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How to Order in Spanish at Restaurants

Overview: In this free Spanish lesson, we will share the basic how-to’s when it comes to ordering at a Restaurant. Whether your favorite food is a juicy steak from Argentina, or a delicious taco from Mexico, you’ll never have trouble speaking to your waiter/waitress after this lesson.
Who it’s for: Individuals who want to go to Latin restaurants to confidently order in Spanish without worry.
Skill level: For beginners.


How to Order in Spanish

If you are considering traveling to a Spanish speaking country soon, knowing how to order your food in Spanish is essential. Many people travel to a country expecting locals to know English, but it is our responsibility to adapt to the culture around us. Even ordering food in Spanish shows a high level of respect for the person’s country and culture.

In this video you will learn the basic vocabulary and phrases needed to order at a restaurant in Spanish.

To order at a restaurant = pedir/ordenar en un restaurant

First, let’s cover the 3 main meals of the day:

breakfeast = el desayuno

lunch = el almuerzo

dinner = la cena

Now, we will cover some basic categories on a typical menu:

the menu = el menu/ la carta

the menu of the day = la carta del día

appetizers or starters = aperitivo/entrantes

first course = primer plato

second course = segundo plato

main courses = platos principales

specialties of the house = especialidades de la casa

children’s menu = menu infantil

Now that you can orient yourself on the menu, let’s make sure you know what food you are ordering by covering some vocabulary:

salads = las ensaladas

soups = las sopas

fish = el pescado

meat = el carne

pasta = la pasta

rice dishes = los arroces

seafood = el marisco

portions = las raciones

dessert = el postre

drinks = las bebidas

Before you order your main dish, your server will likely ask you what beverage you would like to order. You can use this vocabulary to familiarize yourself:

water = el agua

sparkling water = el agua con gas

coffee = el café

tea = el té

beer = la cerveza

red wine = el vino tinto

white wine = el vino blanco

juice = el zumo/jugo

Now, so that you don’t just name random types of food and beverages to the waiter, we will discuss some phrases they might use to communicate with 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?

Note: for masculine words use algún and for feminine words use alguna.

¿Y tú? (formal: ¿Y usted?) = And you?

sígame = follow me

Now we can move on to phrases you will use to respond to your waiter.

I would like _____ . = Quiero este/esta ______ .

Note: for masculine words use “este” and for feminine words use “esta.”

please = por favor

thank you = gracias

Now you are fully equipped to order in Spanish at restaurants, buen provecho!