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How to Order Food in Russian

How to Order Food in Russian

When you travel around Russian-speaking states, you should know how to order food in Russian. It is important to say what you want and what you need. In order to say it, you should have a general idea of the Russian cuisine, its traditions, and be able to say basic phrases in Russian.

Your dialogue with a waiter or any other person will be the same regardless the place: a cafe, a restaurant, a fast-food restaurant, or a cafeteria, or when you order food for home delivery.

How to Order Food in a Restaurant?

Traditionally Russians divide their meals into a first, second and third course. The first course is usually a soup. The second course or the hot course is often a meat or fish dish with a side dish (potatoes, rice, pasta, vegetables, etc.). The third course is a dessert.

A lot of restaurants and cafes offer a set breakfast (snacks and a drink) and lunch (business-lunch) that includes the first and second courses, a drink and sometimes a dessert as well. Breakfast is normally served from 9am to 11am, lunch – from 12pm to 2pm.

In a restaurant in Russia you can sit at any table you like.

A waiter usually starts the conversation:

  • Что Вы будете заказывать? – [shto vy budete zakazyvat`] – “What would you like to order?”

You can begin with:

  • Я хочу… – [ya hochu] – “I’d like…”
  • Я буду… – [ya budu] – “I’ll take…”.

How to Order Food in a Restaurant?

People usually start with drinks, so a waiter might ask:

  • Вы будете заказывать напитки? – [vy budete zakazyvat’ napitki] – “Anything to drink?”

You may answer:

  • Да, я буду воду – [da, ya budu vodu] – “Yes, please. I’ll have a juice (coffee, water, tea, etc.)”
  • Нет, спасибо – [net, spasibo] – “No, thank you”.

People also order snacks. Snacks can be both hot and cold. Most typical Russian snack are cheese plate, salads, fish, etc.

If you are not sure what to order you can ask a waiter for advice:

  • Что Вы посоветуете? – [chto vy posovetuyete] – “What would you recommend?”

As a rule, most restaurants have menus in English too, therefore you won’t have any problems with your order.

How to Pay in a Restaurant?

How to Pay in a Restaurant?

When you have finished your meal and it’s time to pay, you should ask the waiter for the bill. You just say:

  • Счёт, пожалуйста! – [schot, pozhaluysta] – “Can I have the bill, please?”
  • Я хочу оплатить счёт – [ya hochu oplatit’ schot] – “I’d like to pay the bill.”

You can pay by two ways: pay cash or by a credit card. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to pay by credit card. Besides that, sometimes you cannot do it because of technical issues with the terminal. Therefore, it’s better to find it out before you make an order:

  • Скажите, у Вас можно платить карточкой? – [skazhite, u vas mozhno platit’ kartochkoy] – “Do you accept credit cards?”

In Russian restaurants the service is included into the bill, so you don’t have to leave a tip, but you are always welcome to do it.

Enjoy your meal!

Enjoy your meal!

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