Restaurant Phrases

As I go along extract and translating restaurant offerings I find some phrases that might be something you’ll see in your restaurant adventures so I include them here.

El menú de precio fijo incluye entrante, plato fuerte y postre The fixed price menu includes a starter, main entree, and dessert

This translates in a fairly literal way and also represent a common way to see food offered at a restaurant, equivalent to prix fixe in restaurants elsewhere in the world. You can parse the phrase and conclude entrante=starter, plato fuerte (literally ‘strong’, meaning “main”)=main entree and postre=dessert. Usually some form of drink and possibly bread is included as well.

Another variation of this is:

Menú del Día    Menu of the Day

where there are three courses with various choices in each, all at a fixed price, frequently only for lunch, also frequently only on weekdays. The courses are Primeros (First) or primer plato (plate) [salads or appetizers], Segundos  (Seconds) or segundo plato [main entree] and Postres  (Desserts). At the bottom you may see something like this (different at each restaurant):

* Pan, agua mineral o vino tinto incluidos. * Bread, mineral water or red wine included.

or, alternatively

Bebida no Incluida Drink not included

And frequently at the bottom (possibly on other menus as well)

 (IVA incluído) (VAT included)

VAT for the rest of us is effectively the same as sales tax other places. It stands for Impuestos (tax) sobre (or, about) el (the) Valor (value) Añadido (added)

And often a title for a list of items:

Segundo plato a elegir: Second dish to choose:


SPM (Según precio de mercado) SPM (According to market price)

A useful one to know since it means having enough conversational Spanish to ask about the price and understand the answer.

Todos precios son por unidad y/ó en función de la cantidad All prices are per unit and/or depending on the quantity

Probably many variations on the exact phrasing so get ready to do your own translation when you see something like this (esp. with precios in phrase)

Also, options may be indicated by:

Disponible previo encargo Available upon request


Clearly takeout is available at some types of restaurants, possibly just to the tables outside the restaurant or to your lodging.

Comida para llevar (Takeaway) Takeout items from this restaurant


 se preparan pedidos para llevar orders are prepared to carry


 tambien para llevar also to take

There are a number of variations of this basic phrase but basically it indicates food items you can take away from the restaurant (llevar, a verb meaning literally ‘to take’ or ‘to carry’) is probably the key part of variants of this phrase you want to find.


Pescados rigurosamente “salvajes” y sujetos a disponibilidad de Mercado Fishes strictly “wild” and subject to market availability

This phrase is likely to vary between restaurants so the key words are: salvajes (wild) and disponibilidad (availability).