How to Order Drinks in Spanish

One of the most useful things you can learn in Spanish is how to order drinks. Our favorite guru Maider already made a great video about this, but it’s never too much to remind you about how to order drinks in Spanish.

The first step is knowing how to ask for a drink. The most common sentences are “para mí un/una [drink], por favor” or “yo quiero [drink], por favor”, which mean “[drink] for me, please” and “I want a [drink], please”, respectively.

Now, you only need to say which is the drink you want. Let’s start with the basics: agua (water), té (tea), zumo (juice), vino (wine), cerveza (beer) and coffee (coffee). But here’s where it gets tough…

How to order coffee in Spanish

We already wrote a whole post about this. There are dozens of coffee types in Spanish, so you need to be precise when you order! The most famous is “café con leche”, which is coffee with milk (latte). A small café con leche (an espesso with some milk) is a “café cortado”. A regular espresso, without milk, would be “café solo” (literally translated - coffee alone).

In any case, here’s a list of the many coffees you can order in Spain:

  • café solo: an espresso.
  • café cortado: an espresso with some drops of milk (more coffee than milk).
  • café con leche: a combination of coffee with milk, much bigger than a regular café solo. Ideal for breakfast or for a snack.
  • café doble: a double espresso.
  • café americano: this is the coffee most Americans are used to: basically hot water with a shot of espresso.
  • leche manchada: the opposite of café cortado - it’s milk with a few dips of coffee.
  • café con hielo: coffee with ice. You can also ask for a ‘café solo con hielo’, which will be an espresso with ice.
  • café con licor: coffee with liquor.
  • café irlandés/ carajillo: a ‘carajillo’ is one part coffee, one part espresso. If you add whipped cream on top of it, it becomes a café irlandés (irish coffee).
  • café bombón: for those with a sweet tooth! It’s one part condensed milk, one part espresso. Perfect for dessert.  

How to order a beer in Spain

Like coffee, not all beers are created equal. Of course, you can say “quiero una cerveza, por favor”, but if you want to sound like a local, you should ask for “a caña” (a smaller beer) or “a copa” (lit. “a cup”). “Jarra” (usually the same size as “a copa”) and “pinta” (a pint) are also used. In Madrid’s bars a “clara” is quite popular too, and that’s beer with a soft drink. “Clara de limón” is our favorite, with a little bit of lemon juice!