A Beginner’s Guide to German Through Football:“At the Restaurant (A1/5)“

Intrigued by the allure of traditional German cuisine, Alex decides to venture into a local restaurant. This chapter is an immersion into the German dining experience, focusing on basic restaurant phrases such as „Ich hätte gerne…“ (I would like…) and „Ich möchte…“ (I want…), along with common food items like „der Salat“ (the salad) and „das Schnitzel“ (the schnitzel). It’s an opportunity for readers to learn essential dining phrases and vocabulary, making eating out in Germany a delightful language learning experience.

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Basic Restaurant Phrases:

  • Ich hätte gerne… (I would like…)
  • Ich möchte… (I want…)
  • Könnte ich bitte…? (Could I please…?)

Food Items:

  • der Salat (the salad), das Schnitzel (the schnitzel)
  • die Bratwurst (the sausage), der Käsekuchen (the cheesecake), der Fisch (the fish)

Choosing the Restaurant

Alex goes online to pick a restaurant, navigating through German reviews. This section introduces simple sentences and present tense verbs like „lesen“ (to read) and „wählen“ (to choose), demonstrating how language can be used in real-life situations.

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Simple Sentences and Present Tense Verbs:

  • lesen (to read): ich lese, du liest, er/sie/es liest, wir lesen, ihr lest, sie/Sie lesen
  • wählen (to choose): ich wähle, du wählst, er/sie/es wählt, wir wählen, ihr wählt, sie/Sie wählen

Ordering at the Restaurant

At the restaurant, Alex orders his meal, practicing food vocabulary and polite requests. This is a practical application of phrases like „Könnte ich…“ (Could I…) and „Darf ich…“ (May I…), along with specific food and drink terms like „das Bier“ (the beer) and „die Suppe“ (the soup).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Food and Drink Vocabulary:

  • das Bier (the beer), die Suppe (the soup)
  • der Wein (the wine), der Kaffee (the coffee), der Saft (the juice)

Polite Requests:

  • Könnte ich… (Could I…), Darf ich… (May I…)

A Conversation with the Waiter

Engaging with the waiter, Alex discusses popular dishes and asks for recommendations. This segment introduces common questions like „Was empfehlen Sie?“ (What do you recommend?) and food adjectives such as „lecker“ (delicious) and „scharf“ (spicy).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Common Questions:

  • Was empfehlen Sie? (What do you recommend?)

Food Adjectives:

  • lecker (delicious), scharf (spicy)
  • sauer (sour), bitter (bitter), salzig (salty)

Enjoying the Meal

As Alex tastes various dishes, he describes his culinary experience in German, using adjectives for food like „würzig“ (spicy) and „süß“ (sweet), and phrases to express enjoyment, such as „Es schmeckt mir…“ (It tastes good to me…).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Adjectives for Food:

  • würzig (spicy), süß (sweet)
  • saftig (juicy), knusprig (crispy), frisch (fresh)

Expressing Enjoyment:

  • Es schmeckt mir… (It tastes good to me…)
  • Das ist sehr lecker! (This is very tasty!)

Paying the Bill

When it’s time to pay, Alex confidently asks for the bill and handles the transaction, using relevant vocabulary. This section covers numbers and prices, and transaction phrases like „Die Rechnung, bitte“ (The bill, please).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Numbers and Prices:

  • Zahlen (numbers): eins, zwei, drei, zehn, zwanzig…
  • Preise (prices): Fünf Euro (five euros), Zehn Euro (ten euros)

Transaction Phrases:

  • Die Rechnung, bitte (The bill, please)
  • Kann ich mit Karte zahlen? (Can I pay with a card?)

Exercises and Practice

  1. Menu Reading:
    • Translate menu items from German to English, such as „Gemischter Salat“ (Mixed Salad) and „Wiener Schnitzel“ (Viennese Schnitzel).
  2. Role-playing:
    • Practice ordering a meal at a restaurant. One student can be the waiter, and another can be the customer ordering items like “Ich hätte gerne den Fisch und ein Glas Wein, bitte” (I would like the fish and a glass of wine, please).
  3. Bill Calculation:
    • Work on exercises involving numbers and prices, like calculating the total cost of a meal from a given menu.


Reflecting on his dining experience, Alex realizes how much his German has improved through practical application. This chapter not only introduces readers to the German culinary world but also reinforces the language skills needed to navigate it.

Detailed Section: Ordering at the Restaurant Navigating the Menu

At „Zum Alten Markt,“ Alex scans the menu, identifying familiar items like „Salat“ and „Schnitzel.“ He uses polite phrases to order, showing his growing confidence in German.

Grammar Focus: Food Vocabulary, Polite Requests

Dialogue for Practice:

  • Alex: “Entschuldigung, ich hätte gerne den gemischten Salat und das Wiener Schnitzel, bitte.”
  • Waiter: “Sehr gute Wahl, etwas zu trinken?” (Very good choice, something to drink?)

Exploring German Flavors

The waiter suggests a local beer. Alex, eager to try new things, replies affirmatively, showcasing his ability to use phrases for expressing willingness to try something new.

Grammar Focus: Expressing Willingness, Affirmative Responses

Dialogue for Practice:

  • Waiter: “Möchten Sie ein Getränk dazu?” (Would you like a drink with that?)
  • Alex: “Ja, ich probiere das lokale Bier gerne.” (Yes, I’d like to try the local beer.)
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