Learn everything you need to know about food vocabulary:

Food vocabulary is one of the most important aspects of vocabulary when we want to learn and dominate a language. 

The reasons may vary: 

  1. If you are going on a trip, then you surely would like to visit some restaurants and you will need to order food. That’s why you need to know the name of the dishes, or at least the most common ones. 
  2. Everybody loves to eat or even watch how food is made. It is one of life’s pleasures. 
  3. You can have a lot of fun learning new words, and improving your vocabulary. 

Food vocabulary is very broad. There are a lot of types of food, ways of cooking, sizes, ingredients and even dish presentations. Let’s begin! 

Vocabulary according to the type of food

This classification refers to each group that food belongs to that you can consume or that you can buy. 

You can use this vocabulary in a restaurant, in a supermarket to learn the location of a specific type of food that you can buy, in an informal conversation about the types of food that you like to eat, or that you consider healthy. 

Without further ado, we present you the following list: 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat (everything related to red meat).
  • Poultry (these words refer to everything related to birds, chickens, turkeys, etc., and also to white meat).
  • Game (we are not talking about a videogame or anything like that. This refers to meat from wild animals, for example, rabbit and deer meat). 

In the following image, you will find different words that are related to the different types of meat that there are: 

  • Seafood (Everything from shrimps, lobster, crabs, and all kinds of animals that live in the water and that we humans normally eat. (Keep in mind that fish is not part of this list!). 
  • Fish (everything related to all types of fish that may come from rivers, lakes, or any body of water)
  • Grains, beans, and nuts 
  • Dairy food (Anything that comes from milk: butter, yogurt, ice cream, and all dairy-related products. You can find an image below with more details about dairy products: 

href=”http://www.freepik.com”>Designed by macrovector / Freepik

“Food vocabulary” according to how we cook it

This category is directly related to how food is prepared.

The methods are different in every place, and that’s what makes food so special,  we can see it in different ways. For some of us, we see food as a connection with people, others see food as a link with their heritage, others see it as a “passing of the torch” between families, so that’s why preparing food is so important. 

  • Baked (we refer to food that is cooked in an oven). 

  • Roasted (we refer to  roasted as food that is cooked in an oven, but with the particularity that it is sometimes cooked with oil and for long periods). 
  • Grilled o al grill (food that is prepared on a grill, barbecue-style).
  • Fried or sauteed (the type of food that is prepared by using oil and dipping the food in it)
  • Boiled (the type of food that is prepared by using boiling water and dropping the ingredient in it)
  • Casseroled (food prepared in a stew)
  • Steamed (food that is prepared with water vapor or other types of vapor)

The words that we showed you are the most common with this type of vocabulary, but there are a lot more words that are used to talk about cooking food. Let’s continue!

Vocabulary that you will see in the menu of a restaurant

When we go out to a restaurant, we know that each item on the menu is part of a meal. But how do we order the different items in a menu? Which ones come first? What goes after the main meal? Here we have a list for you, that will guide you: 

  • Starter / hors d’oeuvre / appetiser

These represent the first part of a meal. Most of the time an appetizer can be a soup, a salad, etc. 

  • Main course

This is the main dish. It is the one that contains the protein (animal or vegetal).

  • Dessert

The best part of the meal is related to sweet meals like cakes, brownies, ice cream, and much more.

Some phrases that will complement your food vocabulary

Some phrases form part of the English-speaking culture, and they will help you with your communication skills and make you sound more like a native speaker. 

For example: 

Have a sweet tooth: it means that a person loves everything related to sweets.

Eat sensibly: it means that a person is conscious about the type of food they can eat and if it is healthy. 

Five a day: it is a term that refers to people who eat fruits, vegetables and other things for 5 times a day.





If you have any more questions about “food vocabulary” then you can contact us, and we will gladly guide you and support you with anything you need. Take your English to the next level with B1B2. Good luck! 

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