ESL Topics: Food & Drinks


Beginner:

1.) What can I get you?

I'll have a cheeseburger with everything, along with a beer, please.

2.) What did you eat (have) for lunch?

I had a cheeseburger with fries and a beer for lunch.

3.) Do you want to go out for dinner?

Sure I'd love to what did you have in mind?

4.) Are you up for drinks tonight?

I can't go for drinks tonight. I have to get an early start on tomorrow. I've got a busy day planned.

5.) Where's a good place to go for seafood in your area?

I know of a good place called Koo Koo Sushi located in the heart of downtown. It's a popular buffet restaurant.

6.) What's your favorite cuisine? How about your favorite dish?

I'm a die-hard fan of Japanese cuisine, especially ramen. It's definitely my favorite dish.

7.) Are there any foods or dishes you can't stand?

I can't stand porridge and anything with peanuts, since I'm allergic to peanuts.

8.) How often do you eat out?

I only eat out on the weekends. I can't afford eating out all the time.

9.) Do you pack your own lunch to work or school?

I don't pack a lunch to work. My company has a cafeteria and the foods not bad so I always eat at work.



Intermediate:

If these topic questions are too easy, try this:

Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced Band 6.5+ with Answers and Audio CD

1.) What is your specialty? Can you make any fancy dishes from scratch?

I'm not a good cook. However, I recently enrolled in a cooking class. The only thing I can make from scratch is apple pie, but it's not that difficult to make and only has a few ingredients.

2.) What's your drink of choice when it comes to alcohol? Have you ever been cut-off?

My preferred drink of choice is beer, anything on tap, as a matter of fact. I also drink vodka-cranberry once in a while. I've always been a moderate drinker and never a heavy drinker, so no; I've never been cut-off.

3.) What are the most popular dishes in your country and what side dishes or beverages complement them well?

In Canada, spicy chicken wings go hand in hand with ice-cold beer. Another popular dish in Canada is Pancakes with maple syrup complemented with bacon and coffee.

4.) Do you keep track of calories (count calories) when you eat?

I've been trying to lose weight for quite some time, so I try to count calories. But, I have a sweet tooth, which makes life difficult at times.


Advanced:

1.) How much do you roughly spend a month on groceries and do you prefer shopping at farmers markets or grocery stores?

I spend about $600 a month on groceries to feed a family of four. I usually shop at grocery stores. However, when the weather is nice and certain fruits and vegetables are in season, I love to shop at farmers markets and get fresh food, while helping the local farming community.

2.) What style of cuisine is starting to trend or increase in popularity? Are fusion restaurants popular in your country?

I think American style pizza with Asian style toppings is starting to take off a lot in Canada. We have a growing Asian population that loves corn on their pizza. Strange, I know!

3.) Have you ever had bad service in a restaurant? How did you handle the situation? Did you make a scene or complain to the staff?

I'm not one to complain. However, on one occasion I received food that was cold and didn't really look fresh. I didn't want to make a scene, so I politely asked them to remake my order and there were no problems.



Match:

Match the words from column 1 with the best-suited answer in column 2.


Column 1 Column 2
1.) with everything a.) when local fruits or vegetables are ripe to eat.
2.) what do you have in mind? b.) to attract unwanted attention
3.) buffet c.) to become a member of a class or group
4.) can't stand d.) what do you suggest?
5.) from scratch e.) to make something from beginning to end with no shortcuts
6.) enroll f.) really, really hate
7.) cut-off g.) to include all toppings
8.) complement h.) all you can eat
9.) in season i.) to stop serving someone alcohol
10.) make a scene j.) to go hand in hand


Questions:


1.) Are you currently enrolled in any classes or programs? Are you making any progress?

2.) What foods do you look most forward to eating when they are in season?

3.) What beverage or side dishes best complement your favorite meal?

4.) What are you usually up for on the weekends if someone asks you invites you to join them?

5.) What toppings do you like on your hamburger, try to use "with everything, except" in your response.

6.) Have you ever embarrassed yourself by making a scene somewhere? Tell us about it.

7.) Where's a good place to eat pasta in your city?

8.) Can you cook anything impressive from scratch?

9.) Tell me about a food that you didn't like when you were young but have since acquired a taste for and now enjoy eating?


Vocabulary:

  • "with everything": To include all toppings, or services. "Can I have a hamburger with everything." would mean a hamburger with all possible toppings such as pickles, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, etc. This way it becomes easier to order. For example, "Can I have a cheeseburger with everything, except pickles", is easier to order than mentioning a long list of toppings.
  • "have in mind": Is another way of asking for someone's suggestion. "I don't care where we go for dinner tonight. What do you have in mind?"
  • "are you up for": Is another way or asking someone if they are interested in doing or eating something. "Are you up for playing soccer tonight?" or "Are you up for chicken and beer?" is the same as do you "Do you want to play soccer" or "Do you want to eat chicken and drink beer?"
  • "Where's a good place to": A popular way of asking for a suggestion. "Where's a good place to meet women?" or "Where's a good place to get a cheap coffee around here?"
  • buffet: All you can eat restaurant. "I'm starving let's go to a buffet for dinner tonight."
  • cuisine: A collection of dishes associated with a particular culture or geographic region. "American cuisine is considered to be quite unhealthy."
  • dish: A particular variety or preparation of food served as part of a meal. "Kimchi is a popular dish in Korean cuisine."
  • "die-hard fan of": To have complete loyalty to something; to really like something. "" I am a die-hard fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. I never miss a game.
  • "can't stand": Something you really hate. "I can't stand watching the news, especially when it's about politics."
  • "eat out": To go to a restaurant to eat instead of at home. "Since I moved out, and can't cook I always eat out for dinner."
  • "pack your lunch": To make your own lunch and bring it to work or school. "My mother packs my lunch for school every day."
  • specialty: A pursuit, area of study, or skill to which someone has devoted much time and effort and in which they are expert. "She is a great photographer, her specialty is portraits, though." "The cafe makes great desserts and coffee, but their specialty is Bing-su."
  • "from scratch": To make something from beginning to end with no shortcuts. "When I bake cake I use cake mix. However, my mother makes cake from scratch using flour, eggs, and sugar." "He wrote that program from scratch without anyone's help."
  • "cut-off": To stop serving someone alcohol. "I was so drunk the bartender cut me off and only served me water until I left."
  • complement / "hand in hand": Things that work well together. "Those red shoes and that red skirt complement each other nicely." "Kimchi is a side dish that goes hand in hand with almost all Korean dishes." "Red wine and steak complement each other."
  • "sweet tooth": To really love sugary foods. "I have a sweet tooth for chocolate, especially cake."
  • "in season": When a fruit or vegetable is ripe and ready to eat in a particular region or country. "Strawberries are in season during the early months of spring in South Korea." Year round is when a fruit or vegetable is always readily available. "Oranges are available year round in the state of Florida."
  • fusion: When you combine elements of different culinary traditions and styles. "There is a new Japanese-Thai fusion restaurant opening up downtown this week."
  • "make a scene": When a person does not act normal in public and causes people to become uncomfortable. "She was very drunk and screaming at her boyfriend, she made a very big scene before the staff asked her to leave."

Daily Expressions & Idioms:

1.) "to go nuts": When someone starts to act crazy.

"After the boss asked told him he was fired and to pack his things and leave, he went nuts and starting screaming at everyone."

2.) "an acquired taste": A food or drink that takes some time to start to really like.

"For me kimchi was an acquired taste. The first time I ate it I felt like throwing up, but now I crave kimchi."


Download Topic