Eating Etiquette from Around the World

Eating out whilst abroad – trying local dishes and delicacies – is half the fun of a holiday, but did you know that many of our global friends have rather different rules when it comes to meal times?

So here, for a bit of fun, but a little bit of a heads up too, are the dos and don’ts of some of our favourite holiday hot spots.

So, as they say, “when in Rome...”


Do leave a 10% tip!

Don’t ask for salt & pepper if it’s not on the table – you’re insulting the Chef’s seasoning abilities!


Don’t even think about cutting your spaghetti up – you need to swirl it around your fork.

Don’t order a cappuccino in the afternoon; this is a morning breakfast drink only!


Do enjoy the complimentary tapas that come with drinks in a bar

Don’t, however, ask for any more once they are gone!


Use your bread to push food onto your fork

Don’t bite directly into the bread, tear off pieces.


Don’t cut up your potatoes – this means you think that the chef hasn’t cooked them properly, instead mash with your fork.


Don’t clink beer glasses with rounding “cheers” – this is how the Austrian’s celebrated defeating the Hungarian Revolution in 1848!  Although it’s OK to clink glasses containing other alcoholic beverages, such as wine.


Do drink directly from the bowl if having soup – and make as much noise as you like, a good loud slurp shows your enjoyment of the meal.

Don’t leave your chop sticks in a vertical position to your plate, never cross them and never, ever leave them sticking up in a bowl of rice – this is considered extremely rude.


Don’t use a knife and fork to eat Tacos or you’ll be considered a snob – hands only here.


Do leave a little something on your plate when you’ve finished – a sign that you were served plenty of food.

Don’t eat with your left hand – this is considered very dirty.


Do eat every last mouthful of food. It’s very rude to leave anything on your plate.

Always wash your hands before and after your meal – considered very impolite and dirty if not.


Do have a good burp after your meal – it shows you are full up and satisfied with your meal.

Don’t turn over whole fish to eat the other side, instead, remove the bones to get to the bottom part of the fish – tipping fish is considered bad luck for fishermen and their boats.


Do be ready to share food when eating with friends.

Don’t eat from the fork; it’s simply there for you to push food onto your spoon.

Wherever you're eating, have a great holiday and Bon appetite!