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Greek Restaurant Phrases

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The time has come to talk about the important stuff: ordering at a Greek restaurant. 

Just imagine you are at a Greek taverna by the sea. The sound of the waves mixed with the traditional music is truly mesmerizing. Now and then, a mild smell of garlic and grilled fish reaches your nose, functioning like an appetizer. You’re literally a few moments away from tasting authentic Greek cuisine. Now, you just have to order. 

Sounds like a challenge?

Well, we have two pieces of good news for you. First and foremost, most Greeks, and especially those who work in tourism, speak English. However, this seems to be a great opportunity to practice your Greek. And the waiter will be happy to hear you speak Greek – even with a foreign accent. Therefore, here’s the second piece of good news: this article with more than 20 ready-to-use Greek words and phrases that will help you speak like a Greek in no time. 

In this Greek vocabulary lesson, we will present you with the basic Greek restaurant phrases, along with common Greek food phrases, which will take your Greek language learning to the next level.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Before Dining
  2. During Dining
  3. After Dining
  4. Conclusion

1. Before Dining

A Couple Greeted by the Maitre of the Restaurant

If you’ve found a restaurant that you definitely need to try, then it might be a good idea to think ahead and book a table. You can easily do so by using the following phrase:

  • Greek: Μπορώ να κλείσω ένα τραπέζι για δύο το Σάββατο στις 7 το απόγευμα;
  • Romanization: Boró na klíso éna trapézi ya dío to Sávato stis eptá to apóyevma?
  • Translation: “Can I book a table for two on Saturday at 7 in the evening?”

In order to customize the above, you might want to revise how to talk about the days of the week and tell the time.

Afterward, when you arrive, just say the phrase presented below and the name of the reservation. 

  • Greek: Έχουμε κάνει κράτηση.
  • Romanization: Éhume káni krátisi.
  • Translation: “We have a reservation.”

However, booking a table is not that common around Greece. Most restaurants use a first-come, first-served model. So, by the time you reach the place, you can say: 

  • Greek: Ένα τραπέζι για τέσσερις, παρακαλώ.
  • Romanization: Éna trapézi téseris, parakaló.
  • Translation: “A table for four, please.”

If you are unlucky and there isn’t any table available, try this one: 

  • Greek: Πόσο πρέπει να περιμένουμε;
  • Romanization: Póso prépi na periménume?
  • Translation: “How long do we have to wait?”

Feeling like enjoying the patio? Or maybe the wonderful view? Just say: 

  • Greek: Έχετε τραπέζι στην αυλή;
  • Romanization: Éhete trapézi stin avlí?
  • Translation: “Do you have a table on the patio?”
  • Greek: Μήπως υπάρχει κάποιο τραπέζι με θέα;
  • Romanization: Mípos ipárhi kápio trapézi me théa?
  • Translation: “Is there perhaps a table with a view?”

Please note that if you don’t feel comfortable at your table for any reason, it’s totally fine to ask to switch tables. Ask kindly:

  • Greek: Μπορούμε να αλλάξουμε τραπέζι;
  • Romanization: Borúme na aláxume trapézi?
  • Translation: “Can we switch tables?”

And last, but not least, you can also ask for a smoking or non-smoking table: 

  • Greek: Θα ήθελα ένα τραπέζι για μη καπνίζοντες.
  • Romanization: Tha íthela éna trapézi ya mi kapnízondes.
  • Translation: “I would like a non-smoking table.”
  • Greek: Θα ήθελα ένα τραπέζι για καπνίζοντες.
  • Romanization: Tha íthela éna trapézi ya kapnízondes.
  • Translation: “I would like a table for smokers.”

Smoking is not allowed indoors by law, so you should probably keep in mind that a table for smokers will be outside on the terrace. That’s not a problem most of the time, since the weather in Greece is pretty mild and particularly hot during the summer months, day or night.

2. During Dining

A Couple Ordering at a Restaurant

Now is your time to shine! Just start with: 

  • Greek: Συγγνώμη, μπορούμε να παραγγείλουμε;
  • Romanization: Signómi, borúme na parangílume?
  • Translation: “Excuse me, can we order?”

And then, if you feel a bit undecided, you might want to ask: 

  • Greek: Ποιο είναι το πιο δημοφιλές πιάτο σας;
  • Romanization: Pio íne to pio dimofilés piáto sas?
  • Translation: “What’s your most popular dish?”

