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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Whether you’re staying in Italy for a few days or want to practise your language skills in an Italian restaurant back home, ordering in Italian can be very useful – and we Italians sure do love ordering food!
In my opinion ordering food is one of the easier things to learn in our language but pronunciation is key. In fact once a friend of mine was trying to order something as simple as pasta but, not knowing how to say ‘can I please order some pasta’, she limited herself to repeatedly saying ‘pasta, pasta per favore’ but the waiter understood ‘basta, basta per favore’ which means ‘stop, stop please’! So as you can see some words can be easily mistakable which is why we will be learning full sentences and after you can test your pronunciation by listening to a video clip on this website about ordering in Italian.. So let’s get started!
An essential thing to keep in mind is that the word ‘bar’ in Italian is what would be called a café in English. It is a place that sells both refreshing and hot drinks, coffee and cornetti (croissants) for breakfast, snacks, sandwiches and even the odd slice of pizza during the day!
The following phrases are useful for booking a restaurant:
Vorrei prenotare (I would like to book)
Certo, a che ora? (Of course, for what time?)
Stasera, alle otto (Tonight at eight)
Per quante persone? (How many people?)
Per cinque persone (five people)
Mi dispiace, è tutto già prenotato (I’m sorry, everything has already been booked)
Ha prenotato? Or ‘avete prenotato?’ depending on whether the person is addressing one or more people (have you booked?)
ORDERING YOUR MEAL..
When ordering a meal you have the option of odering an antipasto (a starter). As in many countries Italians have three main meals a day: colazione (breakfast), pranzo (lunch), and cena (dinner). A simple way to order is to say ‘posso avere..’ (can I have..) or ‘vorrei avere..’ (I would like to have). For example:
Posso avere una margherita? (Can I have a margherita pizza?)
Vorrei avere l’insalata di mare (I would like to have seafood salad)
Posso avere un bicchiere di acqua per favore? Or ‘si può avere un bicchiere di acqua?’ (Can I have a glass of water please?)
Another way of ordering is to simply say what you would like. For example:
Un caffé, per favore. (One coffee please)
The English are known for their lovely attribute of politeness and the overuse of the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Some languages don’t use the terms quite as much so don’t be worried if you aren’t hearing them as frequently! Having said this, it is of good manners to say them when ordering at times.
After a delicious meal it’s time to order to bill!
‘Posso avere il conto’ or ‘il conto per favore’ are two ways of asking for the bill (which is conto).
Lastly, here is a brief list of some drinks you’d want to order – and don’t forget to have some gelato for desert!
Acqua – water
Acqua natural – still water
Acqua frizzante – sparkling water
Succo di frutta – fruit juice
Birra – beer
Succo di arancia – orange juice
Unfortunately Ribena isn’t sold in Italy!!