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Your Guide for Dining Out: Turkish Restaurant Phrases

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Turkish cuisine has a good reputation amongst the different cuisines in the world. Its variety and deliciousness are very well known.  

If you are reading this article, you may either be visiting Turkey for some reason or possibly you are interested in the different flavors of Turkish cuisine.

If you don’t speak the language, I can imagine what crosses your mind:

“I don’t know how to order food in Turkish; I should learn Turkish restaurant vocabulary/phrases; How do I call a waiter/waitress in Turkey? How much tip should I leave?”  

You don’t need to get stressed because we will cover common Turkish restaurant phrases as well as the relevant traditional facts in this article.

All you need to do is to note all the information below and dream of enjoying every bit of the amazing Turkish food.

Turkish Food

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Dining Vocabulary
  2. Making a Reservation at a Restaurant
  3. Conversations During Dining
  4. Ordering food and beverages
  5. After Dining
  6. Compliments and Complaints
  7. All About Turkish

1. Dining Vocabulary  

Before going into Turkish restaurant phrases, you should learn some dining vocabulary such as utensil names, food, beverages, tastes, etc. in Turkish. Let’s start with utensils.  

1. Utensils  

Below are the names of utensils in Turkish. If you want another plate or if you drop your fork, with the help of this vocabulary, you will be able to ask for another one.  

TurkishEnglish
Tabak“Plate”
Kâse“Bowl”
Bardak“Glass”
Çatal“Fork”
Bıçak“Knife”
Kaşık“Spoon”

2. Food 

The following vocabulary will make your life easier when you are ordering your food:  

TurkishEnglish
Tavuk“Chicken”
Balık“Fish”
Et“Meat”
Salata“Salad”
Ekmek“Bread”
Çorba“Soup”
Tatlı“Dessert” 
Dondurma“Ice cream”

3. Beverages  

We got you covered for beverages as well.  

TurkishEnglish
Su“Water”
Soda“Sparkling water”
Bira“Beer”
Şarap“Wine”
Çay“Tea”
Kahve“Coffee”

4. Tastes 

As I mentioned above, Turkish cuisine is very rich and has many different varieties. Every region has its own unique tastes. Some regions are known for their very spicy foods. We suggest you take a close look at the following vocabulary to make sure the food you eat is not only pleasing to your eyes but also your mouth.

TurkishEnglish
Tatlı“Sweet
Acı“Bitter”
Ekşi“Sour”
Tuzlu“Salty”
Baharatlı“Spicy” Other 

5. Other   

Here are some other restaurant-related words you might need: 

TurkishEnglish
Restoran“Restaurant”
Masa“Table”
Rezervasyon“Reservation”
Menü“Menu”
Peçete“Napkin”
Bahşiş“Tip”

2. Making a Reservation at a Restaurant 

In Turkey, you usually don’t need to make a reservation in a small or a mid-size restaurant. You might wait for a short time if there is no availability because the “first come, first served” principle will work. However, if you are celebrating a special occasion, if you are a large group of friends, if you are having a business dinner, or if you have special guests, then you shouldn’t take a risk, and you must make a reservation in advance.

Also, breakfast/brunch places are usually packed on the weekends. It might be a good idea to make a reservation in advance not to wait too long.

Furthermore, on special days like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, restaurants get booked way in advance, so try to get a reservation a month prior; do not wait until the last minute to make one; you won’t have any luck!

On the other hand, almost all luxurious restaurants and prestigious bars with live music require a reservation.

1. Reservation on the phone

If you are making a reservation on the phone, the following Turkish restaurant dialogue will help you tremendously:  

Restaurant: 
İyi günler. “Şamdan” restoran, nasıl yardımcı olabilirim? – “Good day. “Şamdan” restaurant, how may I help you?”

Customer: 
İyi günler. 28 Temmuz Salı akşamı için iki kişilik rezervasyon yaptırmak istiyorum? – “Good day. I’d like to make a reservation for two on Tuesday, July 28th.”

