Ordering food in Italian – In an Italian café

Ordering food in ItalianCafès are one of the most popular places in Italy. There you can find everything you need for a perfect Italian breakfast such as coffee, cappuccino, tea and infusions, croissants, biscuits, muffins, etc.

However, you can find also something to eat for lunch and even for your aperitivo. Indeed, many Italian cafés offer sandwiches, salads, some cold – and sometimes even hot – dishes, wine, liquors, and so on.

If you come to Italy I’m pretty sure that sooner or later – usually sooner – you’ll enter an Italian café.

So, it’s important that you know some basic Italian sentences to order in an Italian café.

Ordering food in Italian is pretty simple. All you have to know is how to ask for the menu, how to order and how to pay.


Sometimes menus are already on the table, sometimes they are not. In this last case, my advice is always to ask for the menu. This for two reasons. First, you can see everything you can order. Secondly, you can see prices.

So, let’see some of the ways to ask for the menu in Italian.

a. Buongiorno, avete un menu?
Good morning do you have a menu?

b. Buongiorno, mi porta il menu per favore?
Good morning, can I see the menu, please?

And some possible answers can be:

a. Sì/certo

b. Sì/certo, glielo porto subito
Yes/sure, I’ll get it right away


Now that you’ve had a look at the menu you’re ready to order. The waiter should come back for your order and ask:

E’ pronto (per ordinare)?
“Are you ready to order?”

And you can answer:

a. No, ancora un minuto, per favore
No, I need a minute, please

b. Sì, (vorrei/prendo) un cappuccino e un croissant al cioccolato, grazie
Yes, (I’d like/I’ll take) a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant, thanks

c. Sì, (vorrei/prendo) un panino speck e brié e una bottiglietta d’acqua naturale, grazie
Yes, (I’d like/I’ll take) a sandwich with speck and brie and a bottle of still water, thanks

d. Sì, (vorrei/prendo) un’insalata e una bottiglietta d’acqua frizzante, grazie
Yes, (I’d like/I’ll take) a salad and a bottle of sparkling water, thanks


In case you’ve finished eating and want to order something else, you call the waiter by raising your hand slightly and trying to make eye contact, and say:

1. Mi porta un caffé, per favore?
Can I have a coffee, please?

2. Mi porterebbe un altro panino, per favore?
Could I have another sandwich, please?


The practice of paying is different from café to café. In some cafés you pay when you order, in some others when you leave. In this last case, you usually head to the cashier and she can say:

1. Sono 10 euro
It’s 10 euros

In some cases, she can recap everything you’ve eaten before telling you how much is it:

2. – Ha preso un panino, una bottiglie di acqua naturale e un caffè?
– Did you get one sandwitch, one bottle of still water and one coffee?
+ Yes
Sono 10 euro
– It’s 10 euros

Good. It’s all for today. Congratulations, you’ve just learnt the bases for ordering food in Italian, in an Italian café.


Original image by Einladung_zum_Essen

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