Learning how to order food in Spanish is a must. Ordering food at a restaurant, cafe, or even at a street stall might be the first thing you’ll do after arriving in a Spanish-speaking country. You might already know how to order ‘una cerveza, por favor’ but you can’t live on beer alone! Following these tricks and tips, learning how to order food in Spanish becomes easy as pie.
Before jumping into our main topic, let’s learn the conjugation of the ultimate verb in Spanish to order something: ‘querer’ or ‘to want.’
|I want||Yo quiero||key-EH-roh|
|You want||Tú quieres||key-EH-ress|
|You(r) / he / she wants||Usted / él / ella quiere||key-EH-reh|
|We want||Nosotros queremos||keh-REH-moss|
|You(p) / they want||Ustedes / ellos quieren||key-EH-ren|
One important thing we need to mention is that in Spanish we can always omit the subject of a sentence. Meaning you can say:
Yo quiero un café = I want a coffee
Quiero un café = (I) want a coffee
The verb itself tells you what the subject is. In fact, it’s what you’ll hear the most, so it’s better to get used to it.
We show tacit subjects in parenthesis. So ‘he wants’ would be ‘él quiere’ but ‘(he) wants’ would simply be ‘quiere.’
Back to the restaurant context, here are some keywords to fill our belly:
Now we can say:
Hola, ¿quiere beber algo? = Hi, do (you(r)) want to drink something?
If you think of that very same Spanish phrase, it could also mean:
¿Quiere beber algo? = Does (he) want to drink something? OR Does (she) want to drink something?
How can we tell? It all depends on context.
So, if a waiter asks you ‘¿quiere beber algo?’ it probably means ‘do (you(r)) want to drink something?’
To which you can answer:
Sí, y también quiero comer algo = Yes, and (I) also want to eat something
‘También’ is a great word because not only does it mean ‘also,’ it can mean ‘as well’ and ‘too.’
Now let’s have a look at some more crucial words for food in Spanish:
|The ice||El hielo||YEH-loh|
|The coca-cola||La coca-cola||just like in English|
|The sandwich||El sándwich||just like in English|
|The salad||La ensalada||en-sah-LAH-dah|
|The soup||La sopa||SOH-pah|
|The wine||El vino||VEE-noh|
|The bottle||La botella||boh-TEH-jah|
|The glass (of wine)||La copa||KOH-pah|
|The glass (regular glass)||El vaso||VAH-soh|
Keeping those in mind, let’s add another ingredient: ‘of’ or ‘de’ (deh) in Spanish.
|Una botella de vino||A bottle of wine|
|Una copa de vino||A glass of wine|
But what if you’re offered more than one option? Look:
|Esta botella||This bottle|
|Esa copa||That glass|
However, you would say:
|Este vino||This wine|
|Ese vaso||That glass|
Bottom line, in Spanish if you’re talking about a masculine noun you would say ‘este’ for ‘this’ and ‘ese’ for ‘that,’ but if you’re talking about a feminine noun you would say ‘esta’ for ‘this’ and ‘esa’ for ‘that.’
And what if you want no ice? Very easy:
|Sin hielo||Without ice|
You’re ready to go out for dinner now. Take your local friends out and show off your new skills!
Now that you’ve eaten, it’s time to get to know the place where you are. In my next video and article I tell you all about directions in Spanish and how to make your way around a new Spanish-speaking city. Go check it out!