German Food And Drink Vocabulary: Essential Terms For A Proper Deutsch Meal – Prost!

Pimsleur Approach • Language LearningComments (1)

© BeTa-Artworks – Fotolia dot com

© BeTa-Artworks – Fotolia dot com

Traditional German cuisine is based on hearty, larger portions of meat or fish, plus a side dish of potatoes or potato products, as well as a vegetable side dish. The typical plate consists of those three components. However, there are, of course, plenty of other culinary influences, and dishes can also differ vastly depending on the region you are in.

Many dishes that are known as “typical German” abroad, such as sauerkraut, knödel (potato dumplings), and large portions of meat are actually typical Bavarian food. In northern Germany, for example, you would get a lot more fish-based food. In terms of foreign foods, there is a strong preference for Italian, but you can be sure to find a place that serves Turkish food in about any German town you travel to.

The phrases below can help you learn how to order key items; you will hear these phrases quite often in German restaurants. In a restaurant, you are highly likely to use only the formal way of addressing people, which is why the informal expression is omitted here.

Also note that in many places it is considered rude to call out for the waiter or waitress should they not come to your table on their own; instead catching his or her eye and nodding or slightly raising your hand will signal that you would like to be served.

Phrase in German Phrase in English Pronunciation
Was möchten Sie (essen/bestellen)? What would you like (to eat/order)? Vus moch-ten zee (ess-sen/ber-shtell-len?
Ich möchte… Ich möchte… Ich moch-ter
Wasser Water Vas-ser
Bier Beer Beer
Eine Flasche… A bottle of.. Ai-ner Flush-er
Rotwein Red wine Rawt-vine
Weißwein White wine Vaiss-vine
Das Tagesgericht / Tagesmenü The dish of the day Duss Tah-ges-ge-richt /
Fisch Fish Fish
Gemüse Vegetables Ge-moo-ser
Die Rechnung The bill / the check Die Rech-noong
Entschuldigung Excuse me (Formal/Informal) Ent-shool-dee-goong
Was kostet… How much is.. Vuss cos-tet
vegetarisch / Vegetarier Vegetarian (adj./noun) Vay-ge-tah-rish / Vay-ge-tah-ri-er
Vorspeise Starter Fohr-shpai-ser
Nachtisch / Dessert The dessert Nahch-tish / Dess-sert
Obst Fruit Ohbst
Käseplatte Cheese dish (last in the menu) Kae-ser-plut-ter
Getränk Drink Ge-train-k
Kuchen Cake Koo-chen
Serviette A napkin Ser-vear-tte
Kaffee A coffee (usually espresso) Kah-fay
Trinkgeld The tip Trink-gelt
Ich esse kein Fleisch. I don’t eat meat. Ich es-se kine flaish
Bedienung Waiter or Waitress Be-dee-noong
Glas Glass Glahs
Gabel Fork Gah-bell
Messer Knife Mes-ser
Löffel Spoon Loef-fell
Teller Plate Tell-er
Sprudel / Sprudelndes Wasser Fizzy water Fizzy water
Stilles Wasser Still water Shtil-les vas-ser
Scharf Spicy Sharf


Slang/Commonly Used Informal Expressions

Phrase in German Phrase in English Pronunciation
Das stimmt so. That’s all right. (giving a tip when paying—you’re not expecting your change back) Duss shtimmt zoh
Feinschmecker Foodie / Gourmet Fine-shmeck-ker
Ich bin satt. I’m full. Ich bin sutt
Scharf Spicy Sharf
Guten Appetit. Enjoy your meal. Goo-ten Upp-pe-teet


One Response to “ German Food And Drink Vocabulary: Essential Terms For A Proper Deutsch Meal – Prost! ”

  1. Mark Ell says:

    Ich bin ein deutscher und sehr gut für die amerikanisches Leute zum lernen deutsch, Friends of mine going to Germany this is a great roundabout way to get around!!

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