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Paella, Anyone? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Ordering Food in Spanish

There is nothing more fun than partaking in a restaurant experience. That said, when it comes to speaking Spanish, sometimes getting through the basic process of ordering can be a little intimidating.

This is why we have assembled a quick guide with all the basic phrases you need to know to have a stress-free meal in a Spanish-speaking country.

Here are the five basic words and phrases you need to know to order food in Spanish like a pro.

Checking Out the Menu

Want to get a glimpse of the menu before you decide to sit? Say “¡Hola! Me gustaría ver el menú por favor.” This means, “Hello! I’d look to see the menu, please.”

Anybody in a pinch should get by with just “El menu, por favor,” as well.

Ready to Order?

When the server asks you if you are ready to order, you can say “Sí, ya decidí lo que voy a pedir” if you are ready to go. This translates to “Yes, I’m ready to order.”

So what if you are not ready yet? “Todavía no he decidido lo que quiero ordenar” means “I haven’t decided what I’m going to order yet.”

Telling the Server What You Would Like to Eat

So how do you politely tell the server what you would like to eat without having to gesture and point like a monkey? “A mí me da una orden de _______, por favor.” means “I will take an order of _______, please.”

If you panic and forget, no stress. It will get easier with time. In the meantime, just say, “__________, por favor”.

Taking It to Go

Whether you are looking for a quick taco on the fly or have some leftovers after a delicious Spanish feast, it’s important that you know how to ask for food-to-go.

The polite way to ask to get food wrapped in Spanish is to say “¿me podría poner esto para llevar, por favor?”. This translates to “Could I get this to go, please?”

For anybody who just wants to start with the basics, “Para llevar, por favor” should get the point across just fine as well.

Asking for the Bill

This may be the least enjoyable part of the meal, but it’s still something you need to know to make sure your Spanish restaurant experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Try saying, “Disculpe, ya estamos listos para la cuenta, por favor.” This literally translates to, “Excuse me, we are ready for the cheque, please.”

If your Spanish skills are more basic, no need to despair. Simply saying “La cuenta, por favor!” will suffice as well. 

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