VietnaMenu

A Food Lover's Travel Guide to the Best of Vietnamese Food

The Ultimate Guide to Translating Vietnamese Menus into English


Getting off-the-beaten-path in Vietnam is a good idea, but it could also mean ordering food at restaurants with no English menus. When I first arrived in Vietnam, this was a problem. I found myself going into restaurants and browsing other people's plates instead of menus. The adventurous eater might just pick something at random and hope it's good, but in Vietnam you risk ordering dog, cat, snails, frogs, turtle, snake, and a whole other menagerie.

Currently, I am pretty good at ordering from a Vietnamese menu. Since I moved here, I have been keeping track of all the words on menus that I see and don't understand. I've put together a list of Vietnamese-English translations that I want to share with you, so you can be a confident eater on your culinary travels.

Vietnamese-English Food Dictionary (Download the PDF)

VietnameseEnglish
Anh ĐàoCherries
Bắcnorthern style
Bạc HàTaro Stem
Bánh BaoSteamed Meat Buns
Bánh BèoMini Steamed Rice Pancakes
Bánh Bò NướngBaked Honey Comb Cake
Bánh CanhVietnamese Hand-cut Rice Noodles
Banh ChungTet Sticky Rice Cakes (Square)
Bánh CuốnSteamed Rice Rolls
Bánh Da LợnLayered Pandan Cake
Bánh FlanFlan cake
banh hoirice noodles
Bánh HỏiAngel Hair Vermicelli
Bánh Hỏi Thịt NướngGrilled Pork Angel Hair Vermicelli
Bánh Khoai MìCassava and Coconut Cake
Bánh Khoai MônTaro Cake
Bánh KhọtCrispy Rice, Coconut and Shrimp Cakes
Bánh MìBaguette / Bread
Bánh Mì Bò KhoBeef Stew with Baguette
Bánh Mì Cà RiCurry with Baguette
Bánh Mì ThịtVietnamese Baguette Sandwich
Bánh Pa Tê SôPate Chaud
Bánh TằmSilkworm Noodles
Bánh TétTet Sticky Rice Cake (Cylinder)
Bánh TiêuSweet Fried Bread
Bánh TrángRice Paper
Bánh tráng cuốnSummer rolls/fresh spring rolls
Bánh tráng nướnga grilled rice paper with toppings, similar to a pizza
Bánh Trung ThuMoon Cake
Bánh ƯớtSteamed Rice Sheets
Bánh XèoSizzling Crepes
Bao Tửpig's stomach
BắpCorn
bắp bòcorn beef
BầuGuava Bean
Shredded pork skin
Bí ĐaoFuzzy Gourd
Bí Gợ (aka bi do)Pumpkin
BiaBeer
Bịt tếtsteak
beef
Avocado
bò chínwell done beef
bo cungRed Bull
bổ dưỡng nutritious
Bò KhoVietnamese Beef Stew
Bò Lá LốtGrilled Beef in Betel Leaves
Bò Lúc LắcShaking Beef
Bò Nhúng DắmBeef Dipped in Vinegar
bò táirare beef
Bò Tái ChanhRare Lime Beef
bò viênbeef meatballs
Bò Xào Xã ỚtSpicy Stir-fried Lemongrass Beef
bộtpowder or flour
bột lọc a variation of tapioca flour noodles (banh canh) where the noodles are clearer.
Búnnoodles
Bún Bò HuếSpicy Hue Vermicelli Soup
Bún Chả GiòSpring Roll Vermicelli
Bún Chả HanoiHanoi Grilled Pork Vermicelli
Bún Gà NướngGrilled Chicken Vermicelli
Bún MắmMekong Seafood Vermicelli Soup
Bún Măng VịtBamboo Shoot and Duck Vermicelli Soup
Bún RiêuCrab and Tomato Vermicelli Soup
Bún ThangHanoi Vermicelli Soup
Bún Thịt NướngGrilled Pork Vermicelli
BưởiGrapefruit / Pomelo
fish
Cà ChuaTomato
cá kèoGoby fish
cá lócSnakehead fish
Cá mòi Sardines
Cà PháoThai Eggplant
Ca PhêCoffee
Ca Phê Sữa ĐáVietnamese Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk
Ca Phe Sua NongHot Coffee with Condensed Milk
Cà RiCurry
Cà TímEggplant
Cà tímeggplant
các món cơm trưa lunch dishes
Cải BắpCabbage
Cải HoaCauliflower
Cải Rô (aka cai lan)Chinese Broccoli
Cải thìa Bok choy
Cải XanhLettuce
CamOrange
Cẩmmixed
Cần NướcWater celery
