Vegetarian or Fast Food?

The word for ‘vegetarian food’ in Chinese sounds exactly the same as the word for ‘fast food’, so if you are a vegetarian it’s probably best to double-check before leaving for the restaurant.


Pinyin: sù shí
English: vegetarian food


Pinyin: sù shí
English: fast food
Note: Also known as 快餐(kuài cān)

Actually, the word for fast food is very rarely used in general conversation, and people would usually just say the name of the restaurant, such as:


Pinyin: Màidāngláo
English: McDonald’s


Pinyin: Kěndéjī
English: KFC

So when you tell people you’re a vegetarian you can say the following:

Wǒ shì chīsù de
I’m a vegetarian

You might also add some clarification by adding that you don’t eat meat:

Wǒ bù chī ròu, wǒ shì chīsù de
I don’t eat meat, I’m a vegetarian

If someone asks you what you want to eat, you can tell them vegetarian food by saying:

Wǒ yào chīsù

The 素 in the sentence above being short for 素食餐(Sù shí cān)- a vegetarian meal.

2 responses to “Vegetarian or Fast Food?

  1. It seems you’ve got an incorrect character in your last sentence:

    “素 in the sentence above being short for 食餐”

    should be:

    “素 in the sentence above being short for 食餐”

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