How To Talk About Food And Drink In Spanish

Once you learn to name and pronounce these Spanish food words, you’ll be ready to have a delicious meal in any Spanish-speaking country.
February 11, 2019
How To Talk About Food And Drink In Spanish

Food may be a universal language, but the words required to order and discuss food on your travels are not so universal. You’ll need to learn some of the local language to really make your restaurant visits worthwhile. When you know how to order a beer in Madrid, express dietary restrictions in Buenos Aires and ask for the check in Mexico City, your culinary experiences become easier, tastier and even more authentic. To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a guide to the basic Spanish food words (and drink words) you should learn before you go abroad.

Bear in mind that if your server can’t understand you, you’re out of luck. Hear the correct pronunciation of the words by clicking the play button. ¡Buen provecho! (“Enjoy your meal!”)

Note: Some of the vocabulary differs between Spain and Latin American countries. In those cases, we’ve included the European translation before the slash, followed by the Latin American translation. Might as well learn two Spanish food words for the price of one!

 

Meal-Related Words

Food — la comida

To eat — comer

To drink — beber / tomar

Restaurant — el restaurante

Fast food — la comida rápida

Menu — el menú

Dish — el plato

Breakfast — el desayuno

Lunch —  la comida /  el almuerzo

Dinner — la cena

Appetizer — el entrante / la entrada

Main course — el plato principal

Dessert  — el postre

Waiter — el camarero / el mesero

The check — la cuenta

Vegetarian — vegetariano

Vegan — vegano

Gluten/lactose free — sin gluten / sin lactosa

 

Food Words

Soup — la sopa

Salad — la ensalada

Bread — el pan

Rice — el arroz

Chicken — el pollo

Beef — la carne de vaca

Pork — la carne de cerdo

Seafood — el marisco

Potatoes — las patatas / las papas

Fruit — las frutas

Vegetables — las verduras

 

Drink Words

Drink — la bebida

Beer — una cerveza

Wine — el vino

Water — el agua

Juice — el zumo / el jugo

Tea — el té

Coffee — el café

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Author Headshot
Dylan Lyons
Dylan is a senior content producer, overseeing video and podcast projects for the U.S. team. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.
Dylan is a senior content producer, overseeing video and podcast projects for the U.S. team. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.

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