I don’t know how many times I have walked into a Spanish restaurant and said the wrong thing. It could be at the start of the meal, during or even after I have paid.
The idea seems simple enough. But there is a subtle complexity to the words people use in even common interactions such as ordering food.
What do you ask for? How does the waiter ask if you are you ready to order? What do they usually say when you first sit down? How should you check the price of something? How do you ask for the bill?
In this week’s theory podcast, we finish up a 3 part series on food. In the first episode, we talked about the eating habits in Spain. In the second episode, we covered the typical food you can find in a Spanish restaurant or bar. In this final episode, we are going to do a role-play that takes place in a Spanish restaurant.
Maria will play the role of the waitress and I will play the customer. We will go through a typical set of interactions between a waiter and a restaurant customer.
We will cover pleasantries, asking for the menu, ordering the food, checking the price of one of the menu options (maybe if, for example, the price or item is not on the menu). We finish with how to ask for the bill and how to say everything with the meal was okay.
I have even included some background noise to give the role-play a more authentic feel.
If you are having trouble understanding the Spanish section of the podcast or if you would like to get more out of the podcasts and take your Spanish to next level you can get access to the Spanish podcast transcripts and English translations here.
Podcast episodes mentioned in this podcast:
- Tips 069: What You Need to Know about Spanish Eating Customs Before your Next Trip to Spain.
- Tips 071: 10 Tapas You Have to Try Before You Die and 5 You Might Want to Avoid.
Examples from the episode:
To drink? – ¿Para beber?
Are you ready to order (I will take your order, your note) – Les tomo nota.
Spanish meatballs – Albóndigas.
Spanish soup – Salmorejo.
Grape juice – Mosto.
The dessert menu – La carta de postres.
How much is this item? – ¿Cuánto cuesta?
How much is it (all)? – ¿Cuánto es?
The bill – La cuenta.
Leave without paying – Sinpa (Sin pagar).
Everything is good – Todo está bien.
The food is good (the quality of the food in the restaurant is good) – La comida es buena.
The food is good (after finishing a meal) – La comida está buena.
How else can you order food in Spanish? Do you know any other customs or questions to ask?