Eating Out - Lesson 1 - Conversation:

En la Barra de un Café

(At a Café Counter)

(photo by  GothPhil used under terms of Creative Commons license.)
barra de un cafe



Buenas tardes. ¿Qué van a tomar?

Good afternoon. What are you going to have?


Yo, una caña. ¿Y tú Manolo?

I, a beer. And you Manolo?


Un chato.

A glass of wine.


¿Qué tapas hay?

What [kind of] hors d'oeuvres are there?


Las que ustedes ven. También hay patatas fritas, chorizo, boquerones....

The ones you see. There are also potato chips, chorizo, boquerones ....


Póngame aceitunas y boquerones.

Give me olives and


Para mí, chorizo y patatas fritas.


For me, chorizo and
potato chips.



¿Otro chato, Manolo?

Another glass, Manolo?


Pues, sí.

Well, sure.


Camarero, otro chato para mi amigo y otra caña para mí.

Waiter, another glass of wine for my friend and another beer for me.


¿Más tapas?

More hors d'oeuvres?


¿Te gustan los chipirones, Manolo?

Do you like [the] chipirones, Manolo?


Sí, mucho.

Yes, a lot.


Pues... una ración de chipirones y otra de gambas.


Then, an order of chipirones  and [another] one of shrimp.



La cuenta, por favor.

The check, please.


Son doscientas setenta pesetas.

It's two hundred and seventy pesetas.


Aquí tiene. Quédese con la vuelta.

Here you are. Keep the change.


Muchas gracias.

Thank you very much.


Notes on conversation

En la barra... In Spain, a café sells drinks and tapas. During morning hours, coffee and hot chocolate are served. There is usually a counter -- la barra -- where customers stand or seat themselves on high stools.

¿Que van a tomar? Literally: "What are you going to take?"

Una caña is literally "a glass." This is used in bars to order a beer.

Un chato is a small glass. This is used to order wine.

Tapas are "hors d'oeuvres," assorted tidbits and appetizers served with beer, wine, or mixed drinks. They are also called pinchitos. A larger portion is called una ración.

Some cafés and bars have tapas and raciones menus. A good way of spending an evening is ir de tapeo, or ir de pincheo. To Americans "tapa hopping" is going from bar to bar trying their special tapas with a drink.

Chorizo is a semi-dry, spicy sausage with a characteristically bright red color.

Boquerones are small pickled or fried fish.

Póngame..., "put on here," is said when one, sitting at a counter, orders some tapas and/or drinks. Traigame ..., "bring me," is used when a person orders from a table.

Chipirones are squid. They are small fried or cooked squid with a sauce and served as hors d'oeuvres.

¿Te gustan los chipirones? "Do you like squid?" Noticethat in Spanish you must use los ("the").