How to Order Food in German
9 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of German Words and Phrases for Traveling
Whether you're on a short visit to a German-speaking country or planning to live there, knowing how to order food in German is essential. Eating out can be a lot of fun, especially if you know some basic restaurant vocabulary.
Speisekarte (shpy-ze-kâr-tê) (menu [F])
Rechnung (rêH-nûng) (check [F])
Trinkgeld (trîngk-gêld) n (tip [N])
Quittung (kvî-tûngk) (receipt [F])
In German-speaking countries, as in most of the rest of the world, there are three main Mahlzeiten (meals) of the day: Frühstück (fruu-shtuuk) [n] (breakfast), Mittagessen (mî-tahgk-êsn) [n] (lunch), and Abendessen (ah-bnt-êsn) [n] (dinner).
To tell someone you're hungry in German, say Ich bin hungrig. (I’m hungry). If you want to ask somebody if he or she is hungry, you say Sie sind hungrig (Are you hungry?). To order something, say ich mchte . . . (I would like . . .) and then add the food (Essen) you want. The following list might help.
You might want to use the following adjectives to describe to your der Kellner/die Kellnerin [M/F] (waiter/waitress) how you want the food prepared.
heiß (warm; hot)
klein (small; short)
groß (big; tall; large)
To tell someone you're thirsty in German, say Ich habe Durst. When you want to ask somebody whether he or she is thirsty, you say Sie sind durstig (Are you thirsty?). The following are some of the most common drinks you'll want to order in German.
Bier (beer) [N] (beer)
Kaffee (kâ-fê) [M] (coffee)
Milch (mîlH) [F] (milk)
Tee (the) [M] (tea)
Wein (vyn) [M] (wine)
Mineralwasser (Mîn-eh-rahl-vahs-ser) (mineral water)
Wasser (vahs-ser) (water)
The following phrases might help you when you're eating at a restaurant.
Ich habe einen Tisch reserviert. (I’ve reserved a table.)
Ich möchte bitte etwas Wasser. (I would like some water please.)
Haben Sie ein Tagesmenü? (What is today's special?)
Ich hätte gern ein Glas Milch. (I'd like a glass of milk.)
Zwei Spiegeleier mit Brot, bitte. (Two fried eggs with bread, please.)
Noch etwas Tee bitte. (A little more tea, please.)
Ich möchte etwas Kaffee. (I'd like some coffee.)