Whether you are planning a week-long vacation, a six-month homestay, or a permanent move, you will quickly discover that you need to know how to order food in Spanish. This post will teach you how to order food in Spanish using over 60+ must-know phrases and cultural insights.

Famous Spanish food

Common Spanish phrases for ordering food

1. Ordering Food in Spanish

Before we get into the many useful Spanish phrases for eating out, let’s go over the basics:

Me da…    Can you get me..
Me gustaría…I’d like…
Para mí / para él / para ella…I’ll have, he’ll/she’ll have…
¿Puede traer el menú, por favor? Could you please bring the menu?
Eso es todo, graciasThat will be all, thanks

While there are several ways to begin your order in Spanish, you can simply state what you want when the waiter indicates that they are ready to take your order. In English, we usually begin with “Could I have…” or “May I please order…” but this is not necessary in Spanish. For example, you could simply say: El pollo asado, por favour (Please, the roast chicken).

2. Spanish phrases for arriving at the restaurant

The moment you walk into a restaurant is often the most stressful but also the most manageable. Simply learn a few Spanish greetings. Make use of the phrases listed below to get the conversation started:

Buenos días  / Buenas tardes  / Buenas nochesGood morning / Good afternoon / Good evening
Una mesa para dos, por favorA table for two, please
Tenemos una reserva a nombre de  [your name]We have a reservation under the name [your name]
¿Tienen alguna mesa libre?Do you have any free tables?
Mi [novio, esposo, amigo] no ha llegado todavíaMy [boyfriend, husband, friend] hasn’t arrived yet
¿Tienen alguna mesa con vistas a …?Do you have any table with a view to…?
¿Podemos sentarnos en la terraza?Can we sit on the terrace?
Learn Spanish restaurant phrases

The responses you might hear:

Bienvenidos a…Welcome to…
Sí, claroYes, sure
Por aquí, por favorThis way, please
Lo siento. No encuentro su nombre en la listaI’m sorry, I can’t find your name on the list
Lo siento, no nos queda ninguna mesa libreI’m sorry, we don’t have any free tables left
Lo siento, no nos queda ninguna mesa libre en la terrazaI’m sorry, we don’t have any free tables on the terrace
Lo siento, la cocina ya está cerradaI’m sorry, the kitchen is already closed
Disculpe las molestiasSorry for the inconvenience
Siéntese donde quieraSit wherever you want
¿Para comer o solo para beber?Are you going to eat, or just drink? Lit. To eat or just to drink?
Debe esperar unos … minutosYou have to wait around … minutes
¿Tienen una reserva?Do you have a reservation?
Puede esperar en la barraYou can wait at the bar

You can also keep a Spanish translation app to avoid any moment of confusion and frustration. The translation app will help you understand the conversation if you feel stuck somewhere.

Remember that different Spanish-speaking countries may have different breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper times. For example, Spaniards eat dinner around 10-11 p.m., while Venezuelans eat dinner around 7-8 p.m. To avoid unpleasant surprises, get to know the locals’ eating habits and meal times beforehand.

3. Most common foods and drinks in Spanish

When you finally arrive at the Spanish restaurant, you will need to be familiar with the most common food and drink options, so let’s go over a few items that will almost certainly be on the menu.

La carneMeat
El polloChicken
La carne de vacaBeef
El cerdoPork
Los mariscosSeafood
El camarónShrimp
El arrozRice
Los frijolesBeans
El aguaWater
El téTea
El jugoJuice
La gaseosaSoft drink
El vinoWine
El alcoholAlcohol
Learn Spanish food

4. Ordering your food and drinks in Spanish

What you can say:

¿Qué vino recomienda?Which wine do you recommend/suggest?
¿Cuál es la sopa del día?What’s the soup of the day?
¿Tiene menú del día?Do you have a set meal?
¿El pescado es fresco o congelado?Is the fish fresh or frozen?
¿Lleva … este plato?Does this dish contain any [ingredient]?
¿Tiene…Do you have any…
Agua con / sin gasSparkling/still water (Lit. with/without gas.)
Jugo / zumo de  [fruit][Fruit] juice
Cerveza sin alcoholAlcohol-free beer
Batido / batida / merengadaMilkshake
¿Tiene algo…Do you have anything…?
Para vegetarianos / veganosFor vegetarians/vegans
Para diabéticosFor diabetics
Para celíacosFor celiacs
Para intolerantes a la lactosaFor lactose intolerant people
Sin azúcarWithout sugar
Sin carbohidratosWithout carbs
Sin glutenWithout gluten
Sin lactosaWithout lactose
¿Puede repetir, por favor?Could you repeat, please?
Lo siento, no entiendoI’m sorry, I don’t understand
Ahora entiendoI understand now
Una botella / copa / vaso de…A bottle/glass of…
Nada más, graciasThat’s all, thanks (lit: nothing else)
Poco hecho  / Poco cocidoRare (when talking about the cooked level of meat)

