Ordering in a restaurant in Spanish

How do you order in Spanish?

Ordering a Meal in Spanish

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a restaurant in a foreign country and wanted to order everything on the menu. Now raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a restaurant in a foreign country, wanted to order everything on the menu, but were unable to do so because of the language barrier. I just raised mine.

Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so why let a language barrier deprive you of this pleasure? Whether you’re going out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we got you covered. The next time you’re in Latin America or Spain, simply follow these tips and you’ll never feel cheated again:

The Most Important Meal of the Day: El desayuno

Good morningBuenos días

Table for two, pleaseMesa para dos, por favor

Can I see a menu, please? – ¿Puedo ver la carta, por favor?

Do you have any specials?¿Tienen especiales?

What are the specials?¿Cuales son los especiales?

I’ll take the #3, pleaseYo quiero el numero tres, por favor

After devouring your breakfast, you can tell el mesero (the waiter) that todo estaba delicioso (everything was delicious). You can then politely ask for the check – La cuenta, por favor.

Lunch – El almuerzo


After spending the morning walking and sightseeing, it’s now time to refuel with a hearty lunch. You find a restaurante (restaurant) that catches your eye, and you decide to give it a try.

Good afternoon – Buenas tardes

Do you have a table for two? – Tienen mesa para dos?

You’re in luck. The lunch rush has started to dissipate and there’s an open table in el rincon (the corner). You’re starving so you immediately ask for the menu – ¿Puedo ver la carta?

“Of course,” the waiter replies. Por supuesto.

Here are some items you’re likely to find on that menu:

rice – arroz

beans – frijoles

fried plantains – maduros

fried turnover – empanada (common in South America)

stuffed corn tortilla – pupusa (common in Central America)

steak – carne de res

veal – ternera

pork – cordero

pork skin – chicharrón

fish – pescado

sandwich – bocadillo

fried potatoes – patatas fritas

salad – ensalada

soup – sopa/caldo

Your plate was satisfying yet filling, so unfortunately there won’t be any room for el postre (dessert). Maybe later…

Dinner – La cena


Now that you’re reenergized, you spend the rest of the afternoon hiking and immersing yourself in local culture. Your reward is a delicious dinner at a trendy restaurant, where you were smart enough to book a table in advance. More importantly, you feel confident ordering your dish in the local language and even shooting the breeze with your mesero.

Good evening – Buenas noches

I have a reservation for two at 8pm – Tengo una reserva para dos a las ocho

La anfitriona (the hostess) seats you and hands you la carta. You quickly scan the menu and see so many enticing options in front of you:

Appetizers – Entradas

Main dishes – Platos fuertes 

House specials – Especiales de la casa

Desserts – Postres

Drinks – Bebidas

Cocktails – Cocteles 

This time you really do want to order everything on the menu, and you’re not afraid to say so.

Everything looks delicious – Todo se ve delicioso

I don’t know what to order – No sé qué pedir

What do you recommend? – ¿Qué me recomiendas?

El mesero kindly recommends one of the house specials, and you take his word for it. Your date decides on one of the platos fuertes, and because you’re on vacation, you decide to treat yourselves to a couple of cocktails.

Dos ron (rum) con hielo, por favor. A little rum with ice never hurt anyone.

The meal was just as good as advertised, and this time, you will be getting a dessert. The only problem once again is you’re not sure which one:

You decide one won’t be enough, so you decide to share two and tell the waiter.

Vamos a compartir.

¿Dos platos? – Yes, two plates would be perfect.

Por favor y gracias. Please and thank you.

A few minutes later, el mesero comes back with your flan and pastel de vainilla.

If you were in Italy, chances are he would’ve responded with a Buon appetito…but since you’re in the Spanish-speaking world, he replies with a Buen provecho.

You mop up every last miga (crumb) of your postre and then signal to the waiter for the check.

La cuenta, por favor. 

The perfect end to a delightful day in the Latin world.

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Names of foods in Spanish

Breakfast foods in Spanish
eggs – huevos
fried eggs – huevos fritos
scrambled eggs – huevos revueltos
omelet – omelet
waffle – gofre
sausage – chorizo
ham – jamón
bread – pan
toast – pan tostado
cheese – queso
fruit – fruta
strawberries – fresas
bananas – platanos
marmalade – mermelada
honey – miel
coffee – café
tea –
juice – jugo/zumo
Lunch and Dinner Foods in Spanish
rice –
beans – frijoles
fried plantains – maduros
steak – carne de res
veal – ternera
pork – cordero
pork skin – chicharrón
fish – pescado
sandwich – bocadillo
fried potatoes – patatas fritas
salad – ensalada
soup – sopa/caldo
cake – pastel
ice cream – helado
pie – torta
cookies – galletas
chocolate – chocolate
custard – flan
cream – crema
yogurt – yogur 

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