50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors
There are two things you need to do before coming to France:
- Get familiar with these sentences that are so often used by French waiters.
- Go on a diet before the trip because the food is going to be so good, you’ll want to eat a lot of it!
Listen to this episode a few times and get comfortable with French restaurant lingo. Once it’s de-mystified, you’ll start understanding a lot of what they’re saying to you, and you’ll get amazing food in France. Bon appétit !
Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
What You Will Learn About in this Episode with Timestamps
[00:00] This is join us in France episode 161
[00:37] Bonjour, I’m Annie and join us in France is the only travel show exclusively dedicated to helping you prepare your big trip to France. I was born and raised in France but I went to the UK and the US for college and then I lived in the US for 20 years of my life I have been back living in France for over a decade now. I didn’t work in the travel industry this podcast is something I created because I’m a bit of a geek and having lived far away from France for so long I was eager to rediscover my own country and it turns out that I also love to talk about France with other people!
[01:19] My occasional co-host and good friend Elyse has had the opposite life experience: she was born and raised in the US moved to France to complete colleg–she is an art historian–and she has been living in France and working in the travel industry for a long time.
Because Elyse is a professional tour guide we decided to organize a small group tours a few times a year I created a small business called Addicted to France, and you can read reviews about Addicted to France on Trip Advisor. To see what tours are available on what dates go to Addicted to France.
[02:00] On show you will also hear from different listeners who visited France and want to share how it went what they learned. They want to give you specific recommendations. They want people who are going after them to learn from their experience. I call those trip reports, but I could also have called them Travel Tips or Listener Insider Tips or Listener Trip Reviews. The point is you will get to hear candid reviews of other people’s vacation. You know they are not fake reviews because you can hear it straight from their mouth and we all help one another have a better vacation experience in France.
At the end of the show you will hear how you can contact me if that’s something you’d like to do. I’m not just looking for glowing reviews. I do ask people to bring up things that didn’t go as well as they had hoped.
[02:50] I’m adding a bonus episode this month because I messed up and released episode 160 early. I thought I was being so efficient by getting the episode ready early, and then it went out three days too soon because the scheduling on Libsyn, which I never use normally, is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. So I decided to add this short and fun episode so I don’t leave 10 days go by without a new show.
This one is like an extended French tip of the week episode where I’ll share with you 50 sentences that I think you’ll need at a French restaurants. You don’t need to memorize them, but at least if you can understand when people tell you these things, I think you’ll do much better. A lot of this is going to be in French and I’ll put some of these in the show notes, but the full printable list is going to be sent out as an extra to the email subscribers.
And, unless I messed up the schedule for that as well, this extra should go out next Wednesday.
If you’re interested in this episode you should also check out my list of best value restaurants in Paris on Join Us in France you will find it under http://joinusinfrance.com/ resource/restaurants
[04:13] Stay tuned after the interview to hear my thanks to listeners who support the show on https://Patrion.com/joinus, my personal updates, what’s happening around me, how to connect with me, and any news concerning the show. And now here’s the interview!
[04:30] So, now, here’s my 50 French restaurant phrases for a hungry visitors! Let’s face it one of the biggest reasons why people come to France is for the food, right? We will serve up some delicious canard. You have the most beautiful menus and prix fixe you’ve ever dreamed of. The pâtisserie will make your mouth water, and even at the end of that full meal you want the desert because it’s so delicious and so beautiful. And, well, the wine, you know if you’re not tipsy at some point in France that would be a little bit surprising. Anyway, I’m not saying you should memorize all the sentences to eat wonderfully well at French restaurants, but just the fact that you are willing to try some French will charm your waiter and will make them want to help you and also it will help you understand better. So, here you go:
- [05:28] Voulez-vous manger en terrasse ou à l’intérieur ? Do you want to eat on the terrace or inside?
- [05:41] Est-ce que vous voulez quelque chose à boire pour commencer ? Would you like to order some drinks to start with?
- [05:53] Est-ce que vous avez choisi ? Have you chosen already?
