěn dé jī)

  • Pizza Hut (必胜客 – bì shèng kè)

  • Burger King (汉堡王 – hàn bǎo wáng)

  • Subway (赛百味 – sài bǎi wèi)

  • Starbucks (星巴克 – xīng bā kè)

While those places are all pretty ubiquitous in China, it’s better to find a local joint run by expats to score some real good comfort food. Having spent almost five years living in Beijing, here are a few of my personal favorite places there that I can highly recommend for some quality Western food:

  • Home Plate – American style BBQ

  • Kro’s Nest – New York style Pizza

  • Blue Frog – great burgers (buy one get one on Mondays!)

  • Lush – student hangout with a big menu

  • Annie’s – easy, affordable, delicious Italian

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.

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