Or you can say: 

  • Greek: Τι προτείνετε;
  • Romanization: Ti protínete?
  • Translation: “What do you recommend?”

If you have an allergy, then now is the most appropriate time to say it. For example:

  • Greek: Έχω αλλεργία στους ξηρούς καρπούς. Μπορώ να έχω μια σαλάτα χωρίς ξηρούς καρπούς;
  • Romanization: Ého alergía stus xirús karpús. Boró na ého mia saláta horís xirús karpús?
  • Translation: “I am allergic to nuts. Can I have a salad without nuts?”

Or, if you want to make sure that a dish does not contain anything that you don’t like, you can simply say: 

  • Greek: Τι περιέχει αυτό το πιάτο;
  • Romanization: Ti periéhi aftó to piáto?
  • Translation: “What does this dish contain?”

Tasting a Greek wine is a must. Don’t be shy. Ask the waiter: 

  • Greek: Ποιο κρασί ταιριάζει με αυτό το πιάτο;
  • Romanization: Pio krasí teriázi me aftó to piáto?
  • Translation: “Which wine goes well with this dish?”

Is the food too salty for your taste? Most restaurants can handle this without a problem and might bring another less salty dish for you. In this case, you can say: 

  • Greek: Το φαγητό είναι πολύ αλμυρό.
  • Romanization: To fayitó íne polí almiró.
  • Translation: “The food is too salty.”

On the other hand, should you find the food amazing, here’s the appropriate way to give credit and receive a huge smile: 

  • Greek: Το φαγητό είναι πολύ καλό. Συγχαρητήρια στον σεφ!
  • Romanization: To fayitó íne polí kaló. Sinharitíria ston sef!
  • Translation: “The food is very good. Congratulations to the chef!”

And here are a couple more useful phrases that you might need during dining:

  • Greek: Μπορώ να έχω μερικές χαρτοπετσέτες;
  • Romanization: Boró na ého merikés hartopetsétes?
  • Translation: “Can I get a few napkins?”
  • Greek: Πού είναι η τουαλέτα, παρακαλώ;
  • Romanization: Pu íne i tualéta, parakaló?
  • Translation: “Where is the toilet, please?”

3. After Dining

Don’t miss the traditional Greek sweets that most Greek restaurants serve as a dessert. Some restaurants might even bring a small dessert for free at the end of your meal. Therefore, the appropriate thing to ask would be: 

  • Greek: Μπορούμε να παραγγείλουμε επιδόρπιο;
  • Romanization: Borúme na parangílume epidórpio?.
  • Translation: “Can we order a dessert?”

A Couple Drinking Wine and the Man Is Asking for the Waiter by Raising His Hand

Afterward, asking for the bill will be easy:

  • Greek: Τον λογαριασμό, παρακαλώ.
  • Romanization: Ton logariazmó, parakaló.
  • Translation: “The bill, please.”

Credit cards are widely accepted in the vast majority of restaurants in Greece. Nevertheless, if you want to make sure that you can pay with a credit card, you can say this:

  • Greek: Δέχεστε πιστωτική κάρτα;
  • Romanization: Déheste pistotikí kárta?
  • Translation: “Do you take a credit card?”

Paying separately shouldn’t be a problem either: 

  • Greek: Μπορούμε να πληρώσουμε ξεχωριστά;
  • Romanization: Borúme na plirósume xehoristá?
  • Translation: “Can we pay separately?”

And lastly, when it comes to tipping, it is not mandatory, but it’s highly appreciated. In addition, there’s no fixed tipping protocol, but most people leave a tip of around 5-10% of the value of the meal. Below, you can find the most native and appropriate thing to say: 

  • Greek: Κρατήστε τα ρέστα.
  • Romanization: Kratíste ta résta.
  • Translation: “Keep the change.” (When tipping)

4. Conclusion

A Man Holding His Stomach After Eating Too Much

Ordering at a Greek restaurant is the perfect opportunity to practice your Greek and mingle with the locals. Greeks are usually enthusiastic about other people trying to speak their language and are patient enough, even though you might not speak perfectly. And this is probably enough for you to think about every time you feel a bit shy or tempted to speak English while in Greece.

Now that you’ve learned a few new phrases for the restaurant write down your favorites and let us know in the comments below which ones you’ve found more useful.

But how can we help you even more? We are dedicated to bringing to you the best Greek educational resources, including cultural tips and the Greek lifestyle.

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