Best Al pastor Tacos in Los Angeles

How to Order Food in Spanish from a Restaurant or Taco Truck like a Pro

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¡Hola amigos! In honor if Mexico’s upcoming Independence Day, I wanted to share one of the top questions I get from my students: how can I order food in Spanish like a pro from a fancy Restaurant or a simple Taco Truck?

Firstly, if you want to learn what to say, know what the staff will say to you, or simply be prepared the next time you go to your favorite Mexican restaurant, you’ve come to the right place. Bear in mind the phrases below are written using the formal usted conjugations. While some people don’t feel strongly whether you are formal or informal with them, you can’t go wrong with usted.

Likewise, this will come in handy while traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, or even when interacting at your local Spanish-speaking restaurant and sound like a pro. Regardless of who you are with, this conversation guide for Spanish at restaurants is a good resource to bookmark for future reference.

LETS START WITH HOW TO ORDER FOOD AT A TACO TRUCK:

The following is a dialogue you can easily follow to order your tacos next time you eat at a taco stand or taco truck. We think this is a great place to start practicing your Spanish, taco vendors are usually very friendly and receptive to people that are learning Spanish. Why not use what you are learning in Los Angeles and get some practice! Check out our list of the best restaurants in Mexico City or check out our favorite Al Pastor taco spots in LA.

TYPICAL ORDERING TACOS SCRIPT IN SPANISH

  • Vendor: Hola, Buenos Dias (Hello, good day)/ Buenas Noches (good evening)/ Buenas, ¿qué va a querer? (Evening/Afternoon what do you want?) ¿De qué los quiere? (What kind do you want?)
  • You: ¡Hola!  ¿Me da dos Tacos de Carne Asada con todo, y dos tacos Al Pastor (the formula is (Number) tacos de (type) con todo? (Can you give me 2 carne asada tacos with everything, and 2 al pastor tacos with everything?)
  • Vendor: ¿De beber? (To Drink?)
  • You: Una horchata / Una Fanta etc ¿Cuanto le Debo? (How much do I owe)
  • Vendor: Son $7
  • You: ¡Gracias! ¿Me da un Chile / una servilleta? (Thanks, can you give me a Chile, a napkin?)
  • If you would like it to go say: Para Llevar
  • And remember, this is a chance for YOU to learn. So if you dont know how to say something or need more vocab just ask: ¿Como se dice _____? and point! 

HOW TO ORDER FOOD IN SPANISH AT A SIT DOWN RESTAURANT:

WHAT DO SERVERS USUALLY SAY?

EnglishSpanish Translation
Good morning/afternoon/eveningBuenos días/tardes/noches

Do you have a reservation?

Have you made a reservation?

¿Tiene/tienen una reservación?

¿Ha/han reservado mesa?

[Typically at the table]

Would you like some water?

Would you like something to drink?

Here is the menu, your server will be right over

¿Quiere/n agua?

¿Le/les traigo alguna bebida?

Le/les traigo la carta/ el menu, su mesero/a viene en seguida.

Are you ready to place your order?¿Está/n listo/s para ordenar?
May I take your order, please?¿Le/les puedo tomar la orden?
What would you like to drink?¿Qué va/van a tomar?
What would you like to eat as your appetizer/entree?¿Qué va/van a querer de primero/segundo?

Would you like to hear the daily specials?

The daily specials are…

¿Le gustaría saber cuáles son los platos del día?

El plato/los platos del día es/son….

Is everything tasting ok?

Are you enjoying your meal?

¿Le/les ha gustado la comida?

¿Están disfrutando la comida?

Can I get you anything else?¿Se le/les ofrece algo más?

Would you like to see the dessert menu?

Did you save room for dessert?

¿Les gustaría ver menu de postre?

¿Qué desea/desean de postre?

Will that be all?¿Sería todo?

Is there anything else you need?

Is everything ok?

Do you need anything else?

¿Algo más que les haga falta?

¿Todo bien?

¿Necesita algo más?

Enjoy/ Bon AppetitBuen provecho

ONCE YOU ARE AT THE RESTAURANT, IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW HOW TO GREET THE HOST/HOSTESS

EnglishSpanish Translation

I made a reservation

Yes, we have a reservation for… people

Tengo/tenemos una reservación

Sí, he/hemos reservado una mesa para … personas.

No, we don’t have a reservationNo, no tengo/tenemos una reservación
How long is the wait for a table for … people?¿Cuánto es el tiempo de espera para … personas?

No, we’re not ready yet

Could you give me a moment, please?

