Knowing how to order food at a restaurant is an important task for any beginner-level English learner. Here are two short dialogues to help you learn common questions and answers used at restaurants.
Dining at a Restaurant Alone
This dialogue includes most of the basic questions you'll need to know when going to a restaurant alone. Practice it with a friend.
Waitperson: Hi. How are you doing this afternoon?
Customer (you): Fine, thank you. Can I see a menu, please?
Waitperson: Certainly, here you are.
Customer: Thank you. What's today's special?
Waitperson: Grilled tuna and cheese on rye.
Customer: That sounds good. I'll have that.
Waitperson: Would you like something to drink?
Customer: Yes, I'd like a coke.
Waitperson: Thank you. (returning with the food) Here you are. Enjoy your meal!
Customer: Thank you.
Waitperson: Can I get you anything else?
Customer: No thanks. I'd like the check, please.
Waitperson: That'll be $14.95.
Customer: Here you are. Keep the change!
Waitperson: Thank you! Have a good day!
At a Restaurant With Friends
Next, use this dialogue to practice speaking at a restaurant when eating with friends. The dialogue includes questions to help you choose what to eat. For this role-play, you'll need three people instead of two.
Kevin: The spaghetti looks really good.
Alice: It is! I had it the last time I was here.
Peter: How is the pizza, Alice?
Alice: It's good, but I think the pasta is better. What would you recommend?
Waitperson: I'd recommend the lasagna. It's excellent!
Alice: That sounds great. I'll have that.
Waitperson: Fine. Would you like an appetizer?
Alice: No, lasagna is more than enough for me!
Kevin: I think I'll have the lasagna as well.
Waitperson: Right. That's two lasagnas. Would you care for an appetizer?
Kevin: Yes, I'll take the calamari.
Peter: Oh, that sounds good! I can't decide between the chicken marsala and grilled fish.
Waitperson: The fish is fresh, so I'd recommend that.
Peter: Great. I'll have the fish. I'd also like a salad.
Waitperson: What would you like to drink?
Kevin: I'll have water.
Alice: I'd like a beer.
Peter: I'll take a glass of red wine.
Waitperson: Thank you. I'll get the drinks and the appetizers.
Kevin: Thank you.
Key Vocabulary and Phrases
Here are some key phrases used to discuss food in a restaurant when ordering and deciding on what to eat:
- Could I have a menu, please?
- Here you are.
- Enjoy your meal!
- Would you like…
- Can I get you anything else?
- I'd like the check, please.
- That'll be…
- Have a good day!
- The spaghetti/steak/chicken looks good.
- How is the pizza/fish/beer?
- What would you recommend?
- I'd like my steak rare/medium/well done.
- Are there any nuts/peanuts? My child has allergies.
- Do you have any vegetarian dishes?
- Could I have a glass of water, please?
- Could you tell me where the restroom is?
- I'd recommend the lasagna/steak/pizza.
- Would you care for an appetizer/a beer/a cocktail?
- I'd like to have a beer/steak/glass of wine.