How to Order Food in Spanish in a Restaurant

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Let's eat out!

A Complete Guide on How to Order Food and Drinks in Spanish

Are you a food lover? Do you want to order like a local? We will teach you essential Spanish ordering skills! One of the most fun things to do is going out to eat with family or friends!

Let’s learn how to order in Spanish!

We will provide you with useful phrases and vocabulary for your next restaurant visit.

We will also reveal some of our insider tips so you can order like a Spanish local. 

Once you read our post, you will be able to test your Spanish ordering skills on your next restaurant visit.

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Attention!

There is a big chance that you will get hungry reading this post!

Let’s start with this short video, so you get into the context right away!

Useful Phrases

We collected some of the most common Spanish restaurant phrases for you. Find them in the infographic below.

Now you can also check out the video on useful Spanish restaurant expressions.

Play Video
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Did You Know...

In Spanish, there is a difference between CARTA and MENÚ, look at it:

Making a Reservation

To make a reservation, you can say:

       Quiero hacer una reserva para 2 personas el martes a las dos de la tarde, por favor. I’d like to make a reservation for 2 people on Tuesday at 2pm, please.

Usually, they will only ask for your name.

       ¿Cuál es su nombre? / ¿A nombre de quién? – What is your name?

When you get to the restaurant, you just have to tell them that you made a reservation.

       Tengo una reserva a nombre de…I have a reservation under (the name of)…

Greeting the Waiter

To greet the waiter in Spanish, you must bear in mind what time of the day it is since they use phrases according to time in Spain.

For more details, check out our blog post about Greeting People in Spanish.

→ For those who want to hear how a local Spanish greeting sounds listen to our podcast!

In Spanish, we say Buenos días from 6 am to 12 pm (before lunch).
People say Buenas tardes after having lunch until 8 pm (approximately).
Finally, we say Buenas noches from 9 pm on.

Ordering Food

One of the best things to do in a Spanish-speaking country is to enjoy the delicious cuisine. So, let’s see how you can order food in Spanish!

Normally the waiter will first ask if you are ready to order and say something like:

       ¿Están listos? Are you ready?

       ¿Están listos para pedir?Are you ready to order?

       ¿Ya saben que quieren pedir/tomar/comer? Do you already know what you want to order/take/eat?

       ¿Desea pedir? Would you like to order?

       ¿Que desea(n) comer? or ¿Qué va(n) a comer? – What would you like to eat?

If you are ready to order you can answer with:

       Sí, estamos listos. Yes, we are ready.

       Sí, por favor.Yes, please.

       Quisiera un bocadillo. I would like a sandwich.

       Quería un bocadillo. I want a sandwich.

       Pediré este plato. I will order this dish.

       Para mí una cerveza, por favor.One beer for me, please.

If you still need some time to study the Spanish menu, you can say:

       Todavía no estamos listos. We are not ready yet.

       Necesitamos unos minutos más. We need a few more minutes.

       Un momento, por favor. One moment, please.

Choosing your local dish

Check out this video to learn the basic Spanish food vocabulary.

Play Video

Looking at the menu, you will probably see some familiar words for Spanish food. But, depending on the region, you will find local Spanish words for popular Spanish dishes.

If you want to try something typical of the place, you can ask:

       ¿Cuál es la comida típica de esta región? What is the typical food of this region?

       ¿Qué me recomienda?What do you recommend?

       ¿Cuál es su especialidad?What is your speciality?

Here is a list with the most usual Spanish food vocabulary

🐟 los mariscos 🐟 seafood

el pescado

fish

la almeja

clams

la ostra

oyster

la vieira

scallops

la langosta

lobster

el atún

tuna

el pulpo

octopus

el langostino

shrimp

🍌 la fruta 🍌 fruit

la manzana

apple

la naranja

orange

el plátano

banana

la uva

grapes

el limón

lime

la fresa

strawberries

la cereza

cherry

el coco

coconut

el aguacate

avocado

🥦 las verduras 🥦 vegetables

la lechuga

lettuce

el tomate

tomato

el pepino

cucumber

el calabacín

zucchini

el brócoli

broccoli

la berenjena

eggplant

la cebolla

onion

la espinaca

spinach

el champiñón

mushroom

el maíz

corn

la papa/patata

potato

el arroz

rice

🍰 los postres 🍰 desserts

la tarta

cake

la galleta

cookie

el helado

ice cream

If you have a sweet tooth, check out our video for more Spanish dessert vocabulary. There are so many great Spanish sweet treats!

Play Video
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Did You Know...?

In Tenerife, they like to call "French fries" papas fritas instead of patatas fritas.

Ordering Drinks

Since a tasty meal usually tends to make us thirsty, we will show you next how to order a drink like a local.

The waiter will usually ask something like:

       ¿Qué van a tomar?What would you like to drink?

       ¿Qué les pongo de beber? What can I bring you to drink?

You can answer with Spanish phrases like this:

       Me gustaría/quisiera una botella de agua, por favor. I would like a bottle of water, please.

       ¿Me trae una cerveza, por favor? Could you bring me a beer, please?

Here is our list of useful typical Spanish words for drinks:

🥂 las bebidas 🥂 drinks

el café

coffee

el café con leche

coffee with milk

el café solo

black coffee

el agua

water

el agua con gas

sparkling water

el refresco

soft drink

la limonada

lemonade

la leche

milk

el jugo/zumo de naranja

orange juice

la cerveza

beer

el vino

wine

el vino tinto

red wine

el cóctel

cocktail

If you want to know more, take a look at our video about the basic Spanish drinks vocabulary.

Play Video
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Did You Know...?

If you like sangria and want to sound like a Spanish local, order a tinto de verano, or red wine mixed with lemonade.
Give it a try, it’s delicious!

Asking for the Check

You can finish your Spanish restaurant dialogue by telling the waiter:

       Disculpa, la cuenta, por favor. Excuse me, the check, please.

       ¿Me trae la cuenta, por favor? Can I get the check, please?

       ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de crédito? Can I pay by credit card?

Finally, if you enjoyed your stay at the restaurant, let the waiter know by saying:

       ¡Gracias por la deliciosa comida! Thank you for the delicious food!

That’s it for now!

There are many more Spanish words and phrases you can use at a restaurant.

But with this post, you are all set for your next restaurant visit in Spanish!

Was this post handy? What will you eat on your next restaurant visit? Let us know in the comments section!

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