What expressions can you use to order food and drink in a restaurant?
How can you ask for the bill at the end of the meal?
How do you like your eggs cooked and what does it mean if your eggs are ‘sunny side up’? You’ll find out in this appetizing podcast episode.
Email from Carlos Ruiz from Mexico
‘The first time that I came to the USA, I had some issues ordering food in a restaurant, because, sometimes the waiter speaks so fast or they ask you what side you want?
So the first time that the waiter asked me about which sides I would like to choose, I didn’t understand what he was talking about.’
A side order (chips/fries, vegetables, coleslaw etc) – acompañamiento
Can I have the mushrooms on the side, please?
Can I have a side order of mushrooms, please?
What sides would you like?
‘Sometimes I use this expression to order food but I don’t know if it’s correct):
“I will take….” or “I will like….”
Can/Could I have….
For the main course
I did a little research and now I know that I can order food with this expression:
“Can I get… “
(more used in US English. In UK English, say ‘Can/Could I have…..’)
A second occasion was when I was traveling from Detroit to Dallas airport and we went to a Mexican restaurant.
By the way, the waiter was American, so I ordered eggs and the waiter asked me, how would you like your eggs?
And I didn’t know what to say, so I asked a coworker of mine, how can I say “huevos estrellados”? And he told me sunny side eggs. And that was a little embarrassing I have to say.
How would you like your eggs?
Soft boiled (3 to 4 minutes)
Hard or soft boiled
Scrambled – stirred or beaten together while being gently heated
Poached – cooked in boiling water without the shell
Sunny-side up (fried on one side)
Over-easy (fried on both sides)
Egg white and egg yolk
One more thing is when I want to pay for the service, I know that one way to ask for this is to say “Check please” or can I have my check please? Is there a different way to ask for it?
Can we/I have the bill (UK) / check (US), please?
TIP = propina
“Allow me”, “It’s on me / “It’s my treat” (X
I invite youX) / I’ll get this – Please, let me get this. I insist!
“I’ll look after this.” / “I’ll take care of the bill / the check.”
Some more useful restaurant expressions
to book a table / to reserve a table / to make a reservation – “Can I make a reservation for two (in the name of ………)?”
Could I see the menu (the menu = la carta)? (Could I / Can I… + infinitive without ‘to’ – Can I have, see, taste, pay, sit…..? + PLEASE!!!
Set menu/meal ( = menú especial/del día) or À la carte
Tasting/Taster menu (= menú de degustación)
Early bird menu (reduced options but at reduced prices offered before the busy period) V Standard dinner menu
What does it come with? Does it come with a salad? Does it come with chips (fries / French fries)?
I’m sorry, I don’t know what this is? Could you explain this to me, please? What’s in it, please?
What do you recommend?
The chef’s special / house special
Can/Could we have some more bread/wine/beer, please? (Could I have another beer, please?)
What vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/etc. options do you have?
Could I have the _ but without the _, please?
e.g. Could I have the chicken burger but without the fried onions, please?
This isn’t what I ordered. / I ordered the , not the .
That was (really) good/tasty/great/delicious. My compliments to the chef!
Have you ever sent anything back?
Can you think of a memorable meal you’ve had?
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
Do you mind paying a tip with your bank card?
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’