Conversations about food in English

Food is a universal topic of conversation. Everyone has to eat. Everyone loves to eat. Everyone wants to know where to eat. Discovering new and cultural foods is also one of the many joys of travelling, so being able to have a conversation about food in English is a great skill to learn. To help you get to grips with it, we’ve put together some advice and knowledge from our English experts to get you started.

Describing Taste

When learning English, talking about food often means describing what you like and don’t like about what you’re eating or what food you usually eat. You can use descriptive words to help you.

Here are some positive descriptive words for a conversation about food in English:

  • Tasty – “This pizza is so tasty!”
  • Delicious – “I can’t believe how delicious this ice cream is.”
  • Great – “I think the pasta is great!”
  • Amazing – “Isn’t this food amazing?”
  • Delightful – “The dessert was delightful.”

If you dislike the food, a good phrase you can use is ‘I’m afraid the [food] is too [flavour] for me.” Some descriptive words you may need to use in place of [flavour] include:

  • Spicy
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Sour

Dietary Requirements

During your English language learning, you should definitely become familiar with phrases used for your dietary requirements. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Vegetarian – You don’t eat meat or fish
  • Pescatarian – You don’t eat meat, but you do eat fish
  • Vegan – You don’t eat any animal products, including meat, fish, dairy and eggs
  • Allergic – If you can’t eat an ingredient. For example, ‘I can’t eat ice cream because I’m allergic to milk.” Common allergies include milk, eggs, nuts, gluten wheat and fish
  • Diabetic – A disease that affects your insulin levels and causes you to have to think carefully about your food

Ordering Food

If you’re in a restaurant ordering food, you should say ‘I would like the/a [food]’. Always remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ – manners are important!

If you need to send something back, explain your reason using the descriptive words we mentioned earlier. For example, ‘I’m afraid this [food] is too cold for me.’ Always be polite.

What Do You Like to Eat?

When discussing food, someone might ask you what you like to eat. There are a number of ways to reply to this.

You could say that you prefer ‘sweet’ or ‘savoury’ when having a conversation about food in English. ‘Sweet’ means that you prefer desserts and things like cake, chocolate and ice cream. ‘Savoury’ means you prefer main-meals and things like crisps, sausage rolls and nuts.

You could also say what kind of restaurants you like. For example, you could say ‘I like fast-food restaurants, such as McDonalds,’ or ‘My favourite place to eat is at Italian restaurants because I love pizza’.

When you’re studying English language learning, it’s important you cover the topics you think will be important to you first. In this way, you’ll start to build up a range of conversations you can have with people and begin to become more confident with the language!

If you need help with your English language learning, UKCE is a great place to receive the support and resources you need. We’ve got tons of reasons as to why you should learn how to have a conversation about food in English and everything else you need to know at our college, so be sure to check them out! Once you’re convinced, jump on board and start your journey today.