Subway in Chinese – LTL’s Ultimate Guide to Ordering Your Favourite Sub
You’re in China, you’ve been eating noodles and dumplings (and lots of other yummy Chinese food) for a few weeks and maybe, just maybe you feel like you want to go get yourself a sandwich to break it up a bit.
But how do you order a subway in Chinese?
There are so many different options for bread, sandwich filling, salad and sauce.
Well have no fear, because we’ve got this great blog to teach you all the vocabulary you’ll need to order your favourite subway sandwich in Chinese.
Step one is finding the restaurant. Subway in Chinese is:
Chinese Characters: 赛百味
Pinyin: sài bǎiwèi
Meaning: Literally this means “competition 100 flavours”, which I guess is relevant to subway and all their different options, but it’s mainly just a transliteration of the word in English. It’s meant to sound like the word “Subway”.
Remember the word for the restaurant is not a direct translation from the English. That would be 地铁 Dìtiě – if you ask for directions to this you’ll be pointed to the nearest metro/underground/tube station.
Once you’ve safely made it to your nearest subway restaurant, you can start ordering your sub. Here’s a video of how we did it:
Make sure to check out the vocabulary below to learn how to order your own favourite sandwich…
⬇️⬇️⬇️ Take The SUBWAY SANDWICH QUIZ ⬇️⬇️⬇️
1. Bread in Chinese – Choose your Dough
The general word for bread in Chinese is:
面包 miàn bāo = bread, literally “flour bag”
However in subway, they have 4 different options for you to choose from as you may well know.
Here they are in Chinese with pinyin and literal meanings.
- Chinese Characters: 蜂蜜燕麦
- Pinyin: fēng mì yàn mài
- Meaning: literally ‘honey oat’
- Chinese Characters: 白面包
- Pinyin: bái miàn bāo
- Meaning: white bread’
- Chinese Characters: 全麦
- Pinyin: quán mài
- Meaning: ‘all/whole wheat’
- Chinese Characters: 香奶酪
- Pinyin: xiāng nǎi lào
- Meaning: ‘Fragrant Cheese’
2. Size in Chinese
So once you’ve decided which bread you’d like, you need to say which size you’d like. There are 2 ways of doing this, you can either go for a big/small, or you can specify 6/12 inch.
The server might ask you:
你要大的还是小的？Nǐ yào dà de háishì xiǎo de?
Do you want a big or small?
你要6寸的还是12寸的？Nǐ yào liù cùn de háishì shíèr cùn de?
Do you want a 6 inch or 12 inch?
To which you can reply one of the following:
Big in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 大的
- Pinyin: dà de
- Meaning: Big one
- Chinese Characters: 6寸的
- Pinyin: liù cùn de
Small in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 小的
- Pinyin: xiǎo de
- Meaning: Small One
- Chinese Characters: 寸的
- Pinyin: shíèr cùn de
Learn more about traditional Chinese food and the 8 main cuisine types here.
3. Sandwich Filling in Chinese
Now this is the big decision:
你要吃什么？Nǐ yào chī shénme?
What do you want to eat?
- Chinese Characters: 缤纷蔬菜
- Pinyin: Bīnfēn shūcài
- Meaning: “Rich and Diverse Vegetables”
Ham in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 西式火腿
- Pinyin: Xīshì huǒtuǐ
- Meaning: “Western Style Fire Leg”
Spicy Italian in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 意式萨拉米贝贝罗尼
- Pinyin: Yì shì sà lā mǐ bèi bèi luō ní
- Meaning: ‘Italian style salami”
BLT in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 经典培根
- Pinyin: Jīngdiǎn péigēn
- Meaning: “Classic Bacon”
Italian Sausage in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 意式香肠
- Pinyin: Yì shì xiāngcháng
- Meaning: “Italian Style Sausage”
Turkey Breast in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 火鸡胸
- Pinyin: Huǒ jīxiōng
- Meaning: “Fire Chicken Breast”
Roasted Chicken in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 香嫩烤鸡排
- Pinyin: Xiāng nèn kǎo jī pái
- Meaning: “Fragrant tender roast chicken strips”
Chicken Teriyaki in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 照烧鸡
- Pinyin: Zhào shāo jī
- Meaning: “Teriyaki Chicken”
- Chinese Characters: 川香麻辣鸡
- Pinyin: Chuān xiāng málà jī
- Meaning: “Sichuan Fragrant Spicy Chicken”
Italian BMT in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 意式经典 BMT
- Pinyin: Yì shì jīngdiǎn BMT
- Meaning: “Italian Style Classic BMT”
Roast Beef in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 香烤牛肉
- Pinyin: Xiāng kǎo niúròu
- Meaning: “Fragrant Roast Beef”
Tuna in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 金枪鱼
- Pinyin: Jīnqiāngyú
- Meaning: “Gold Rifle Fish”
Subway Melt in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 肉香满溢
- Pinyin: “Ròu xiāng mǎn yì”
- Meaning: “Meat Fragrant Overflowing”
Subway Club in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 百味精选
- Pinyin: Bǎiwèi jīng xuǎn
- Meaning: “100 flavours handpicked”
Black-Pepper Thick Cut Steak
- Chinese Characters: 黑胡椒厚切牛排
- Pinyin: Hēi hújiāo hòu qiè niúpái
- Meaning: “Black pepper thick cut steak”
Remember to tell your server if you want cheese or not at this point too. In general they add it automatically, so for you vegans out there or cheese-haters, make sure to say:
- bùyào nǎilào
- I don’t want cheese
For some more international food options in China check out our eat your way around the world blog.
