In this lesson we are going to learn about Italian food and drinks, how to order in a restaurant and how to ask how much something costs.
During this lesson you will listen to a dialog and you will learn useful situational expressions. Then you will find easy grammar focuses and vocabulary. If it’s not enough, challenge yourself in our Open Class and talk to our teachers, it’s free!
Listen to this dialogue:
[Cameriere] Buongiorno signori, cosa vi porto?
[Uomo] Dunque… per me come primo gli spaghetti ai frutti di mare e per secondo il pollo con contorno di verdure. E tu, cara, cosa prendi?
[Donna] Io, invece, prendo un’insalata.
[C] E da bere cosa volete?
[U] Io vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso, e tu?
[D] Una bottiglia di acqua naturale, grazie.
[C] Grazie a voi.
[D] Ah, senta, mi scusi, vorrei dell’acqua frizzante, non naturale.
[C] Certo, signora, non c’è problema.
How to order in a restaurant or bar
In Italy, when you want to order something to eat or drink, you have some expressions you can use. Just choose your favorite one among expressions without verbs, like per me and io (for me), or simple sentences like vorrei (I would like) or the verb prendo (I take). All these expressions are always followed by the indeterminative article and the noun.
|Without verbs||I would like||I take|
|per me [un / una + noun] “per me una pizza”Io [un / una + noun] “io una pizza”||vorrei [un / una + noun] “vorrei una pizza”||prendo [un/ una +noun] “prendo una pizza”|
Focus on Grammar
The Italian indefinite article (in English a / an) is used with singular nouns. It also corresponds to the number one, that is why we use it to order foods and drinks, by meaning one portion.
|un caffé||una pizza|
|uno spezzatino||una specialità della casa|
Uno is used for masculine words beginning with –z or –s + consonant; un is used for all other masculine words.
Una is used for feminine words beginning with a consonant; un’ is used for feminine words beginning with a vowel.
Listen to this dialogue:
[Uomo] Mi scusi, quant’è?
[Cassiera] Dunque… una pizza, un’acqua e un caffè: sono 12 euro e 20 centesimi.
[U] Ecco 20 euro.
[C] Ha moneta per favore?
[U] No, mi dispiace.
[C] Non importa, ecco a Lei il resto 7 euro e 80 centesimi.
[C] A Lei, signore, buona giornata.
How to order in a restaurant or in a bar
In Italy, when you want to ask how much things cost or the bill in a restaurant we use the expressions whether we address to people in a formal way or informal. The first column expressions are spoken in a bar or in a shop, and you have to go to the cash desk, the second one is common in a restaurant, where you stay sit at your table and ask for the bill.
|At the bar / in a shop||At the restaurant|
|il conto, per favore|
Essential Italian vocabulary at the restaurant
Here the main words you need to know to make a perfect order in a bar or in a restaurant.
|la pasta (the pasta /spaghetti)
il riso (the rice)
il pesce (the fish)
la carne (the meat)
la verdura (the vegetable)
la frutta (the fruit)
i salumi (the cured meats)
la zuppa (the soup)
la macedonia (the fruit salad)
|l’aranciata (the orange soda)
l’acqua naturale (the mineral water)
l’acqua frizzante (the sparkling water)
la birra chiara (blonde beer / ale)
la birra scura (dark beer / stout)
il caffè (the coffee)
la cioccolata (the chocolate)
il caffèlatte (the coffee with milk)
il latte caldo (the hot milk)
il latte freddo (the cold milk)
il liquore / l’ammazzacaffé (the liquor)
il frullato (the smoothie)
il vino rosso (the red wine)
il vino bianco (the white wine)
lo spumante (the champagne)
il succo di frutta (the fruit juice)
la spremuta di arancia (the orange juice freshly-squeezed)
il tè (the tea)
la tisana (the herbal tea)
|la colazione (the breakfast)
lo spuntino/ la merenda (the snack)
il pranzo (the lunch)
l’aperitivo (the happy hour)
la cena (the dinner)
|Piatti (main courses)|
|l’antipasto (the starter)
il primo (the first course)
il secondo (the second course)
il contorno (the side dish)
il dolce / il dessert (the dessert)
|pagare (to pay)
il conto (the bill / the check)
il resto (the change)
la moneta (the coin)
la carta di credito (the credit card)
i contanti (the cash)
lo scontrino (the receipt)