We need a few more minutes.

Can you give us one more minute?

No, todavía no estamos listos/estoy listo

¿Nos/me puede dar un momento, por favor?

Necesitamos unos minutos más

¿Nos puede dar otro minuto?

Could you please repeat that?¿Me lo puede repetir, por favor?
Can you say that slower, please?¿Lo puede decir más lento, por favor?

NEXT, YOU’LL NEED TO KNOW HOW TO ORDER AT A RESTAURANT

EnglishSpanish Translation

We’re ready, could we get the menu, please?

Could you take our order?

Estamos listos. ¿Puede traer la carta/menú, por favor?

¿Me toma la orden por favor?

For starters/as an appetizer, I’d like…

As an entrée, I’d like

I’ll have … to start

They will have … to start

De primero/para empezar quiero…

De segundo, quiero…

Para empezar quiero…

Él/Ella quiere … para empezar

To drink, I’d like/want…

Para beber, quiero …

Para tomar, quiero …

What is this?¿Qué es esto?
What ingredients are in…¿Qué ingredientes lleva…?
How is … cooked?¿Cómo está hecho…?
Excuse me, waiterOiga/perdone/disculpe, camarero
Could we get cutlery?¿Me/nos puede traer unos cubiertos, por favor?

May I get another bottle of water/another drink?

I’d like another drink, please.

¿Me trae otra botella de agua/otra bebida, por favor?

Le encargo otra bebida, por favor.

AFTERWARDS, IT’S KEY TO KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE PREFERENCES AND ALLERGIES

EnglishSpanish Translation

What term would you like that cooked?

Do you want it rare, medium, well done?

¿Qué término prefiere…?

Lo quiere rojo/poco hecho, término medio, bien cocido/hecho?

Is that spicy?

How spicy is that?

Which is less/more spicy?

Can you make it not spicy?

¿Es muy picante?

¿Qué tan picante es….?

¿Cuál pica menos/más?

¿Lo pueden hacer sin chile?

Does it have cheese/dairy/meat?

Does it have nuts in it?

Is it gluten free?

Does it have shellfish?

Does it have salt?

¿Lleva queso/lácteos/carne?

¿Lleva nueces?

¿Es sin/libre de gluten?

¿Lleva mariscos?

¿Lleva sal?

Do you have a vegetarian/vegan menu/options?

Do you have gluten free options?

¿Tiene un menú vegetariano/vegano OR opciones vegetarianas/veganas?

¿Tiene opciones sin gluten? Or ¿Hacen comida sin gluten?

We are going to share…Vamos a compartir…
Would you bring me…? / Can I get…?Te/Le encargo…, por favor

May we see the dessert menu?

Do you have any desserts?

What desserts do you have?

¿Puedo/podemos ver el menú de postres?

¿Tienen postres en el menú?

¿Qué postres tienen?

Can you make it with…?

Can you make it without…?

¿Lo pueden hacer con…?

¿Lo pueden hacer sin…?

WHILE YOU’RE EATING, YOU MAY NEED TO EXPRESS WHAT YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE

EnglishSpanish Translation
Did you like/enjoy your food?¿Le/les gusto la comida…?
We did not like itLo siento, no me/nos ha gustado el plato
It needs saltA mi comida le falta sal
It was delicious! / Everything was delicious!¡Estaba deliciosa! Or  ¡Todo estaba delicioso!

We loved everything

What we loved/liked the most was….

Me/nos encantó la comida.

Lo que más me/nos ha gustado fue…

LASTLY, HASTA LA VISTA, AMIGOS! WE’RE READY FOR THE CHECK

EnglishSpanish Translation
Can I get the check, please?Le encargo la cuenta, por favor.

Do you take cards?

Do you take cash?

Excuse me, do you take cards?

Can I pay by card?

Cash only

¿Aceptan tarjetas?

¿Aceptan efectivo?

Disculpe, ¿aceptan tarjetas?

¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta?

Sólo efectivo

Thank you!¡Gracias!
PleasePor favor

For takeout, please.

May I get a box?

Para llevar, for favor.

¿Me puede dar una caja para llevar?

For more information on common restaurant phrases in Spanish, make sure to check out this resource. Also, don’t miss our recent post on things to do the next time you visit Mexico City.
 
We hope you enjoyed this post on how to order at a restaurant in Spanish! Check out more of our posts for Spanish grammar here.
 

If you would like to earn some Spanish with our great teachers check out our online Spanish classes, or meet with a Spanish teacher in Los Angeles. 

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