LivingTravelOrder in German

Order in German

It is possible to travel to Germany without even knowing how to say ‘ whore !’, But learning some basic German helps you navigate the country and understand the culture better.

Take a look at these simple German phrases that are useful for dining in German restaurants. From ordering the menu to ordering the check, here are helpful German phrases for dinner while visiting Germany.

Rules of etiquette when dining in Germany

You will find that most Germans start the meal with a hearty Guten Appetit ! Similar to Bon Appetit , it is a fancy way of expressing “Let’s eat!” More informally, especially during lunch, you can expect an exclamation of ” Mahlzeit!” This can be advertised to the whole room by walking down to one knee (a small bar / pub) to eat.

Note that you will need to request the check at the end of the meal, as it is not common for the waiter to deliver it without asking. This gives you plenty of time to add to your order with a dessert or coffee. This partly explains why customer service in restaurants is much slower and more relaxed than in North America.

Tipping is also done differently than in places like the United States. Tips should only be around 10 percent and are given when paying the bill, not left on the table. Check out our complete guide to tips in Germany for different situations and recommendations.

English-German Dining Phrasebook

Here are some useful phrases to help you get straight to food, be it Eisben or schweinshaxe .

(You will find the pronunciation in parentheses. Just read it aloud, the capitalized part of the word should be emphasized).

  • The menu, please! – Die Speisekarte, bitte ! (dee SHPY-se-Cart-uh, BITT-uh)
  • Waiter / Waitress der Kellner (dehr kel-ner)
  • Restaurant – restaurant (reh-stoh-RAH)
  • Food – Essen (EH-sehn) It is also the verb “eat.”
  • Guest – Gast (gahst)
  • Order – bestellen – beh-SHTEHL-ehn)
  • What would you like to eat? – Was it möchten Sie essen? (You go mook-ten zee Ess-en)
  • I would like to… – Ich haette gern … (ish HAT-uh garn…)
  • without or with – ohne (O-nuh) or mit (midd) as when ordering currywurst
  • Breakfast – Frühstück (FRUU-shtuuk). It often consists of pastries or rolls, meat, cheese, fruit, and coffee. However, the options are expanding with pancakes, bacon, and other American specialties becoming popular.
  • Lunch – Mittagessen (mit-TAHK-ess-en). The biggest hot meal of the day.
  • Dinner – Abendessen ( AH-bent-ess-en ) , or the traditional Abendbrot meal (AH-bent-broht). It is often a simple matter of bread, meats, and cheese. Hence the name Abendbrot , or “afternoon bread.”
  • Appetizer – Vorspeise (FOHR-shpiy-zeh)
  • Main course – Hauptgericht (HOWPT-geh-reeht)
  • Dessert – Nachspeise (NAHKH-shpiy-zeh)
  • Vegetarian – Vegetarier / Vegetarierin (VEG-uh-TAR-ear / VEG-uh-TAR-ear-in) . To order, you can say » Haben Sie vegetarische Gerichte(hah-bn zee veh-ge-tah-rî-she ge-rîH-te) (Do you have vegetarian dishes?).
  • Do you have….? – Have Sie …? (HAB-uhn see…)
  • What do you recommend? – Are you empfehlen Sie? (You emp-VAY-luhn see?)
  • Is this table free? – Ist der Tisch frei? (Do I dare to fry?). It is quite common to share tables, especially in informal establishments and beer gardens.
  • Can I reserve a table? – Kann ich einen Tisch reservieren, bitte?
  • Badge – Cashier (TELL-er)
  • Fork – Gabel (Gob-al)
  • Knife – Messer (MESS-er)
  • Spoon – Löffel (Luh filling)
  • Napkin – Napkin (Servir-iet)
  • Glass – Glas (Glass)
  • Beer – Bier (be-ear)
  • Another one please – Noch eins, bitte (Nach einz, BITT-uh)
  • Ice cubes – Eiswürfel (Ice-werf-al). Good luck getting them though! Ice is not commonly served or available. Note that the German word for ice cream, » eis «, also sounds deceptively similar.
  • Enjoy your meal! – Guten Appetit! (Gootn Appetit!)
  • Regards – Prost (PRO-st)
  • Thank you – Danke (DAHN-kuh)
  • I didn’t order that! – Das habe ich nicht bestellt! (Dus HU-buh ish nisht buh-STELT)
  • Did you like the food? – Hat is Ihnen geschmeckt? (hât ês ee-nen ge-shmêkt). Hopefully, you can reply with a cheery ” Lecker !” (delicious).
  • The check please! – Die Rechnung, bitte (dee RECH-nung, BITT-uh)
  • Keeping the change – Das Stimmt (Das Schtemt)
  • Tip: Trinkgeld or “drink money” (tRINK-geld)
  • Take away, please. – Zum mitnehmen, bitte . Bringing leftovers home is rare, but you can often order a takeout.

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