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How To Order Food In French (35 Audio Sentences)

How To Order Food In French (35 Audio Sentences)

Knowing how to order a meal in French is essential for eating in a restaurant in France. This post covers all the phrases you’ll need to reserve your table, order your meal and pay your bill. For starters, “Je voudrais” means “I would like” and “L’addition, s’il vous plaît” means “the bill please”. Keep reading to learn many more useful French restaurant phrases.

Je voudrais…

I would like

l’addition s’il vous plaît

the bill/check please

French Lesson: How to order food (a meal) in a French restaurant.

How to make restaurant reservations in French

Learning how to make restaurant reservation is very important as many higher-end French restaurants require that you book the table in advance.

Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux personnes.

I’d like to reserve a table for two people.

On arrive à dix-neuf heures.

We’ll arrive at 7.00pm.

Une table pour deux s’il vous plaît.

A table for two please.

More phrases you may use before your meal:

  • Connaissez-vous un bon restaurant dans ce quartier? Do you a good restaurant in this neighborhood?
  • Pouvez-vous m’indiquer un restaurant bon marché près d’ici? Can you suggest an inexpensive restaurant near here?
  • Je vourdais une table sur la terrace/près de la fenêtre. I’d like a table on the terrace/near the window.

These two other lessons will come in handy for making reservations: French telephone vocabulary and telling time in French.

Table for two in French

How to order a meal in French

The following list of phrases are what you will use with the waiter (le serveur) or the waitress (la serveuse). The traditional word for waiter is le garçon, which literally means “the boy”. This term is now outdated.

Nous sommes prêts à commander.

We’re ready to order.

Puis-je avoir la carte?

May I have the menu?

Je voudrais…

I would like…

Je prendrais…

I’ll have…

Avez-vous des menus?

Do you have set/fixed-price menus?

Nous commandons à la carte.

We’ll order separate items off the menu.

Que recommandez-vous?

What do you recommend?

Quelles sont les specialités du/chef de la région?

What are the chef’s/ region’s specialties?

Une bouteille de vin rouge/blanc/mousseux

A bottle of red/white/sparkling wine

Ordering wine in French

How to talk about dietary requirements

The following offers a comprehensive list of phrases you can use to express specific dietary requirements. Gluten allergies (les allergies au gluten) have become increasingly common so much restaurants offer gluten-free (sans gluten) options.

Avez-vous des plats végétariens?

Do you have vegetarian dishes.

Je suis végétarien/végétarienne.

I’m a vegetarian.

Je suis allergique au gluten.

I’m allergic to gluten.

Je suis allergique au produits laitiers.

I’m allergic to dairy products.

Pas trop épicé, s’il vous plaît.

Not too spicy, please.

Here are some more specifications you can share with your wait person at a restaurant:

  • Avez-vous des plats pour les diabétiques? Do you have any dishes for diabetics?
  • Je dois évieter le/la/les… I must avoid…
  • Est-ce que c’est cachère? Is it kosher?
  • Je ne mange pas le porc. I don’t eat pork.
  • Je voudrais encore. I’d like more.
  • Puis-je avoir encore un peu de… May I have some more…
  • Donnez-moi une petite portion de… Give me a small portion of…
Vegetarian dishes

How to express compliments and complaints

In French culture is is very common to lavish compliments and express praise to the chef and restaurant staff. Be sure to memorize the first to phrases on the list below.

C’est délicieux/très bon!

It’s delicious/very good!

Nos compléments au chef!

Our complements to the chef!

C’est trop cuit.

It’s over-cooked.

La viande est trop cuite/saignante/dure.

The meat is overcooked/rare/hard.

C’est trop salé/amer/sucré.

It’s too salty/bitter/sweet.

Ce plat ne me plaît pas.

I don’t like this dish.

Je voudrais renvoyer ce plat.

I’d like to send this dish back.

Degrees of steak doneness in French

In France, people tend to eat steak at more rare or red levels compared to in North America. When ordering, you may say je voudrais ma viande (I’d like my meat):

French steak vocabulary

Paying the bill

Be very careful with the phrase, ‘Je vous invite’. While it literally translates to ‘I invite you’, it means ‘It’s my treat’! Separately, in France you generally do not have to ask if the service is included. This is because the service is almost always included in the bill and it isn’t necessary to give a tip (donner un pourboire).

Je vous invite!

It’s my treat!

L’addition, s’il vous plaît.

The bill, please.

Il parraît qu’il y a une erreur dans l’addition.

It looks like there’s a mistake in the bill.

Le service est compris?

Is the service included?

Acceptez-vous les cartes de crédit?

Do you accept credit cards

French restaurant vocabulary

Wait…before you go, here’s a list of useful French restaurant vocabulary words:

French restaurant vocabulary

Conclusion – ordering a meal in French

Félicitations! Congratulations! You now know how to order a meal in French! Now consider checking out our posts covering French food vocabulary (over 100 words) and France’s top-10 national dishes.

More resources:

All French vocabulary lists

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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