Restaurants Vocabulary (Waiters, Menu & Eating out Vocab)

Restaurants Vocabulary introduces us to a variety of new experiences and flavors, along with a whole set of vocabulary that describes everything from the types of eateries to the roles of the people who work there.

In this post, we’ll learn about different types of restaurants, from fast-food joints to fine dining establishments, and the unique words used in each setting. Understanding these terms will not only help you navigate your next dining out adventure but also enrich your English vocabulary, making you a more confident speaker in any restaurant scenario. Let’s dive into the flavorful world of restaurant vocabulary!

Restaurants Vocabulary

  • Appetizer
  • Barista
  • Buffet
  • Busboy
  • Cafeteria
  • Chef
  • Commis
  • Condiments
  • Course
  • Cuisine
  • Culinary
  • Delicatessen
  • Dessert
  • Diner
  • Entrée
  • Executive chef
  • Fast casual
  • Fast food
  • Fine dining
  • Food truck
  • Garnish
  • Gastro pub
  • Gratuities
  • Host
  • Maître d’
  • Menu
  • Michelin star
  • Mixologist
  • Maitre d’hotel butter
  • Napkin
  • Organic
  • Pastry chef
  • Patio
  • Placemat
  • Plateau
  • Prix fixe
  • Reservation
  • Sommelier
  • Sous chef
  • Specials
  • Starter
  • Tablecloth
  • Takeout
  • Tasting menu
  • Tip
  • Waitstaff
  • Wine list
  • Bistro
  • Brunch
  • Cafeteria
  • Carvery
  • Catering
  • Chef’s table
  • Cocktail lounge
  • Coffee shop
  • Counter service
  • Drive-thru
  • Eatery
  • Family style
  • Food court
  • Fusion
  • Gastropub
  • Happy hour
  • Hibachi
  • High tea
  • Izakaya
  • Joint
  • Kaiseki
  • Kiosk
  • Kosher
  • Lounge
  • Omakase
  • Patisserie
  • Pop-up restaurant
  • Pub
  • Raw bar
  • Rooftop bar
  • Salad bar
  • Sashimi
  • Seafood
  • Service charge
  • Share plates
  • Signature dish
  • Smokehouse
  • Steakhouse
  • Sushi bar
  • Tapas
  • Tavern
  • Teppanyaki
  • Trattoria
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Waiter
  • Waitress
  • Walk-ins
  • Wine bar
  • À la mode
  • All-you-can-eat
  • Amuse-bouche
  • Antipasto
  • Banquet
  • Barbecue
  • Bar counter
  • Beverage
  • Bill
  • Booth
  • Breadbasket
  • Buffet-style
  • BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)
  • Canteen
  • Cashier
  • Chef de cuisine
  • Chef de partie
  • Chophouse
  • Cocktail
  • Coffee
  • Complimentary
  • Cook
  • Course
  • Creamery
  • Crudités
  • Culinary arts
  • Cupcake shop
  • Cutlery
  • Dairy-free
  • Degustation
  • Deli counter
  • Delivery
  • Dine-in
  • Dish
  • Doggy bag
  • Dress code
  • Drive-in
  • Early bird special
  • Eater
  • Entremet
  • Ethnic cuisine
  • Executive lounge
  • Expo (Expediter)
  • Farm-to-table
  • Fishmonger
  • Fixed menu
  • Flambé
  • Foodie
  • Gluten-free
  • Gourmet
  • Grill
  • Hostess
  • Ice cream parlor

Explore More Vocabulary:

(Drink, Sweets & Deserts, Chocolate, Icecream, Cooking, Food, Texture, Taste, & Beer)

Restaurant Food Vocabulary

1. Appetizer

A small dish served before the main course to stimulate the appetite, such as bruschetta or spring rolls.

2. Entrée

The main course of a meal, featuring larger portions and the main focus, like steak, pasta, or a vegetarian platter.

3. Dessert

A sweet course served at the end of a meal, including options like cake, ice cream, or fruit-based dishes.

4. Amuse-Bouche

A bite-sized hors d’œuvre, complimentary from the chef, to offer guests a glimpse into the meal’s flavor profile.

5. Bisque

A smooth, creamy soup typically made from pureed seafood, vegetables, and stock, often seasoned with wine or cognac.

6. Carpaccio

Thinly sliced raw meat or fish, such as beef or salmon, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and capers.

7. Charcuterie

A selection of cured meats, often served with cheese, bread, and pickles as an appetizer or snack.

8. Consommé

A clear, rich, concentrated broth made by clarifying stock, served hot as a soup or used as a base for sauces.

9. Crudités

A platter of raw vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces, served with a dipping sauce or vinaigrette.

10. Escargot

Cooked land snails, typically prepared with garlic, butter, and parsley, served as a delicacy in French cuisine.

11. Fondue

A communal dish where pieces of food are dipped into a shared pot of melted cheese, chocolate, or oil.

12. Gazpacho

A cold, refreshing soup made from blended raw vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, originating from Spain.

