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Published on: Vocabulary

How To Order Food In Spanish Like a Pro

Bienvenidos! If you’re planning to travel to a Spanish-speaking country or simply want to broaden your horizons by trying out Spanish food, knowing how to order food is an essential skill. 

Being able to communicate your dietary preferences and order food in Spanish will make your dining experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

The Spanish language is widely spoken across many Spanish speaking countries, and learning some basic Spanish phrases can help you navigate through the many Spanish menus you’ll encounter. 

Spanish food is also incredibly diverse, with each region having its own unique dishes and flavors. From paella in Spain to empanadas in Latin America, there’s something for every palate.

When ordering food in a Spanish speaking country, it’s important to know common foods and phrases. For example, “Quiero” means “I want” in Spanish, so starting your order with this phrase can be helpful. 

You can also ask for recommendations from the waiter or waitress by saying “¿Qué me recomienda?” which means “What do you recommend?”

If you’re ordering drinks, it’s important to know the difference between a “café con leche” (coffee with milk) and a “café solo” (black coffee). In many countries, tap water is not commonly served at restaurants, so you may need to order bottled water by saying “Agua mineral, por favor.”

Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Knowing how to navigate the dessert menu is also important when ordering food in Spanish. 

You can ask for it by saying “¿Me puede traer el menú de postres?” and then use phrases like “Quiero un flan” (I want a flan) or “Me gustaría probar el pastel de tres leches” (I would like to try the three-milk cake).

Learning how to order food can enhance your travel Spanish vocabulary and experience, and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the local culture. By mastering some basic Spanish phrases and familiarizing yourself with common foods, you’ll be able to confidently order food in Spanish!

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Verbs For Ordering Food In Spanish

There are different verbs that serve to order food in Spanish. Here are some common verbs for ordering food in Spanish with their explanations:

Pedir – To Ask For

Quiero pedir una pizza grande

I want to order a large pizza.

Ordenar – To Order

Quisiera ordenar pollo rostizado.

I would like to order rotisserie chicken.

Traer – to bring

Por favor, ¿me puede traer una botella de agua?

Can you bring me a bottle of water, please?

Servir – to serve

¿Me puede servir una porción de arroz, por favor?

Can you serve me a portion of rice, please?

Tomar – to take/ to have

Voy a tomar una sopa de pollo 

I’ll have chicken soup.

Comer – to eat

Quiero comer una hamburguesa

I want to eat a hamburger.

Beber – to drink

Quiero beber un refresco de cola 

I want to drink a cola soda.

Empacar – to pack

Example: ¿Me puede empacar la comida para llevar? – Can you pack the food to go?

These are just a few examples of the many verbs that can be used when ordering food in Spanish. Knowing these verbs can make the ordering process smoother and easier for Spanish learners.

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Essential Vocabulary to order Food in Spanish

Ordering food in Spanish can be intimidating if you don’t speak the language fluently. Fortunately, with a few vocabulary and phrases, you can confidently order your meal in Spanish and fully enjoy your dining experience.

Here is an extensive list of Spanish restaurant vocabulary with English translations:

Spanish  English 
Comida Food
Menú Menu (either the physical menu or the list of options available)
Platos Dishes (individual items available for order.)
Bebidas Drinks / beverages  
Postres Desserts
Sabores Flavors
Picante Spicy
Restaurante Restaurant
Mesero/a Waiter/Waitress
Cliente Customer
Entradas Appetizers
Ensaladas Salads
Sopas  Soups
Platos fuertes Main dishes
Guarniciones Side dishes
Agua Water
Refresco Soft drink
Jugo  Juice
Vino   Wine
Cerveza   Beer
Copa   Glass
Botella   Bottle
Tenedor   Fork
Cuchillo  Knife
Cuchara   Spoon
Servilleta   Napkin
Sal   Salt
Pimienta   Pepper
Aceite de oliva   Olive oil
Vinagre   Vinegar
Mostaza   Mustard
Ketchup   Ketchup
Mayonesa   Mayonnaise
Salsa   Sauce
Sin picante   Not spicy
Carne   Meat
Pollo   Chicken
Pescado   Fish
Mariscos   Seafood
Vegetariano/a   Vegetarian
Vegano/a   Vegan
Sin gluten   Gluten-free
Alérgico/a   Allergic
Alérgico/a a los frutos secos   Nut allergy
Alérgico/a al marisco   Shellfish allergy
Alérgico/a a la leche  Milk allergy
Alérgico/a al trigo   Wheat allergy
Sin lactosa   Lactose-free
Cocina   Kitchen
Chef   Chef
Cocinero/a   Cook


Learning these vocabulary words can help you navigate a Spanish-speaking restaurant with ease and order your food with confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you’re unsure about something, and always remember to be polite and respectful to your server and other restaurant staff.

