A portable interactive visual ordering system and method utilizing full-color images. The system may be used by a restaurant to facilitate ordering menu items by a customer. The customer can request the system to display full-color images of a menu item as a help to decide what to order. The customer can also obtain a list of ingredients, method of preparation and nutritional information for a selected menu item. When the customer decides to order a particular menu item, the system captures the ordered item and tabulates a running bill. In another embodiment of the system, multiple visual ordering devices are networked together at the restaurant. An option in the networked system is to allow the customer to pay the bill by a credit card or debit means at his/her table. The system enables businesses to reduce labor costs in running the business and provides the customer with more information at the point of sale to make a more informed decision.