In a restaurant - ordering in French

This season makes us happy for so many reasons. The weather is lovely, the days are longer and we feel like summer is right around the corner! It is the perfect time of the year to do some gardening, go for a hike or a family bike ride, and bien sûr, enjoy a nice meal on a charming terrasse, or dine al fresco with some good friends. 

If you are living in a French-speaking country and want to spend some time on a terrasse, make sure to bring along your lunettes de soleil, your phone (to post some mouth-watering photos) and our handy Things-To-Say-On-A-Terrasse Vocab List:

  1. Bonjour! (Good day!) Use at any time of the day, before 5 PM.
  2. Bonsoir! (Good evening!) Use in the evening, if you feel adventurous enough to drink coffee after 5 PM!
  3. Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît. (I would like a coffee, please.) You do not know the waiter and want to be polite.
  4. Je vais prendre un café, s’il te plaît. (I’ll have a coffee, please.) You know the waiter and want to be friendly.
  5. Autre chose? / Avec ceci? (Anything else?)
  6. Je voudrais un verre d’eau, s.v.p. (I would like a glass of water please.)
  7. Je pourrais avoir un biscuit au chocolat, s.v.p.? (Could I have a chocolate cookie please?)
  8. Je vais prendre une baguette au poulet. (I’ll have a chicken baguette.)
  9. Non, merci. C’est tout! (No, thank you. That is all.)
  10. Combien ça coûte? (How much does it cost?)
  11. C’est / Ça fera 5 francs. (It is / That will be 5 CHF.)
  12. Je peux payer par carte bancaire / avec VISA / en espèces? (Can I pay with debit card / with VISA / in cash?)
  13. Vous voulez la quittance? (Would you like the receipt?)
  14. Le pourboire (the tip)

Make sure to use le conditionnel présent (je voudrais, j’aimerais, etc.) when ordering. This will make you sound more polite and respectful.

And if you are in Geneva, here is a small list of our favourite terrasses and rooftops around the city:

Enjoy the nice weather and bon appétit!

Sonia - Prêt à Parler team


Foreign languages have always been an important part of Sonia’s life. After getting her degree in Arts and Graphic Design and a Master’s Degree in Education, she moved from her country, Spain, to England where she has been living for the last ten years. She has worked in international schools and companies, and in 2013 she founded her own language school.

This journey has left her with countless life lessons that she feels privileged to have learned first hand. She truly believes that learning a language can change you in ways you probably don’t imagine, and she tries to transmit this message across Prêt à Parler social media by creating powerful images and meaningful content.

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