Subway Sandwich Quiz
4. Heat it Up? “Jia re ma?”
The next stage is pretty simple, your server will ask you if you want your sandwich heated up:
要加热吗 yào jiā rè ma？- Do you want it heated?
要 yào – yes
不要 bú yào – no
5. Salad in Chinese
Now your sandwich is nicely toasted, it’s time to add your salad selection. In Chinese they call this section the “vegetables”, so your server might as you:
蔬菜都要吗? Shūcài dōu yào ma?
Do you want all the vegetables?
To which you can either reply:
要 yào = yes
Or you can list the vegetables that you do want:
Lettuce in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 生菜
- Pinyin: shēng cài
- Meaning: “Raw Vegetable”
Tomato in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 西红柿
- Pinyin: xī hóng shì
- Meaning: “West Red Persimmon”
Cucumber in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 黄瓜
- Pinyin: huáng guā
- Meaning: “Yellow Melon/Gourd”
Onion in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 洋葱
- Pinyin: yáng cōng
- Meaning: “Ocean Onion”
Gherkin (Pickle) in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 酸黄瓜
- Pinyin: suān huáng guā
- Meaning: “Sour Cucumber”
Green Pepper in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 青椒
- Pinyin: qīng jiāo
- Meaning: “Green Pepper”
Olive in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 黑橄榄
- Pinyin: hēi gǎn lǎn
- Meaning: “Black Olive”
Jalapenos in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 墨西哥辣椒
- Pinyin: mò xī gē là jiāo
- Meaning: “Mexican Spicy Pepper”
6. Sauces in Chinese
You can choose either 1 or a mixture of 2 sauces to put on your sandwich. This was the selection available at the subway we visited. We’ve got to be honest, we have no idea what sauce test 2 is, but if any brave soul wants to try it out, let us know!
The other options we’ve got for you below, along with a couple of extra options that might turn up in a subway near to you.
Mustard in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 黄芥末酱
- Pinyin: huáng jiè mò jiàng
- Meaning: ‘Yellow Mustard Sauce’
Ketchup in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 番茄酱
- Pinyin: fān qié jiàng
- Meaning: ‘Tomato Sauce’
Notice the word for tomato in ketchup is 番茄 rather than 西红柿 as we learnt above, this is another word for tomato. You would probably be understood if you said 西红柿酱 instead, but ketchup is more commonly called 番茄酱 in China.
Thousand Island in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 千岛酱
- Pinyin: qiān dǎo jiàng
- Meaning: “Thousand Island Sauce”
Honey Mustard in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 蜜汁芥末酱
- Pinyin: mì zhī jiè mò jiàng
- Meaning: “Honey Juice Mustard Sauce”
Mayonnaise in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 蛋黄酱
- Pinyin: dàn huáng jiàng
- Meaning: “Egg Yellow Sauce”
BBQ Sauce in Chinese
- Chinese Characters: 烧烤酱
- Pinyin: shāo kǎo jiàng
- Meaning: BBQ Sauce
- Chinese Characters: 胡椒风味沙拉酱
- Pinyin: hújiāo fēngwèi shālā jiàng
- Meaning: “Pepper Style Salad Sauce”
Other Sauce Options
- 甜洋葱酱 tián yáng cōng jiàng – Sweet Onion
- 西南酱 xī nán jiàng – Southwest
Feeling adventurous? Have you ever tried a century egg?
7. Paying Up
Now your sandwich is ready, and you’re almost able to eat it. You just have to pay up first.
You might want to get a meal deal – 套餐 tàocān
Or just order a sandwich on its own – 单点三明治 dān diǎn sānmíngzhì
Nowadays it’s very common to use your phone to pay on wechat or alipay. You will either scan the shop’s QR code or they will scan you:
你扫我吗？Nǐ sǎo wǒ ma?
Will you scan me?
You might also want to know how to ask how much your sandwich costs:
多少钱 duōshǎo qián – How much money?
If you need help with the numbers, check our blog all about them:
Subway – FAQ’s
How to say Subway in Chinese? (The restaurant!)
The restaurant Subway in Chinese is 赛百味 sài bǎiwèi.
How to say Bread in Chinese?
Bread in Chinese is 面包 miàn bāo.
How to say Eat in Chinese?
Eat in Chinese is 吃 chī.
Are Subways in China the same as other countries?
As for in every countries there might be some differences depending on the local population’s taste, but generally yes it is the same.
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