ielts vocabulary food idioms food




Dine in

Dine in – dine at home.
Example: We’re dining in tonight.

Dine Out

Dine out – dine at a restaurant.
Example: We’re dining out tonight.

Fussy eater

fussy eater – someone who is very picky about the food and doesn’t eat everything.
Example: My husband is a fussy eater, and he’s never pleased with my cooking.

Home-cooked food

home-cooked food – food cooked at home, usually implies that food is healthy.
Example: Preparing home-cooked food is a good way to make a balanced meal.

In a walking distance of

in a walking distance of – close to.
Example: I usually dine at a restaurant that’s in a walking distance of my home.

Italian cuisine

Italian cuisine – traditional Italian food. You can also say French cuisine, Russian cuisine, Chinese cuisine and so on.
Example: I adore pasta, pizza and Italian cuisine in general.

More of a chore than a pleasure

more of a chore than a pleasure – something you do rather unwillingly.
Example: I think that cooking is more of a chore than a pleasure.


mouth-watering – delicious, appetizing.
Example: My mouth is watering every time I think about my grandmother’s apple pie.

Also Read: The Key to IELTS Success Pauline Cullen Workbook PDF 2020

Nutritious products

nutritious products – products rich in calories.
Example: A nutritious breakfast is a great way to start the day, as it gives your body the nutrients and you get enough energy.


Processed food

processed food – food that has been modified in an undesirable or unhealthy way to achieve its current state.
Example: Try to avoid processed foods like flavored nuts and cereal bars. It is much healthier to eat organic food.

Quality justifies the bill

quality justifies the bill – when a product is worth buying due its good quality, even if it’s expensive.
Example: I first thought those strawberries were too expensive, but when I tasted them I understood that their quality justified the bill.

Quick snack

quick snack – a light and quick meal, usually unhealthy.
Example: Eating quick snack instead of main meal can be harmful for stomach.


Ready meal

ready meal – a meal that you buy already cooked, which only requires reheating to be eaten.
Example: I had no desire to cook, so I bought a ready meal in a nearby supermarket.

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Restrain one’s hunger

restrain one’s hunger – to avoid eating when you really want to. Usually practiced during diets.
Example: John couldn’t restrain his hunger anymore and went to the nearest fast-food restaurant.

Slap-up meal

slap-up meal – a quick and fatty meal. To slap up means to cook something very quickly.
Example: I feel like making a slap-up meal tonight.

Starving hungry

starving hungry – to be extremely hungry.
Example: I woke up starving hungry yesterday and ate the whole roast chicken.


take-away – a meal prepared in a café/restaurant and eaten at home.
Example: I’m going to ring the Japanese restaurant and order a takeaway.

To be dying of hunger

to be dying of hunger – an exaggerated way of saying you are really hungry.
Example: I haven’t eaten all day. I’m dying of hunger!

To be full-up

to be full-up – to eat to the point that you can’t eat anymore.
Example: – Would you like more chips?
– No, thank you, I’m already full-up!

To be ravenous

to be ravenous (to have ravenous appetite) – to be really hungry, starving, voracious.
Example: After working all day, I had a ravenous appetite.

To bolt something down

to bolt something down – to eat a large amount of food very quickly.
Example: Don’t bolt your food down like that, it’s very rude!

To eat like a horse

to eat like a horse – to always eat a lot.
Example: She’s so thin, yet she eats like a horse.

To follow a recipe

to follow a recipe – to cook a meal using instructions.
Example: Although she had never cooked a jugged hare before, she followed a recipe and made a fantastic meal.

To foot the bill

to foot the bill – to pay the bill.
Example: You paid for dinner last time. Let me foot the bill for lunch today.

Idioms that Describe Food

To be full up.

Meaning: To eat to the point that you can no longer eat anymore or that you ate so much, you do not feel hungry.
Example: Don’t order any more food, I have been full up already.

To wine and dine.

Meaning: To entertain with food, eat sumptuously, or to treat someone with wine and dinner, it’s typically to impress him/her.

Example: They wined and dined in one of the most luxurious restaurants in Paris after marriage.

Shovel something into your mouth (= shovel down).

Meaning: To put large quantities of food into your mouth very quickly.

Example: He was sitting in front of the TV shovelling a pizza into his mouth

To be dying of hunger.

