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Spanish Food Vocabulary

Colloquial Spanish Food Vocabulary You Need to Know

You can spend years studying a language and still have trouble understanding native speakers. They commonly use everyday language or colloquial expressions, which can make comprehension challenging. Talking about food is no different, and thus, there’s a lot of colloquial vocabulary related to Spanish food.

Food is very important in Spanish culture, and Spaniards have a rich vocabulary related to food. For this reason, if you really want to connect with someone in Spain, talk about their food, and you’ll make them happy. But if you want to go even further, speak their language colloquially!

To help you with your next conversation, we’ve gathered the most common colloquial Spanish food vocabulary, including expressions, nouns and verbs.

Let’s get started!

Colloquial Spanish Food Expressions

Comer de gorra

Literal translation: To eat of hat.

Meaning: To eat for free.

Example:

  • Hoy he comido de gorra, mi jefe ha pagado la comida.

Comer como un cerdo, ponerse hasta el culo o ponerse las botas

Literal translation:

  • To eat like a pig.
  • To put yourself until the butt or the boots on.

Meaning: To pig out.

Examples:

  • Siempre como como un cerdo en casa de mi madre. 
  • Me he puesto hasta el culo de gambas.
  • Me puse las botas en el buffet. 

Estar piripi

Literal translation: To be piripi.

Meaning: To be drunk.

Example:

  • Con solo dos cervezas ya estoy piripi. 

Estar borracho como una cuba

Literal translation: To be drunk as a barrel.

Meaning: To be drunk as a skunk.

Example:

  • Ha bebido mucho en la fiesta, está borracho como una cuba. 

Estar de muerte, estar para chuparse los dedos o estar de rechupete

Literal translation:

  • To be of death or of rechupete.
  • To be for licking the fingers.

Meaning:

  • To be out of this world.
  • To be finger lickin’ good.
  • A meal is exquisite.

Examples:

  • Esta paella está de muerte. 
  • La tortilla de patata que me hizo mi madre estaba para chuparse los dedos. 
  • El cocido está de rechupete.

Ir/se de tapas o cañas

Literal translation: To go of tapas or cañas.

Meaning: To go around the bars and have some tapas and cañas.

Example:

  • ¡Vámonos de tapas/cañas por Barcelona!

Salir de tapas o cañas

Literal translation: To go out of tapas or cañas.

Meaning: To go around the bars and have some tapas and cañas.

Example:

  • ¿Quieres salir de tapas/cañas por Barcelona? 

Tomar el vermut o vermú

Literal translation: To drink the vermouth.

Meaning: To get a snack before the big meal of the day (around 2-3pm). Normally a drink with tapas.

Example:

  • Vamos al bar a tomar el vermut/vermú
SpanishEnglish
Comer de gorra
To eat for free
Comer como un cerdo Ponerse hasta el culo Ponerse las botas
To pig out
Estar piripi
To be drunk
Estar borracho como una cuba
To be drunk as a skunk
Estar de muerte
Estar para chuparse los dedos
Estar de rechupete
To be out of this world
To be finger lickin’ good
A meal is exquisite
Ir/se de tapas o cañas
To go around the bars and have some tapas and cañas
Salir de tapas o cañas
To go around the bars and have some tapas and cañas.
Tomar el vermut o vermú
To get a snack before the big meal of the day (around 2-3pm). Normally a drink with tapas.

Colloquial Spanish Food Nouns

El bocata

Meaning: Sandwich.

Example

  • Me encantan los bocatas de lomo. 

El botellón

Meaning: Drinking in the street.

Example:

  • Esos chicos siempre hacen botellón en el parque. 

La tajada

Meaning: Smashed, wasted, blotted, drunk, plastered or blacked out.

Example:

  • Menuda tajada que lleva ese chico después de beberse toda la sangría. 

El tapeo

Meaning: Eating tapas.

Example:

  • ¡Vámonos de tapeo! 

La birra

Meaning: A beer.

Example:

  • Quiero una birra. 

El cubata

Meaning: A rum and coke cocktail.

Example:

  • Prefiero un cubata a una birra. 
spanishenglish
El bocata
Sandwich
El botellón
Drinking in the street
La tajada
Smashed
Wasted
Blotted
Drunk
Plastered
Blacked out
El tapeo
Eating tapas
La birra
A beer
El cubata
A rum and coke cocktail

Colloquial Spanish Food Verbs

Tapear

Meaning: To eat tapas in a bar.

Example:

  • Tapeo todos los fines de semana con mis amigos. 

Jalar

Meaning: To eat when you are starving.

Example:

  • ¡Vamos a jalar que me muero de hambre! 
spanishenglish
Tapear
To eat tapas in a bar
Jalar
To eat when you are starving

Final Thoughts

We encourage you to become familiar with colloquial Spanish food vocabulary to make your cultural and language immersion easier.

We advise you to not get obsessed with speaking formally. Often, people don’t speak strictly formal or grammatically correct during their everyday lives. Instead, they use a lot of slang.

Besides attending courses, practicing with native speakers is essential. You will learn the “real language”, all the words and expressions that people use in their daily lives.

Before you leave, we’d like to share how you can enhance your food related vocabulary and get ready for your next trip to Spain with our How to Oder Food Audio & eBook. Inside, you will find an extend collection of vocabulary with their translation to English. Download it and practice with it wherever you are.

Also, we would love to hear from you.

  • Had you ever heard this vocabulary before?
  • What other colloquial Spanish food vocabulary do you know?

Share your answers in the comment section below!


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