Dutch Language Blog

Eet Smakelijk Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary

Summer is here and the sun has been generous enough to shine on the Netherlands. As soon as the sun peaks out even just a bit, the terrassen of restaurants, bars and cafes are filled with people enjoying the good weather and a drink in the company of friends and family.

Just like in last month’s post about shopping, eating out is a great moment to practice your Dutch. The Netherlands is filled with restaurants from all over the world, and because of the large numbers of immigrants, many are truly authentic. You can also opt for typical Dutch food. It all depends on the mood you are in!

If you decide to go to a terras, you will see many people enjoying a drink such as a pilsje, koffie, wijn or a cola accompanied by snacks such as bitterballen, frieten or a vlaai. If you are unsure about what to order, the menukaart will provide you with a list of drinks and snacks available. When you are ready with your selection, you can use the following phrases when the serveerster or ober takes your order:

Mag ik een ______________ alstublieft? (May I please have a _____________?)

Voor mij een _________________ alstublieft. (For me a __________, please.)

If you are having dinner, the menukaart will include choices for starters or het voorgerecht, main course or het hoofdgerecht and dessert or het nagerecht. You can easily remember the order of these by looking at the first part of the word. Voor means before, hoofd means head or main in this case, and na means after. Once your food arrives and you are ready to devour it, a friendly eet smakelijk will wish everyone a happy dinner (just like the French bon appetit).

If you are curious about the dishes of your friends, the following questions and answers will be helpful:

Hoe vind je ________? (How is the ________?)

En hoe is jouw ___________? (And how is your ____________?)

Wat vind je van ____________? (What did you think of the __________?)


Ik vind het heerlijk. (I found it delicious.)

Ik vind het lekker. (I found it/It is tasty.)

Het gaat wel. (It is okay.)


Ik hou niet zo van _________. (I don’t like too much the __________.)

Ik hou niet van ____________. (I don’t like the __________.)

Ik vind het niet lekker. (It is not tasty.)

Ik vind het vies. (It is gross.)

After you have enjoyed your meal and you are ready to go, you can ask the serveerster or ober for de rekening or the check. You have probably heard of the expression “going Dutch” when eating with friends. This basically means that each person pays what he/she ordered. Make sure you check how the check will be split. In my experience, people tend to split the bill evenly, but it is better to ask. In regards to tips, it is not necessary to tip your serveerster, but if he/she did a great job, it never hurts to be appreciative.

Useful vocabulary:

Het terras/ de terrasen– the terrace/the terraces

Pilsje- beer

Koffie– coffee

Wijn- wine

Cola- soft drink

Bitterballen- typical Dutch snack, fried, filled with meat

Frieten– fries (served with mayonnaise and not ketchup!)

Vlaai– pie/cake

Menukaart- menu

Ober- waiter

Serveerster– waitress

Alstublieft– please

Voorgerecht- appetizer

Hoofdgerecht- main dish

Nagerecht­- dessert

Lekker– tasty

Rekening- check

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!