A glossary, along with phrases and explanation of terms where literal translation is not useful is my end goal of this project. In my earlier versions of the list I simply sought out glossaries, anywhere I could find them on the Net. This resulted in several problems: 1) often there are errors in other peoples’ glossaries, often in spelling (esp. diacritical marks; also is singular or plural and genders, that is not using the base word one would find in proper dictionaries; 2) regional differences within Spain lead to confusion in either different spellings (or words) for the same food item or different items from the same word; 3) “Spanish”, of course, includes a lot more of the world than just Spain and often there are severe contradictions between different countries and I really want to stay focused on Spain (although hongo (mushroom) has appeared in Spanish menus and this is primarily a Latin American term, so even the Spanish are inconsistent on this); 4) many words don’t really have a translation to English because either they stand for themselves (e.g paella, chistorra) or a literal translation is not helpful (as already mentioned, see post on revuelto); 5) some colloquial or slang terms are used in Spain just as they are anywhere and these don’t translate easily; and, 6) sometimes food items are modified with brands or regional terms (de Tuledo) that are quite relevant but not terms that can be converted to English.

So many glossaries you find, as I did (the hard way) are fairly inaccurate and/or fail to provide much help for menus. This is the main reason I’m starting my v3.x effort from menus of restaurants in Spain. While I could look for all restaurants I could find I’m tying my search to my virtual walk along the Camino de Santiago. I started this project when I’d reached just west of Pamplona. So I’ve now covered about 20 miles looking at every restaurant along the way (they have to have webpages and then menus at the website to be useful). So I’ve covered the towns of Cizur Menor, Zariquiegui, Uterga, Muruzábal, Obanos, Puente la Reina, Mañeru, Cirauqui and figured I had enough raw material for my first cut at a glossary (English translation mostly based on Google Translate with some lookups in This is a fairly complete list based on no more than extractions from menus. Some words I’ve left off this list as they take more research to get them properly defined (e.g. “beef”, lots of different names for this, and cuts of meat). Other words the literal translation and/or quick searches are insufficient to get a useful (if there is one) definition. For v3.2 I have included terms from many restaurants in Palencia.

So this is v3.2 and I have a lot more to do to even begin to have anything approaching the final list but already my list is better than many of the others you can find on the Net.

Now this is updated to v3.3 where I’ve included some words from a print dictionary.

Notation in this glossary includes: a) {x|y} which means a letter (sometimes word) can be either x or y, usually this is for gender in adjectives and thus {a|o}, b) [x] means an optional letter (sometimes) word, usually [s] or [es] for plurals (Note: the number in Spanish word may not match number in English word), and, c) stuff inside () is some sort of explanatory comment, not part of the translation per se.

Caution: This glossary comes from many sources and may have errors as I have not done the complete analysis (a large corpus with software collation) and careful editing to eliminate errors (or sometimes typos or spelling). While this list is less good than my goal it may be better than many other lists you’ll find.

a elección of your choice
a elegir to choose [from]
a la brasa blackened (on charcoal), rotisserie
a la espalda on the back (split fish pressed flat, fried on skin side)
a la parrilla grilled (on grill grate)
a la piedra cooking on a hot rock
a la plancha grilled (on iron plate)
a su gusto to your liking (as in how well done)
