Meals and eating out collocations

Meals and eating out collocations


skip breakfast

It's not a good idea to skip breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day.

have breakfast

I like to have breakfast in bed on Sundays.

an enormous breakfast

I don't know how he managed lunch after the enormous breakfast he had this morning!

a light breakfast, a continental breakfast, a cooked breakfast

I always have a fairly light breakfast - just a continental breakfast of coffee and a croissant. I can't eat a cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs!

make breakfast

Could you get the kids dressed while I make breakfast?

(swim) before breakfast

I went for a swim in the hotel pool before breakfast.

discuss (work) over breakfast

We chatted about business over a working breakfast.

have (cereal) for breakfast

I had cereal and toast for breakfast.

go without breakfast

I often go to work without breakfast.


Note these expressions:

  • Bed and breakfast is 23 Euros.
  • Could you wash up the breakfast things? (plate, cups, etc)



a light lunch

I only had a light lunch. I wasn’t very hungry.

a working lunch

The meeting will break for a short working lunch around midday.

a (three)-course lunch

I just had the two-course lunch. I didn't feel like dessert.

a packed lunch

It's an all. day trip so brings a packed lunch with you.

Sunday lunch

The British traditionally have roast beef for Sunday lunch.

an early / a late lunch

We had an early lunch. so that we could spend the whole afternoon shopping.

meet someone for lunch

I said I'd meet him for lunch if I could get away.

be free for lunch

Are you free for lunch today?

get (an hour) for lunch

At work, we're only allowed half an hour for lunch.

(the bank) is closed for lunch

The post office is closed for lunch between 12:30 and 1:30.

have a (sandwich) for lunch

Nowadays a lot of people just have a sandwich for lunch.

break for lunch

We plan to break for lunch around 12.


cook dinner

Anne and Tom are in the kitchen cooking dinner.

have dinner

What time do you usually have dinner? I usually eat around six.

invite (you) to dinner

She's such a nice person. Let's invite her to dinner next Saturday.

(you) come to dinner

Guess who's coming to dinner? Her new boyfriend!

pay for dinner

Is your company paying for dinner? I certainly hope so.

take (her) out for dinner

My parents would like to take us out for dinner. Do you want to go?

dress for dinner

Do you ever dress for dinner? Only when we stay at hotels.

go out for dinner

How about going out for dinner tonight? I don't think we can afford it.

have (chicken) for dinner

What are you having for dinner tonight? Fish again!


Note these types of dinners:

  • Andrew took me for a romantic dinner by candlelight on Friday night.
  • The restaurant is offering a three-course dinner for only £5.00. That's fantastic value!

Note these dinner + noun expressions:

  • Let's throw a dinner party for her when she gets home next week.
  • His after-dinner speech was very amusing.

Note these expressions:

  • Is dinner ready yet? I'm absolutely starving!
  • Save me some dinner, and I'll have it when I get in.
  • Eat up all your dinner, and you can have some chocolate.



try out a (new) restaurant

We're going to try out that new Chinese restaurant in Walton Road tonight. It got a really good review in the paper last week.

restaurants serve food

The hotel has a restaurant which serves good food all day.

work in a restaurant

She's working in a restaurant at the moment, but she's a teacher by profession. I don't understand why!

recommend a restaurant

Can you recommend a good restaurant near here? I really like Mexican food, but if there's no Mexican restaurant, Italian will do.

run a restaurant

My uncle runs a busy restaurant in the center of town and he works all hours.

an expensive restaurant

My boss took me out for a five-course dinner in an expensive restaurant. It cost a fortune! But the food was out of this world!

a (Chinese) restaurant

Do you know any good Italian restaurants around here? I'm in the mood for a pizza.

a cheap restaurant

The area around the university is full of cheap restaurants for students.

the restaurant is fully booked

Unfortunately, the Apollo restaurant was fully booked at lunchtime, so we went in the evening instead.

a chain of restaurants

She owns a successful chain of restaurants in England and Wales.

a (quiet) corner of the ...

We found a table in a quiet corner of the restaurant.

the non-smoking section of the restaurant

We ate in the non–smoking section of the restaurant.


Note the verbs we use to describe starting up a restaurant:

  • see they're opening a new seafood restaurant next door.
  • He set up a vegetarian restaurant with his brother-in-law.
  • Fast-food restaurants are shooting /springing up everywhere.

Note these common expressions:

  • The restaurant is under new management.
  • The restaurant is famous for its pasta/curries /French cuisine.

If you want to recommend a restaurant to someone, here are some ways of doing so:

  • It's got a very good reputation.
  • It gets a very good name.
  • It's famous for its seafood.

If a restaurant is licensed, it serves alcohol.

