Useful Phrases at Restaurants in Germany

1. Einen Tisch für zwei, bitte. (A table for two, please.)

In most German restaurants you must NOT wait to be seated and can just walk in and choose your own table. Watch what the others do. If you have to wait to be seated, the above is a useful phrase.

2. Ist dieser Platz noch frei? (Is this seat still free/unoccupied?)

If other people join you later or if you’re eating at a less formal establishment, you might find yourself needing an extra chair or two. This sentence is handy for charming a place to sit away from other tables.

3. Kann ich bitte die Soeisekarte haben? (May I see the menu, please?)

Usually, a waiter comes with the menues and ready to take your drink orders, so people usually order their drinks first, then study the menu to see what they want to eat.

4. Was können Sie empfehlen? (What do you recommend?)

A little insider insight never hurts. This can be asked of the waiter or waitress, a stranger at the next table or a native you’re dining with. (Although keep in mind that if you’re friends with this person, you need the informal “you,” making the sentence read: Was kannst du empfehlen?)

5. Ich möchte bestellen. (I would like to order.)

Just in case you need to get the waiter’s attention, this phrase will be handy. Once you’ve decided what you want to order, it would go something like this: Ich möchte den Fisch bitte (I would like the fish, please).

6. Möchten Sie eine Vorspeise? (Would you like an appetizer?)

A regukar menu might include an appetizer (Vorspeise), a main course (Hauptspeise), dessert (Nachspeise), and maybe coffee, schnapps, or another drink at the end.

7. Haben Sie vegetarische Gerichte? (Do you have vegetarian dishes?)

Germany has the second-highest number of vegetarians in Europe, so chances are you will find some meatless dishes on any menu. That said, with most people eating out, meat still is the star, usually, with most dishes containing either beef, pork, chicken or various forms of seafood.

8. Ich möchte gerne etwas trinken. (I would like something to drink.)

There’s no fear of leaving a German restaurant thirsty if you can get this sentence down. Not only can your typical beverages be found, but also Radler, a mix of beer and lemonade. Literally meaning “bicycler,” it’s a popular summer drink that refreshes without getting a person drunk.

9. Was für Bier haben Sie? (What types of beer do you have?)

If you don’t have to get on a bicycle for the rest of the day, you might as well indulge. Germany’s reputation for fine beer-crafting is well deserved, and it’s generally cheaper than in the USA or UK. Germany also has the famous Reinheitsgebot, or purity law, that states that beer can only be made from water, barley and hops. Germans take pride in their beer. You might as well ask for a local one.

10. Könnte ich eine Tasse Kaffee haben? (Could I have a cup of coffee?)

11. Noch eins, bitte. (Another, please.)

No reason to let the good times end, nor to stop speaking German.

12. Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt? (Did you enjoy your meal/ Did it taste good?)

This may be asked by a dutiful waitress (or one looking for a good tip). Some responses to choose from: Prima! (Excellent!), So la la (so so) or Nicht so gut (Not very good). Go ahead, just say it. You’re in Germany, you can be honest. 😀

13. Sonst noch etwas? ([Would you like] anything else?)

Nachtisch (dessert), maybe?

14. Entschuldigen Sie bitte, Herr Ober/Frau Ober. (Excuse me please, waiter/waitress.)

This is quite formal and you may not hear it often. A simple Entschuldigung (excuse me) also works. But anything is better than snapping your fingers or clapping hands.

15. Ich möchte bezahlen. (I would like to pay)

It’s time to get the Rechnung, or bill. You’ll find that most German meals are reasonably priced. If you’re an American you’ll appreciate that the price listed is the actual price you pay for—tax already included! If you’ve just ordered drinks, the waitress will often do the math in her head for you: the benefit of a country with an engineering mind. 😀

Inevitably you’re going to run into situations not covered by these handy 15 sentences. Don’t panic. Dining in public is an intuitive exercise, and even if the waiter doesn’t know English, some hand-pointing and incessant smiling will always get you through. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your meal.

