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U.S. culture: Learn about restaurants in the USA & food portions!

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

In America, there are restaurants with food from all over the world.

But there’s another important difference – the quantity they serve.

In this short video lesson on US culture, you’ll learn about restaurant food portions. You’ll also learn some useful words for talking about this topic.

After watching the video, try our little quiz below to see how much you can remember. Happy learning!

Level: Pre-Intermediate to Upper Intermediate (A2-B2)
Video: YES!


Here are some useful words that appear in the video.

To serve

If they “serve” you food in a restaurant, they bring that food to your table because you ordered it: “The waiter served the food 20 minutes after we ordered it.”

A portion

A “portion” of food is the amount they serve you in a restaurant: “They served us a really big portion of French fries.”


Something “huge” is very big: “The steak was huge.”

A cuisine

A “cuisine” is a style or method of cooking that is characteristic of a particular country, region, city…

A speciality

A “speciality” is a product or type of food that is very good in a particular region, city, country…


“Leftovers” refers to the food that you don’t eat after a meal. Literally, it is the food that is left over (that isn’t eaten).

Tend to be

If something “tends to be” a certain way, it is often that way: “The portions tend to be big = The portions are usually big.”

A deep-dish pizza

A “deep-dish pizza” is cooked in a high pan, so the pizza is very high too.


We use the conjunction “whereas” when we want to compare things. It’s like saying “on the other hand”: “I’m short; whereas my sister is very tall.”

Video quiz  

You’re going to watch a video with someone talking about restaurant portions in the US. Watch it once and answer the questions below. Remember, the first time, you should watch the video from start to finish without stopping and try to understand as much as possible. After that, watch it again, but this time you can pause or stop it wherever you like. [answers below]

  1. Where is Olivia studying in America?
  2. What does she say about food portions in American restaurants?
  3. What type of food does she say is popular in Texas?
  4. What type of pizza can you find in Chicago?
  5. What does she love about the leftovers?


Now talk about this topic with a friend or classmate. Make notes and try to use as much of the new language as you can.

Video script

Hi, my name’s Olivia and I’m a college student from Chicago, and I’m here to talk to you about food portions in America.


Food and food portions in America are very big, much bigger than a lot of other countries, er, so you’re normally given a lot when you go to a restaurant.

Regional specialties!

In Texas and in the southwest region of America, Mexican food is definitely a huge cuisine that’s very popular. Erm, and even in Chicago there are different types of pizza, like deep dish pizza which isn’t really served anywhere else… and it has a lot more cheese and sauce!


While the food portions in America are really big, I really love the fact that I can take home leftovers and eat it later if I don’t finish it all at the restaurant.


In America, restaurants tend to be by a different cuisine for each restaurant. So, if you go to a Mexican restaurant, you would only really be able to find Mexican food; whereas you go to an Italian restaurant, you would only be able to find Italian food.

Thank you for listening about food portions and have a great day!


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Video quiz

  1. Where is Olivia studying in America? She is studying in Chicago.
  2. What does she say about food portions in American restaurants? She says that they’re very big!
  3. What type of food does she say is popular in Texas? She says that Mexican food is popular in Texas.
  4. What type of pizza can you find in Chicago? You can find deep-dish pizza.
  5. What does she love about the leftovers? She loves it that she can eat it later at home if she doesn’t finish it all at the restaurant.


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