French restaurant
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Vocabulaire du restaurant

If you like eating out, you’ll love this French vocabulary related to restaurants.

Useful verbs

  boire   to drink
  commander   to order
  manger   to eat
  payer   to take, have
  prendre   to take, have

What the waiter might say…

  Installez-vous   Have a seat
     Vous avez choisi ?   Have you decided?
  Que voudriez-vous ?   What would you like?
  Vous désirez ?   What would you like?
  Je vous écoute.   (Go ahead) I’m listening.
  Que prenez-vous ?   What are you having?
  Qu’est-ce que je vous sers ?   What can I get you?
  Et ensuite de ça ?   And after that? What else?
  J’arrive   I’ll be right there/back
What you might respond…
     Je voudrais…
  I would like…
  Je vais prendre…
Je prends…
  I’ll have…
  Combien coûte… ?   How much does … cost?
  Je suis…   I am…
       allergique à…     allergic to…
    diabétique     diabetic
    végétarien / végétarienne      vegetarian
    végétalien / végétalienne     vegan
  Je ne peux pas manger…   I can’t eat…
If you order meat, the waiter might ask
  Quelle cuisson ? How would you like it cooked?
And you can respond…  
  cru raw
  bleu very rare (red inside)
  saignant (for beef)
rosé (for duck or lamb)
rare (pink inside)
  à point medium-rare
  médium medium
  bien cuit well done
  calciné very well done, charred
  Video: Un steak-frites, s’il vous plaît
What you might say to your table mates (links go to lessons)
  À la vôtre ! Cheers!
  Bon appétit ! Enjoy your meal! (the waiter might say this too)
Later, the waiter might ask…
  C’est à votre goût ? Do you like it? Is everything ok?
  C’est terminé ? Have you finished?
  Ça a été ? Was everything ok?
When you’re ready, ask for
  l’addition (f) check/bill
Restaurant people
  le serveur (not garçon) waiter
  la serveuse waitress
  le/la chef chef
Other useful restaurant terms
  la carte menu
  le menu fixed-price meal
  à la carte side order (not part of le menu)
  le socle base of credit card machine
  le pourboire tip
  service compris tip included
  service non compris tip not included
  défense de fumer no smoking
  les animaux sont interdits no pets allowed
  Sur place ou à emporter ? For here or to go?
Eat in or take away?

 Related lessons

French listening comprehension

French listening practice

French lesson plans French lesson plans

Learn Spanish En español

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French restaurant vocabulary

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2 Responses

  1. bonnie1114 27 January 2015 / 16:28

    I read somewhere (maybe in one of your newsletters!) that even if the bill states “service compris”, one should still leave a pourboire, that the “service” is more for taxes and fees, but not a tip, per se. But here it states that “service compris” means that the tip is included. So should one leave an additional “pourboire” or not? I don’t want to insult any servers, nor do I want to leave them a 40% tip in most cases!

    • lkl 27 January 2015 / 16:58

      No, that’s not true. You can leave a small tip, but it’s definitely not required. I have a couple of friends who own a restaurant, and they were flabbergasted when we left a 5 euro tip after dinner (at a different restaurant) for 6 people. When even restaurateurs say you don’t have to, I’m convinced.