Guten Appetit! (Enjoy your meal!)

astryfiammante: Mozart’s nationalityWas Mozart German or Austrian? Technically, neither. Salzburg…


Mozart’s nationality

Was Mozart German or Austrian? Technically, neither. Salzburg was an independent ecclesiastical territory until 1803, ruled by a Prince-Archbishop. In spite of the fact that it was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, its inhabitants didn’t see themselves as either German or Austrians. When Mozart labelled himself as a “true German” (“ehrlicher Teütcher”) he was implicitly referring to his language and to his cultural heritage (it should also be taken into account that his father was Bavarian and the Mozarts had Swabian origins). Mozart was first and foremost a citizen of Salzburg (a “salzburgian”, even though it is not a commonly used term), and later a subject of the Habsburg Monarchy (when he moved to Vienna). From a contemporary viewpoint, he can be considered Austrian.

Warum wir Maibräuche feiern — Landesschau…

Warum wir Maibräuche feiern — Landesschau Baden-Württemberg

Short video about May traditions from Southwestern Germany‘s regional TV station.

willkommen-in-germany: Sylter Rote Grütze-Rolle – a North German…


Sylter Rote Grütze-Rolle – a North German recipe from Sylt island

300 g gemischte tiefgefrorene Beeren – 3 Eier (Größe M) – 175 g + 2 EL Zucker – 80 g Mehl – 20 g Speisestärke – 1 gestrichener TL Backpulver – 5 Blatt Gelatine – 75 ml Kirschnektar – 450 g Magerquark – 1 Päckchen Vanillin-Zucker – 2 EL Zitronensaft – 200 g Schlagsahne – Puderzucker zum Bestäuben – Zucker für das Tuch – Backpapier

Beeren antauen lassen. Eier trennen. Eiweiß steif schlagen, dabei 100 g Zucker einrieseln lassen. Eigelbe unterrühren. Mehl, Stärke und Backpulver mischen, über die Masse sieben und vorsichtig unterheben. Ein Backblech mit Backpapier auslegen. Masse daraufgeben und glatt streichen. Im vorgeheizten Backofen (E-Herd: 200°C/Umluft: 175/Gas: Stufe 3) ca. 10 Minuten backen. Ein sauberes Geschirrtuch mit Zucker bestreuen. Biskuitplatte auf das Tuch stürzen, Papier abziehen und Biskuit von der Längsseite her mit dem Geschirrtuch aufrollen. Auskühlen lassen. 3 Blatt und 2 Blatt Gelatine getrennt in kaltem Wasser einweichen. Nektar und 2 EL Zucker aufkochen. Beeren zugeben und in eine Schüssel umfüllen. 2 Blatt ausgedrückte Gelatine darin lösen. Auskühlen lassen und kalt stellen, bis die Grütze zu gelieren beginnt. Quark, Vanillin-Zucker, Zitronensaft und 75 g Zucker verrühren. 3 Blatt Gelatine ausdrücken und in einem kleinen Topf auflösen. Etwas Creme einrühren, dann alles unter die übrige Creme rühren. Sahne steif schlagen und unter die Creme rühren. Biskuitplatte entrollen, Creme und Grütze darauf verstreichen. Wenn die Creme zu gelieren beginnt, Biskuitplatte wieder aufrollen und 3 Stunden kalt stellen. Biskuitrolle vor dem Servieren noch mit Puderzucker bestäuben. Foto: Food & Foto, Hamburg

willkommen-in-germany: Walpurgisnacht outdoor party in…


Walpurgisnacht outdoor party in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany. In parts of Germanic Europe, Walpurgisnacht is celebrated each year around April 30 – right around the time of Beltane. The festival is named for Walpurga, a Christian saint, who spent a number of years as a missionary in the Frankish empire. Over time, the celebration blended with Viking celebrations of spring, and Walpurgisnacht was born. In Norse traditions, this night is the time when the boundary between our world and that of the spirits is a bit shaky. Much like Samhain, 6 months later, it’s a time to communicate with the spirits and the fae. Bonfires are lit to keep away evil spirits. In some areas of Europe, this night is known as a night of witches and sorcerers gatherings to do magic, a concept influenced by 16th and 17th century German writings. Today, people in Central and Northern Europe still celebrate Walpurgisnacht as a precursor to Beltane. Although it is named for a martyred saint, many Germanic Pagans try to honor the celebrations of their ancestors by observing this holiday. It’s typically observed much like May Day celebrations – with lots of dancing, singing, music, and ritual around the bonfires.

Old house in Gruibingen, Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany

Old house in Gruibingen, Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany