Words & Phrases to Use in Restaurants in Spanish

restaurants in spanish

How do you say ‘restaurants’ in Spanish? How do you order food in a Spanish restaurant? Learning some restaurant in Spanish vocabulary will not only help you as a language learner to understand the variety of Spanish dishes available but also assist you in settling down comfortably in any Spanish community you find yourself. In this article, we are going to learn different types of restaurants, Spanish words, and phrases to use in restaurants, foods available in restaurants, and how to make food orders in Spanish restaurants, whether you are in Mexico or Spain, or any Spanish-speaking community.

Types of Restaurants in Spanish

There are different types of restaurants in Spanish serving a variety of purposes.

1. Coffee shop – cafeteria (ka-fe-te-ɾi)

This is a kind of restaurant that sells coffee, tea, cakes, and sometimes sandwiches and light meals. In most shops, there is a wide range of options with the type of coffee drinks offered, starting with plain coffee and moving through a selection of specialty coffee drinks that are often difficult to find in other types of restaurants.

2. Bars – barra (ba-rra)

A bar is a type of restaurant where drinks, especially alcoholic drinks, are sold and drunk. You won’t likely get food in this kind of restaurant.

3. Steak houses – restaurante de bistec (rehs-taur-rahn-teh de bees-tehk)

Also known as chophouse. This type of restaurant only specializes in serving steaks and they always have an excellent selection of meat. Some of the best beef in the world is served in steak houses

4. Pizzeria – pizzería (piz-zeria)

La pizzeria, is a common restaurant in Spanish, that focuses on selling pizza to people. Although other dishes such as kebab, salads, and pasta are also sold

5. Barbecue restaurant – restaurante de barbacoa (rehs-taur-rahn-teh de baar-bah-kow-uh)

This is a type of restaurant that specializes in barbecue-style cuisine and dishes. You can get fish, meat, or other types of smoked food from this type of restaurant.

restaurants in spanish
6. Fast food restaurant – restaurante de comida rapida (rehs-taur-rahn-teh de koh-mee-dah rá-pi-da)

Also known as a quick-service restaurant, this restaurant specializes in foods that can be prepared and served quickly, without providing table service to its customers. Examples include McDonald’s, Las Fritas, etc.

7. Indian restaurant – restaurante de comida india (rehs-taur-rahn-teh de koh-mee-dah in-dee-ah)

This is a type of restaurant where you can find a variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to India such as biryani etc.

8. Chinese restaurant – restaurante de comida china (rehs-taur-rahn-teh de koh-mee-dah chee-nah)

This is a type of restaurant where Chinese food is served. 

9. Mexican restaurant – restaurante de comida mexicana (rehs-taur-rahn-teh de koh-mee-dah me-hi-ka-na)

El restaurante de comida mexicana, is a common restaurant in Spanish. This is a type of restaurant where Mexican food is served. 

10. Buffet – buffet (bu-fet)

Would you love to serve yourself a meal? then, you should likely search for a buffet restaurant. This type of restaurant allows you to select as much food as you wish, there is really no strict menu.

Now that you have learned the types of restaurants in Spanish, let us look at making food reservations in Spanish restaurants.

Navigating Your Reservation in Spanish

To get food from a Spanish restaurant, you must be sure to make a reservation beforehand, because it may take some time to get the food prepared. So it is necessary to learn the phrases needed to make food reservations in Spanish. Some of the phrases you can use are as follows;

1. I would like to make a reservation for 5 people. → Quisiera hacer una reserva para 5 personas.

You can use this phrase if you want to make food reservations for your family or friends

2. Under whose name?¿Bajo el nombre de quién?

The waiter can ask you this question if someone else is paying for the food you are making a reservation for.

3. Hi, I’m Maria, I have a reservation for 10 people. → Hola, soy Maria, tengo una reservación para 10 personas.

This is when you have already made the reservation and you are now at the restaurant. SO you need to inform the attendant that you have made a reservation already.

4. Can I see the menu, please? → ¿Puedo ver el menú, por favor?

You will always need this phrase since you will need to choose what you will want to be served at the restaurant. On the menu, you can find a variety of food available at the restaurant.

5. Can I sit at the bar? → ¿Podría sentarme en el bar?

If you want to enjoy some drinks, you surely need to learn this phrase.

Did you notice that there is an inverted question mark in some of the examples above, that is how Spanish question words are written.

Restaurant Phrases for Ordering Food in Spanish

Sometimes, we might be busy at work and we can only call the restaurants to make a food reservation, or perhaps you are able to go there to place the order. What would you say? Now let’s look at some phrases to use when ordering food in Spanish. These phrases are simple but so useful. Before then, let’s quickly look at different available jobs in Spanish, perhaps you might consider relocating if you like the dishes. 

