How To Say The Bill In Spanish – Home / Blog / Spanish Food Culture / 16 Spanish Words to Know Before Eating in Spain
Discovering the unique vocabulary that comes with sharing Spanish can be confusing even for those of us who have taken their Spanish lessons in school.
How To Say The Bill In Spanish
From ordering a steak to asking for a check in Spanish, this guide has you covered with key words and phrases that will help you tackle any restaurant in Spain like a pro.
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You don’t have to be fluent in Spanish, but there are a few words that will make the experience easier. From explaining different parts of the menu to ordering exactly what you want, these 16 food words and phrases will help you eat (and order!) like a local.
When you visit Spain, you will find that many meals are served family style. A large plate is ordered for the whole table
As there are people eating, place everything in the middle of the table and serve the food on plates.
It generally provides enough food for three or four people. There is also a second medium size option on the middle row
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Contrary to popular belief outside of Spain, the word “tapa” refers only to the size of the plate, not to it! When eating in Spain, a tapa can be anything from two triangles of cheese or a plate of olives to a small hamburger or a small portion of paella.
Tapas are limited in food. In cities like Madrid or Granada, they often come free when they order a drink. In other cities, they cost money – but are often worth it for beauty and innovation.
Head to northern Spain and you’ll find bars filled with colorful, eye-catching cakes and pastries. Welcome to the land of pintxos!
“Pintxo” is a Basque word for “tapa.” According to the Basque tradition, pintxos are often more elaborate than a tap and are almost always served on top of a medallion of bread with a dip in everything.
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, is a thing of beauty when you eat in Spain. They usually combine three or four choices each for a first and second course, bread, drink, and dessert or coffee. All that will set you back just €10-15!
Beer in Spain is often imported in bulk, as many bars serve local beer on tap. Instead of ordering a Mahou or Estrella dam, you would order a
Some bars in Spain still use the old school method of keeping track of your tab in chalk above the bar!
Asking for a check while eating in Spain is as easy as catching the eye of a waiter or bar and making a gesture like writing in the air. If you want to use words, however, go with “
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In Spain, it is considered polite to wait to bring the check before diners ask for it. Say when you’re ready to pay; otherwise you’ll be waiting a long time!
Food in Spain can be anything from a piece of chocolate to fruit. The former usually comes after eating while the latter is more common after dinner. If you order a
He will give you the glass of the red house. But if you want to be sure, remember that wine in Spain is almost always governed by the region, not the grape.
When it comes to red wine in Spain, two regions almost dominate the wine list: Rioja and Ribera. The former is the most famous wine region in Spain and abroad, but the latter is starting to give it a run for its money.
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Wines in Rioja tend to be lighter and whiter than their more tannic and juicy Ribera counterparts. Both areas are productive
Spain’s most valuable white grape is albariño, which comes from the western province of Galicia. Albariño is an exception to Spain’s regional regulation, as it is the name of the grape, not the region.
The wines of the Rueda region, which tend to be lighter and whiter than albariños, grow in the small but powerful world of white Spain. Even Rioja produces excellent white wines, although not as famous as their red counterparts, that are worth a try!
To get a glass of water in a restaurant in Spain, you have to ask for it specifically. But only if you ask
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For the only normal glass, the free water glass, you need to specify that you want a glass (rather than a bottle) of water.
Tap water in Spain is safe to drink; however, in more coastal cities such as Barcelona and Malaga, taste can be limited. Although it won’t make you sick if you use it, it’s best to ask for bottled water (
Means “to the point” – as in meat cooked for gifts. This is the phrase to use if you want a medium knife when eating in Spain.
Waiters will only ask how you want your meat cooked if you order beef. To order a special package, ask “
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It’s a shot of espresso “cut” with a splash of steamed milk on top of a spoonful of foamed milk. You can use it as a noun: I want a
, or the Spanish answer to the latte. This drink contains equal parts of coffee and milk. You can also enter the temperature you want the milk to be: go
One of the most important questions you could ask in a Spanish restaurant is what the food is like
Many Spanish restaurants offer packaged products such as yogurt, ice cream bars or chocolates on their menu. While some of these may be good, nothing beats homemade desserts. Whenever you are offered a dessert menu, make sure you ask what is being made in the restaurant!
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This is the way to go. This term is only used when things are being pushed over the coals. Meat or octopus is usually found “
Actually refers to the grill iron that is placed over the fire to cook with. In practice, many things are given
They are actually cooked on the grill over the fire, not over the fire. You will get those great grill marks though!
They are the big, bulky grills that are common in most restaurants. In Spain, everything from fish to garlic mushrooms is requested on this type of griddle. If the menu doesn’t explain exactly how something is cooked, it’s safe to assume that it will
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Is a small batch of popular tapas wines. The small size allows them to stay cold while it takes you to finish your meal. That’s why you’ll often see locals drinking while they play fast in Spanish bars!
. However, in Spanish restaurants, this term is usually used to describe food cooked in a grill-style pan on the stove. If you’re looking for a charcoal grill, look no further
” (Please check) when you start your server. Another common phrase that many people use is “
(verbatim: “can you charge us when you can?”). One of the best ways to ask your waiter to bring the bill.
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Although you can technically sit in a Spanish restaurant (without a host or hostess), it is generally considered polite to pull a waiter over and ask if a table is available – especially during busy periods .
” (table of two), or however many people are in your party. If the tables are available, the server may invite you to grab the one you like.
Update Notice: This post was originally published on December 3, 2015 and was updated with new text and photos on June 1, 2021.
Hungry for more? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and receive a new Spanish recipe once a week! Join today and get useful Spanish lessons for free! Confident travelers arriving in new places have the language of the country. While no one expects tourists to be fluent in local customs, it’s easier to explore unfamiliar places when you know how to ask simple, straightforward questions. One phrase that can save you a lot of time when you eat out: Can I have the check, please?
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Food plays an important role in many cultures around the world, giving friends and family an opportunity to meet, celebrate, relax and enjoy being together. Being able to successfully manage a restaurant abroad will enhance your experience. Here’s how to ask for a restaurant bill in 13 major languages, along with some basic tips on restaurant etiquette that will give you a head start on each country’s culture.
If you go out with a group of friends for dinner in Germany, the meal usually starts with friends
(Enjoy your food). It is generally considered polite to eat well when your food has arrived instead of waiting for everything