Cần TàuChinese Celery
Cần TâyCelery
càng cuacrab claw
Càng CuaCrab claw herb
CanhSoup
Canh ChuaTamarind Fish Soup
Cánh gà chicken wings
Cây Củ CầnParsnip
ChảVietnamese sausage in the south (see giò for northern version)
Chả GiòFried Spring Rolls
Chả LụaClassic Vietnamese Sausage
ChanhLime
Chanh Lemon
CháoPlain Congee
Cháo CáFish Congee
Cháo GàChicken Congee
Cháo LòngOffal Cogee
Chạo TômGrilled Sugarcane Shrimp
ChèSweet Dessert Soup/Pudding/Drink
Chè Ba MàuThree Color Beans (Drink)
Chè BấpSweet Corn Porridge
Chè Xôi NướcSticky Rice Dumplings in Ginger Syrup
ChiênFried
chimbird
chínwell done
Chôm ChômRambutan
chuasour
chua ngotsweet and sour
chui 
ChuốiBanana
Chuôí ChiênFried Banana
co'mrice
Cơm ChiênFried Rice
Cơm Gà Hải NạmRice with Hainan Chicken
Cơm Gà Xào Xã ỚtRice with Stir-fried Lemongrass Chicken
Cơm RượuSweet Fermented Rice
Cơm SườnRice with Grilled Pork Chop
Cơm TấmBroken Rice
Cơm Tôm Càng RimJumbo Shrimp Rice
Cơm Xào Rau CảiRice with Stir-fried Vegetables
conper unit
Củ Cải Đỏ (aka ca-rot)Carrot
Củ Cải ĐườngBeets
Củ CẢi TrắngDaikon
Củ Cải XanhGreen Radish
Củ HànhYellow Onion
Củ SắnJicama
Củ SenLotus Roots
Củ Tỏ [aka toi]Garlic
Củ TừYam
cuacrab
cuốnroll
cút lộnquail's egg with partially developed fetus
dac bietspecial
đặc biệtspecial
ĐàoPeach
Đậu BấpOkra
đầu cáfish head
Đậu ĐũaYard-Long Bean
Đậu HộtPeas
Đậu NànhSoy Bean
Đậu QueGreen Bean
Đậu rồng"Dragon bean"
Đậu XanhMung Bean
dĩaplate
ĐổPour
Đồ ChuaMixed Pickled Vegetables
douongdrinks
Đu ĐủPapaya
DừaCoconut
Dưa HấuWatermelon
Dưa LeoCucumber
echfrog
em bébaby-sized version of dish
fo maicheese
chicken
Gà Nướng XãGrilled Lemongrass Chicken
gà tachicken
Gà tiềm ớt hiểmPotentially dangerous chili chicken
gântendon
gầufatty brisket
GiáBean Sprouts
Giải KhácBeverages
giấy bạctin foil, usually refers to something cooked in foil and will often come to your table hot and still in the foil.
giòsausage, what the north calls cha
giòncrispy
GỏiSalad
Gỏi CuốnSalad Rolls
Gỏi cuốnSummer rolls/fresh spring rolls
Gỏi Cuốn BìShredded Pork Salad Rolls
Gỏi Đu ĐủPapaya Salad
Gỏi Ngó SenLotus Stem Salad
Gỏi XoàiMango Salad
GừngGinger
hai sanseafood
HầmStewed / Braised / Slow Cooked
Hànhonion
Hành LáSpring Onion/Green Onion/Scallion
Hành Tăm / Hành HươngShallot
HấpSteamed
HẹChives
HồngPersimmon
Hột Vịt LộnHalf-hatched Duck Eggs
hột vịt lộnpartially developed fetal duck eggs
Hủtofu
Hủ TiếuGlass Noodles
Hủ Tiếu Mỷ ThoMy Tho Seafood Glass Noodles
Hủ Tiếu Xào Rau CảiGlass Noodles Stir-fried with Vegetables
kemice cream
Kẹocandy
kéo sợi"spinning" - can describe noodle (mi) making technique or beef (bo) dish
Khai VịAppetizers
khanwet naps
KhếStar Fruit
Khô MựcToasted Dried Squid
Khổ Qua / Mướp ĐắngBitter Melon
Kho tộ Braised/simmered/claypot cooked
Khoai MìCassava
Khoai MônTaro
Khoai Ngọt / Khoai LangSweet Potato
Khoai TâyPotato
Khoai Tây chiênFrench Fries
KhớmPineapple
KhôngNo/Not/Without
Kiểutype or kind
Lá LốtBetel Leafs
láchlettuce
lan botbattered
LẩuHot Pot
Pear
lọc filtred or finest
lúc lắcliterally "shaking", but refers to cubes of meat
LuộcBoiled
luoneel
LựuPomegranate
MắmFermented Fish/Shrimp Sauce
Mắm NêmFermented Anchovy and Pineapple Sauce
Mắm RuốtShrimp Sauce
MậnPrune
Mẩng Cầu TaSweet-sop (fruit)
Mẩng CẦu XiêmSoursop (fruit)
Măng CụtMangosteen
Măng TâyAsparagus
MeTamarind
Wheat (often referring to wheat noodles)
Mì Hoàng ThánhWonton Noodle Soup
Mì QuảngQuang Noodles