abierto open
abuela Grandma’s, Grandmother’s
abundante abundant
aceite de oliva virgen extra extra virgin olive oil
aceite de oliva virgen virgin olive oil
aceite de oliva olive oil
aceite oil
aceituna[s] olive
achicoria chicory
acompañad[a|o}[s] accompanied
adobado marinated
agri{a|o} sour
agridulce sweet and sour
agua water
aguacate avocado
ahumado smoked
ajada garlic and paprika sauce
ajetes [tiernos] young garlic
ajo garlic
ajoarriero a pasta made with potatoes, garlic, egg and oil
al ajillo with garlic
al carbon charcoal
al centro in the center (of table, i.e. sharing)
al estilo X X style
al gusto to taste (doneness) to taste, presumably doneness, i.e. cooked to order
al horno baked
al peso by weight
albahaca basil
albaricoque apricot
albondigas meatloaf/meatballs
alcachofa[s] artichoke
alcaparras capers
Alemana German
alimentos food
aliñad{a|o} seasoned
aliñada dressed
aliño dressing
alitas wings
alli-olli alioli
almejas clams
almendras almonds
almíbar syrup
almuerzos lunches
alta high
alubias beans
amarg{o|a} sour
anchoa[s] anchovy
anís aniseed
añojo yearling
anzuelo hook (as in caught by)
aperitivos fríos cold appetizers
arándanos blueberry
aroma aroma
aromáticas herb
aros de cebolla onion rings
aros rings
arrope syrup
arroz, arroces rice
artesan{a|o}[s] artisan
asad{a|o}[s] roasted/roast
asiento seat
asturiano Asturian
atún tuna
auténtica real
avellane[s] hazelnuts
avena oats
azafrán saffron
azúcar glas icing sugar
azúcar sugar
bacalao cod
bacon bacon
baja temperature low temperature
baja low
balsámico balsamic
bandeja tray
barato cheap
barbacoa barbecue
barra baguette
batido milkshake
bebida[s] drinks
beicon bacon
bellota acorn
berenjena[s] eggplant
besugo sea bream
bizcochitos biscuits
bizcocho sponge cake
blanc{a|o} white
blando soft
boca mouth
bocadillos sandwiches, snacks
bocaditos baby fingers
bocados morsels
bocatas sandwich (like sub, i.e. on roll)
bodega winery
bogavante lobster
bola ball (scoop for ice cream)
bollería bakery [goods]; pastries pastry
bombilla bulb
boquerones anchovies
borraja borage
botella bottle
brasas barbecued or fire grilled  (also a la brasas)
braseados braised
brazo arm
brécol broccoli
brocheta skewer
brotes shoots, sprouts
buey beef
bufet buffet
caballa mackerel
cabeza head
cabra goat
cabracho red scorpion fish
cacahuete peanut
café coffee
calabacín zucchini
calamares en su tinta squid in ink
calamares squid
caldo stock
calidad quality
caliente hot
calle street
callos tripe (even ‘guts’)
camarer{o|a} waiter/waitress
campo propio our own field
campos field
canela cinnamon
canelone[s] cannelloni
cangrejo crab
canónigos corn salad (aka lamb’s lettuce)
Cantábrico Bay of Biscay
caracoles snails
carajillo coffee with brandy
caramelized{a|o}[s] caramelized
caramelo caramel
carbohidratos carbohydrates
cardo cardoon
careta de cerdo pigs’s face
carne[s] meat
carrillera[s] cheek[s]
carta a la carte menu
cartilago cartilage
casa house
caser{a|o}[s] homemade
castañas chestnuts
Castellana Castilian
cava Spanish sparkling wine, i.e. “champagne”
cazuelita small casserole dish
cebolla onions
cebolleta chives
cecina cured and dried pork; smoked beef (which?)
cena dinner
centeno rye
centollo spider crab
cerdo pork
cerebro brain
cereza cherry
cerrado closed
cervecería beer hall
cerveza de barril draft beer
cerveza rubia lager
cerveza beer
chacinas cold meats
champán champagne
champiñones mushrooms
chapatas sandwich on small roll (like ciabatta)
chicharro horse mackerel
chipiron[es] squid
chistorra cured pork sausage typical of Aragon and Navarre
chocolate chocolate
chopitos baby squid, probably also means battered and fried
chorizo de Matanza chorizo from particular location of origin
chuleta chop, cutlet
chuletillas chops, small chops
chuletón T-bone steak
ciervo deer (venison)
cigalas crayfish
ciruela[s] plum[s]
cítricos citrus
clásic{a|o} classic
cliente client
cochinillo suckling pig
cocid{a|o} cooked (also boiled)
cocido boiled
cocina kitchen; cuisine
cocinada cooked
coco coconut
