French Restaurant
French Restaurant (C) Shutterstock

With many of us looking forward to visiting France again in the not-too-distant future, sampling the country’s glorious cuisine will be high on our to-do list. So we’ve put together a list of useful phrases to make your trip au restau even easier.

Hello, please could we have a table for four?

  • Bonjour/bonsoir, une table pour quatre s’il-vous-plaît.

Could we sit inside/outside/by the window?

  • Est-ce qu’on pourrait être assis à l’intérieur/l’extérieur/près de la fenêtre?

Could we have a jug of tap water for the table, please?

  • Est-ce qu’on pourrait avoir une carafe d’eau s’il-vous-plaît?

We haven’t decided yet – please could we have more time?

  • On a pas encore décidé, est-ce qu’on pourrait avoir encore quelques minutes?

Is it possible to order this starter as a main course?

  • Est-il possible de commander une entrée comme plat?
French Restaurant
French Restaurant (C) Shutterstock

Could I have another glass of wine please?

  • Est-ce que je pourrais avoir un autre verre de vin s’il-vous-plaît?

Could we see the dessert menu?

  • Est-ce qu’on pourrait voir la carte des desserts?

Please could we order coffees?

  • Est-ce qu’on pourrait commander des cafés?

It was delicious but I’m sorry, I’m full and can’t eat any more.

  • C’était délicieux mais là je suis désolé, je n’en peux plus.

Please could you put the leftovers in a doggy bag?

  • Est-ce qu’on pourrait prendre les restes à emporter? / Est-ce qu’on pourrait avoir un doggy bag?

Could we have the bill, please?

  • Est-ce qu’on pourrait avoir l’addition s’il-vous-plaît?


  1. Be advised that sitting on le terrasse usually involves a higher-priced menu. Some restaurants have three sets of prices for; the bar, inside-the salon, and the terrasse. Another phrase to know is how to order a apertif. Often the first thing a server will say to you is “Voulez-vous un apero? that’s how they judge how good is your command of French. “Aperos’ are never on the menu, it’s a language test. Don’t say, “Gimme a beer.”

  2. Skip all that use of “est-ce que” in the phrases when ordering. Do as the French go sraight to the point. and use s’il vous plaît after every command. When ordering coffee just say Du café s’ il vous plaît. As for Could we see the dessert menu just say La carte des desserts s’il vous plaît. Commanding another glass of wine just say Encore un verre du vin s’il vous plaît.
    As for not finishing what is on your plate do try not to do so. In France this is showing very poor manners as in several other countries in Europe.

  3. I have a #12. Since my husband inevitably wishes he ‘d ordered what I had ordered, he now knows to say “la meme pour moi” ( the same for me) after I order. In other words, I’ll have what she’s having.

  4. I understand the tourist intentions of the article, but I must say that many times “cordiality” leaves room for the bad mood of the waiter. And for that reason more than once we left the cafe or restaurant, too much times.


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