  • To order → pedir

Example: I want to order pizza

Translation: Quiero pedir pizza

  • I would like → quisiera

Example: I would like to have some beers

Translation: Quisiera tomar unas cervezas

  • One moment, please → Un momento por favor

If you need to quickly check if the information or request you are making is correct, you can say this so that the waiter will wait a while for you.

Example: Sorry, one moment please

Translation: Disculpa, un momento por favor

  • I/We are ready to order some food→ Estoy/Estamos listos para ordenar/pedir algo de comida

Estamos is used as a plural form for Estoy, and you can either use ‘ordenar‘ or ‘pedir‘ to mean order

Example: Thank you, I will inform you when we are ready to order some food.

Translation: Gracias, les informare cuando estemos listos para pedir comida

  • I would like a plate of biryani → Quisiera un plato de biryani

Example: Good morning, I would like a bread sandwich

Translation: Buenos días, quisiera un sandwich de pan

  • Can you give me some kebab and pasta? → ¿Puede darme un poco de kebab y pasta?

Example: I am so hungry, can you give me some puddings?

Translation: Tengo mucho hambre, puede darme un poco de puddin?

restaurants in spanish
  • What do you recommend? → ¿Qué recomienda usted?

Sometimes we are not sure of what we what to eat, or how to say what you want to eat in Spanish, so we may ask the waiter what they recommend given our condition and needs.

  • What is the soup of the day? → ¿Cuál es la sopa del día?

You can ask this question to be sure of what soup is available on that particular day.

  • I’m vegetarian → Soy vegetariano/vegetariana

You would like to make this known when ordering so that you don’t get served a vegetarian meal

  • Do you have any vegetarian dishes? → ¿Tienen algún plato vegetariano?

This question should follow the phrases mentioned above, to know if they actually have meals for vegetarians

  • I’m allergic to soybean and egg → Tengo alergia a soja y huevo

If you have allergies to any food item, it is good to inform the attendant while ordering.

  • I don’t eat pork → No como cerdo

If you are a Muslim, then you would like to make this known at the restaurant

restaurants in spanish

You might need to learn some conversational Spanish words to help you in conversing with the waiter who would receive your order.

Food on the Menu

Breakfast – Desayuno

Booking a breakfast in Spanish restaurants is easy and not one of the hard Spanish words. Here are some breakfast meals available in Spanish restaurants;

  • Bread – pan (pahn)
  • Eggs – huevos (way-voh)
  • Jam – mermalada (mehr-meh-lah-dah)
  • Scrambled eggs – huevo revuelto (way-voh reh-vwehl-toh)
  • Bacon – tocino (toh-see-noh)
  • Oatmeal – avena (ah-veh-nah)
  • Yogurt – yogur (io-gur)
  • Cereal – cereales (se-re-a-les)
  • Cheese – queso (ke-so)
  • Ham – jamón (ha-mon)

Lunch – Almuerzo

Here are some Spanish lunch you can find in their restaurants

  • Dessert – postre (poh-streh)
  • Soup sopa (soh-pah)
  • Entrée – plato fuerte (plah-toh fwer-teh)
  • Kebab – brocheta (broh-cheh-tah)
  • Shawarma – Shawarma (shuh-wor-muh)
  • Salad – ensalada (ehn-sah-lah-dah)
  • Noodles – fideos (fee-deh-oh)
  • Pasta – pasta (pas-tuh)
  • Sausage – embutido (ehm-bu-ti-do)
  • Samosa – samosa (suh-mo-suh)
restaurants in spanish

Dinner – Cena

  • Spanish Rice – arroz español (ah-roz ehs-pah-nyohl)
  • Spanish tortilla – tortilla española (tohr-tee-yah ehs-pah-nyo- hla)
  • Deep-fried Padrón peppers – pimientos de padrón (pi-mien-tos de pah-drohn)
  • Spanish garlic mushrooms – champiñones al ajillo
  • Cold Tomato Soup – salmorejo (sal-mo-re-jo)
  • Lentil soup – sopa de lentejas (so-pa de lehn-teh-hahs)
  • Rice with chicken – arroz con pollo (ah-roz kohn-poh-yoh)
  • Spicy potatoes – patatas bravas (pah-tah-tahs brah-bahs)
  • Roman-style calamari – calamares a la romana (kah-lah-mahr a la ro-ma-na)
  • Paella – paella (pah-ehl-lah)

Dessert – Postre

  • Cake – torta (tor-tah) or Tarta (Spain)
  • Fruit salad – ensalada de frutas (ehn-sah-lah-dah deh froo-tahs)
  • Gelatin (Jell-O) – gelatina (heh-lah-tee-nah)
  • Milkshakes – batidos (ba-ti-dos)
  • Ice Cream – helado (he-la-do)

