French restaurant
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Vocabulaire du restaurant

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

What the waiter might say…

Installez-vous.   Have a seat
Vous avez choisi ?   Have you decided?
Que voudriez-vous ?   What would you like?
Vous dĂ©sirez ?   What would you like?
Je vous Ă©coute.   (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 coĂ»te… ?   How much does … cost?
Je suis…   I am…
     allergique Ă …     allergic to…
  diabĂ©tique     diabetic
  vĂ©gĂ©tarien / vĂ©gĂ©tarienne      vegetarian
  vĂ©gĂ©talien / vĂ©gĂ©talienne     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)
Ă  point   medium-rare
mĂ©dium   medium
bien cuit   well done
calcinĂ©   very well done, charred

 Un steak-frites, s’il vous plaĂ®t

What you might say to your tablemates

(links go to lessons)

Ă€ la vĂ´tre !
Ă€ la nĂ´tre !
Ă€ la tienne !
Bon appĂ©tit !   Enjoy your meal! (the waiter might say this too)

Later, the waiter might ask…

C’est Ă  votre goĂ»t ?   Do you like it? Is everything ok?
C’est terminĂ© ?   Have you finished?
Ça a Ă©tĂ© ?   Was everything ok?

Restaurant people

le/la chef   chef
le maĂ®tre d’hĂ´tel   head waiter, maĂ®tre d’
le serveur*   waiter
la serveuse   waitress
un aide-serveur   busboy

Restaurant verbs

aimer   to like
s’asseoir   to sit down
attendre   to wait (for)
boire   to drink
commander   to order
manger   to eat
payer   to pay
prendre   to take, have
se rĂ©galer   to really enjoy (the food)
vouloir   to want

Useful restaurant terms

l’addition (f)   check/bill
la carte **   menu
le menu **   fixed-price meal
Ă  la carte   side order (not part of le menu)
le pourboire   tip
un resto (inf)   apocope of restaurant
service compris   tip included
service non compris   tip not included
le socle   base of credit card machine
les animaux sont interdits   no pets allowed
dĂ©fense de fumer   no smoking
Sur place ou Ă  emporter ?   For here or to go?
Eat in or take away?

 * Not garçon, which means "boy" and is offensive in this context.

** Discover the difference: Meals and menus

 Related lessons

French listening comprehension

French listening practice

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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.

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