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Essential Phrases to order Food in Spanish

Once you have these key vocabulary words down, you’ll need to know some essential phrases for ordering food. Here is an extensive list of Spanish restaurant phrases with English translations:

Spanish  English 
¡Buenas noches! ¿Tienen una mesa disponible?  Good evening! Do you have a table available?
¿Podemos ver el menú, por favor?  Can we see the menu, please?
¿Cuáles son las especialidades de la casa?  What are the house specialties?
¿Qué recomienda?  What do you recommend?
¿Podemos pedir un plato para compartir?  Can we order a dish to share?
¿Puedo pedir la carne/pescado bien cocido?  Can I order the meat/fish well-done?
¿Podemos cambiar la guarnición por otra cosa?  Can we change the side dish for something else?
¿Podemos tener más pan, por favor?  Can we have more bread, please?
¿Qué incluye este plato?  What does this dish come with?
¿Cuál es el plato más popular?  What’s the most popular dish?
¿Tienen alguna oferta especial hoy?  Do you have any special offers today?
¿Qué postres tienen?  What desserts do you have?
¿Puedo pedir la cuenta, por favor?  Can I have the bill, please?
¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta? Can I pay by credit card?
¿Dónde están los baños?  Where are the bathrooms?
¡Gracias por la cena!  Thank you for the meal!
Quiero / quisiera… I want / I would like…
Quiero esto para llevar. I want this to go.
¿Nos trae la cuenta? Will you bring us the bill?
¿Qué nos recomienda? What do you recommend?
La cuenta por favor. The bill please.
¿Cuánto cuesta? How much does it cost?
Tengo una reservación. I have a reservation.
Necesitamos unos minutos más.  We need a few more minutes. 
Queremos pedir el combo. We would like to order the combo.
¿Qué bebidas tiene? What beverages do you have?
Una mesa para dos, por favor. A table for two, please.
Todavía no estamos listos.  We are not ready yet. 

By learning these vocabulary words and phrases, you can confidently order food in Spanish and enjoy the local cuisine like a pro. Don’t be afraid to practice these phrases before you go, and don’t be afraid to
ask questions if you’re unsure of something. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be speaking Spanish like a native in no time!


According to TasteAtlas’ ‘Top 100 MOST POPULAR DISHES in the world’ list, Mexican tacos are the most famous food in Latin American countries.

How To Order A Food Delivery In Spanish

If you are in a Spanish-speaking country and don’t want to cook but don’t want to go to a restaurant either, write down these simple phrases so you know how to order food over the phone.

Spanish  English 
Quisiera hacer un pedido para entrega a domicilio I would like to place an order for delivery.
¿Podría entregarme el pedido en [dirección]? Could you deliver the order to [address]?
¿Cuál es el costo total del pedido? What is the total cost of the order?
¿Puede enviarme el menú por Whatsapp? Can you send me the menu by Whatsapp?
¿Cuál es el costo adicional por el envío? What is the additional cost for shipping?
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How To Orden Vegetarian Or Gluten Free Food In Spanish

Ordering vegetarian or gluten-free food in Spanish can be a bit challenging if you don’t know the right vocabulary and phrases but it is extremely necessary if this is your preference or if you have a medical condition. Here are some options for how to order vegetarian or gluten-free food in Spanish:

¿Tiene opciones vegetarianas?

 This means “Do you have vegetarian options?” This is a simple and straightforward way to ask if there are any vegetarian options on the menu.

Soy vegetariano/a

This means “I am a vegetarian.” If you’re a vegetarian, it’s important to let the server know this right away so they can suggest vegetarian options for you.

¿Cuál es su plato vegetariano más popular?

This means “What is your most popular vegetarian dish?” If you’re unsure what to order, asking for the most popular vegetarian dish can be a good option.

Quiero el plato de verduras

This means “I want the vegetable dish.” If you’re not sure what vegetarian options are available, you can ask for the vegetable dish.

¿Tiene opciones sin gluten?

 This means “Do you have gluten-free options?” This is a good question to ask if you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity.

Soy celíaco/a

This means “I am celiac.” If you have celiac disease, it’s important to let the server know this right away so they can suggest gluten-free options for you.

¿Cuál es su plato sin gluten más popular?

This means “What is your most popular gluten-free dish?” If you’re unsure what to order, asking for the most popular gluten-free dish can be a good option.

Quiero el plato sin gluten

This means “I want the gluten-free dish.” If you’re not sure what gluten-free options are available, you can ask for a gluten-free dish.

Remember to always be polite and respectful when ordering food in Spanish, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification if you’re not sure about something. With these phrases, you’ll be able to order vegetarian or gluten-free food in Spanish-speaking countries with confidence.

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Now You Are Ready To Order Food In Spanish

In conclusion, our Spanish Academy’s guide on “how to order food in Spanish” has equipped you with important vocabulary and common phrases to make your dining experience more enjoyable. 

From ordering a vaso de agua to requesting French fries, you can now confidently navigate various culinary situations.

Speaking Spanish is key to appreciating the diverse gastronomy of these countries, whether indulging in typical food or trying local delicacies. The useful phrases and Spanish phrases we’ve shared will help you interact with ease, ensuring a more authentic experience.

Remember to begin each meal with “buen provecho” and end it with “muchas gracias” to express your appreciation. Estamos listos to celebrate your progress and support your ongoing language journey. 

We encourage you to continue refining your skills through our Spanish Academy’s courses and events. Estamos listos to assist you in mastering the art of ordering food and more.

So, go ahead and use your newfound knowledge to confidently order food the next time you find yourself in a Spanish-speaking environment. Buen provecho!

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With SpanishVIP, you can get the one-on-one attention you need to succeed in your Spanish learning journey. So, start your Spanish learning journey with us today and take the first step towards fluency by trying a free 1:1 class or free 7 days of group classes and discover why the SpanishVIP methodology is so successful for hundreds of students!

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