The 15 most commonly used Italian Phrases at the Cafè | ELLCI

Most commonly used Italian Phrases at the bar

most commonly used italian phrases

Most commonly used Italian Phrases at the bar

One of the first things you will do when traveling to Italy is to eat out, at the bar or restaurant. Discover the most commonly used Italian phrases to order your breakfast or a snack at the bar.

Breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day and the most common order at the bar. In Italy, breakfast is sweet: a cappuccino and a croissant are the most famous couple of breakfast at the bar. Let’s see the most commonly used Italian phrases to order breakfast and other snacks in a bar.


Order and pay

order and pay

Let’s always remember to say hello when we enter a bar or cafè: 

  • Buongiorno/good morning, buonasera/good evening

To order at the bar we use the form of courtesy, the conditional of the verb want:

  • Vorrei … per favore / I would like … please

It is true that Italians often omit the “please”, which is almost implied, but immediately followed by “grazie/thanks or grazie mille/thanks a lot”. After the thank you, the other interlocutor can respond with:

  • (Di) niente. / nulla. (Grazie) a Lei. Prego. /You’re welcome. / No worries
  • Non c’è di che/ Do not mention it
  • Si figuri./ Not at all

Those who are in a hurry, or if there is a more informal relationship with a trusted barista, can also use the expression “Mi fai un caffè…?/Can you make me a coffee …?”, “Prendo un caffè/’ll have a coffee” or even just “un caffè per favore/a coffee please”.

To draw attention using the form of courtesy, we use the expression

  • Mi scusi, …(posso avere un caffè per favore/un caffè per favore)/ Excuse me, …(can I have a coffee/a coffee please)

To pay you can use the following expressions:


At the counter

  • quant’è?/how much it is?
  • quant’è il conto?/ how much is the bill?
  • quanto (ti/Le) devo?/ how much do I owe you?

Al tavolo

  • (Mi/ci porta/ fa) il conto per favore?/ Can I/we have the bill please?

To pay

  • Prego/ Tenga/ Ecco/ Here 
  • Tenga il resto/ Keep the change

In Italy, leaving a tip is not very common, but the expression “Il resto mancia!/ keep the change”  is widespread. Tipping is usually a small amount that is left to the waiters if we are satisfied with the service. Very often you leave the change and say: Il resto mancia!

Offer, accept, reject


To offer a coffee or invite a friend, you can use the following useful phrases in Italian:


  • Ti offro un caffè…/ I’ll buy you a coffee …
  • Prendi /Prendiamo un caffè?/Will you/ Shall we have a coffee?
  • Vuoi / Ti va un caffè… ? /Do you want / fancy a coffee …?
  • Che ne dici di… ?/ What do you think of… ?
  • Vuoi qualcosa (da bere / mangiare)? Cosa prendi?/Do you want something (to drink / eat)? What are you having?


  • Vuole / Le va un caffè… ? 
  • Prende / Le offro un caffè… ? 
  • Che ne dice di… ?
  • Vuole qualcosa (da bere / mangiare)? Cosa prende?

To accept, you reply with:

  • Sì grazie, (molto) volentieri./ Yes thank you, (very) gladly.
  • Con piacere. Prendo un…/With pleasure. I take a …

To refuse instead:

  • Grazie mille, ma non posso./Thanks a lot, but I can’t.
  • Mi dispiace, ora non posso, magari un’altra volta. /I’m sorry, now I can’t, maybe another time.
  • Per me no, grazie, sto bene così./Not for me, thanks, I’m fine.
  • Non mi va./ I don’t feel like it.

To insist:

  • Non fare complimenti! (Informale)/ Feel free
  • Non faccia complimenti! (formale)

You can also offer a coffee to someone who is not present at that moment and whom you do not personally know. It is a caffè sospeso, a coffee that is paid for but not consumed.

Suspended coffee is a solidarity practice born in Naples, probably during the period of the Second World War. Today it has spread throughout Italy and is a gesture of solidarity that can even go beyond the purchase of a coffee.

It consists of paying for an extra coffee that remains “pending”, waiting for someone who cannot afford it to order it. It is a kind of pact between the barista and the one who offers coffee to a stranger.

  • vorrei pagare un caffè sospeso/ I would like to pay for a caffè sospeso
  • vorrei lasciare un caffè sospeso/ I would like to leave a caffè sospeso


most commonly used italian phrases

15 Italian phrases to use when in Italy at the Cafè or Bar

Let’s recap the 15 most popular and well-known useful phrases in Italian for foreigners to order at the bar

  1. Io prendo un cappuccino e una brioche e tu?/I have a cappuccino and a brioche and you?
  2. Io vorrei un caffè semplice e una spremuta d’arancia./I would like an espresso and an orange juice.
  3. Scusi, potrebbe portarmi un bicchiere d’acqua, per favore?/ Excuse me, could you bring me a glass of water, please?
  4. Scusi, potrei avere anche un po’ di cannella/cacao sul cappuccino?/Excuse me, could I also have some cinnamon / cocoa on the cappuccino ?.
  5. Buongiorno, possiamo sederci?/Good morning, can we sit at the table?
  6. Vorrei due brioche, un cappuccino alla soya e un caffè macchiato/ I would like two croissants, a soy cappuccino and a macchiato
  7. Macchiato freddo o caldo?/ Hot or cold macchiato?
  8. Possiamo pagare?/ Can we pay?
  9. Il conto per favore! /The bill, please!
  10. Può portarmi il conto per favore? /Could you bring me the bill please?
  11. Faccio un conto unico o separato?/Are you paying together or separate?
  12. Separato per favore. Io pago il cappuccino e la spremuta./Separate please. I pay for the cappuccino and the juice.
  13. Conto unico grazie/ We pay together thank you.
  14. Possiamo dividere il conto per 2..3…/We can divide the bill by 2..3 …
  15. Lascia stare, offro io! /Forget it, my treat.



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