Ordering in German

Ordering in German will be easy after this audio lesson – don’t leave home without it! If you’re planning on eating out in Germany you’ll need to know how to ask for what you want. 

Vegetarian? Not what you ordered? No problem! The Rocket German team will teach you what you need to know to impress your friends  - and the waiter! Listen to the audio and practice saying the phrases aloud. And if you get the chance to try them out at a German restaurant closer to home, don’t be shy!

Here are some of the most basic German sentences to get you started. Further on in this lesson we will look at the pronunciation of these and more German sentences.
 

  • Möchten Sie schon etwas zu trinken bestellen? - Would you like to order some drinks to start with?
  • Haben Sie schon gewählt? - Have you chosen already?
  • Was möchten Sie bestellen? - What would you like to order?
  • Möchten Sie eine Vorspeise? - Would you like a starter / appetizer?
  • Was darf es sein? - What would you like?
  • Möchten Sie bestellen? - Would you like to order?
  • Was möchten Sie essen? - What would you like to eat?
  • Ja, bitte? - Yes, please?
  • Ein Moment, bitte. - One moment, please.
  • Ich möchte bitte schon etwas zu trinken bestellen. - I'd like to order something to drink to start with.

Ordering at a restaurant in German

It’s not common in Germany to be seated by the waiter or waitress. Instead you just choose the table yourself. In some restaurants the menu will be on the table already otherwise the waiter will bring it over to you as soon as possible. After being greeted you could get asked one of the following questions…

Möchten Sie schon etwas zu trinken bestellen?

Would you like to order some drinks to start with?

Haben Sie schon gewählt?

Have you chosen already?

Was möchten Sie bestellen?

What would you like to order?

Möchten Sie eine Vorspeise?

Would you like a starter / appetizer?

Was darf es sein?

What would you like?

Möchten Sie bestellen?

Would you like to order?

Was möchten Sie essen?

What would you like to eat?

German cooking ingredients

Sometimes all you might get asked is…

Ja, bitte?

Yes, please?

You could answer by saying one of these phrases…

Ein Moment, bitte.

One moment, please.

Ich möchte bitte schon etwas zu trinken bestellen.

I'd like to order something to drink to start with.

Ich weiß noch nicht.

I don't know yet.

Not sure what you fancy eating? Just ask the waiter what he recommends…

Was können Sie empfehlen?

What can you recommend?

Was ist das Angebot des Tages?

What is the daily special?

Was ist die Tagessuppe?

What is the soup of the day?

Here are the names of some dishes and drinks that you might find on the menu…

Das Mineralwasser

Mineral water

Der Salat

Salad

Die Soße

Sauce

Das Gemüse

Vegetables

Die Kartoffeln

Potatoes

Der Reis

Rice

Das Fleisch

Meat

Die Nudeln

Noodles

Das Schweinefleisch

Pork

Das Huhn

Chicken

Die Suppe

Soup

Die Beilage

Side dish

Der Saft

Juice

Das Bier

Beer

Der Rotwein

Red wine

Der Weißwein

White wine

Der Sekt

Sparkling Wine / Bubbly

Der Champagner

Champagne

Die Vorspeise

Starter / appetizer

Das Hauptgericht

Main / Entree

Der Nachtisch

Dessert

Das Rindfleisch

Beef

German restaurant

In order to get the dish you want simply say…

Ich nehme…

I'll have...

Ich möchte…

I would like...

Once you finished your meal you ask for the bill…

Die Rechnung, bitte.

The bill, please.

Ich möchte bitte bezahlen.

I would like to pay, please.

In Germany the waiter or waitress will bring the bill to your table. If you are eating out with a group you might get asked whether you want to pay…

Zusammen

Together

Getrennt

Separately

It is kind of expected to tip in German restaurants. A tip is usually 10 % of the price or more if you were satisfied. Not tipping implies that you didn’t enjoy your time at the restaurant. The word for tip is…

Das Trinkgeld

Tip

For more lessons on German vocabulary I recommend these!

Bis bald!

Paul Weber
Paul Weber
Rocket German


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