How to read a Spanish menu

Spanish restaurants and tapas bars can be an absolute delight. Some of the best restaurants in Europe can be found in Spain and they are usually in the major cities or in tourist areas.

Visiting Spain?

You may find this helpful when eating out.

Unfortunately, many of us are not fluent in Spanish. So, when we encounter a restaurant with a Spanish menu, it is sometimes difficult to know what is on offer.

We have listed below some of the key ítems with a translation into English.

We hope you find this useful.

Carnes y Aves (Meat & Poultry):

Albóndigas (Meatballs)
Buey (Beef)
Cazuela (Casserole)
Cerdo (Pork)
Chorizo (Pork Sausage)
Chuletas (Chops)
Cochinillo (Suckling Pig)
Conejo (Rabbit)

Cordero (Lamb)
Entrecote (Sirloin Steak)
Estofado (Stew)
Higado (Liver)
Jamon (Ham)
Lomo (Pork Loin)
Pato (Duck)
Pavo (Turkey)

Pollo (Chicken)
Riñones (Kidneys)
Salchicha (Sausage)
Solomillo (Fillet Steak)
Ternera (Veal)

Pescados y Mariscos (Fish & Seafood):

Almejas (Clams)
Atun (Tuna)
Bacalau (Cod)
Berberechos (Cockles)
Boquerones (Anchovies)
Caballa (Mackerel)
Calamares (Squid)

Cangrejo (Crab)
Dorada (Sea Bream)
Gambas (Prawns)
Langosta (Lobster)
Langostinas (King Prawns)
Lenguado (Sole)
Lubina (Sea Bass)

Mejillones (Mussels)
Merluza (Hake)
Mero (Halibut)
Ostras (Oysters)
Pulpo (Octopus)
Rape (Monkfish)

Frutas y Verduras (Fruit & Vegetables):

Aguacate (Avocado)
Calabacin (Courgette)
Cebolla (Onion)
Cereza (Cherry)
Champiñones (Mushrooms)
Ciruela (Plum)
Col (Cabbage)

Coliflor (Cauliflower)
Espinacas (Spinach)
Fresa (Strawberry)
Guisantes (Peas)
Lechuga (Lettuce)
Manzana (Apple)
Melocotón (Peach)

Naranja (Orange)
Patatas Fritas (Chips)
Pimientos (Peppers)
Piña (Pineapple)
Plátano (Banana)
Uvas (Grapes)
Zanahoria (Carrot)

Some useful phrases:

A la Plancha (Grilled)
A la Romana (Fried in Batter)
Al Horno (Baked)
Asado (Roast)
Bien Hecho (Well Done)
Carta (Menu)
Con Salsa (With a sauce)

Entremeses (Appetizers)
Especialidades (Specialities)
Espetos (Grilled on a Skewer)
Frito (Fried)
Medio (Medium)
Menú del Día (Menu of the Day)
Plato Principale (Main Course)

Primer Plato (First Course)
Raro (Rare)
Segundo Plato (Second Course)
Tostado (Toasted)

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