Food is an everyday part of our lives which is why it often comes up as a topic in the IELTS speaking exam. To prepare for such questions you should practice words and phrases related to food. Below we’ve answered the questions for you with lots of great examples of IELTS food vocabulary.
We’ve included some common collocations (highlighted) such as to eat a balanced diet, a slap up meal, and to eat like a horse and explained them in the lexicon at the base of the page. The more you can include in your IELTS speaking exam (in a natural way, of course), the more fluent you will sound.
Examples of IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions
Examiner: What food do you like to eat?
Answer: I am not a fussy eater. As long as you don’t feed me rabbit food I’m easy to please. I love Chinese cuisine and traditional Italian food and I can eat like a horse! My flatmate and I share the cooking chores. Once a week we make a slap-up meal of steak and chips covered in a rich sauce and to satisfy the sweet tooth we finish off with a decadent chocolate pudding.
Examiner: So, do you enjoy cooking?
Answer: I prefer eating to cooking. I make good use of ready meals and I am not averse to junk food or the occasional pub lunch. I realize though that it is necessary to include nutritious food as part of a balanced diet, especially organic food when it’s available rather than processed food, which is why I cook several times a week and always try to eat dinner at a reasonable time.
Examiner: What’s your favourite meal of the day?
Answer: I’m a breakfast fan. It’s the most important meal of the day, after all! I wake up starving hungry after a good night’s sleep. I like nothing better than a good English breakfast of bacon, eggs, and buttery toast, along with a piping hot cup of coffee.
IELTS Speaking Part 2 cue card
Tell me about your favourite restaurant
In this question, you should discuss
- the restaurant that you like best,
- why you like it,
- and the occasions when you go there.
Answer: I enjoy fine dining and exotic food. Both are available at my favourite restaurant in the centre of town. On special occasions I take my partner wining and dining. We love the ambience of the candle-lit dinners, and the extensive menu of mouth-watering meals.
The menu includes starters, mains and deserts. Usually by the time we get there I am dying of hunger so we order a starter to calm the hunger pangs. We usually also share a bottle of bubbly. It is after all a celebration. Having finished our starter we take our time, savouring the food.
This is not the type of restaurant where you would ask for a doggy bag, so we waste nothing. We end the evening with a delicious dessert. I do have a sweet tooth, and all the food cooked there is incredible. After finishing the flan and settling the bill, we head off home, satisfied that we have enjoyed a scrumptious meal.
Describe a café you like to visit
You should say
- where it is
- what kind of food and drink it serves
- what you do there
- explain why you like to go there
Read and listen to the sample answer here
IELTS speaking part 3 questions
Examiner: Do you believe that the 21st-century diet is a healthy one?
Answer: Far too many people are overweight and need to eat a balanced diet with proper meals instead of a quick snack multiple times a day. I believe that people should cut down on the sugars and refined carbohydrates in processed food and replace them with leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits. A balanced diet with more food cooked at home would help them to regulate their weight. If we avoid eating processed food and eat organic food wherever possible, everyone’s health can improve.
Examiner: Starvation is a problem in many parts of the world. What do you think should be done about it?
Answer: From what I’ve read current global food production can cover the daily consumption needs of the world. We need to find a way to economically transport it to where it is most needed or find alternate food sources. Nobody should starve when there is no shortage of food. It must be possible for everyone to eat a balanced diet – nobody should be dying of hunger in the 21st Century.
Examiner: In homes where both parents work do you think cooking has become just another job at the end of the day?
Answer: I know that food preparation can be time-consuming and more challenging if a child is a fussy eater, but if everyone helps with ideas and recipes and everyone takes a turn and lends a hand, cooking can be fun for the family. Even little children can help prepare a quick snack of fruit or healthy veggies with a dip. Home cooked meals rather than commercially prepared food bought from supermarkets are also often healthier and packed with vitamins. Hopefully, the children will grow up able to prepare a light and quick meal for themselves most evenings rather than just heading for the nearest fast food restaurant.
Vocabulary to talk about cafés
- not look like much: the appearance is not very attractive
- the first thing that hits you is: the first impression or sensation you have
- be after something: want something
- home-made: not commercially bought
- run something: in charge of or responsible for
- happen to pass by: be there by chance
- fancy a bite to eat: have the desire to eat something
- give them all a miss: to avoid or say “no” to
- go for: to make a choice out of preference
- come back for more: return and ask for the same again
- soak up the atmosphere: enjoy listening to people and looking at your surroundings
- feel like a home from home: a place where you feel welcome and comfortable
- hurry you up: make you finish quickly and leave
- put so much into the place: work very hard to make something successful
- find the time to pass the time of day with someone: make time to talk about everyday things
- A balanced diet – A diet of mostly healthy food that has the right amount of nutrients
- A bottle of bubbly – Sparkling wine
- A decadent chocolate pudding – Luxurious or self-indulgent chocolate pudding
- A doggy bag – The leftovers of a meal in a restaurant taken home
- A scrumptious meal – A delicious meal
- A slap up meal – an expensive or very indulgent ‘treat’ meal
- A sweet tooth – An enjoyment of sweet food
- An English breakfast – A large cooked breakfast that includes egg and bacon
- Calm the hunger pangs – To reduce the discomfort caused by hunger
- Candle lit dinner – A romantic dinner by candlelight
- Covered in a rich sauce – Covered in a creamy gravy
- Cut down on – To reduce consumption
- Daily consumption – The amount that you eat everyday
- Dying of hunger – Very hungry
- Exotic meals – Meals that originate in other countries
- Fine dining – Food catering to expensive tastes in a formal setting
- Food preparation – Preparing food
- Food production – Producing food
- Fussy eater – Someone dislikes many foods
- Home-cooked meals – Meals cooked at home
- Homemade food – Food made at home
- Junk food – Food with little nutritional value
- Leafy vegetables – Vegetables such as spinach and cabbage
- Mouth-watering meals – Delicious meals
- Nutritious food – Food with many nutrients
- Quick snack – a small meal that’s easy to eat ‘on the go’.
- Packed with vitamins – Full of vitamins
- Piping hot cup of coffee – Very hot coffee
- Pub lunch – Lunch served in a bar
- Rabbit food – Salad vegetables
- Ready meals – Heat and eat meals
- Refined carbohydrates – Foods such as white rice, white bread
- Savouring the food – Enjoying the food
- Scrumptious meal – An exceptionally tasty meal
- Seasonal fruits – Fruits that grow in season
- Starving hungry – Extremely hungry
- Wining and dining – Entertainment that includes good food
- Vocabulary about climate change
- Vocabulary about fashion and shopping
- Vocabulary about advertising
- Vocabulary about social media
- Vocabulary about food and nutrition
- Vocabulary about family and friends
- Vocabulary about sport
- Vocabulary about the coronavirus
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Cards about People
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Cards about Places
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Cards about Shopping
- IELTS Speaking Cue Cards about Accommodation