The Easy Guide to Food and Drink Vocabulary in Spanish
Have you ever wanted to order food in Spanish and didn’t know where to start?
That’s a common situation for language learners. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself needing to order food and drinks in Spanish. For this reason, today I’m introducing you to this comprehensive food and drink vocabulary in Spanish.
Keep reading to find out why you need to learn about food and drinks in Spanish, the most useful food vocabulary in Spanish divided by food groups and meals of the day, a collection of popular drinks, and essential phrases to order food in Spanish.
Table of Contents:
- Why You Need to Learn About Food and Drinks in Spanish
- Food Vocabulary
- Drinks Vocabulary
- Basic Vocabulary for Ordering
- Practice This Vocabulary and Order Food in Spanish
Why You Need to Learn About Food and Drinks in Spanish
However, I can’t think of a more important vocabulary guide than one that introduces you to food and drink terms in the language you’re learning.
Talking about food in Spanish-speaking countries requires more than just learning terms for foods and beverages. You also need to know words to place an order. You may even need different slang terms depending on which country you are visiting.
As a Spanish teacher, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to learn about different foods in Spanish involves dividing them into food categories first and then studying dishes from the different meals of the day. That’s exactly what I do in the following food lists.
According to the MyPlate from the US government, there are five main food groups:
- Protein foods
In the following tables, each group has its own list of 14 food items in English and their Spanish translation.
Fruits – Las Frutas
Vegetables – Las Verduras
|cabbage||la col / el repollo|
|potato||la papa / la patata|
Grains – Los Granos
According to the US government classification of foods, “any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product.” With that in mind, this list includes the main grains and a few of the most common foods made from them.
|crackers||las galletas saladas|
|popcorn||las palomitas de maíz|
Protein – La proteína
In this group, you find animal protein, as well as nuts, beans, and soy products.
|meat||la carne de vaca|
|peas||los chícharos / los guisantes|
|pork||la carne de cerdo|
Dairy – Los lácteos
In this group you find all foods made from milk.
|ice cream||el helado|
|powdered milk||la leche en polvo|
|sour cream||la crema agria|
|whipped cream||la crema batida|
Breakfast – El Desayuno
Now it’s time to learn about some of the most common types of breakfast food.
|honey||la miel de abeja|
|jam||la mermelada / la jalea|
|maple syrup||el jarabe de maple|
|pancakes||los panqueques / las tortitas|
|refried beans||los frijoles refritos|
|sandwich||el sándwich / el emparedado|
|scrambled eggs||los huevos revueltos|
|toast||el pan tostado|
Lunch Foods – La Comida
To make this section feel like a proper menu, I’ve divided the lunch foods into main dishes, side dishes, and desserts.
Main Dishes – Los Platos Fuertes
Here’s an eclectic mix of main dishes of various cuisines, including comida chatarra (junk food).
|chicken wings||las alitas de pollo|
|duck a l’orange||el pato a la naranja|
|fish and chips||el pescado con papas|
|fried chicken||el pollo frito|
|grilled octopus||el pulpo asado|
|hot dog||el hot dog / el perrito caliente|
|meatloaf||el pastel de carne|
|roasted turkey||el pavo asado|
Side Dishes – Las Guarniciones
This is the food that you order to accompany your main dish.
|baked beans||los frijoles cocidos|
|baked potato||la papa al horno|
|Caesar salad||la ensalada César|
|chicken salad||la ensalada de pollo|
|French fries||las papas fritas|
|fruit salad||la ensalada de fruta|
|garlic bread||el pan de ajo|
|macaroni and cheese||los macarrones con queso|
|mashed potatoes||el puré de papa|
|roasted cauliflower||la coliflor asada|
|roasted vegetables||las verduras asadas|
Desserts – Los Postres
Now, let’s learn about some of the most delicious desserts in Spanish.
|apple pie||el pay de manzana|
|banana bread||el pastel de plátano / el pan de banano|
|caramel||el dulce de leche|
|carrot cake||el pastel de zanahoria|
|cheesecake||el pay de queso|
|chocolate cake||el pastel de chocolate|
|cinnamon roll||el rollo de canela|
|donut||la dona / la rosquilla|
|pumpkin pie||el pastel de calabaza|
|rice pudding||el arroz con leche|
Dinner – La Cena
To finish with the food vocabulary, it’s time to study a few of the most popular dinner dishes.
|baked chicken breasts||las pechugas de pollo cocidas|
|baked salmon||el salmón cocido|
|beef stew||el estofado de carne|
|chicken sandwich||el sándwich de pollo|
|chicken soup||el caldo de pollo|
|chili con carne||la carne con chile|
|lamb chops||las chuletas de cordero|
|pork tenderloin||el lomo de cerdo|
|roast beef||el pastel de chocolate|
|roast lamb||el cordero asado|
|roasted sweet potatoes||las papas asadas|
|seafood casserole||la sopa de mariscos|
|stuffed peppers||los pimientos rellenos|
|vegetable soup||la sopa de verduras|
It’s time to focus on learning vocabulary about drinks in Spanish.
|apple juice||el jugo de manzana|
|black coffee||el café negro|
|cranberry juice||el jugo de arándano|
|hot chocolate||el chocolate caliente|
|hot tea||el té caliente|
|iced tea||el té helado|
|orange juice||el jugo de naranja|
|smoothie||el batido / el licuado|
|sparkling water||el agua con gas|
|still water||el agua natural|
|tomato juice||el jugo de tomate|
Basic Vocabulary for Ordering
Let’s now learn basic vocabulary for ordering your food. For this, I recommend you to first take a look at this useful post about how to order food in Spanish.
You may also want to read this article on Spanish restaurant vocabulary.
These useful words will help you to order your food in Spanish.
|medium well||tres cuartos|
|menu||el menú / la carta|
|waiter / waitress||el mesero / la mesera|
|well done||bien hecho|
Essential Phrases for Ordering Food in Spanish
Last but not least, here you can find a few of the most useful phrases to order your food in Spanish.
¿Me trae la carta?
Can you bring me the menu?
¿Me puede tomar la orden?
Can you take my order?
Quiero un(a) ________ .
I want a ________ .
¿Me trae la lista de vinos?
Can I get the wine list?
Para beber tráeme un(a) _______ .
For a drink bring me a ________ .
Aún no he decidido.
I haven’t decided yet.
Sin picante por favor.
Without hot sauce please.
Soy alérgico a ______ .
I’m allergic to _______ .
¿Tiene un menú vegano?
Do you have a vegan menu?
Practice This Vocabulary and Order Food in Spanish
Learn this useful vocabulary about food and drinks in Spanish and practice ordering your own food next time you visit a restaurant in a Spanish-speaking country.
Remember that learning a new language isn’t only about grammar rules and new vocabulary, but also about learning a new culture. Spanish-speaking countries have a rich and diverse gastronomy that’s an expression of this extraordinary culture.
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