cocochas fleshy part of jaw (of fish)
cóctel cocktail
codornices quail
cogollos hearts
col cabbage
cola tail
coliflor cauliflower
combinados combinations
comedor dining room
comensales guests
comer to eat
comestibles groceries
comida[s] meals, food, lunch
composición ingredients
compota de manzana applesauce
compota compote
coñac brandy
concha shell
condimentad{o|a} seasoned
conejo rabbit
confitad{a|o} confit
confitados candied
confitería candy store
confituras jams
conserva canned food
consistencia consistency
consultar disponibilidad check availability
contramuslos thighs
copa cup
copita small glass
corazón[es] heart[s]
cordero lechal suckling lamb
cordero lamb
cortado espresso with a dash of milk
cosquera (koskera) traditional Basque stew
costilla[s] rack, ribs
crema catalana Catalan cream (similar to the french crème brûlée but with milk)
crema de leche coffee creamer
crema pastelera custard (aka pastry cream)
crema cream
cremos{a|o} creamy
criollo Creole
cristal crystal
croquetas croquettes
cruasán croissant
cruda raw
crujiente crunchy, crispy
cuajada curd
cuatro four
cubiertos silverware
cuchara spoon
cuchillo knife
cuello neck
cuenta bill
cuerpo body
curación curing
curado cured
cuscus couscous
dados cubes
dátil[es] dates
de corral free range or farmyard
degustación tasting
del día of the day
delicioso delicious
desayunos breakfast
descafeinado decaffeinated
deshidratados dehydrated
desnatada low-fat
destilería brewery
diario daily
diente tooth
dinero money
doble double
Domingo Sunday
dorada gilt-head bream
dos two
dulce sweet
duro hard
ecológica organic
elaboración preparation
elaborado artesanalmente handcrafted
embutido[s] sausage
empanado breaded
en fritura fried
en temporada in season
encargo custom (order)
encina oak
endibia[s] endive
eneldo dill
ensalada[s] salad
ensaladilla salad
entero whole
entrada entrance
entrante[s] starters
entrecot entrecote
entremeses appetizer, hors d’oeuvres
envuelto wrapped
erizo de mar sea urchin
escabechad{a|o}[s] pickled
Escocés Scottish
esparrago triguero wild asparagus
espárrago[s] asparagus
espárragos enteros blancos white whole asparagus
especiada spices
especialidad specialty
especias spices
espeto skewered
espina fish bone
espinaca[s] spinach
espolvoreado sprinkled
esponjosa fluffy/spongy
espuma foam
espumoso sparkling (in wine context)
estilo style
estofado stewed; stew
estómago stomach
estragón tarragon
estrella star
excelencia excellence
factura bill
festivo holiday
fiambres cold cuts
fideos noodles
filete steak; fillet
fin de semana weekend
fin{a|o}[s] thin
finas hierbas fine herbs
flambeado flambé
flan flan
frambuesa[s] raspberry
Francesa French
fresa[s] strawberry[ies]
fresc{a|o}o[s] fresh, cool
frí{a|o}[s] cold
frit{a|o}[s] fried
frut{a|o}[s] fruit
fruta de la pasión passion fruit
fruta del tiempo seasonal fruit
frutos secos nuts
fundido melted
gabardine batter coating
Gallego Galician
galleta[s] biscuit (aka cookie)
gambas prawns (medium size, other names tied to size)
gambones large shrimp
garbanzos chickpea
gelatina jelly
ginebra gin
glaseadas glazed
gluten gluten
gofres waffles
gotas drops
gramos grams
gratinad{a|o}[s] gratinated (au gratin)
gratinado grated (unlikely as rallar is to grate)
gratuito free of charge
Griega Greek
grosella currant
guarnición[es] garnish
guayaba guava
guindilla pepper
guisad{a|o}[s] stewed
guisantes peas
guisos stews
guisotes stews
gulas fake small eels /elvers
habitas bean (small)
hamburguesas burgers hamburger
harina de maíz cornmeal
hechos en casa homemade
helada frost
helado ice cream
hervid{o|a} boiled
hervid{o|a} cooked
hielo ice
hierba herb
hierbabuena mint
hierbas provenzales Provencal herbs
hierbas herbs
higado liver
higos fig
hoja de parra grapeleaf
hoja leaf
hojaldre puff pastry
hongos mushroom
horario hours
hornead{a|o}[s] baked
hornillo stove
huertas garden; orchards (aka produce farm, market garden)
hueso bone
huevo duro hard-boiled egg
huevo egg
incluido included
infusion de hierbas herbal tea
ingredientes ingredients
