Dining Out in Japanese

Japanese cuisine is one of the best parts of traveling to Japan. The Japanese are enthusiastic about food – especially Japanese food. In fact, the primary reason many Japanese people travel travel outside their hometowns is to experience the cuisine offered in other towns and cities throughout Japan. If you want to feel at home, and really experience the the Japanese culture first hand, having an understanding of Japanese terms, phrases an words relating to dining out is essential. Below we'll explore the phrases most commonly used for Japanese food and cuisine. Click on any blue button to hear a phrase, then repeat the phrase out load.
English
Japanese
Welcome (greeting at restaurant)
いらっしゃいませ
irasshai mase
How many people? (asked when entering restaurant)
何名様ですか?
nan mei sama desu ka?
Do you have an English menu?
英語のメニューがありますか
eigo no menyuu ga arimasu ka?
Thank you
ありがとうございます
arigatou gozaimasu

After you've been greeted and seated, it's not uncommon for the waiter to ask you one of the following questions.
What would you like to drink?
お飲み物はいかが致しますか
onomi mono wa ika ga itashimasu ka?
Have you chosen already?
ご ちゅうもん おきまり です か
Go chūmon okimari desu ka?
Would you like a starter?
ぜんさい は いかが です か
Zensai wa ikaga desu ka?
What would you like to order?
なに を めしあがり ます か
Nani o meshiagari masu ka?
What would you like?
なに に なさい ます か
Nani ni nasaimasu ka?

Possible responses...
I don’t know yet.
まだ きめて いません
Mada kimete imasen
One moment, please
もう すこし まって ください
Mō sukoshi matte kudasai
I’d like to order something to drink to start with
まず のみもの を たのみたい です
Mazu nomimono o tanomitai desu
What is the daily special?
きょう の ひがわり メニュー / ていしょく は なん です か
Kyō no higawari menyū / teishoku wa nan desu ka?
What can you recommend?
おすすめ ひん は なん です か
Osusume hin wa nan desu ka?
Can I have one of _____ please?
______ を一つお願いします
______ wo hitotsu onegai shimasu?
What is this?
これは何ですか?
kore wa nan desu ka?
Do you have a vegetarian menu?
お子様メニューはありますか
okosama menyuu wa arimasu ka?
I'll have ______.
______ を ください
o kudasai ______
I would like ______ please
______ を おねがいします
o onegaishimasu ______

The following are some of the more common drinks and food items served at Japanese restaurants.
Meat
にく
Niku
Pork
ぶた にく
Buta-niku
Chicken
とり にく
Tori-niku
Beef
ぎゅう にく
Gyū-niku
Noodles
ラーメン/うどん/そば
Ramen / Udon / Soba
Rice
おこめ/ごはん/ライス
Okome / Gohan / Raisu
Vegetables
やさい
Yasai
Potatoes
じゃがいも
Jyagaimo
Salad
サラダ
Sarada
Sake
さけ
Sake
Juice
ジュース
Jūsu
Mineral water
ミネラル ウォーター
Mineraru wōtā
Beer
ビール
Biiru
Wine
ワイン
wain

When you're done ordering and eating...
How much is it? (I would like to pay)
お いくら です か
O-ikura desu ka?
The bill, please
おかんじょう を おねがいします
Okanjō o onegaishimasu