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About Ordering Food in Swahili

Hungry? How to start ordering meals in Swahili? These are typically some of the inquiries you will have when visiting in a Swahili speaking region. Learn More

Whether you’re likely to live in a Swahili speaking country or planning on a quick visit there, discovering how to get food in Swahili is essential. Eating out at Swahili eateries and bistros is often a lot of fun, especially if you fully understand some rudimentary Swahili restaurant vocabulary. More …
Swahili Language Words

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Now we have outlined various standard meal relevant keyword phrases in Swahili, directly below, wishing they might help you while you are placing your order food in Swahili.

Speaking Swahili When Eating Out

Just click here to learn the Swahili meals keyword phrases simply which you can use when it comes to buying food in Swahili dining establishments and coffee shops.

A table for one person/two people, please.Meza kwa mtu moja/watu wawili, tafadhali.
We are two/three/four.Tuko wawili/watatu/wanne.
Can I look at the menu, please?Ninaweza kuangalia menu, tafadhali.
Can I look in the kitchen?Ninaweza kuona jikoni?
Is there a house specialty?
Is there a local specialty?
I'm a vegetarian.Mimi ni mla mboga
Vegetarian foodChakula mboga mboga
I don't eat pork.Sili nyama ya nguruwe/kiti moto (The latter is far more common)
I don't eat beef.Sili nyama ya n'gombe
I don't eat goat.Sili nyama ya mbuzi
I only eat kosher food.Ninakula chakula halali tu.
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard)Punguza mafuta/siagi/
No bones.Bila mafupa
fixed-price meal
a la carte
breakfastkifungua kinywa / chakula cha asubuhi
lunchchakula cha mchana
supperchakula cha jioni
I want _____.Ninataka
I request _____. Naomba _____. (more polite than 'I want', especially in Tanzania)
I want a dish containing _____.
(fresh) vegetablesMboga (singular), Maboga (plural)
(fresh) fruitMtunda (singular), Matunda (plural)
toastTosti (but there is a brand of bread called 'Tosti' so you will also find a 'Toasted toast' entry on some menus!)
noodles/pastaTambi (invariably, spaghetti unless you are in a specialist restaurant)
riceWali (cooked rice), Mchele (uncooked) Mpunga (rice plant)
May I have a glass of _____?Ninaomba glasi moja ya ____.
May I have a cup of _____?Ninaomba kikombe kimoja cha ____.
May I have a bottle of _____?Ninaomba chupa moja ya ____.
coffeeKahawa (this will usually be instant coffee. It's rare to find real coffee except in specialist establishments or those frequented by tourists)
tea (drink)Chai
spiced teaChai ya masala (tea is often spiced with masala mix or ginger
Tea with milkChai ya maziwa
Tea without milkChai ya rangi (literally, 'tea with color')
(bubbly) water
beerPombe, Bia (Pombe often refers to a local brew and many of these are unsafe to drink. Better to ask for a beer by brand name or ask 'Bia gani ipo?', 'What beers do you have?'
red/white wineMvinyo/wini nyekundu/nyeupi
May I have some _____?Ninaomba
black pepperpilipili manga
butterSiagi (But you are likely to get margarine, at best. You will probably need to ask for margarine by a brand name, such as 'Blue Band')
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)Samahani/ebu (the latter is less formal)
Excuse me, waiter? (to a waiter, 'Kaka', to a waitress, 'Dada')
I'm finished.Nimemaliza
It was delicious.Chakula ni kitamu
Please clear the plates.Uondoe masahani tafadhali
The check, please.Naomba bili, tafadhali

Click on the hyperlinks directly below to view a list of beneficial Swahili travel phrases that are organized by theme. For every travel word or phrase in Swahili, there’ll be the actual English interpretation.

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