The responses you might hear:

¿Qué van a tomar?What are you having?
¿Les pongo algo para beber?Shall I bring anything to drink?
¿Están listos para pedir?Are you ready to order?
¿Les traigo el menú / la carta?Shall I bring the menu?
¿Quieren ver el menú / la carta?Do you want to see the menu?
Vuelvo en unos minutosI’ll be back in a few minutes
Ahora mismo se lo traigoRight away (lit: I’ll bring it to you right now)
Le recomiendo…I recommend…
Hoy tenemos…Today we have…
Todo el pescado es frescoAll the fish is fresh
Lo siento, solo nos queda pescado congeladoI’m sorry, we only have frozen fish left
¿Cómo quiere  …?How do you want [meat] cooked?
Este plato tiene / lleva…This dish has…
Lo siento, no tenemos nada para vegetarianos / veganosI’m sorry. We don’t have anything for vegetarians/vegans
Voy a ver / mirar si nos quedaI’ll go check, if we have any left
Aún nos quedaWe have some left
Lo siento, no nos quedaI’m sorry, we don’t have any left
¿Algo más?Anything else?
Learn Spanish drinks

5. Spanish phrases to use during the meal

What you can say:

Está delicioso / riquísimoIt’s delicious/very tasty
Todo está perfectoEverything’s perfect
¿Puede traer…?Could you bring…?
¿Tiene menú / carta de postres?Do you have a dessert menu?
Estuvo todo perfectoEverything was perfect
Felicitaciones al chefCongratulations to the chef
El / la … está frío / fríaThe [food] is cold
Perdone, le había pedido…Excuse me, I ordered…
El / la … no está fresco / frescaThe [food] isn’t fresh
Hay un pelo en mi sopaThere’s a hair in my soup
Esto no sabe bienThis doesn’t taste good
Learn phrases during meal

The responses you might hear:

Buen provecho / Que aprovecheEnjoy your meal
¿Está todo bien?Is everything OK?
¿Todo bien por aquí?Is everything OK around here?
¿Cómo está el / la…?How’s the…?
Perdone. Ahora le traigo lo que pidióI’m sorry. I’ll bring what you ordered right away
¿Les traigo algo más?Shall I bring anything else?
¿Han terminado ya?Are you done?
¿Van a tomar postre / café?Are you going to have dessert/coffee?

6. Asking for the check-in Spanish

What you can say:

La cuenta, por favorThe check, please
¿Puede traer la cuenta, por favor?Could we get the check, please?
¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta / en efectivo?Can I pay by credit card/with cash?
Voy a pagar con tarjeta / en efectivoI’ll pay by credit card/with cash
Volveremos seguro. / De seguro volvemosWe’ll be back for sure
Muchísimas gracias por todoThank you so much for everything
Ha sido un placerIt’s been a pleasure

The responses you might hear:

Ahora / Ahorita se la traigoRight away
¿Cómo van a pagar?How are you paying?
Me alegro de que les haya gustadoI’m glad you’ve liked it
Vuelvan prontoCome back soon
Esperamos volver a verlos prontoWe hope to see you again soon
El placer ha sido mío / nuestroThe pleasure has been mine/ours
Los esperamosWe’ll be waiting for you
Learn phrases for waiter

If you are planning to visit Spain or any Spanish-speaking region, you must master basic conversation in Spanish to communicate with native speakers without any problem. Be prepared for all kinds of conversations as you move out.

It is highly recommended to learn Spanish before you move out to Spain or any Spanish-speaking country.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the major Spanish etiquette for dining?

A. Don’t start eating before the host. To begin eating, wait until the host begins eating or says, “Buen Provecho!” or “Provecho!” (Enjoy your meal).

Q. Do Spanish people prefer using eating utensils?

A. You will be given a fork, a spoon, and a knife. Large spoons are used for foods like soup and beans. Small spoons are for desserts.

Q. Can you converse while eating in Spain?

A. Spaniards love to talk. Feel free to discuss your day, your family, and your interests. Also, don’t be afraid to inquire about the other people at the table.


Now, you know ‘how to order food in Spanish’. No matter, if you are going for a short trip or planning to move out permanently, master these phrases so you can order food without any issue.

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