How to Order Food in French
9 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of French Words and Phrases for Traveling
Knowing how to order food in French is essential, whether you're on a short visit to a French-speaking country or planning to live there. Eating out at French restaurants and cafes can be a lot of fun, especially if you know some basic restaurant (rehs-toh-rahn) (restaurant) vocabulary.
The following phrases might help you when you're dining at a restaurant.
Je voudrais de l’eau. (zhuh-voo-dreh- dehl-oh) (I would like some water.)
Servez-vous du jus d’orange? (Sehr-veh-voo dew zhew doh-rahnzh) (Do you serve orange juice?)
Quelle sorte de légumes avez-vous? (kehl-sohrt deh leh-gewm aveh-voo) (What kind of vegetables you have?)
Quelle sorte de poissons avez-vous au menu? (kehl sohrt deh pwa-sohn aveh-voo oh meh-nee) (What kind of fish is on the menu?)
Quel est le plat du jour? (kehl eh leh plah dew zhoor) (What is today’s special?)
Je voudrais du pain, s'il vous plait. (zhu-voo-dreh dew pan, seel-voo-pleh) (I’d like some bread, please.)
Hungry? Which meal?
To tell someone you're hungry in French, say J'ai faim. (zheh fehm) (I’m hungry) or Je veux manger (zhuh veh mahn-zhehr) (I want to eat). If you want to ask somebody if he or she is hungry, you say Êtes vous affamé (eh-teh-voo ah-fah-meh) (Are you hungry?).
In French-speaking countries, as in most of the rest of the world, there are three main repas (ruh-pah) (meals) of the day:
petit déjeuner (puh-tee day-zhuh-nay) (breakfast)
déjeuner (day-zhuh-nay) (lunch)
diner (dee-nay) (dinner)
Here are some food (nourriture) items you can order.
banane (ba-naN) [f] (banana)
crudités (krew-dee-tay) [f] (raw vegetables)
fraise (frehz) [f] (strawberry)
fromage (fro-mazh) [m] (cheese)
fruits (lay frwee) [m] (fruit)
glace (glahs) [f] (ice cream)
légumes (lay-gewm) [m] (vegetables)
pain (pan) [m] (bread)
petits pois (puh-tee pwa) [m] (peas)
poisson (pwa-sohn) [m] (fish)
poivre (pwavr) [m] (pepper)
pomme (pohm) [f] (apple)
pommes de terre (pohm duh tehr) [f] (potatoes)
porc (pohr) [m] (pork)
poulet (poo-leh) [m] (chicken)
sel (sehl) [m] (salt)
sucre (sewkr) [m] (sugar)
tomate (to-maht) [f] (tomato)
veau (vo) [m] (veal)
viande (vyahnd) [f] (meat)
You might want to use the following adjectives to describe to your garçon (gahr-sohN)/ serveur (sehr-vuhr) (waiter/waitress) how you want the food prepared.
chaud (sho) (warm; hot)
petit (puh-teet) (small; short)
grand (grahNd) (big; tall; large)
froid (frwah) (cold)
To tell someone you're thirsty in French, say J'ai soif. When you want to ask somebody whether he or she is thirsty, you say avez-vous (Are you thirsty?). To order your drink, say je voudrais . . . (I would like . . .). Then add the name of the drink you want.
café (kah-fay) (coffee [m])
thé (tay) (tea [m])
bière (byehr) (beer [f])
eau (lo) (water [f])
vin (van) (wine [m])
Time to pay up
After you're done eating, you'll need to know these words:
addition (ah-dee-syohn) [f] (check)
pourboire (poor-bwar) [m] (tip)
billet (bee-yeh) [m] (ticket)
carte de crédit (kahr-tuh duh cray-dee) [f] (credit card)