Eating out



Here are some words and expressions you'll find helpful when in a restaurant.
  • sumimasen - to get the attention of your waiter or waitress: excuse me; oh, waiter / waitress.

  • food or utensil ga, arimasu ka - Do you have food or utensil?
    • For example:
    • chirashi ga arimasu ka - do you have chirashi?
    • o-hashi ga arimasu ka - do you have chopsticks?


  • food or utensil o kudasai - {could I have / I would like} some food or utensil?
    • For example:
    • o-cha o kudasai - Could I have some tea, please?
    • o-hashi o kudasai - I would like chopsticks, please
    • kore o kudasai - I would like this, please
    • sore o kudasai - I would like that [near you], please
    • are o kudasai - I would like that [over there], please


  • Some food and beverages

      Some beverages:
    • o-cha - tea
    • ko-hi - coffee
    • jiin toniku - gin and tonic
    • sake - sake
    • o-mizu - water; Note: this is one time you do pronounce the trailing 'u'
    • bi-ru - beer; specify Sapporo, Kirin, or Asahi


      Some Foods:
    • miso - miso soup; be careful with mizu versus miso
    • sa-ra-da - salad
    • gyoza - Japanese style dumplings
    • yakitori - grilled chicken


    Of course, the menu will have the terms or a picture, and you can always point ( kore o kudasai - "I'll have this").

    The word to means 'and', so: kore to kore to kore o kudasai is possible. Or, a little more sophisticated, maybe maguro to saba to ebi o kudasai - "I'll have tuna, mackerel, and shrimp, please."

    Before you start to eat, it is customary to say itadakimasu which you can think of as grace, thankfulness for the food.

  • moo ichido onegai-shimasu - {may I have / I would like} [some] more please
  • kekkoo desu - if someone offers you more food and you're full: I'm fine; no more, thanks.

    If you like the food, say oishii desu - "it is delicious", or even totemo oishii desu - "it is very delicious"

    When you are ready for the bill: o-kanjo onegai-shimasu


    When you are finished, it is nice to say go chi so sama deshita to the server or chef: "It was a wonderful feast!".