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Learn French Fast: 10 French Phrases to use in a restaurant

Updated on July 15, 2008

Eating out in France

When you travel in France one of the great pleasures is to eat out in a restaurant. Below you will find 10 useful phrases in French, with their English translations, and an explanation of when you would use them. You can also click on the link at the bottom of this page to go to a page with a podcast with these phrases so you can hear them spoken by a native French speaker. Follow along and practice. Learn basic French fast with these useful phrases.

Learn French Fast: Useful French Restaurant Phrases

  • L'addition s'il vous plait?
  • May I have the bill please?
  • In France the bill is not given to you because you have finished eating, you must ask for the bill.
  • Avez-vous une table s'il vous plait?
  • Do you have a table please?
  • In France reservations are often required at dinner time. If you don't have a reservation you can ask with this phrase.
  • J'ai une reservation pour deux(2) sous le nom de Jones.
  • I have a reservation for 2 under the name of Jones.
  • It is a good idea to make reservations for dinner before you go. Tell the host at the restaurant if you have a reservation, otherwise they may ignore you. If you are staying at a hotel the concierge may be able to reserve for you.
  • Nous prendrons deux (2) menus à quinze (15) euros.
  • We'll take 2 15 Euro fixed price meals.
  • At dinner time there are often more than one style of fixed price menu so be specific about the exact one you want.
  • Nous commandons à la carte.
  • We will order à la carte.
  • If you don't want one of the menus you cannot usually substitute so you will have to order à la carte. The menu is usually much cheaper so look for a menu you will like.

Learn French Fast: More French Phrases to use in restaurants

  • Deux (2) cafés avec le dessert s'il vous plait.
  • 2 coffees with the dessert please.
  • Typically your menu will include a dessert but not coffee. You can order coffee but it will not come with coffee. If you want the coffee to come with your dessert you must ask for it. Otherwise your coffee will come after the dessert.
  • Une bouteille de vin s'il vous plait.
  • A bottle of wine please.
  • If you would like to order wine by the bottle just ask and the server will bring the wine list.
  • Un pichet de vin s'il vous plait.
  • A pitcher of wine please.
  • Most restaurants will serve inexpensive wine by the pitcher, half pitcher or quarter pitcher. This is a good option if you are trying to save money but would like some wine.
  • Quel-ce qu'est le plat du jour aujourd'hui?
  • What is the special of today?
  • Generally there will be "one" special dish of the day. Often the fixed price menu will only include the plat du jour as the main course. If it sounds good order the menu, it will be cheaper.
  • Qu'est-ce que la recommendation de la chef?
  • What does the chef recommend?
  • If you don't know what to order ask what the chef recommends. In "better" restaurants this is common.
  • PODCASTS ARE COMING SOON, CHECK TOMORROW!

What other restaurant phrases would you like to know?

We plan on continuing with this series. We will cover other situations and add more phrases in each catergory. Are there more restaurant phrases you would like to know. Add the phrase in English in the comments below and we'll create a new Hub to address your questions. Join our fan club to see when new Hubs are written.

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    • chantelg4 profile image

      chantelg4 8 years ago from Northern Ontario

      Interesting, here in Northern Ontario Canada, at the least the Francophone part we don't ask for "l'addition" we say "La facture", funny how one language can have so many dialects and renditions. I am French but I would probaly be lost in France, although someday I plan on going there since my roots are there. Nice Hub!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 8 years ago from london

      Francetales, thank you for this nice, compact and very, very useful hub. France has always been the homeland of an exquisite cuisine and French Chef Masters in long white caps, who were performing their culinary art.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Handy stuff, Francetales. You should include the pronunciation, too. I'm betting those phrases aren't said the way they're spelled... sorta like english!

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      Well by tomorrow the podcast will be ready so I was thinking that instead of the pronounciation you can hear the phrases and then practice them with space inbetween.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Well, that WOULD be better...

      "Nevermind."

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      In France we use le facture for bills from the phone company, gas and electric, l'addition is strictly for a restaurant bill, no idea why, though because facture would make sense. Maybe if you have a forfait, contract, then it is a facture.

    • chantelg4 profile image

      chantelg4 8 years ago from Northern Ontario

      Interesting!

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Very interesting hub and comments. It's amusing that in France the "menu" means a fixed price meal not what Americans think of as the menu, which in France is "la carte"....leads to all kinds of confusion on both sides of the Atlantic:-)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      "Une bouteille de vin s'il vous plait."

      That and asking for the cheese plate must be my most used phrases around here!

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      I'm finishing up the podcasts right now, check back in about 20 minutes and you'll be able to hear them, amybe a tiny bit longer.

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 8 years ago from london

      Francetales, you are a true master of design! I love your podcast! Keep going...will follow and spread the word...

      p.s.

      I was a wind in my previous life...i love all countries...i love all languages):

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      Well thanks but it was an iWeb template only slightly modified by me. I will be adding numerous ones over the next weeks so I am glad you like it.

      Yugoslavia huh, I am dying to go to that region, Split, Dubrovnic, the Dalmation coast, it is much easier to do from France than it was from the US, I am going maybe this fall.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Just reading this hub makes me think of being in Paris! Heaven!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      I'll recommend the "Learn French Fast" podcast to my English friends!

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      Thanks.

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 8 years ago from london

      Oh yes, I know that, now Croatian cost and islands quite well. I even speak their language. There are so many gorgeous, very pristine places there. Sailing in the Adriatic sea is also very nice, because the sea and conditions are not so rough as in the ocean, and I haven't met any bad sharks there, as well):

      I really like the template...

    • b opinionated profile image

      b opinionated 8 years ago from California

      French is my favorite language and I have always wanted to learn it. This is a great hub. I am not sure how to pronounce some of the words, but still great, simple, and easy to understand.

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      If you click on the Learn French Poscasts link at the bottom you will hear a podcast with these phrases that you can practice with. Thanks

    • profile image

      Hannah Montana 8 years ago

      freach desserts rock

    • profile image

      Hannah Montana 8 years ago

      freach desserts rock

    • francetales profile image
      Author

      francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

      Les desserts français sont très cool! Voila, pour toi!

    • profile image

      HowToSpeakFrench 8 years ago

      What a great hubpage - I reaaly liked the practical advice on it. Please write more :)

      If you have a chance you might want to check my blog at http://www.howtospeakfrenchblog.com/ on how to speak French.

    • Bbudoyono profile image

      Bbudoyono 7 years ago

      Merci Monsieur ! Vous aves visitez l'Indonesie ? Je suis Indonesien.

    • EasilyLearnFrench profile image

      EasilyLearnFrench 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Wow, great information!

    • EasilyLearnFrench profile image

      EasilyLearnFrench 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Wow, great information!

    • YvesLeroy profile image

      YvesLeroy 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great tips here. Very useful as we like to eat out a lot in France.

    • profile image

      princess 7 years ago

      great information but i think you should add more phrases

    • profile image

      Ziame R. Iquaine 6 years ago

      Decent list, but many misspellings...

    • ladylux profile image

      ladylux 6 years ago

      Nice hub. Compliments one of mine. :)

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