13. Gnocchi

Small, soft dough dumplings, typically made from potato, flour, and egg, served with various sauces.

14. Hummus

A creamy spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, often served with pita.

15. Jambalaya

A Creole and Cajun rice dish of West African, French, and Spanish influence, featuring meat, seafood, and vegetables.

16. Kebab

Grilled meat, vegetables, or seafood, often marinated, and served on skewers or as a platter with sauces and bread.

17. Lasagna

A baked Italian dish made with layers of pasta sheets, sauce, cheese, and meat or vegetables.

18. Miso Soup

A traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called “dashi” mixed with miso paste, often containing seaweed and tofu.

19. Naan

A leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in the cuisines of Central and South Asia, often served with curry.

20. Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with various other ingredients (often parsley and other green herbs, a rich butter sauce, and breadcrumbs) and then baked or broiled.

21. Paella

A Spanish rice dish originally from Valencia, mixed with various types of meat, seafood, and vegetables, seasoned with saffron.

22. Quiche

A savory French tart comprising pastry crust filled with eggs, milk or cream, cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables.

23. Risotto

An Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency, often with onions, wine, and parmesan cheese.

24. Sashimi

Sliced raw fish or seafood, served without rice, often with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

25. Tacos

A traditional Mexican dish consisting of a small hand-sized corn or wheat tortilla topped with a filling such as beef, pork, chicken, seafood, beans, vegetables, and cheese.

26. Udon

A type of thick wheat flour noodle used in Japanese cuisine, often served in a hot broth with various toppings.

27. Vindaloo

A spicy Indian curry dish made with meat (traditionally pork), vinegar, garlic, and a blend of spices.

28. Wonton

A type of Chinese dumpling commonly filled with minced pork or shrimp, often served in soup or deep-fried.

29. Xacuti

A Goan dish, often made with chicken or lamb, cooked in a sauce of toasted spices, coconut, and sometimes vinegar.

30. Yakitori

Skewered and grilled chicken, often made from different parts of the chicken, served with a teriyaki-like sauce.

Eating Out Vocabulary

Eating Out Vocabulary

  • A La Carte – Ordering individual dishes rather than a set meal.
  • Buffet – A self-service meal with multiple dish options.
  • Chef’s Special – A unique dish prepared by the chef.
  • Communal Table – A large table shared by multiple guests.
  • Corkage Fee – A charge for bringing and serving your own bottle of wine.
  • Doggie Bag – A container for taking home leftovers.
  • Early Bird Special – A discounted meal offered during early dining hours.
  • Family Style – Dishes served in large portions shared by the table.
  • Fixed-Price Menu – A menu offering a multi-course meal at a set price.
  • Happy Hour – A period with discounts on drinks and appetizers.
  • House Special – A signature dish or drink of the restaurant.
  • Prix Fixe – Another term for a fixed-price menu.
  • Reservation – Arranging in advance to secure a table at a restaurant.
  • Service Charge – An added fee for service, in lieu of tipping.
  • Sommelier – A trained and knowledgeable wine professional.
  • Special of the Day – A unique dish offered on a particular day.
  • Table Service – Dining where staff serve food directly to the table.
  • Takeout – Prepared food packaged to be eaten elsewhere.
  • Tasting Menu – A menu with small portions of several dishes.
  • Tip – A gratuity left for the service staff.
  • Valet Parking – A service where an attendant parks your car.
  • Vegan Options – Dishes made without animal products.
  • Waitlist – A list for guests waiting for a table.
  • Wine Pairing – Selecting wines to complement different dishes.

food and eating out vocabulary

Menu Vocabulary

Menu Vocabulary

  • Soups
  • Sandwiches
  • Pastas
  • Seafood
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Vegan Choices
  • Gluten-Free Options
  • Kids’ Menu
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch Specials
  • Dinner Options
  • Happy Hour Selections
  • Seasonal Dishes
  • Chef’s Recommendations
  • House Favorites
  • Signature Cocktails
  • Craft Beers
  • Wines by the Glass
  • Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • Sushi
  • Bar Snacks

Menu Vocabulary words

Vocabulary For Waiters Waitresses

Vocabulary For Waiters Waitresses

  • Order Pad – For taking orders.
  • POS System – Transaction processing.
  • Table Number – Table identification.
  • Service Charge – Added fee for service.
  • Cover – Per person table setting.
  • Turnover – Table reassignment speed.
  • Upselling – Suggesting higher-priced items.
  • Check – Bill for the meal.
  • Busser – Staff clearing tables.
  • Section – Waitstaff’s assigned area.
  • Tip Out – Sharing tips with other staff.
  • 86 – Item no longer available.
  • Comp – Providing a free item.
  • Double Seating – Assigning two tables at once.
  • Food Runner – Staff delivering food.
  • Open Table – Available table.
  • Side Work – Pre/post-shift duties.
  • Station – Waiter’s work area.
  • Ticket Time – Order preparation time.
  • Walk-In – Customer without reservation.

Waiters Vocabulary

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