How To Order Food In Spanish

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

Or simply:

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:

To eat Comer koh-MER
To drink Beber/Tomar beh-BEAR/toh-MAR
Something Algo AL-goh


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.’

Also/As well/Too También tam-bee-ENN


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!

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