mì tươifresh sphegetti like noodles
Mì Vịt TiềmRoasted Duck in Egg Noodle Soup
Mì xaochinese style noodles stir fried
Mì Xào Dòn Rau CảiCrispy Noodles with Stir-fried Vegetables
Mì ýSpaghetti
MítJackfruit
MộcWoodear mushroom
mới new
Móndishes/items
Món Ăn ChínhEntree / Main Dish
Món PhụSide Dish
Mồng TơiCeylon Spinach
mực squid
MuốiPickled
Mướp hươnga cucumber like gourd (also used to make lufas)
mypasta
Nạc lưngStriploin
NấmMushroom
nạmflank steak
nạmflank steak
nắng "sunny" -similar to butterflied, cut open before it's grilled (usually squid)
nấucooked
Nem ChuaFermented Pork Sausage
Nem cuốnSummer rolls/fresh spring rolls
Nem NướngVietnamese Grilled Meatballs
ngâmsoaked
NghệTurmeric
ngheuclam
Ngò GaiCulantro
Ngò ÔmBuffalo Spinach
Ngò Rí (aka Ngò)Coriander
Ngó SenLotus stems
ngừtuna
NhãnLongan
NhoGrape
NhúngDip
NuiPasta
nước béofatty broth
nước béofatty broth
Nước ChắmDipping Sauce
Nước MắmFish Sauce
Nước Mắm GừngGinger Fish Sauce
Nước MiáSugarcane Juice
Nước TươngSoy Sauce
NướngGrilled
nướng truicooking technique - bury the food
Ocsnails
ỔiGuava
ốp la Sunnyside up
ỚtChilies
Pa-tê Pate
phao câuParson's/Pope's nose, chicken's butt nub
PhởVietnamese noodle soup
phở áp chàosauteed pho noodles
Phô maiCheese
Pho mátCheese
Quảng BìnhVietnamese province, usually describes a type of banh canh (thick noodle soup) with shrimp and pork rib
Quaycooked on a spit
QuếThai Basil
QuítClementine / Tangerine / Mandarin
RangRoasted
Rau ĐắngBitter Herb
Rau Dấp CáFish mint
Rau DềnChinese Spinach
Rau Húng LủiSpearmint
Rau MáPennywort
Rau móp"dented vegetables" - green water spinach-like vegetable
Rau Mùi TâyParsley
Rau MuốngWater Spinach
Rau Muống XàoStir-fried Water Spinach
Rau RămVietnamese Coriander
Rau ThơmMint
RiềngGalangal
Rút xươngBoneless
Sảlemongrass
Sa Bô ChêSapodilla
Sáchtripe
Sầu RiêngDurian
Sinh Tố Trái CâyFruit Shakes
Clam
Sò huyết Blood cockles
socolachocolate
Soda Đá ChanhLime Soda Drink
Soda Đá Chanh MuốiPickled Lime Soda Drink
Soda Sữa Hột GàEgg Yolk Soda Drink
Soda Xí MuộiSalty Preserved Plum Drink
sua chuayogurt
sui caodim sum
SườnRib
Sườn để nướngRib steak
Súp Măng CuaAsparagus and Crab Soup
táirare
tai heopig ear
tẩm bộtbreaded
Tần ÔEdible chrysanthemum greens
TáoApple
Thăn phi lêFillet mignon
Thăn vaiRib eye
Thăn viền mỡstriploin
Thành LongDragonfruit
Thập cẩm Mixed
thêmmore
ThịtMeat (pork, beef, chicken, etc.)
Thịt Heo Kho với TrứngSimmered Pork and Eggs
Thobowl
thơm ngondelicious
Tía TôVietnamese Perilla
Tiết CanhCongealed Duck Blood
TiêuPepper (black or white)
tô khô dry bowl (no broth)
tô nhỏsmall version of the dish
Tỏi garlic
TomShrimp
Tom suTiger Shrimp
TràTea
Trái CâyFruits
Trái SuChayote
Trảng BàngCity in Vietnam that has it's own style of banh canh (thick noodle soup)
Tráng Miệng / Bánh NgọtDesserts
trộnblend/mix
Trứngeggs
Tươifresh
Tương Ăn PhởHoisin Sauce
Tương ỚtSriracha Hot Sauce
combined with
úcAustralian
VảiLychee
vắt"squeezed" - usually refers to the technique used to make a noodle
vè dòncrunchy flank steak
vè dòncrunchy flank steak
VitDuck
vũ nữ"leggy dancers" a type of frog
Vú SữaStar Apple
XảLemongrass
Xà LáchVietnamese Lettuce
Xà Lách SonWatercress
xà lách trộnmixed salad, coleslaw
XanhGreen
XàoStir-fried
Xí MuộiSalty preserved plums
Xíu MạiPork Meatballs
Xíu mạiMeatballs
XoàiMango
XôiSticky Rice
Xuân ĐàoNectarine
Xúc xíchSausage
Xươngbone
Xương hình chữ TT-bone steak