At the restaurant in Spanish

If you’re planning on dining out in a Spanish-speaking country, don’t miss this free lesson! Rocket Spanish will teach you everything you need to know – just listen to the Spanish pronunciation on the audio and practice saying these Spanish words and phrases aloud. When you’re ready, why not try them out at a local Spanish-speaking restaurant!

Vegetarian? Not what you ordered? No problem! After this lesson you’ll be ordering from the menu in Spanish like a pro, and impressing your Spanish-speaking friends with your Spanish language skills. Let’s get started…

At the restaurant in Spanish - Words and Phrases

It’s not common in Spain or Latin American countries to be seated by the waiter or waitress. Instead you just choose the table yourself. In some restaurants the menu will be on the table already otherwise the waiter will bring it over to you as soon as possible.  Just in case you do need to ask for the menu, say…

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¿Puedo ver el menú, por favor?
Can I see the menu please?
After looking at the menu, you could get asked one of the following questions…

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¿Qué desea comer?
What would you like to eat?
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¿Qué desea tomar?
What would you like to drink?
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¿Qué desea ordenar?
Would you like to order?
Sometimes all you might get asked is…

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¿Si? ¿Qué quiere?
Yes? What do you want?
You could answer by saying one of these phrases…

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Un momento, por favor.
One moment, please.
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Como plato principal quiero…
For the main course, I would like...
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De primero, quiero… / De botana quiero…
To start, I would like...
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Para beber, quiero…
To drink, I would like...
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Necesitamos más tiempo para decidir.
We need a little more time to decide.
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Estamos listos para pedir.
We are ready to order.
Not sure what you're in the mood for? Just ask the waiter what he recommends…

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¿Qué nos recomienda?
What do you recommend?
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¿Puede recomendarnos algún plato típico de aquí?
Can you recommend a local dish?
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¿Hay alguna especialidad de la casa?
Is there a house specialty?
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¿Cuál es el plato del día?
What is the dish of the day?
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¿Cuál es la sopa del día?
What is the soup of the day?
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¿Tienen algún plato vegetariano?
Do you have any vegetarian dishes?
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¿Cuáles son los platos que no llevan carne / pescado?
Which dishes have no meat / fish?
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¿Qué tipo de bocadillos tienes?
What types of sandwiches do you have?
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¿Qué más trae el plato?
What else is in the dish?
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¿Viene con ensalada?
Does it come with salad?
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¿Qué vegetales están incluídos en este plato?
What vegetables are included in the dish?
Chances are, you've heard the buzz about the "Tapas dining experience" –eating those little hot and cold dishes that are served up during cocktail hour in Spain.

Here are the names of some Tapas you can order…

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Una tapa de...
A tapa of...
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Aceitunas
Olives
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Albóndigas
Meatballs
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Bacalao con tomate
Cod in tomato sauce
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Carne mechada
Slow-cooked, tender beef
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Chopitos / Puntillitas
Battered and fried squid (calamari)
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Champiñón al ajillo
Mushrooms in garlic
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Gambas
Shrimp (Prawns)
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Rajo
Pork seasoned with garlic
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Jamón
Raw ham
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Bacalao
Salted cod loin
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Tortilla de patatas
Potato omelette
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Empanadas o empanadillas
Turnovers (empanadas)
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Chorizo al vino
Chorizo sausage in wine

While in Spain you eat these enticing tapas…each Spanish-speaking country has it’s own distinct dish. In Mexico, for example, you’ll always have tortillas to accompany your meal.

So here are common Mexican tortilla dishes…

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Chilaquiles
Soft tortilla with egg and chicken
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Enchilada
Rolled tortilla with filling
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Quesadilla
Tortilla with cheese filling
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Tostada
Deep-fried, toasted tortilla
In order to get the dish you want simply say…

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Quiero…
I'll have...
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¿Puede darme ... ?
Can you bring me...?
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Quisiera un plato que lleve...
I want a dish containing...
When ordering a steak in a Spanish-speaking restaurant, you may need to specify how you want it…well done, medium done or rare.

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Bien asado
Well-done
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Termino medio
Medium
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Poco asado
Rare
Now, the waiter brings your dish and you’ll hear this essential phrase…

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¡Buen provecho!
Enjoy your meal!
Just in case you get the wrong dish…let’s learn how to call for the waiter …

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¡Camarero! / ¡Mesero!
Waiter!
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Esto no es lo que he pedido.
This is not what I ordered.
During your meal, the waiter may come to check if everything is ok.

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¿Cómo está todo?
How's everything?
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¿Todo está bien?
Is everything okay?
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¿Quiere algo más de tomar?
Would you like more to drink?
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¿Quiere algo de postre?
Would you like some dessert?
If you need some pepper, salt, bread....just say…

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¿Me puede dar un poco de...?
May I have some...?
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Pimienta
Pepper
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Sal
Salt
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Mantequilla
Butter
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Pan
Bread
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Aceite de oliva
Olive Oil
Once you finished your meal you ask for the bill…

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La cuenta, por favor.
The bill please (casual).
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Por favor tráigame la cuenta.
Please bring the bill.
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¿La propina está incluida?
Is service included?
The waiter or waitress will bring the bill to your table. If you are eating out with a group you might get asked whether you want to pay separately or together. You can answer with…

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Nos gustaría pagar juntos.
We'd like to pay together.
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Nos gustaría pagar por separado.
We'd like to pay separately.
When paying the bill, you may need to ask if they accept credit cards, or travelers’ checks...

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¿Acepta usted tarjeta de credito?
Do you accept credit cards?
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¿Acepta usted cheques de viajero?
Do you accept travelers' checks?
Here's a tip: it is expected that a customer tips in Spanish restaurants. It's usually 10% of the price or more if you were satisfied. Not tipping implies that you didn’t enjoy your time at the restaurant. The word for tip is…

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Propina
Tip
I hope you learned a lot in this lesson!

Mauricio
Mauricio Evlampieff
Rocket Spanish

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