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How to Order Food in Spanish (Simple Restaurant Phrases, Questions)

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Planning a trip and not sure how to order food in Spanish?

How to Order Food in Spanish
In this post and video, you'll learn the basics of ordering food in Spanish.

Prefer a printed list? Jump to the end of the post for 11 Spanish phrases to use at a restaurant.

How to Order Food in Spanish

Ordering food at a restaurant requires significant dialog – many questions and answers.

Understanding regional food traditions

While traveling, always ask the locals:

  • What is the typical food of this region?¿Cuál es la comida típica de esta región? (kwahl ehs lah koh-mee-dah tee-pee-kah deh ehs-tah reh-hee-ohn)
  • What do you recommend? – ¿Qué me recomienda? (keh meh reh-koh-mee-ehn-dah) Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter what he or she recommends. – fluentu.com

Talking to the waiter

You don’t have to chat the waiter up, but it would be nice to be able to do more than announce your entree or point at the menu. These phrases will help smooth out your exchange:

  1. Quiero…. (I want….)
  2. Me gustaría… (I would like….)
  3. ¿Me trae….? (Could you bring me…..)
  4. La cuenta, por favor. (The check, please.)
  5. ¿Hay algún plato especial hoy? (Is there a special today?)
    via speakinglatino.com

What the Waiter Might Say to You

  • ¿Desea algo? = Would you like something?
  • ¿Desea algo de comer? = Would you like something to eat?
  • ¿Desea algo de tomar? = Would you like something to drink?
  • ¿Desea algo más? = Would you like anything else?
  • ¿Desea más café? = Would you like more coffee?
  • ¿Desea algún postre? = Would you like some desert?
  • ¿Desea alguna sopa? = Would you like some soup?

Here are some simple phrases to use at a Spanish-speaking airport.

More Spanish Learning

The following set of Spanish phrases was written by our daughter Drew, back in November 2013, when she was 13.

11 Spanish Restaurants Phrases

You are at a restaurant in South America, you're ready to order. You pick up the Spanish menu, try to figure out what it says and then try to order in English.

This probably wouldn't work very well. Here are some phrases to know when you are at a restaurant.

On the last Spanish Phrases, someone asked for me to spell them the way that they are said, so here you go!

Eating-area-at-Howard-Johnson-Guayaquil

1. Quisiera pedir_____. “I want to order_____”

{kee-see-ay-rah  pe-deer___}

2. Hay alguien aquí que hable inglés? “Does anyone here speak English?”

{I ahl-gyen ah-kee kay ah-blay een-glayss?}

3. Discúlpeme “Excuse me”

{disc-ul-pe-me} Sorry about this one, it is written how it sounds! the second and last “e” is soft like elegant in English.

I have also included a list of common foods.

4. Pollo- Chicken

(po- yo)

5. Res- Beef

(res)

6. Chancho- Pig

(chan-chow)

7. Chivo- Goat

(chee-vo)

8. Horneado- Baked

(orn-ee-ado)

9. Pan- Bread

(pan)

10. Agua – Water

(ag-wa)

11. Bien Cocinado – Well Cooked

(bee-en co-cee-na-do)
Like eating? Then you'll love our guide to Ecuadorian food


Well I hope these help! Happy travels, and Happy Eating! 🙂

Looking for some help in learning Spanish? Here are some of the books we used to learn Spanish

What words (or phrases) would you add to this list? Please tell me below in the comments.

Your Turn

How do you order food at a restaurant? What's the funniest thing you ordered by mistake?

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Jack Lovett

Friday 23rd of December 2016

Is there anyone on the planet that has a nicer personalty than Anna?

Brian Neale

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

@Jim, No

Jim

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

No