A hand passes over a menu with a lot of options

30+ French words about food and drinks- Understanding a French menu

Wondering how to order coffee or ask for the bill in French? In this blog post, I've put together a helpful list of 30 key French words about food and drinks, along with their English meanings. If you're interested in understanding a French menu or expanding your French food vocabulary, keep reading!

Les entrées (Starters/Appetizers)

  • Soupe du jour - Soup of the day
  • Salade verte - Green salad
  • Escargots - Snails
  • Soupe à l'oignon - Onion soup
  • Assiette de fromages - Cheese plate
  • Moules - Mussels 

Les plats principaux (Main dishes) 

  • Pâtes au pesto- Pesto pasta
  • Filet de saumon - Salmon fillet
  • Poulet rôti - Roast chicken
  • Steak frites - Steak with fries
  • Salade de quinoa- Quinoa salad
  • Ratatouille - Provencal vegetable stew
Selection of Italian dishes with shellfish pasta, pizza and meatballs ready for the taking.

Les desserts (Desserts) 

  • Crème brûlée - Creme brulee
  • Tarte aux fruits - Fruit tart
  • Mousse au chocolat - Chocolate mousse
  • Tarte Tatin - Upside-down caramelized apple tart
  • Glace- Ice cream
  • Crêpes au sucre - Sugar crepes

Les boissons (Drinks)

  • Un verre d'eau - A glass of water
  • Un verre de vin - A glass of wine
  • Une bière - A beer
  • Un cocktail - A cocktail 
  • Une carafe d'eau - A pitcher of water
  • Un café - A coffee

Learn Basic French Words and Phrases for Your Travels

Are you planning a trip to Quebec or France during the holidays? Consider enrolling in my 'French for Travellers' Course.

I cover essential topics necessary for your travels, from airport check-ins to ordering food at restaurants and exploring the city.

Join for free! Click here to start learning now.

How to say "food" in French?

La nourriture- Food

How to say "to order" in French?

Commander- to order 

How to order coffee in French?

Two people sit at a table inside a coffee shop, coffee in hand

Let's start with some useful vocabulary:

  • Un café - A coffee
  • Un café au lait- A coffee with milk
  • Un café avec de la crème- A coffee with cream
  • Un café avec du sucre- A coffee with sugar

Now, here are the two most common ways to order a coffee: 

  • Un café, s’il vous plaît. - A coffee, please
  • Je voudrais un café, s'il vous plaît. - I would like a coffee please.

We also use the following expressions for ordering food or drinks:

  • Je voudrais…/ J’aimerais - I would like… 
  • Je prends / Je vais prendre -I`ll have…
  • Pour moi,... s’il vous plaît. -For me, …. please.

How to ask for the bill in French?

  • L'addition, s'il vous plaît. (The check, please.)
  • Est-ce que je peux avoir l'addition ? (Can I have the check?)
  • Est-ce que on peut avoir l'addition ? (Can we  have the check?)

    How to Order at a Restaurant in French: Dialogue for Ordering Food 

    Next, I'll share a typical dialogue for ordering food at a restaurant in French, followed by the English translation.

    Men looks at a menu in a restaurant

    Passer une commande 

    Serveuse: Alors, qu'est-ce que vous désirez?

    Moi: Comme entrée, je voudrais des moules. 

    Mon ami: Pour moi, une salade verte, s'il vous plaît.

    Serveuse: Comme plat principal?

    Moi: Je prends des pâtes au pesto.

    Serveuse: Parfait, et vous monsieur?

    Mon ami: Je vais prendre un steak frites,s'il vous plaît.

    Serveuse: Un bon choix. Qu'est-ce que vous désirez comme boisson?

    Moi: Une  bouteille de vin rouge et une carafe d’eau, s'il vous plaît.

    Serveuse: Je vous apporte ça tout de suite.

    English version

    Placing an order:

    Waitress: So, what would you like? 

    Me: For the starter, I would like some mussels. 

    My friend: For me, a green salad, please. 

    Waitress: And for the main course? 

    Me: I'll have pasta with pesto. 

    Waitress: Perfect, and you, sir? 

    My friend: I'll have a steak and fries, please. 

    Waitress: A good choice. What would you like to drink? 

    Me: A bottle of red wine and a carafe of water, please. 

    Waitress: I'll bring that to you right away.

    Master French Pronunciation with My Travel-Focused Course!

    If you'd like to hear the pronunciation of this dialogue and practice, consider enrolling in my course 'French for Travellers', where I teach French phrases and words for travel. Click here to learn more!

    Additionally, you can sign up for my online French classes tailored for adults. 

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    If you're keen on expanding your vocabulary related to food, drinks, or travels, grab your free e-book.

    About Me

    Smiling French Tutor with yellow background


    I'm Umut, an experienced Online French Tutor with a PhD in French Studies.

    With over 7 years of expertise in the French language, I've helped hundreds of adults efficiently and quickly master French, progressing from beginners to confident speakers.

    If you're interested in learning French with me, feel free to send me a message at info@tumulearning.ca 


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