Meaning: An exaggerated way of saying you are hungry.

Example: Let’s find something to eat. I am dying of hunger because of studying extensively for four hours.

To grab a bite.

Meaning: To gobble something (when you’re in a rush).

Example: I was in a hurry this morning, so I grabbed a bite to eat and ran out for a meeting.

Also Check: IELTS SPEAKING MASTERCLASS by Charles Hooton

The main meal.

Meaning: The meal at which you eat the most food is called the main meal.

Example: Lunch is usually our main meal, except on Sundays.

Stoke up with something.

Meaning: To eat a lot of a particular food or to fill oneself with food to avoid feeling hungry or weak later.

Example: As she had an important meeting all day long, she stoked up with a lot of chicken soup and bread for breakfast.

To be starving hungry.

Meaning: An exaggerated way of saying you are extremely hungry.

Example: I’m starving hungry now. Let’s grab something to eat.

To eat a balanced diet.

Meaning: To eat the correct types and amounts of food or to eat the kind of food which fulfils a person’s nutritional needs.

Example: To lose weight, we should try to eat a balanced diet with less sugar intake.

To eat like a horse.

Meaning: To eat a lot.

Example: Eating like a horse in a party may be considered to be extremely impolite.

To have a sweet tooth.

Meaning: To enjoy sugary food. To have a craving or strong fondness for sweet food.

Example: I’m terrified of gaining weight quickly and contracting diabetes because I have a sweet tooth.

Home-cooked food.

Meaning: Food cooked at home or food cooked using raw and fresh ingredients that are made personally.

Example: Although home-cooked food is usually not as delicious as the one served in restaurants, it is much more beneficial to your health.

To make your mouth water.

Meaning: To make you feel very hungry for something or the food that makes your mouth salivate.

Example: McDonald’s serves all kinds of burgers, from cheeseburgers to beef burgers. They make my mouth water every time I walk into the restaurant.

To foot the bill.

Meaning: To pay the bill for something typically when the amount is considered large or unreasonable.

Example: My friend asked me out for dinner, and he didn’t want me to foot the bill.

To spoil your appetite.

Meaning: To eat something that will stop you feeling hungry or makes you skip the next meal when it’s meal-time.

Example: Don’t snack too much. It will spoil your appetite.


Meaning: Take-out, food that is cooked and sold by a restaurant or store to be eaten elsewhere.

Example: They offer carry-out burgers in their restaurant.

Also Read: The Complete Solution IELTS Writing PDF by ZIM

Processed food.

Meaning: Commercially prepared food bought for convenience. The food is cooked, canned, frozen, or packed in nutritional composition to preserve differently.

Example: Processed food is very convenient for those who are busy all day long, but eating it frequently may be very harmful to our health.

To bolt something down.

Meaning: To gobble something that you hardly chew or taste it.

Example: My son bolted down his lunch and went out with his friends.

To follow a recipe.

Meaning: To cook a meal using instructions.

Example: I set up and run a popular blog that gives readers hundreds of quick lessons on how to follow recipes to make any dish great.

Drive through (drive-thru).

Meaning: Type of service provided by a business that allows customers to purchase products without leaving their cars.

Example: On the way, he went into a fast-food drive-through and ordered food.

A quick snack.

Meaning: To eat a small amount of food between meals. A simple meal that is easy to cook and eat.

Example: I didn’t have time for lunch, so I just grabbed a quick snack.


Meaning: To have a meal at home rather than in a restaurant.

Example: Neither of us felt like going out tonight, so we ate in.

Binge eating.

Meaning: Eating a lot of food in a short period, especially without being able to control yourself.

Example: He had a binge eating disorder.

A slap-up meal.

Meaning: A large meal or a lavish enjoyable meal.

Example: They went to a slap-up meal on their wedding anniversary.

To tuck into.

Meaning: To eat something with pleasure or to eat food heartily.

Example: She was tucking into a massive plate of pasta.

Go on a diet.

Meaning: Trying to lose weight by eating less food or specific foods and having a nutritional plan consisting of eating a smaller amount of food.

Example: She thought she should go on a diet.


Also Check: Common Vocabulary for IELTS Writing & Speaking

Practice: IELTS Practice Cambridge 10 Listening Test 2

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