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How to talk about food in Spanish

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Going out on a date? Meeting friends in a restaurant? Visiting your in-laws? Here are some tips to compliment the chef's work in Spanish.

A glass of bubbles and Spanish pintxos
Spanish Tapas

If you are a Spanish food lover and you've been to situations where you wanted to praise the look or taste of a dish, but the only thing that came to your mind was 'Es bueno', you can take advantage of other expressions to sound like a Spanish speaker when appreciating a meal.

1. Let's talk about the look:

¡Tiene buena pinta! ¡Qué buena pinta! ¡Qué pinta tiene!

If your dish looks mouthwatering, the expressions above will be your favourite ones. Whether it's a starter, a main course, a dessert or a cocktail, we use the word 'pinta' (the look or appearance) to say that you like the way food is presented, and anticipating its good taste.

The word 'pinta' also translates for 'pint', so you can play with words and say that your pint of beer looks great: 'Qué buena pinta tiene mi pinta'.

More examples:

- ¡Qué buena pinta tiene la pasta!

- La ensalada tiene buena pinta.

- María, ¡qué pinta tiene la tarta de chocolate!

2. Let's talk about the taste:

Two girls eating in a restaurant
Eating out

¡Está buenísimo! ¡Qué rico! ¡Está espectacular!

If your dish looks mouthwatering, and you really want to sound more natural speaking about food in Spanish, go for either '¡Está buenísimo!' ('It's really good'); '¡Qué rico!' ('How tasty!'); '¡Está espectacular!' ('It's delicious').

Then, what about 'delicioso'? Because that's my go-for option (you might wonder)... That is a word that people in Spain would reserve for very posh occasions but not on a daily basis. It sounds like if you belonged to the royalty. So if we were you, we would avoid using it unless you are in a 5-star Michelline restaurant or having lunch with the queen herself.

3. Be the perfect guest:

'Es la mejor Paella que he probado en mi vida' ('It's the best Paella I've ever tried')

When you are absolutely pleased with your food, and you feel like you've never tried anything better in the past, we would use the following expressions to compliment the chef: 'Es la mejor / Es el mejor + name of the dish'.

For example:

- Es la mejor sopa que he probado.

- Es el mejor salmón que he comido.

- Es el mejor mojito que he probado en mi vida, ¡quiero otro!

There you go!

We hope you can practise the new expressions very soon to sound like a native Spanish speaker because like our motto stands for: Yes, you can!

Last, but not least, remember you can also come with us to Valencia to be able to put into practise Spanish in Spain plus enjoy a remarkable experience that will help you improve your level and become more confident when communicating. Check our next course (only 10 places available).

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Text: Paula Ruiz.

Images: Wix

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