russian-food-vocabulary

Russian Food Vocabulary: 120 Russian Words

If you’re trying to teach yourself Russian, it should come as no surprise that Russian food vocabulary is some of the most important vocabulary you could hope to learn.

In this post, you will find the 120 common Russian food vocabulary words with audio pronunciation along with useful tips to help you practice new vocabulary. 

Contents

Фрукты и Овощи — Fruits & Vegetables

1. Яблоко  — apple

2. Апельсин  — orange

3. Банан  — banana

4. Виноград  — grape(s)

Виноград is a trickster. It’s used to refer to a singular grape or multiple grapes, sort of like the English word “deer.” You can also use виноградина if you want to clarify that you’re just talking about one grape. If you want to make it super clear you’re talking about a bunch of grapes, you can use гроздь винограда .

5. Груша  — pear

6. Клубника  — strawberry

7. Малина  — raspberry

8. Вишня / Черешня  — cherry

Вишня and черешня are two different types of cherry. Вишня refers to a sour or tart cherry. Черешня refers to a sweet cherry. You’re much more likely to encounter черешня, so this is the more important word to remember.

9. Грейпфрут — grapefruit

10. Киви  — kiwi fruit

11. Мандарин — mandarine

12. Манго — mango

13. Ананас — pineapple

14. Персик  — peach

15. Абрикос  — apricot

16. Слива  — plum

17. Дыня — melon

18. Арбуз  — watermelon

19. Картошка / Картофель  — potato(es)

Potatoes are a big deal in Russia, so it should come as no surprise that they go by a variety of names. Two common words are картошка and картофель, both of which can be used to refer to just one potato or multiple potatoes. No need to pluralize here!

20. Помидор  — tomato

21. Лук — onion

22. Чеснок  — garlic

23. Перец  — pepper

24. Капуста  — cabbage

25. Морковь  — carrot

26. Брокколи  — broccoli

27. Цветная капуста  — cauliflower

Note that the phrase for “cauliflower” builds off the word капуста, which means cabbage, a close relative of the cauliflower. In fact, цветная капуста literally means “colored cabbage.”

28. Огурец — cucumber

29. Баклажан  — eggplant

30. Свекла  — beet

31. Салат  — lettuce

If you like your greens, салат is a super useful word in relation to vegetables in Russian. It can mean “lettuce” or “salad.”

32. Гриб  — mushroom

33. Кабачок  — zucchini

34. Тыква  — pumpkin

35. Сельдерей — celery

Крупы — Grains

36. Мука  — flour

37. Хлеб  — bread

38. Рис  — rice

39. Каша — porridge

While kasha might not be as well-known in the English-speaking world, it’s very popular in Eastern Europe. In the United States, the word usually refers to buckwheat. However, in Russia, it can refer to a variety of different grain-based porridges that may be savory or sweet.

40. Овес  — oats

41. Гречка  — buckwheat

42. Ячмень  — barley

Молочные продукты и яйца — Dairy & Eggs

43. Сыр — cheese

44. Масло  — butter

45. Сметана  — Sour cream

46. Молоко — milk

47. Творог — cottage cheese

48. Кефир — kefir

49. Йогурт  — yogurt

50. Яйцо  — egg

51. Мороженое  — ice cream

Мясо — Meat

52. Говядина  — beef

53. Курица  — chicken

54. Свинина  — pork

55. Баранина — mutton

56. Телятина — veal

57. Ягнятина  — lamb

58. Ветчина — ham

59. Бекон  — bacon

60. Колбаса  — sausage

Морепродукты — Seafood

61. Рыба  — fish

62. Краб  — crab

63. Креветка  — shrimp

64. Икра  — caviar

65. Кальмар  — squid

66. Мидия  — mussel

67. Устрица  — oyster

68. Сельдь  — herring

69. Тунец  — tuna

70. Скумбрия  — mackerel

71. Форель  — trout

Десерты Desserts

72. Кекс — cake

73. Торт  — pie/tart

74. Конфета  — candy

Конфета can refer to all sorts of different candy. Want to get more specific? Chocolate fans can ask for шоколад.

