How to ask for ‘the bill’ in European Portuguese

So you have just enjoyed a delightful meal at a wonderful Portuguese restaurant, and now it’s time to ask for the bill. However, you may be unsure about how to get the waiter’s attention. This article will guide you through the process of requesting the bill in a polite and friendly manner in European Portuguese.

1. Getting the Waiter’s Attention: Be mindful of the appropriate way to address the waiter. In Portugal, it is impolite to call the waiter “garçon” as it is the case in Brazil. To get the waiter’s attention, simply raise your hand and say: “Se faz favor!” If you want to sound more like a local, you can say: “Ó, se faz favor!”

2. Checking Payment Options: Before placing your order, it’s always a good idea to inquire about the restaurant’s accepted payment methods. Not all restaurants accept credit cards, so it’s better to check in advance. You can ask: “Tem multibanco?” which means “Do you accept credit cards?” This will help you avoid any inconvenience or surprise when it’s time to settle the bill.

3. Asking for the Bill: At the end of your meal, when you are typically asked if you want coffee or dessert, it’s a suitable time to request the bill. You have a few options for asking in Portuguese:

  • “Se faz favor, pode trazer a conta?” (Please, can you bring the bill?)
  • “Queria pagar, por favor.” (I would like to pay, please.)
  • “A conta, por favor.” (The bill, please.)
  • “Posso pagar com o cartão?” (Can I pay with a card?)
  • “Pode trazer-nos a conta, por favor.” (Can you bring us the bill, please.)

Whatever you do, don’t just say “Conta, por favor”, as this means, “Count please”. If you have a fun waiter they might be tempted to start counting!

So remember, when dining at a Portuguese restaurant, it’s important to be mindful of cultural etiquette and use polite phrases when requesting the bill. By following these simple guidelines, such as raising your hand and saying “Se faz favor!” to get the waiter’s attention, inquiring about payment options in advance, and using polite expressions when asking for the bill, you can ensure a smooth and pleasant dining experience. Enjoy your meal and don’t be afraid to ask for the bill in Portuguese.
Até Já!

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