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How To Order Food In Spanish

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So you’re sitting in a restaurant and the waiter or the waitress approaches you and says Ya estan listos para pedir la comida?

How do you respond? Are you ready to respond?

In this blog post, I’ll be showing you…

  • How to be more confident when you order food in Spanish
  • The different phases of conversation you need to prepare for
  • A few sample conversations to help you with your Spanish skills. 

As you can see, today we’re going to talk about ordering food in a restaurant in Spanish. 

Being able to confidently order your food can serve as better proof of your Spanish fluency than any tests you could take in school.

Though to pass this with flying colors you need to prepare yourself.

Spanish Menu Study Before You Go?

One of the best things you can do is to study a restaurant menu before you go to a restaurant.

This works great at Spanish speaking restaurants that have both Spanish and English menus. 

If there is no English menu then you can simply translate the Spanish menu so you know what it means.

This is your prep stage and it will give you a better idea of what you are ordering.

It also augments your confidence.

So, any time you are ordering in a Spanish restaurant or are ordering food in a Spanish-speaking country you know where to start.

Preparing for a conversation in a restaurant is much easier when you break it down into phases because it allows you to prepare for each phase by having different responses or questions ready for that phase.

It even helps with your studying because you could say, “Okay, I’m going to spend 20 minutes simulating different responses for ordering food.”

Now that’s just an example of why splitting this into phases is so beneficial.

6 Phases of Conversation

Here are the general phases you would go through in a simple restaurant conversation:

Phase 1: Arriving at the restaurant and being seated

Phase 2: Ordering your drinks

Phase 3: Choosing what you want to eat – If you do your work beforehand, by looking up the menu before you go to the restaurant, you should already have your answer to this question. I recommend you go to the restaurant menu already, knowing what you want to eat so that way you can spend less time thinking about that and more time focused on comprehending and responding.

Phase 4: Ordering your food – You should have already rehearsed and practiced some of the answers the waiter or the waitress would respond with.

Phase 5: Ordering dessert

Phase 6: Asking for the check

By becoming aware of each of these different phases you can prepare for each one accordingly.

You will see each of these phases played out briefly in the sample conversations…

Tú vs. Usted — Which should you use when you order food in Spanish?

But before we get to those, I want to give you a quick word on the Usted vs. the Tú form in these situations.

If you’d like to learn more about Tú vs. Usted then watch this video:

I know a lot of people are probably going to recommend that you use the Usted form in these scenarios…

But, to be honest, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

If I were you, I would keep it simple and use the tú form when you order food in Spanish because this is going to make your life much much easier.

Also, that way you can spend your time focusing on communication rather than overthinking how to conjugate different verbs.

You can still be polite through the tu form by turning your commands into questions and adding ‘Please’.

It’s very simple. So, instead of saying:

Dame el menú. (Give me the menu.)

Rephrase it to:

¿Me das el menú, por favor? (You give the menu to me, please?)

This is an easy way to keep it simple with the Tú form but also keep the conversation polite. 

Each Country Has Its Customs

Remember that every country has their customs and their ways of doing things. 

So I recommend first learning some of the basic words and phrases that we present in the sample conversations of this post and then you can do further study on your own for the specific Spanish that you want to learn.

Sample Conversation #1: How To Order Food In Spanish at a Restaurant

A: Buenos días señor, me llamo Maria y seré su mesera. ¿Cuántas personas son?

B: Muchas gracias Maria, somos cuatro, Mi hijo, mi esposa y mi madre.

A: Muy bien, ¿prefiere esta mesa cerca de la ventana?

B: Sí, esta está bien gracias.

A: Okay perfecto. Siéntense por favor. Aquí están los menús. Les doy un par de minutos para revisarlo.     

B: Okay, muchas gracias.

A: ¿Qué les gustaría tomar?

B: Bueno, mi madre quiere una coca cola, Mi esposa quiere un té, Mi hijo quiere una limonada y creo que yo voy a tomar agua. 

A: Muy bien…. Aquí están las bebidas. Bueno – Ya están listos para pedir la comida?

B: Sí, creo que sí. Estamos muriendo de hambre. Mi madre quiere comer arroz con pollo, Mi esposa va a comer tacos de carne, Mi hijo quiere una quesadilla y yo quiero un burrito con frijoles y queso.

A: Muy bien, algo más?

B: No, creo que estamos bien.

A: Muy bien. En seguida regreso entonces con su orden. 

A: Bueno, aquí está la comida. ¿Cómo ve todo?

B: Bien, todo se ve maravilloso gracias.

A: Ya comieron todo, ¿Quién quiere postre?

B: Wow, estamos toditos llenos pero creo que hay un poco de espacio para el postre, ¿qué nos recomiendas?

A: Bueno pues, recomiendo la PannaCotta de queso o el Mousse de chocolate.

B: Creo que vamos a probar el Mousse de chocolate y un helado de chocolate para el niño.

A: No hay problema… 

A: ¿Y cómo fueron los postres?

B: Muy bien, gracias. ¿Podríamos tener la cuenta por favor?

A: Sí, ¿Solo una cuenta?

B: Sí, una, gracias.

Sample Conversation #2: How To Order Fast Food In Spanish

A: Bueno que te gustaría ordenar?

B: Podrías darme una hamburguesa con queso y papas fritas tamaño grande?

A: ¿Quieres todo con tu hamburguesa, tomates, lechuga, cebollas y mayonesa?

B: Mmm, quita las cebollas, por favor.

A: Okay y algo para tomar?

B: Sí, dame una botella de agua, por favor.

A: Eso es todo?

B: Sí, eso es todo, gracias.

A: De nada. El total es de $6.38

B: Gracias, aquí está.

Go back over these conversations a few times and then think about the last time you went to a restaurant, which may have been a very long time ago because of what’s going on in the world today, but think about any experience you’ve had at a restaurant near your house.

We’ve all experienced it. Recall how were you greeted, what were the conversations like, how did you order the food, this same scenario isn’t much different in Spanish or in a Spanish-speaking country.

Now write out your own script in English, try to translate it to Spanish on your own.

There are a lot of things that you can do to continue to improve your Spanish and to prepare yourself for these situations. 

If you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy my free training where I reveal my 3 biggest secrets to learn, to speak, and comprehend Spanish faster.

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