75. Булочка  — bun

76. Пирожок  – pie, patty

77. Варенье — jam

78. Батончик — candy bar

79. Печенье — cookie

Орехи — Nuts

80. Арахис  — peanut

81. Грецкий орех — walnut

82. Лесной орех  — hazelnut

83. Миндаль  — almond

84. Фисташки  — pistachio

85. Кешью  — cashew

86. Мускатный орех  — nutmeg

Специи и травы — Spices and Herbs 

87. Соль  — salt

88. Сахар  — sugar

89. Черный перец — black pepper

You’ll notice this reuses a word that appeared earlier in the list, перец. However, in this context, it refers to the common seasoning rather than the vegetable.

90. Имбирь — ginger

91. Кардамон  — cardamom

92. Розмарин  — rosemary

93. Горчица  — mustard

94. Корица  — cinnamon

95. Укроп  — dill

96. Петрушка  parsley

97. Базилик  — basil

98. Мята mint

99. Тимьян thyme

100. Кинза cilantro

101. Кориандр coriander

102. Щавель  — sorrel

103. Чабрец chives

Общие блюда — Common Dishes

104. Блин — pancake

Блин is the Russian word for “pancake.” However, pancakes in Russia are usually distinctly different from American pancakes. They’re thin and may be eaten with either sweet or savory fillings, sort of like a crepe. The plural, блины, is also widely used and may sound more familiar to native English speakers, since this term is often used in the United States, too.

105. Пицца  — pizza

106. Сэндвич / Сандвич / Бутерброд  — sandwich

Сэндвич and сандвич are both used, though сэндвич is more common. You might also see бутерброд, though this usually refers to an open-faced sandwich.

107. Гамбургер  — hamburger

108. Суп  — soup

There are a lot of popular soups in Russia. You may encounter щи (“shchi,” a cabbage-based soup), борщ  (“borscht,” a beetroot soup) and countless other variations on the beloved dish.

Напитки — Beverages

109. Вода  — water

110. Молоко  — milk

111. Кофе  — coffee

112. Чай  — tea

113. Сок  — juice

114. Лимонад  – lemonade

115. Какао  – hot chocolate

116. Вино  — wine

117. Пиво  — beer

118. Водка  — vodka

119. Коньяк  – cognac

120. Шампанское  – champagne

How to Practice Russian Food Vocabulary

Read restaurant menus

Reading restaurant menus is one of the most fun ways to improve your Russian. You can casually peruse the menus of restaurants in cities you hope to one day visit. You can read the food descriptions, consider what you might like to eat and even imagine how it might taste. But reading restaurant menus is more than just fun: It’s also a great way to learn useful Russian phrases, like those used to describe food.

A simple Google search can help you find restaurant menus in pretty much any major Russian-speaking city. You can even search in English and find some amazing-looking restaurants with websites in Russian.

For instance, if you want to fantasize about eating out in Moscow, you might look at the menu for Ресторан Обломов (Restaurant Oblomov). For beginners, it’s a strong choice, because the menu is also available in English. You can have the English and Russian versions of the menu open in separate browser tabs to switch seamlessly between the two if you need to cross-reference word meanings.

Северяне (Northerners) is another Moscow-based restaurant with an online menu you may want to browse. It also offers a PDF menu in Russian. Северяне offers a broader but less descriptive menu than Ресторан Обломов, so is great for learning basic food vocabulary.

Read food magazines

Russian food magazines can help reinforce the food vocabulary you’ve already learned and even teach you some new terms you never knew you needed.

Российский продовольственный рынок (Russian Food Market) is a great online magazine for Russian learners. Articles are available in both English and Russian (the English versions still show Russian-language graphics, but the text itself is in English). The vocabulary used is more advanced, but since this food magazine focuses largely on the food industry in Russia, you’ll get some valuable insight into food trends and how they affect the overall market.

Read Russian recipes

Reading recipes in Russian is a quick, easy way to reinforce your Russian food vocabulary. While there tend to be fewer complete sentences in recipes, you’ll find plenty of ingredient lists you can peruse whenever you have just a couple minutes.

Еда (Food) is a Russian website with lots of great recipes. You can even filter by the type of dish. Recipes frequently feature a video, a brief description of the dish, a recipe list and preparation instructions. For instance, the recipe for тонкие блины на молоке (thin pancakes on milk) can help you practice some basic food words and teach you to make a crepe-like treat.

Watch Russian cooking videos

If you’re a visual learner, you don’t have to stick to just reading. Look up cooking vlogs and recipe videos for a dynamic way to learn food vocabulary. You can find plenty of food-related videos on FluentU, for instance, a language learning program that uses Russian media clips to teach the language.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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