As is the case for many people in Berlin who come from non-German speaking countries, I once had troubles ordering food and drinks at a restaurant. While you want people to understand you, it can be difficult to express yourself freely with limited knowledge of the German language. If you are constantly focusing on being understood correctly, this could cause confusion and discomfort. Therefore, today I will teach you the basics on how to order in German.
How to order in German? – Entering
Firstly, when you walk into a restaurant and want to be seated, you can ask the waiter/waitress for a table for ”2“ (or any other number) by using the following sentence:
Ein Tisch für zwei, bitte.
Alternatively, you can go to a table and ask if the seats are taken by saying:
Sind diese Plätze noch frei?
If you have already made a reservation, you can inform the waiter/waitress by saying:
Ich habe eine Reservierung um (number) Uhr.
Once you are sitting down and are ready to look at the food and drink options, you can ask the waiter/waitress for the menu by saying the following:
Kann ich die Speisekarte bitte anschauen?
At a restaurant there is always some form of daily special. If you would like more information about these specials, you can ask:
Gibt es eine Tageskarte?
For the wine lovers out there, the following sentence might be helpful:
Kann ich die Weinkarte bitte anschauen?
(May I please see the wine list?)
Ordering in German
When you have taken a thorough look at the menu and have decided what you would like, you can ask to order by saying the following:
Wir möchten etwas zum Essen bestellen.
When ordering food, you can keep it simple by asking the waiter/waitress:
Ich hätte (food option) gern.
(I would like (food option).)
If you want to use a more advanced sentence, you can say the following:
Ich nehme (food option) als Vorspeise.
(I will take (food option) as a starter.)
Als Hauptgericht hätte ich (dish option) gern.
(For the main course, I would like (dish option.)
Zum Dessert hätte ich gern (desert option).
(For dessert, I would like (desert option.)
How to pay in German
Once you have finished your meal and are ready to pay, you can ask for the bill by saying the following to the waiter/waitress:
Die Rechnung, bitte!
It may also be helpful to know the words ‘zusammen’ (together) and ‘getrennt’ (separately), depending on how you’d like to pay.
While these tips will certainly help you get through a night at a restaurant in Berlin, German classes will help you feel more confident and comfortable when exploring Germany in everyday life. DAS Akademie is a highly-rated language school that emphasises speaking more fluently. Find out more about upcoming German courses at DAS Akademie Berlin.