How To Talk About Food And Drink In Italian

Italian food words are perhaps the most important vocabulary you’ll learn when studying the language. Here’s a quick guide to the most common ones.
Italian food words

When Americans think about Italian culture, food is most likely one of the first things that comes to mind. Approximately one-eighth of American restaurants serve Italian food, and more than one in five Americans say it’s their favorite cuisine. Learning some Italian food words can make your love go even deeper. And if you travel to Italy, as many people do, you can use your newfound language skills to order the most authentic meals and to discuss them with locals you meet along the way.

Check out the guide below for a list of Italian food words (and drink words) to help you navigate a delicious dining experience. Click the play button to hear how each word or phrase is pronounced. Bon appétit!

Italian Meal-Related Words

To eat — mangiare

To drink — bere

Restaurant — il ristorante

Fast food — il fast food

Menu — il menù

Breakfast — la colazione

Lunch — pranzo

Dinner — la cena

Appetizer — l’antipasto

Main Course — il piatto principale

Dessert — il dessert

Waiter — il cameriere (m) / la cameriera (f)

The check — il conto

Vegetarian — il vegetariano (m) / la vegetariana (f)

Vegan — vegano

Gluten/lactose-free — senza glutine / senza lattosio


Italian Food Words

Soup — la zuppa

Salad — insalata

Bread — il pane

Pasta — la pasta

Tomato — il pomodoro

Cheese — il formaggio

Rice — il riso

Potato — la patata

Fruit — la frutta

Vegetable — verdura

Beef — la carne di manzo

Pork — la carne di maiale

Chicken — il pollo

Fish — il pesce

Sausage — la salsiccia

Steak — la bistecca


Italian Drink Words

The drink — la bevanda

Beer — la birra

Wine — il vino

Tap water — l’acqua del rubinetto

Juice — il succo

Tea — il tè

Coffee — il caffè

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