Essential Spanish Vocabulary – Ordering Food in a Restaurant

Many people all over the world are familiar with the typical Spanish paella, tapas, potato omelet, or sangria. While these remain classic dishes, Spanish cuisine offers much more than the traditional favorites. In fact, some of the world’s most innovative and highly-regarded chefs hail from Spain, and its culinary traditions have made this country one of the greatest places to enjoy a delicious meal.

Whether it is a five-star restaurant or a classic tapas bar, tourists can savor all the magnificent flavors that the country offers. This guide will get you started down the path of gastronomic delight.

Phrase in Spanish Phrase in English Pronunciation
Reservar mesa Book a table Reh-servahr me-sah
Mesa para cuatro Table for four Me-sah parah qwatro
Terraza Terrace Terah-za
Zona de no fumadores Non-smoking area Zo-nah deh noh fuhmah-dorehs
Restaurante Restaurant Restaw-rahn-teh
Comida rápida Fast-food Kohmeedah rah-peedah
Vegetariano Vegetarian Veh-hetareeah-noh
Italiano Italian Eetaliah-no
Marisquería Seafood restaurant Mahr-iskehreeah
Bar de tapas Tapas bar Bar deh tahpas
Camarero/a Waiter/Waitress Kahmahrehro
Carta Menu Kahr-tah
Carta de vinos Wine list Kahr-tah deh vee-nohs
¿Qué me recomienda? What do you recommend? Keh meh reh-komee-ehndah
¿Sirven…? Do you have…? Seer-vehn
Tomaré… I’ll have… Toh-mah-reh
Refresco Soft drink  Reh-frehskoh
Vino tinto Red wine Veenoh teentoh
Vino blanco White wine Veenoh blahn-koh
Cerveza Beer Zehr-veh-thah
Agua sin gas Still water Ahgwa seen gas
Agua con gas Sparkling water Ahgwa kon gas
Una botella de… A bottle of… Uhnah boteyah deh…
Verdura Vegetables Ver-dooh-rah
Pescado Fish Peskah-doh
Carne Meat Kahrneh
Aperitivo Appetizer Ah-peh-reetee-voh
Pan Bread Pahn
Sopa Soup Soh-pah
Ensalada Salad Ehn-sah ladah
Postre Dessert Postreh
Café Coffee  Kah-feh
Tea Teh
Manzanilla Chamomile Man-zah-neeyah
Servilleta Napkin Sehr-veeyetah
Tenedor Fork Teh-nehdor
Cuchillo Knife Koo-chee-yoh
Cuchara Spoon Koo-cha-rah
Plato Plate Plah-toh
Vaso Glass Vah-soh
La cuenta The bill / check Lah kwen-tah
Propina Tip Proh-peenah
Tarjeta de crédito Credit card  Tahr-hetah deh krehdeetoh
Efectivo Cash Efek-tee-voh

Slang/Commonly Used Expressions:

Expression in Spanish Expression in English Pronunciation
¡Buen provecho! Enjoy your meal! Bwen proh-veh-choh
¡Está delicioso! It’s delicious Ehstah dehlee-zeeoh-soh
Poco hecho Rare (meat) Pohko ehchoh
Al punto Medium Ahl Poon-toh
Muy hecho Well done Moo-ee ehchoh
¡Quédese con el cambio! Keep the change Keh-dehseh kon el kahmbeeoh
¿Dónde está el servicio? Where is the restroom? Dohndeh ehstah el sehrvee-zee-oh