Interesting Ingredients

Condiments – Condimentos

  • Aioli aioli
  • Ketchup – salsa de tomate
  • Mayo – mayonesa
  • Mustard – mostaza
  • Ranch – salsa tártara
  • Wasabi – wasabi
  • Fish Sauce – salsa de pescado
  • Soy Sauce – salsa de soja
  • Honey Mustard – miel mostaza
  • Balsamic Vinegar – vinagre balsámico

Meats – Carnes

  • Sausage – chorizo (choh-ree-zoh)
  • Ham – jamón (hah-mohn)
  • Pork tenderloin – lomo de cerdo (loh-moh deh ser-doe)
  • Steak – bistec (bees-tehk)
  • Turkey – pavo (pah-voh)
  • Quail – codorniz (coh-dohr-neez)
  • Chicken – apollo (poh-yoh)
  • Beef – carne de res (kahr-neh-deh-rrehs)

Fruits & Vegetables – Frutas & Vegetales

  • Asparagus – espárragos (ehs-pah-rah-gohs)
  • Avocado – aguacate (ah-wah-kah-teh)
  • Chard – acelga (ah-sehl-gah)
  • Eggplant – berenjena (beh-rehn-hay-nah)
  • Pumpkin – calabaza (cah-lah-bah-zah)
  • Spinach – espinaca (eh-spee-nah-kah)
  • Melon – melón (meh-LOHn)
  • Watermelon – sandía (sahn-dee-ah)
  • Orange – naranja (nah-rahn-hah)
  • Strawberry – fresa (freh-sah) or frutilla (froo-tee-ah)
  • Grape – uva (oo-vah)


Drinks – Bebidas

  • White wine – vino blanco (vee-noh blahn-koh)
  • Red wine vino tinto (vee-noh teen-toh)
  • Coffee – café (cah-feh)
  • Iced tea – té helado (teh eh-lah-doh)
  • Soda – cola (koh-lah)
  • Lemonade – limonada (lee-moh-nah-dah)
  • Juice – jugo (hoo-goh)
  • Smoothie or milkshake – batido (bah-tee-doh)
restaurants in spanish

Useful Spanish Phrases for Waiter

As a customer, you need to learn the names of people working in a restaurant. You actually don’t need to know their name but their name according to their responsibility, so that you would know who to speak to, depending on your situation. These are some words or phrases needed to use;

  • waiter → mesero
  • waitress → mesera
  • chef → el chef
  • cook → el cocinero
  • manager → gerente
  • cashier → cajera
  • host → anfitrión

As a waiter, these are some questions you can ask the customers.

  • What would you like to eat? → ¿Qué desea comer?
  • What would you like to drink? → ¿Qué desea beber?
  • What would you like to order? → ¿Qué desea ordenar?
  • How is everything? → ¿Cómo está todo?
  • Enjoy your meal! → ¡Buen provecho!

Also to complement the customers, you can learn how to you’re welcome in Spanish

restaurants in spanish

Useful Spanish Words for Paying for your Food

Now it’s time to pay for your food. Firstly it is important to learn what payment method is being used in the restaurant. is it cash, card payment, or online transfer! After getting that, then you can ask for your bill and proceed to make payment. These are some words used when you are paying for food in a Spanish restaurant.

  • bill/check → la cuenta
  • tip → la propina
  • debit card → la tarjeta de débito
  • credit card → la tarjeta de crédito
  • cash → efectivo
  • change → cambio

As a language learner, you can improve your vocabulary by learning adjectives in Spanish to improve your conversation.

Useful Phrases to Use in a Restaurant in Spanish

In addition, there are a lot of phrases you can use in a restaurant, depending on what you want. You may decide to ask about the meal or ask for more etc.

  • Enjoy your meal → Buen provecho
  • Is service included? → ¿La propina esta incluida?
  • Can we get another round, please? → Otra ronda por favor
  • the check please → ¡La cuenta por favor!
  • Cheers! → ¡Salud!

It’s time to eat! Let’s go to a Spanish restaurant

In the article, we discussed restaurants in Spanish and words and phrases to learn to have a wonderful experience in Spanish restaurants. We also mentioned the type of restaurants, Spanish foods, how to make food reservations, and payment vocabulary to use when paying your bills. The nouns in Spanish blog will also help you learn more Spanish words to use in restaurants. To develop your French communication skills, check out AmazingTalker to connect with online French tutors who can assist you in learning the French language easily, efficiently, and quickly, and you would be speaking French like a native in a short time.

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