Whether you’re beginning to dabble outside the textbook or you kicked it out a long time ago, one of your greatest resources will certainly be the wealth of authentic material on the internet. From shopping malls to gaming, your students can interact with a seemingly infinite variety of engaging materials.
If you do a food unit (and don’t we all), no doubt there are some activities and/or assessments involving ordering at a restaurant. After all, traveling is high on the list of things one does with a second language, and when you travel, you eat. It’s not terribly difficult to find great menus for students to look at on the internet, but when I tweeted a few at a #langchat quite a while ago, someone asked if I had any links to menus with prices, since it’s a good way to also practice numbers in context and the shopping exchange. It’s true – the best restaurant sites don’t show prices on their menus, perhaps because they’re changing or because the prices are different at different locations. In any case, I endeavored to find some and I offer them to you here, along with some fun restaurant sites that don’t have prices.
For menus with prices, check out the offerings at Cartagena Restaurants (Colombia), including Cevichería Wippy, and Mar de las Antillas. (Unfortunately, along with prices, many of the menus here have English translations.)
Go a little farther south without leaving your keyboard with the Platos del Día, a site offering menus from restaurants who will deliver food to you in Buenos Aires. Just click somewhere on the map to give “your location” and you’ll get a series of restaurants to choose from. For each you can click on “full menu” for the menu with prices. The site has the added benefit of having a map to interact with, so you can work with places and directions as well. Also in Buenos Aires, the menu section of Raices is quite nice.
Quito offers you Latitud Tapas y Vino. For Peruvian fare, explore on of the world’s top 50 restaurants, Astrid y Gaston (the Peruvian section of their menu includes prices). Another pricey place with so much culture in Peru’s most typical seafood platos is El Mercado. The menu for Santiago’s Pachamama restaurant is interactive and includes prices (and you can have some fun talking about what Pachamama is). Up in Mexico, the menu for Taquerías El Farolito is extensive and illustrated.
For menus without prices, try Llantia, with two locations in Spain. Their menu is also in two languages, but the first one is Catalan. Head over to Mexico to Los 3 Caballeros, where you can look at photos of their pretty location and check out the list of offerings on their breakfast buffet. Find a more extensive menu at the lovely Tigre Vestido in Costa Rica, with menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and wine. When I was in Ecuador, I learned that Ecuadorians love their Oriental food – explore Chifa Oriental in Quito. Mexico also boasts the fun Denny’s-type menu at Vips and the super-fancy El Mayor in the capital, and for a wealth of great contextualized listening practice, don’t miss the Videoreportajes at Restaurantes de México.
There – now there’s no excuse for not providing your students with authentic material for your food unit, and you never had to leave your computer.
Photo credit: Marilin Gonzalo