- [06 :02] Que souhaitez-vous commander ? What would you like to order?
- [06’11] Voulez-vous un apéritif ? Would you like an aperitif?
- [06 :18] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un apéritif ? Would you like an aperitif?
- [06 :47] Est-ce que vous voulez commander ? Would you like to order?
- [06 :54] Est-ce que vous voulez voir la carte ? Do you want to see the menu?
- [07 :08] Voici la formule du jour. Here are the daily specials.
- [07 :27] Le menu d’aujourd’hui est écrit ici. The daily specials are written here.
- [07 :41] Souhaitez-vous un dessert ? Would you like some dessert?
- [04 :49] Voulez-vous un café ? Would you like some coffee?
- [07 :57] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un café ? Would you like some coffee?
- [08 :10] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un dessert ? Would you like some dessert?
- [08 :15] Un moment, s’il vous plaît. One moment, please.
- [08 :24] Je ne sais pas encore. I don’t know yet.
- [08 :33] Une grande carafe d’eau s’il vous plaît. A big pitcher of water please (this implies tap water).
- [09:00] Une grande bouteille d’eau minérale s’il vous plaît. A large bottle of mineral water please.
- [09 :19] Pouvons-nous commander s’il vous plaît ? Can we order please?
- [09:20] L’addition s’il vous plaît ! The bill please.
- [09 :28] Payez à la caisse s’il vous plaît. Pay at the cash register please.
- [10:00] Qu’est ce que vous me recommandez ? What can you recommend?
- [10:08] C’est quoi ça ? What is this?
- [10:33] Je ne comprends pas ceci, pouvez-vous expliquer s’il vous plait ? I don’t understand this, can you explain please ?
- [10:49] Avez-vous un menu enfant ? Do you have a children’s menu?
- [11:16] Je ne prendrai que le plat principal. I only want the main course.
- [12:44] Je suis végétarien, je ne mange ni viande ni poisson. I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat or fish.
- [13:11] Nous voulons payer séparément s’il vous plaît. We want to split the bill please.
- [13:38] Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux personnes pour demain soir s’il vous plaît. I’d like to reserve a table for two people tomorrow night please.
- [14:13] Vous commencez le service du soir à quelle heure ? What time do you start to serve in the evening?
- [14:23] Vous arrêtez de servir à quelle heure ? What time do you stop service?
- [14:47] Vous ouvrez à quelle heure s’il vous plaît ? What time do you open please?
- [14:54] Je vais prendre le menu à 18 euros. I will have the 18 euro menu special.
- [15:05] Comme entrée, je choisis For my starter I would like
- [15:14] Comme plat principal, je voudrais For the main course I would like
- [15:19] Comme dessert je voudrais For dessert I would like
- [15:27] Pour votre viande, vous souhaitez quelle cuisson ? How would you like your meat done?
- [15:42] Bleue s’il vous plaît. Very rare please.
- [15:53] Saignante s’il vous plaît. Rare please.
- [16:00] À point s’il vous plaît. Medium please.
- [16:11] Bien cuite s’il vous plaît. Well done please.
- [16:24] J’aime la viande bien cuite s’il vous plaît, je n’aime pas qu’il reste du rouge. I like my meat well done. I don’t like to see any pink.
- [17:06] Où sont les toilettes s’il vous plaît ? Where are the bathrooms please?
- [17:13]Pouvez-vous répéter plus lentement s’il vous plaît ? Could you repeat more slowly please?
- [17:24] Pouvez-vous expliquer en anglais s’il vous plaît ? Could you explain in English please?
- [17:36] Avez-vous un vin de la maison ? Do you have a house wine?
- [17:45] Vous avez des pichets de vin s’il vous plaît ? Do you serve wine pitchers please?
- [18:26] J’ai des allergies alimentaires. I have food allergies.
- [18:56]Un peu plus de pain s’il vous plaît ! Some more bread please.
- [19:17] S’il vous plaaaaaaaaaaît !!! Come-on, get over here!
Be your nice friendly selves and try a little French, those are the secrets to a great time of eating in France.
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