intenso intense
Irlandés Irish
Italiana Italian
jalapeño jalapeño
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota acorn-fed Iberian ham
jamón ham
jardín garden
jarra jug, pitcher
jenibre ginger
jerez sherry
jijas minced pork to make sausages, cooked as tapa
judia verde green beans
judío Jewish
Jueves Thursday
jugo[s] juice[s]
jugosas juicy
jurel horse mackerel
kebap kebab
kokochas (k is Basque, so Spanish is cocochas) fleshy part of the jaw
lacón dried pork product
lagarto lizard (cheap cut of meat)
láminas slices
langosta lobster
langostinos prawns
lasaña lasagna
lascas slices (or chips)
lechazo (unweaned) baby lamb
leche milk
lechuga lettuce
leña firewood
lengua tongue
lenguado sole
lentejas lentils
licor liqueur or liquor
ligero light
lima lime
limón lemon
limonada soda
liofilizada lyophilized (aka freeze-dried)
lomitos tenderloin, loins
lomo[s] loin (and particular type of dried pork)
loncha[s] slices
lubina sea bass
macarrones macaroni
macedonia de frutas fruit salad
macerados macerated
madurada matured
mahonesa mayonnaise
maíz corn
majuelo young vine (aka hawthorn)
manillas lit: handles/hands, but probably feet; trotters
manitas de cerdo pork trotters
manos feet
manteca butter
mantequilla butter
manzana[s] apple
manzanilla chamomile tea
maracuyá passion fruit
margarina margarine
marinad{a|o}[s] marinated
marisco[s] seafood (generic, although often shellfish)
masa madre sourdough
masa dough
mayonesa mayonnaise
medallones medallions
Mediterránea Mediterranean
Mejicana Mexican
mejillon[es] mussels
mejores best
melocotón peach
melón melon
melosas sweet
membrillo quince, quince jelly
menestra vegetable stew
menta mint
menú menu
mercado market
merienda snack (light meal, like British tea)
merluza hake
mermelada jam
mero salvaje wild grouper
mero grouper
mesa table
meses months
mezcla mix
mezclum mesclun
miel honey
migas del pastor lit: shepherd’s crumbs (seasoned bread crumbs)
milhojas mille-feuille, aka napolean
mínimo minimum
mitica legendary
mixt{a|o} mixed
módena balsamic vinegar
mojado wet
molino mill
mollejas gizzards; sweetbreads
mollete a soft round white flatbread
montaña mountain
moras blackberries
morcilla blood sausage
moreno brown
morro[s] snout, lips, cheeks, nose
morunos lit: Moorish, kebab of marinated pork
mostaza[s] mustard
mulo mule
mundo world
músculo muscle
muslitos nuggets
muslo drumstick
naranja orange
nata montada whipped cream
nata cream
natillas custard
navajas razor clams
nectarina nectarine
negra[s] black
novedad novelty
nuestra our
nuestras especialidades our specialties
nuez/nueces nuts (sometimes walnuts)
número size
oca goose
ocupad{o|a} taken
ojo eye
oliva olive
oporto port or port sauce
orégano oregano
oreja ear
orejones dried apricot
otros other
oveja sheep
paladar[es] palate[s]
Palentina Palencia style
paletas shoulder
paletilla shoulder
pan artesano artisan bread
pan de fabiola type of bread from Palencia
pan integral whole grain bread
pan bread
panadera bakery
para compartir to share
para picar to nibble
parmesano parmesan cheese
parra vine
parrillada grilled (plate of)
pasas currants or raisins
pastel cake
pata de mulo mule leg (type of cheese in Leon)
pata[s] leg
patata panadera baking/baked potato
patata potato
patata[s] potato
pato duck
pavo turkey
pechuga[s] breast
penecillo roll
pepinillo[s] pickle; gherkin
pepino cucumber
pepitas chips
pepito meat filled sandwich
pequeña[s] small
pera[s] pear
perdiz partridge
perejil parsley
perfumado perfumed
perrito [caliente] hot dog
pescados fish
pez espada swordfish
picada minced
picante spicy
picatostes croutons
picoteo nibbling or snacking
piel skin
pierna leg
pimentón paprika
pimiento pepper
pimientos de temporada seasonal peppers
pimientos del Piquillo Piquillo peppers
pimientos verdes green peppers
pimientos peppers
piña caramelizada caramelized pineapple
piña pineapple
pincho[s] skewer[s]
piñones pine nuts
pipa de calabaza pumpkin
pistacho pistachio
plátano banana
plato fuerte main entree
platos dishes (although literally plate)
