How to Order in Spanish in a Restaurant (impress your friends)

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Ordering in Spanish
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Let´s eat out!

Our complete guide on how to order in Spanish

Are you a food lover? Do you want to order like a local?

We will teach you Spanish ordering skills! One of the most fun things is to go out to eat with family or friends…

Let’s learn how to order in Spanish!

 

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

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

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

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CAUTION

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

1. Useful phrases

We collected some of the most common Spanish restaurant phrases for you. You can also check out our video on useful Spanish restaurant expressions.

Play Video

Find the most useful ones in the infographic below

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Did You Know...

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

2. Making a reservation

To make a reservation you can say:

  • “Quiero hacer una reserva para ( ) personas el (día) a las (hora), por favor.”

     

    “I’d like to make a reservation for ( ) people on (day) at (time), please.”

Usually, they will only ask for your name.

  • ¿Cuál es su nombre? / ¿A nombre de quién?

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…

3. Greeting the waiter

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

For more details, check out our other blog post about greeting people.

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

PODCAST

Formal and informal greetings in Spanish

Hola – Hello
Buenos días – Good morning
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good evening

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.

4. 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:

  • ¿Están listos?
    Are you ready?

  • ¿Están listos para ordenar?
    Are you ready to order?

  • ¿Les puedo tomar su orden?
    May I take your order?

If you are ready to order you can answer with:

  • Sí, estamos listos.
    Yes, we are ready.

  • Sí, por favor.
    Yes, 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.

We also have a video ready for you to learn the basic Spanish food vocabulary!

Play Video

Looking at a menu, you will usually see some familiar foods. But, depending upon the region, they use local Spanish words for 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?

If you are ready to order, the waiter will say something like:

  • ¿Le(s) puedo tomar su orden?
    Can I take your order?

  • ¿Desea ordenar?
    Would you like to order

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

You can answer the waiter in Spanish like this:

  • Quisiera un/una ().
    I would like ().

  • Quería un/una ().
    I want ().

  • Pediré/ordenaré este plato ().
    I will order this dish ().

  • Para mí (), por favor.
    For me (), please.

Here is a list with the most usual Spanish food vocabulary

los mariscos 🐟 seafood

el pescado

fish

el langostino

shrimp

la almeja

clams

la ostra

oyster

la vieira

scallops

la langosta

lobster

el atún

tuna

el pulpo

octopus

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.

5. Ordering drinks

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

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 (), por favor.

    I would like (), please.

  • ¿Me trae (), por favor?

    Could you bring me (), 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

la agua

water

la agua con gas

sparkling water

el refresco

soft drink

la limonada

lemonade

la leche

milk

el jugo/zumo de ()

() 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 very delicious!

6. Asking for the bill

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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Ordering in Spanish
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