top of page

Feasting in Deutsch: A Guide to Ordering Meals in German

Updated: Mar 31

Germany, renowned for its diverse and hearty cuisine, invites you to embark on a culinary adventure. Navigating a German menu and confidently placing your order can enhance your dining experience. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps of ordering a meal in German, ensuring that your taste buds savour every moment.

How to Order a Meal in German

1. Greeting and Seating:

Casual Greeting:

  • Begin your dining experience with a warm greeting. A simple "Guten Abend" (Good evening) or "Guten Tag" (Good day) is a polite and friendly way to start.


  • If it's open seating, feel free to choose a table. In more formal settings or crowded restaurants, wait for a host or hostess to seat you.

2. Studying the Menu:

Exploration Time:

  • Take a moment to explore the menu. German menus often feature regional specialties, and some items may be unique to the restaurant.

Asking for Recommendations:

  • If you're unsure, don't hesitate to ask the server for recommendations. A polite "Was empfehlen Sie?" (What do you recommend?) can lead you to delightful culinary discoveries.

3. Placing Your Order:

Getting Attention:

  • When ready to order, raise your hand slightly to attract the server's attention. They will approach when they see you're ready.

Clear Communication:

  • Clearly state your choices. If you'd like the schnitzel, for example, say "Ich hätte gerne das Schnitzel, bitte" (I would like the schnitzel, please).

Special Requests:

  • Feel free to make special requests or modifications. For instance, if you prefer a vegetarian option, you can say "Kann ich das Gericht vegetarisch bekommen?" (Can I have the dish as vegetarian opton?)

4. Drinks and Dessert:

Beverage Choices:

  • Consider ordering a traditional German beverage. For example, "Ein Bier, bitte" (A beer, please) or "Ein Glas Wein, bitte" (A glass of wine, please).

Dessert Delight:

  • Indulge in a sweet treat to conclude your meal. Saying "Ich nehme das Dessert, bitte" (I'll have the dessert, please) adds a delightful touch.

5. Paying and Tipping:

Payment Process:

  • When you're ready to pay, signal the server. In many German restaurants, it's customary to pay directly at the table. Cash payments are preferred and typically not all credit cards are accepted.

Tipping Etiquette:

  • Tipping is customary in Germany, and it's common to round up the bill or leave around 5-10% of the total as a tip.

6. Saying Thank You:

Expressing Gratitude:

Show appreciation by saying "Vielen Dank" (Thank you) when the server brings your order and "Danke schön" (Thank you very much) when paying.

7. Restaurant Customs:

**1. Service Hours:

  • Keep in mind that dining times in Germany may differ from other countries. Lunch is typically served from 12:00 to 2:00 PM, while dinner is served from 6:00 PM onward.

**2. Water Preferences:

  • Asking for tap water is usually frowned upon, since many restaurants rely on the income they generate from drinks. Bottled water is normally complimentary.

The most common words phrases to order meals in German

  1. The menu, please - Die Speisekarte, bitte

  2. Are you ready to order? - Sind Sie bereit zu bestellen?

  3. Yes, of course - Ja, natürlich

  4. One moment please - Einen Moment bitte

  5. What would you like? - Was möchten Sie bitte? or Was nehmen Sie bitte?

  6. I would like...- Ich möchte...

  7. I would like to have... - Ich hätte gern

  8. May I offer you a cup of tea/coffee? - Darf Ich Ihnen eine Tasse Tee/Kaffee anbieten?

  9. Can I have the bill, please? - Die Rechnung, bitte: Conclude meals smoothly with this courteous request.

  10. How was your food? - Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?

  11. Good, thanks - Gut, danke!

Mastering the art of ordering a meal in German not only ensures a delightful dining experience but also allows you to connect with the local culture through its flavours. Enjoy your culinary journey through Deutschland! Guten Appetit! (Enjoy your meal!)



Featured Posts

bottom of page