Spanish phrasebook: At the restaurant

Spanish phrasebook — Phrases in Spanish with audio

At the restaurant

Contents: Spanish phrases with audio to use at the restaurant.

When you go to eat to a restaurant, good communication can keep you away from unpleasant surprises. You may be the client at a Spanish restaurant or maybe a Spanish speaking client comes to your restaurant. In any case, here you’re going to learn basic phrases to help you move smoothly from the main dish to the dessert.

Section Menu in English

We have the menu in English

Let’s think of two possible scenarios. In the first one: You’re in a restaurant in a Spanish speaking country and you ask if they have the menu in English. In the second situation, a Spanish speaking client comes to your restaurant and asks if you have the menu in Spanish:

¿Quiere la carta en otro idioma?
Would you like the menu in a different language?

¿Tienen la carta en otros idiomas?
Do you have the menu in other languages?

Tenemos la carta en inglés.
We have the menu in English.

Tenemos la carta en español.
We have the menu in Spanish.

¿Tienen la carta en inglés?
Do you have the menu in English?

¿Tienen la carta en español?
Do you have the menu in Spanish?

Section Car rental

Are you ready to order?

We now hold the menu in our hands and we are ready to order. Sometimes we don’t know what to have and we would like a recommendation of a typical dish from the area. Let’s listen to some useful phrases:

¿Está listo para pedir?
Are you ready to order?

Todavía no estamos listos.
We are not ready yet.

Un minuto, por favor.
One minute, please.

Sí, estamos listos para pedir.
Yes, we are ready to order.

¿Qué recomienda?
What do you recommend?

Le recomiendo esto.
I recommend you this.

¿Quiere algo típico?
Would you like something typical?

¿Cuál es el plato más típico?
What’s the most typical dish?

¿Es usted vegetariano? / ¿Es usted vegetariana?
Are you a vegetarian? (male) / Are you a vegetarian? (female)

Soy vegetariano. / Soy vegetariana.
I’m a vegetarian (male) / I’m a vegetarian (female).

Section What would you like?

What would you like?

We are going to see several ways to say “What would you like?”. Let’s see how to use them in context:

Would you like…?
To finish this sentence, you should add the name of food or drink. For example: ¿Quiere vino? = Would you like some wine? ¿Quiere pan? = Would you like bread?

¿Qué desea?
What would you like?
Notice that in this question we use the verb “desear” (to wish) instead of “querer” (to want). In this context, it sounds more polite.

¿Qué va a tomar?
What will you have? (to drink)
The verb “tomar” is mostly used about drinks. To ask about food, a waiter would usually say ¿Qué va a pedir? = What are you going to order?

Let’s add more variety to the question “¿Quiere…?” It could be very useful to visit our Visual dictionary to memorize the most common names of food and drinks.

¿Quiere… pescado / carne / pasta / ensalada?
Would you like… fish / meat / pasta / a salad?

¿Quiere postre?
Would you like a dessert?

¿Qué desea… de entrante / de primero / de postre?
What would you like… for starters / for the main course / for dessert?

¿Qué va a beber?
What will you drink?

Section How to say Id like...

How to say “I’d like…”?

We’re done reading the menu and we’re ready to order. Let’s see the ways to express it.

I would like…

Querría esto.
I would like this.
You can say this while pointing to the dish (on the menu or pointing at someone else’s food). This is a useful phrase to say a lot with few words.

Querría… carne / pescado / pasta / ensalada.
I’d like… meat / fish / pasta / a salad.

Para mí …, por favor.
For me …, please.

¿Me puede traer… por favor?
Could you bring me…, please?

¿Me trae la cuenta, por favor?
literally: Will you bring me the bill, please?

¿Me trae otro tenedor, por favor?
literally: Will you bring me another fork, please?

¿Me trae más pan, por favor?
literally: Will you bring me more bread please? If you are not sure whether to use “por favor”, always go for “yes”. Being polite is always appreciated.

Section Other phrases

Other phrases

Whether you like spicy food or not, it can be helpful to ask ahead of time. The words “con” (with) and “sin” (without) are very useful as they allow us to add or take away ingredients from our dish. Let’s learn how to use these prepositions and other phrases that could be helpful at a restaurant:

¿Es picante?
Is it spicy?

¿Pica mucho?
Is it very spicy?
The verb “picar” means “to be spicy/to burn”. So, literally we say “Does it burn much?” It’s a very typical verb to use about food. For example, “La salsa pica mucho” – The sauce is very spicy/The sauce burns a lot.

Con leche.
With milk.

Con queso.
With cheese.

Con pollo.
With chicken.

Sin azúcar.
Without sugar.

Sin sal.
Without salt.

Sin alcohol.
Without alcohol.

Sin carne.
Without meat.

Sin hielo.
Without ice.

Tengo alergia.
I’m allergic.

Vamos a compartir.
We are going to share.

¿Fumador o no fumador?
Smoking or non-smoking?

¿Tienen zona de fumadores?
Do you have a smoking area?

La comida está fría.
The food is cold.

¡Buen provecho!
Enjoy your meal!

Thank you!

Spanish traditions
Is Spanish food spicy?

In Spain, food is almost never spicy, whereas in Middle and South America the likelihood of finding spicy food is high. The most commonly herbs and spices used in Spanish cuisine are azafrán (saffron), pimentón (paprika), laurel (bay leaf), ajo (garlic), romero (rosemary), guindilla (cayenne pepper) and orégano (oregano).

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