I’m sure I don’t need to convince you about how good Mexican food is. After all, you’re probably here because you want to order some delicious tacos in Spanish from that busy (and a bit intimidating) taco truck you usually pass by.
First of all, let me clarify that taco trucks do not only sell tacos.
You will most likely find burritos, quesadillas, chalupas, and (maybe even) huaraches.
Hua-what? Don’t worry.
I’ll tell you more about these Latin American Spanish food items below.
Also check out our list of common Spanish phrases.
Ordering from a taco truck menu (in Spanish)
I’d say there are two different ways you can order food from a taco truck.
One way’s simple and the other one’s a bit more structured.
Simple order formula
Put simply: You can just tell your taco-truck guy the number of tacos (or any other food items) you want, followed by the name of the meat of your choice.
If you don’t tell the person preparing your tacos the meat you want, he or she will ask you, “¿De qué los quiere?”
This means “What type of meat do you want?”
At the end of your order, you can say, “con todo” if you want cilantro, onion, and hot sauce in your tacos.
Here’s the pattern you can follow:
|number||menu item||de||meat type||with extra|
|5||tacos||de||carne asada||con todo|
Let’s say you want to order just one taco or quesadilla.
Then, simply say “un taco” or “una quesadilla”.
Use “un” for masculine nouns and “una” for feminine words.
In Spanish, nouns that end in -o are usually masculine. The ones that end in -a are usually feminine. The words “huarache” and “alambre” below are masculine nouns.
Now, let’s say you don’t want one taco. You want two.
Then, add an -s to the words in the main menu section to make them plural and say “dos tacos” or “dos quesadillas”, for example.
Structured order formula
Native Spanish speaking people usually use the pronoun “usted” to talk to people they don’t know.
If this is your first time ordering food from a taco truck, and you don’t consider the man or woman preparing your order your friend, it is best that you use the pronoun “usted” to refer to them.
¿Me da / Me podría dar / + simple order formula?
“¿Me da…?” literally means “Can you give me…?”
“¿Me podría dar…?” means “Could you give me…?”
If you and the person preparing your tacos have known each other for some time, and you know that there’s a certain degree of friendship in your taco-based relationship, then go ahead and use the pronoun “tú” to refer to him or her.
To do so, you simply need to add an -s to the verb “da” and “podría”.
¿Me das / Me podrías dar / + simple order formula?
Now that you know some (not so basic) Spanish phrases to order food, let’s dive into the food items you can get at a taco truck!
Cultural Tip: In Mexico and in many areas of Central America, it is common to hear a man calling another man “jefe” (boss) to show respect.
“¿Me das dos tacos, Jefe?” literally means “Can you give me two tacos, boss?”
|taco||a corn or wheat tortilla topped with a filling|
|burrito||a flour tortilla rolled around a filling|
|quesadilla||a flour tortilla filled with cheese|
|mulita||a double-deck quesadilla with meat|
|torta||a sandwich filled with meat, beans, avocado, lettuce, and tomato|
|tostada/chalupa||a fried tortilla with beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomato|
|sope||a corn cake topped with meat, cheese, lettuce, and salsas|
|huarache||a large tortilla topped with salsa, onions, potato, cilantro, and meat|
|alambre||chopped meat and vegetables served with corn or flour tortillas|
|carne asada||grilled steak|
|con todo||with everything|
|con/sin cebolla||with/without onion|
|con/sin cilantro||with/without cilantro|
|con/sin salsa||with/without hot sauce|
|con/sin jalapeños||with/without jalapenos|
|horchata||a rice-based drink|
|jarritos||popular Mexican soft drinks|
Interesting Fact: Jarritos is the name of a very popular Mexican brand. The word “jarrito” means “small pitcher or jar”.
The name of the brand comes from the Mexican custom of drinking water and other drinks from clay jars.
Useful Spanish phrases for taco trucks
These phrases may come in handy if you want to ask for information about your food, order a drink or something special, or just pay the bill.
Asking information about food
¿Qué lleva la torta? (What’s in the torta?)
¿De qué está hecha la horchata? (What is the horchata made of?)
Quiero una orden de tacos. (I want an order of tacos.)
¿Me da un burrito? (Can you give me a burrito?)
¿Me da otro burrito? (Can you give me another burrito?)
¿Me pone una quesadilla? (Can I have a quesadilla?)
Quiero una horchata. (I want an horchata.)
¿Me da una jamaica? (Can I have a hibiscus tea?)
¿Me da otra piña? (Can you give me another pineapple drink?)
Los tacos, ¿llevan lácteos? (Are the tacos dairy free?)
No como carne, ¿qué me recomienda? (I don’t eat meat, what do you recommend?)
¿Tiene tacos keto disponibles? (Do you offer keto tacos?)
Paying the bill
¿Cuánto es? (How much is it?)
¿Cuánto le debo? (How much do I owe you?)
¿Qué le debo? (What do I owe you?)
Sample taco truck Spanish dialogues
Let’s practice buying tacos and burritos!
Seller: Buenas, ¿qué va a querer?
Customer: 3 tacos de pastor con todo.
Seller: ¿De beber?
Customer: Una horchata.
Seller: Son $7.
“Beber” and “tomar” mean “drink.” If a waiter tells you, “¿De beber?”, he wants to know if you want something to drink.
Seller: ¿Qué le pongo?
Customer: ¿Me da dos burritos de pollo sin cebolla?
Seller: ¿Quiere algo de tomar?
Customer: Quiero una soda. ¿Cuánto le debo?
Seller: Son $9.5.
Notice that the seller used the verb form “quiere” instead of “quieres”.
“Quiere” is the “usted” form of “querer” (to want). Use “usted” to talk to people you don’t know or in formal situations.
I bet that the busy taco truck does not look as intimidating as before.
Use any of the formulas or patterns I shared with you today, and you’ll have nothing to worry about, so go and get your tacos because (believe me) they are worth it.