Restaurant: 
Tabi, hemen kontrol ediyorum. Saat kaç için rezervasyon yaptırmak istiyorsunuz? – “Sure, I’m checking right away. What time would you like to make a reservation?

Customer: 
Akşam saat sekiz için lütfen. Bir de deniz kenarındaki masalardan biri olursa çok iyi olur. – “For eight o’clock in the evening, please. Also, it would be great if it could be one of the tables by the sea.”

Restaurant: 
Tamam. 28 Temmuz Salı akşamı sekiz için iki kişi için deniz kenarında rezervasyonunuzu yaptım. Rezervasyonunuzu o akşam 8:15’e kadar tutabiliriz. Başka bir arzunuz var mı? – “Okay. I made a reservation for two people on Tuesday evening, July the 28th at 8 o’clock. We can hold your reservation until 8:15 p.m. that evening. Do you have any other requests?”

Customer: 
Teşekkürler, hoşçakalın. – “Thanks. Good-bye.”

Restaurant: 
Hoşçakalın – “Good-bye”

2. At the restaurant  

If you are at the restaurant and trying to get a table or informing them about an existing reservation, the following phrases will be life savers for you:

Brad James adına rezervasyonumuz vardı. –  “We had a reservation under the name of Brad James.”

4 kişilik bir masa istiyoruz lütfen. – “We’d like a table for 4, please.”

Nerede oturmak istersiniz? – “Where would you like to sit?”

Sigarasız bölümde oturmak istiyoruz. – “We’d like to sit in the non-smoking section.”

Bahçede yeriniz var mı? – “Do you have a table in the garden?”

Ne kadar beklememiz gerekir? – “How long do we have to wait?”

3. Conversations During Dining 

If you finally manage to get a table, you can take a deep breath and get ready for the next step! 

1. Getting the waiter’s attention

Displaying a menu outside of the restaurant is not that common in Turkey. This is more common in tourist destinations. These days even though many cafes use QR code menus, which are accessible via smartphones by scanning a QR code, most restaurants still offer traditional printed menus. Therefore, you might still need the help of a waiter/waitress.

Here are a few ways you can call a waiter/waitress.

Pardon, bakar mısınız? – “Excuse me.”

Pardon, sipariş verebilir miyiz? – “Excuse me, can we order?”  

2. All about the menu

Below are some common Turkish restaurant phrases you can use to get a menu and information about the food on the menu:  

Menüyü görebilir miyiz? –  “Can we see the menu?”

Şarap menüsünü alabilir miyiz lütfen? – “Could we have the wine menu please?”

Tatlı menüsünü getirebilir misiniz lütfen? – “Could you bring the dessert menu please?”

Ne tavsiye edersiniz? – “What would you recommend?”

Bugünün spesiyalleri neler? – “What are today’s specials?”

Günün çorbası nedir? – “What’s the soup of the day?”

Menüde yöresel bir yemek var mı? – “Is there a regional dish on the menu?”  

4. Ordering food and beverages

Here comes the most exciting part: ordering food and beverages.

1. Food

Your waiter/waitress will probably ask the following questions to get your order:

– Sipariş vermek için hazır mısınız? – “Are you ready to order?”

Siparişinizi alabilir miyim? – “Can I have your order?”

Ne yemek istersiniz? – “What would you like to eat?”

Taking Order

You can order your food with the following Turkish restaurant phrases:

Ben sadece salata istiyorum. – “I just want a salad.”

Çok pişmiş bonfile istiyorum ama yanında kızarmış patates istemiyorum. – “I’d like well-done steak, but I don’t want fried potatoes on the side.”

Benim çileğe karşı alerjim var. Bu tatlıda çilek var mı? – “I’m allergic to strawberries. Are there any strawberries in this dessert?”

2. Beverages

Here is a Turkish restaurant dialogue for ordering beverages:

Waiter/waitress: Ne içmek istersiniz? – “What would you like to drink?”

Customer: – Sadece su alayım. – “Let me just get water.”

                  – Bir kadeh kırmızı şarap rica edeyim. – “I’d like a glass of red wine, please.”

