Ordering Food in a Restaurant in Greece

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It’s true that eating is an important part of life in Greece. While visiting the country, you’ll no doubt want to experience as much of the delicious food as you can. The easiest way to do this is by visiting as many restaurants, cafes, and tavernas as possible. You can’t go wrong no matter what you order!

Although it is possible to order food in English, it’s so much more fun if you have a chance to interact with the people in the restaurant using the Greek language. Here’s a look at some of the things you can say:

Reading a Menu in Greek

While at the restaurant, you will inevitably need to pick up the menu and read it. We won’t go into detail here about the foods you an encounter. This article goes into more detail about reading a menu in  Most menus are translated into English, or you could always ask them to describe what each of the items are. Here’s a look on how you would ask:

  • Τι είναι αυτό – Ti einai afto – What is this?

Typically, you would point to the item you are curious about and ask. If you need them to speak English if you don’t understand enough Greek you would ask:

  • Μιλάτε αγγλικά; – Milate agglika; – Do you speak English?

Ordering Food in the Greek Language

Once you have read the menu, you will need to know how to order food. This is one of the more common ways to express this:

  • Να παραγγείλω; Na parageelo; Can I order? – Use this phrase when you want to get their attention so that you can order your food. The staff won’t approach the table in Greece for the most part unless you ask them.
  • Θα ήθελα – Tha ithela – I would like – Use this phrase to say what you would like to order on the menu. If you want Moussaka, for example, you would say: Θα θέλαμε έναν μουσακά – Tha ithela enan moussaka – I would like moussaka.

Getting the Check When You Are Done Eating

Once you are finished eating your food and you are ready to leave, you will need to get the check. This is what you would say in order to do that:

  • Μου / Μας φέρνετε το λογαριασμό – Mou/Mas fernete to logariasmo – Can you bring me/us the check?

Aside from using the standard words of politeness, such as thank you (ευχαριστώ – efharisto) and please (παρακαλώ – parabola), this is all the vocabulary you will need to order at a restaurant and successfully get the bill at the end.

The Learn Greek section on GreekBoston.com was written by Greeks to help people understand the conversational basics of the Greek language. This article is not a substitute for a professional Greek learning program, but a helpful resource for people wanting to learn simple communication in Greek.

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