pluma lit: feather, a cut of pork in front of loin
pochada poached
poleo de minta peppermint tea
pollo frito fried chicken
pollo chicken
polvo powder
pomelo grapefruit
por encargo on request
postres desserts
potro horse or colt
precio fijo fixed price
precio[s] price
prensado pressed
presa a flavorful shoulder cut
primavera spring
primer first (course)
primeros platos first courses
propina tip
proteinas proteins
puding pudding
puerro leek
pulguitas small closed-baguette sandwich
pulpo octopus
puntillitas battered and fried tiny squid
purés de patata mashed potatoes
queso {crema|cremoso} cream cheese
queso de cabra goat cheese
queso de oveja pecorino
queso parmesano parmesan cheese
queso cheese
queso[s] cheese[s] cheese
quisquillas squid
rabas rings of squid
rabo de buey oxtail
rabo tail (oxtail)
raciones portions
raíz root
rallado grated
rape monkfish
rebozado batter/battered; breaded
receta[s] recipe[s]
redondo round (cut of beef)
redución reduction
referencias references
refresco soft drink
rellen{a|o}[s] stuffed
remolacha beet
remolinos swirls
reserved{o|a} reserved
revuelto[s] scrambled egg dish (other ingredients than egg)
rincon corner, nook
riñones kidneys
rodaballo turbot
rodaja[s] slice
roj{a|o}[s] red
rollito roll
romero rosemary
ron rum
rosa pink
rosado róse
rosbif roast beef
rotos broken (fried eggs with broken yolk)
rúcola rúcula arugula (aka rocket)
rulo roll
Rusa Russian
Sábados Saturday
sabor flavor (also taste)
sabrosas tasty
sal salt
sala hall, room
salame salami
salami pepperoni
salazón salting
salchicha sausage
salchichón sausage (cured, not generic for sausage)
salida exit
salmón salmon
salsa sauce
saltead{a|o}[s] sautéed
salvaje wild
salvia sage
sandía watermelon
sangre blood
sardina sardine
sarro tartar
sartén frying pan
seco dried
segundo plato Second course
segundo second (course)
seis six
selección selection
seleccionado selected
selvática wild
semana week
semiseco medium dry
sémola semolina
sepia cuttlefish
servicio restroom, service
servido served
servilleta napkin
sésamo sesame
setas mushroom
sidra cider
sidrería cider bar
siempre usual (aka always)
sirope syrup
solomillo tenderloin, sirloin
sopa soup
sorpresa surprise
suave soft
suplemento surcharge
surtido assorted, assortment
taberna bar
tabla[s] board (platter or plank); sometimes table
tarrina tub (small container in the shape of inverted truncated cone)
tarta de queso cheesecake
tarta[s] cake
tartaletas tartlets
taza cup
temperatura temperature
templad{a|o} warm, tempered, lukewarm
tenedor fork
ternera veal (sometimes beef) beef (usually veal)
terraza terrace
terrina terrine
tiempo time
tiern{a|o}[s] tender (also young)
tigres stuffed mussels
tinta ink
típìco typical
tipo type
tiras strips
tocinillo de cielo pudding made with egg yolk and syrup
tomate[s] tomato
toque touch (as in small amount)
torreznos chunk of fried bacon
torrija French toast
torta cake
tortitas pancakes
tostada toast, toasted
tostas toast
tradición tradition
tragòn glutton
tres three
trigo wheat
triguero wheat
trocitos chips
tropezones small piece
trozos pieces
trucha trout
trufa[s] truffle[s]
trufado truffled
turcas Turkish
turrón almond nougat candy
unidad[es] units (as in number of pieces served)
untados spread
uva grape
uvas pasas raisins  (or just pasas)
vaca cow (terms for beef get complicated)
vacuno beef
vainilla vanilla
vajilla tableware
vari{a|e}d{a|o}[s] varied, assorted, variety
vaso glass
vegetal in some contexts, vegetarian
vegetal[es] vegetable
vegetarianas vegetarians
ventanilla counter (window)
ventresca lit: belly, usually tuna
verde green
verduras de invierno winter vegetable
verduras vegetable
verduritas vegetables
vieiras scallops
Viernes Friday
vinagre vinegar
vinagreta vinaigrette
vino tinto red wine
vino[s] wine
virgen extra extra virgin
virgen virgin
virutas shavings
vísperas eve
yema de huevo egg yolk
yemas yolks (of eggs); buds or shoots (of plant)
yogur yogurt
zamburiñas variegated scallops
zanahoria[s] carrot
zumo juice