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【Learn Chinese】Different Names for Restaurant in Chinese
Today, we’re looking at some commonly used Chinese words for "restaurant." You might have come across terms like "餐馆," "餐厅," "饭店," "饭馆," and "菜馆."
But what are the differences between them? And which ones are the most common? Let’s break it down!
First, we have "餐馆" (cānguǎn). "餐馆" (cānguǎn) is a general word for "restaurant" and is widely used in both formal and informal contexts.
Example Sentence:
今晚我们去那家新开的餐馆吃饭吧! (Jīnwǎn wǒmen qù nà jiā xīn kāi de cānguǎn chīfàn ba) - Let’s go to that new restaurant for dinner tonight!
Next, "餐厅" (cāntīng). "餐厅" (cāntīng) also means "restaurant," but it can refer to both a standalone restaurant and a dining hall within a larger establishment, like a school or company.
Example Sentence:
我们学校的餐厅提供各种美食。(Wǒmen xuéxiào de cāntīng tígōng gèzhǒng měishí) - Our school dining hall offers a variety of foods.
Moving on to "饭店" (fàndiàn). Historically, "饭店" meant "hotel," but in modern usage, it often refers to higher-end restaurants. However, in some regions, it can still mean "hotel."
Example Sentence:
这家饭店的粤菜特别有名。(Zhè jiā fàndiàn de Yuècài tèbié yǒumíng) - This restaurant is famous for its Cantonese cuisine.
Now, let's talk about "饭馆" (fànguǎn).  "饭馆" (fànguǎn) is similar to "餐馆" and generally means "restaurant," but it often suggests a more casual or family-run establishment.
Example Sentence:
那家小饭馆的饺子非常好吃。(Nà jiā xiǎo fànguǎn de jiǎozi fēicháng hǎochī) - The dumplings at that little restaurant are very delicious.
Lastly, we have "菜馆" (càiguǎn). "菜馆" (càiguǎn) literally translates to "vegetable restaurant," but it refers to a place where you can order a variety of dishes, often highlighting a certain type of cuisine.
Example Sentence:
我们今晚去那家四川菜馆吧。(Wǒmen jīnwǎn qù nà jiā Sìchuān càiguǎn ba) - Let’s go to that Sichuan restaurant tonight.
In terms of frequency, "餐馆" and "餐厅" are the most commonly used in everyday conversation. "饭馆" is also very common, especially in more casual contexts. "饭店" is used both for restaurants and hotels, depending on the region, while "菜馆" is less common and often specific to certain types of cuisine.