How to Say “Eat Food” in German

Guten Appetit! If you are planning to visit Germany or simply want to learn some useful German phrases, knowing how to say “eat food” in German is a great place to start. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with both formal and informal ways to express this phrase, along with some tips, examples, and even a peek into regional variations. Let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say “Eat Food” in German

If you find yourself in a formal setting or addressing someone with whom you are not familiar, the following phrases will come in handy:

1. “Essen Sie Essen” (Say: “Essen zee essen”)

This is a direct translation of “eat food” in German. The word “essen” means “to eat,” and “Sie” is the formal version of “you.” Therefore, by combining these words, you can politely express the phrase.

Example: Entschuldigen Sie, aber können Sie mir sagen, wo ich in dieser Stadt gutes Essen finden kann? (Excuse me, but can you tell me where I can find good food in this city?)

2. “Genießen Sie Ihr Essen” (Say: “Geh-nee-ssen zee i-ir ess-en”)

This phrase translates to “enjoy your meal” and is commonly used in formal settings or when addressing someone you don’t know well.

Example: Vielen Dank für die Einladung zum Abendessen. Genießen Sie Ihr Essen! (Thank you very much for the dinner invitation. Enjoy your meal!)

Informal Ways to Say “Eat Food” in German

When you are in a more casual or familiar environment, these phrases will work perfectly:

1. “Iss Essen” (Say: “Iss essen”)

This direct and straightforward phrase is commonly used in informal conversations among friends or family members. “Iss” is the imperative form of “essen,” meaning “eat.”

Example: Komm, lass uns Pizza bestellen und zu Hause essen! (Come on, let’s order pizza and eat at home!)

2. “Schlemm los!” (Say: “Shlem loss”)

This phrase is more playful and translates to “dig in” or “tuck in” in English. It’s often used to encourage someone to start eating.

Example: Das Essen ist fertig! Schlemm los! (The food is ready! Dig in!)

Regional Variations

German is spoken in various regions, each with its own unique dialects and expressions. While the above phrases are universally understood, it’s interesting to note some regional variations:

1. Bavarian German

In Bavaria, the southernmost region of Germany, you may come across the phrase “Griass God, essn!” (Translation: “Greet God, eat!”). This phrase showcases the Bavarian dialect and reflects the warm hospitality of the region.

2. Berlin German

In Berlin, the capital city of Germany, locals sometimes use the phrase “Hau rein!” (Say: “Hau-rain”), which literally means “hit in.” It’s akin to saying “tuck in” or “dig in” and is commonly heard in casual conversations.

Tips for Pronouncing German Phrases

Pronouncing German phrases correctly can be a bit challenging for beginners. Here are a few tips to help you sound more confident:

  • Pay attention to the vowel sounds. German vowels might sound different from their English counterparts. For example, “i” is pronounced like “ee” in “see,” and “a” is pronounced like “ah.”
  • Practice the “ch” sound. The German “ch” can be a bit difficult for English speakers. Try making a “k” sound in the back of your throat while exhaling slightly.
  • Listen to native German speakers. Immersing yourself in the language through music, movies, or podcasts can greatly improve your pronunciation.


Congratulations! You have learned different ways to say “eat food” in German. You are now equipped to express this phrase both formally and informally, depending on the situation. Remember, language is one way to connect with people and experience their culture, so don’t be shy to practice your new phrases and explore regional variations. Guten Appetit!

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