                  – Çocuklar için portakal suyu lütfen. – “Orange juice for the children, please.”

Beverages

3. Requesting additional sauces/ingredients and utensils 

Let’s take a look at other basic Turkish phrases restaurant customers can refer to:  

Birkaç tane daha peçete alabilir miyim? – “Can I have a few more napkins?”

Çatalımı düşürdüm. Bir tane daha alabilir miyim? – “I dropped my fork. Can I have another one?”

Ketçap ve mayonez de getirebilir misiniz? – “Can you also bring ketchup and mayonnaise?”

Kahve için biraz daha süt alabilir miyiz lütfen? – “Can we have some more milk for the coffee please?”

4. Providing feedback  

Would you like to know how you can give feedback while you are still at the table? Here you go:

Bu bardak kirli; değiştirebilir misiniz? – “This glass is dirty; can you change it?”

Çorba çok tuzluydu. – “The soup was too salty.”

Yemek çok lezzetliydi. – “Food was very delicious.”

Ben bunu sipariş etmedim. – “I didn’t order this.”

Biz bundan 3 tane sipariş ettik; iki değil. – “We ordered three of these, not two.”

Complaining About Food!

5. Other information  

Pardon, sigara içilen kısım nerede? – “Sorry, where is the smoking area?”

Pardon. tuvalet nerede acaba? – “Excuse me, where is the restroom?”

5. After Dining 

Your meal is over, and I am sure you still have some questions. “Is it okay to ask for a doggy bag? How can I pay? How much of a tip do I need to give?”

In Turkey, it has recently started getting popular to ask for a doggy bag. However, it’s still not acceptable to ask for a box if you are at a luxurious restaurant.

As for tipping, in Turkey, there is nothing set in stone for the percentage. You can leave as much as you want. Giving around 10% of the bill as a tip has recently become popular.

Tip

Furthermore, tipping with a credit card is still not a common behavior in Turkey.

Note the following phrases:

Kalanı paket yapabilir misiniz? – “Can you put the rest in a box?”

Hesap lütfen. – “Bill, please.”

Hesabı alabilir miyiz lütfen? –  Could we get the bill, please?

Ayrı ayrı ödeyebilir miyiz?  –   “Can we pay separately?”

Kredi kartı kabul ediyor musunuz? – “Do you accept credit cards?”

Üstü kalsın. – “Keep the change.”

Kasada ödeyebilir miyiz? – “Can we pay at the register?”

Bahşiş kutusu var mı? – “Is there a tip box?”  

6. Compliments and Complaints 

We hope you had an enjoyable and unforgettable dining experience. If that is the case, you can show your appreciation not only with a big tip but also with a sincere compliment. How? Here you go:

Her şey çok güzeldi, teşekkürler. – “Everything was great, thank you.”

Hızlı ve iyi servis için teşekkürler. – “Thanks for the fast and good service.”

Yemekler harikaydı, çok beğendik. – “The food was great, we loved it.”

Şefe teşekkürlerimizi iletin. – “Give our thanks to the chef.”

We hope not, but if you had a bad experience, that also has to be shared with a positive attitude. Here is how you can tell your dissatisfaction:

Servisten hiç memnun kalmadık. Müdürle konuşmak istiyorum. – “We were not satisfied with the service at all. I’d like to speak with the manager.”

Yemeklerden hiç memnun kalmadık. Müdürle konuşmak istiyorum. – “We were not satisfied with the food at all. I’d like to speak with the manager.”

7. All About Turkish 

In this article, you learned some Turkish restaurant vocabulary/phrases and how to order food in Turkish. However, there is a lot more to know!

Therefore, visit TurkishClass101, which has numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and free resources including the dictionary you can refer to, in order to get a better grasp of the Turkish language and the culture.

Don’t forget that there is also MyTeacher, which is the premium service of TurkishClass101 that you can use to practice with a private teacher.

Do you know what is also good about it? You can download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Last but not the least; please continue to provide us feedback about all the resources provided at TurkishClass101!

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