Restaurants which serve food to takeaway. are often called fast-food restaurants;

  • No wonder so many children are fat! They eat nothing but takeaways from fast-food restaurants!



the waiter serves you

The waiter served my wife first.

a friendly waiter

We left a big tip because the waitress was so friendly.

the waiter takes your order

The waiter stood by our table, ready to take our order.

ask the waiter for (the bill)

We sat down and asked the waiter for a menu.

call the waiter

I called the waiter over to ask for another bottle of wine.

work as a waiter

My girlfriend works part-time as a waitress in an Italian restaurant.

a rude waiter

The service was terrible and the waiter was positively rude.


have the bill

Waiter! Could we have the bill, please?

pay the bill

He left without paying his share of the bill. How could he do that?

the bill comes to

The final bill comes to £ 126.75. There's no service charge, so let's add a £ I0 tip.

split/divide the bill

Let's split the bill between the four of us. It's too much for one person to pay.

put (the beer) on the bill

Waiter! I'd like another beer, please. Just put it on the bill.


Note these types of bill:

  • He ran up a huge phone bill when he was on holiday.
  • I always pay my electricity bills on time.
  • If you don't pay your gas bill, you'll be cut off.



meet at a bar

We meet at Charlie's Bar every Friday evening. Come along and join us.

close a bar

The bars close early here. They stop serving drinks around ten o 'clock.

leave a bar

Amy finished her drink and left the bar without saying a word. It must have been something I said.

order at the bar

There's no table service, sir. You can order at the bar.

work behind a bar

I work behind a bar at the weekends to help pay for my studies.

stand at the bar

We stood at the bar, talking about football all night.

go to the bar

It was my turn to go to the bar to get a round of drinks.

a licensed bar

The club has a licensed bar which serves drinks from 5 till midnight.

a crowded bar

I hate trying to get served in a crowded bar.

a smoky bar

Smoky bars make my eyes water.

a snack bar

There's a small snack bar inside the bowling alley which serves things like burgers and chips.


Note these expressions:

  • We went off in search of a bar.
  • There is live entertainment in the bar at weekends.



the service is quick/slow

The food was good, but the service was slow. The first course was delicious. but we did have to wait 45 minutes for it!

the service excellent

The food at Dolmios was fantastic, and the service was excellent. We left a large tip and we'll definitely go back there.

the service terrible

The service at the Taj Mahal is terrible and so is the food. I wouldn't recommend it.


order something on the menu

He ordered the most expensive thing on the menu!

hand (you) the menu

After I sat down. the waiter handed me a menu.

have/get the menu

Excuse me, could we have the menu, please?

the menu includes meals and snacks

The menu includes sandwiches as well as hot meals.

study the menu

A waiter led us to our table and left us to study the menu.

finish with the menu

Another customer asked me if I was finished with the menu.

share the menu

There was only one menu on the table so we had to share it.

a children's menu

Our son is only 4. Do you do a children’s menu?


Note the expression:

  • Are there any vegetarian dishes on the menu?

We choose different courses from the menu:

  • I'm already full and I've only eaten one course!
  • I ordered a three-course meal, but I couldn't finish the sweet.
  • I had soup as a starter and fish for my main course.

Note that a set menu offers limited choice for a fixed price:

  • There’s a set menu for dinner. but you can also choose from our a la carte menu.



book a table

Can we just turn up or do we need to book a table?

a table for one

Yes, I'm on my own - just a table for one, please.

a free table

Do you have a free table for three in about an hour?

your table's ready

Would you like to come through now? Your table's ready.

a non-smoking table

If you don't have a non-smoking table, I think we'll try somewhere else, thank you. My son's allergic to smoke.

a table by the window

I'm sorry, but we booked a table by the window. I'm sorry, sir: I think we've made a mistake. If you could wait about 5 minutes, we’ll have a very nice table on the balcony. Would you like a drink on the house?

I don't think it is a good idea to skip breakfast. It's an important meal.

I'm not hungry during the day and I usually just have a light lunch.

We'd like to invite you to dinner on Saturday night.

The new Greek restaurant serves great food.

Can you call the waiter? I'd like some more water.

The bill comes to £67.

Can you give me a few minutes to study the menu, please?

Your table is ready. Would you like to come this way?

I took a packed lunch with me when we went on the school trip to the seaside.

A young French waiter took our order. He was very polite and friendly.

We're going out for dinner this evening.

It was my turn to go to the bar and order the drinks.

When I sat down, the waiter handed me the menu.

We tried to book a table at Fabio's but the restaurant was fully booked.

I usually have cereal for breakfast, but sometimes I have a boiled egg and toast.

We split the bill between the three of us. It worked out at about £20 each.

The service was excellent. We only waited a short while for our food to arrive.

We discussed the deal over dinner at the Sheraton Hotel.

The post office was closed for lunch.

He runs a chain of restaurants in the West End.

I work behind a bar in the evenings.

Have you got a table by the window?

Have they got anything spicy on the menu?

526  Aricles

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