Imagine being surrounded by the irresistible aroma of freshly baked pizza, handmade pasta, and rich, flavorful sauces. Your taste buds tingle with anticipation, wanting to experience a burst of Italian culinary bliss. As you delve into the world of Italian cuisine, you may find yourself wondering, what do Italians say when they truly appreciate their food? From finger-licking-good pizzas to mouthwatering gelato, Italians have a way of expressing their satisfaction that goes beyond words. In this article, we will explore the various phrases and gestures Italians use to convey their love for their beloved cuisine. So prepare yourself for a mouthwatering journey through the heart and soul of Italian gastronomy.

What Do Italians Say When They Like Food?

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Common Italian Food Phrases

Italian cuisine is loved and celebrated around the world for its delicious flavors and rich culinary traditions. If you ever find yourself in Italy or dining at an authentic Italian restaurant, it’s helpful to know some common Italian food phrases to fully appreciate and express your enjoyment of the dishes. Here are a few phrases that you can use to convey your appreciation for Italian food:

Delizioso (Delicious)

“Delizioso” is a versatile and widely used phrase to describe food that is incredibly tasty. Whether you’re savoring a bowl of pasta, enjoying a slice of pizza, or indulging in a divine dessert, “delizioso” is a go-to phrase to express your delight. The word itself rolls off the tongue with a sense of satisfaction, perfectly capturing the pleasure of a truly delicious culinary experience.

Buonissimo (Very Good)

If you want to take your praise up a notch, “buonissimo” is the phrase for you. It expresses that the food is not just good, but exceptionally good. Use this phrase when you’re blown away by the flavors, textures, and overall quality of a dish. Your enthusiasm for the food will surely be conveyed when you exclaim “buonissimo!”

Incredibile (Incredible)

When a dish surpasses all expectations and leaves you in awe, “incredibile” is the perfect adjective to use. It signifies that a particular food item is beyond incredible, beyond words. When you taste something that takes your taste buds on a journey of pure bliss, don’t hesitate to let out a heartfelt “incredibile!”

Fantastico (Fantastic)

The word “fantastico” encompasses a sense of wonder and admiration for the food you’re enjoying. It’s a versatile expression that can be used to describe any Italian dish that truly impresses you. From perfectly cooked pasta to a heavenly tiramisu, if it makes you say “wow,” it’s definitely “fantastico!”

Eccezionale (Exceptional)

“Eccezionale” is a term that conveys how extraordinary and exceptional a certain food is. Use this phrase when you encounter a dish that goes above and beyond your expectations. It’s a way of acknowledging the skill, creativity, and effort that went into creating such a remarkable culinary masterpiece.

Compliments for Specific Italian Dishes

Italian cuisine is diverse, boasting an array of mouthwatering dishes that have become iconic around the world. Let’s explore some compliments and phrases that perfectly capture the essence of specific Italian delicacies:


The word “pizza” alone is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. When faced with a perfectly baked pizza, you can express your satisfaction by exclaiming “Mamma mia!” This exclamation conveys your sheer delight and appreciation for the cheesy, flavorful masterpiece in front of you.


Pasta is a staple of Italian cuisine, and there is an impressive variety of pasta dishes to choose from. When you take a bite of pasta that is cooked to perfection, you can simply say “mi piace,” which means “I like it.” This understated phrase implies that the dish pleases your palate and satisfies your hunger.


Gelato is Italy’s version of ice cream and has a reputation for being incredibly creamy and flavorful. When you indulge in a scoop of gelato that delights your taste buds, you can exclaim “che bontà!” which translates to “how delicious!” This exclamation perfectly captures the sheer pleasure and satisfaction of enjoying a refreshing gelato on a warm Italian day.


Tiramisu is a beloved Italian dessert, famous for its creamy layers of mascarpone cheese, coffee-soaked ladyfingers, and a dusting of cocoa powder. When you savor a spoonful of this decadent dessert, you might find yourself saying “buonissima!” This expression signifies that the tiramisu is not just good but exceptionally tasty, leaving you wanting more.


Lasagna is a classic Italian comfort food, consisting of layers of pasta, rich Bolognese sauce, creamy béchamel, and melted cheese. When you take a bite of lasagna that fills your mouth with layers of flavors, you can use the phrase “che gusto!” This exclamation emphasizes the incredible taste and culinary pleasure that lasagna brings.

Expressions of Satisfaction

When you truly enjoy a meal, it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to express your satisfaction. Here are some expressions to convey your delight and appreciation:

Mi piace (I like it)

Sometimes, simplicity is the best way to express your satisfaction. If you’re genuinely enjoying a dish, you can simply say “mi piace,” which means “I like it.” This phrase is straightforward yet heartfelt, conveying your genuine appreciation for the food in front of you.

È squisito (It’s exquisite)

When you’re indulging in a dish that is exceptionally delicious and refined, you can exclaim “è squisito,” which means “it’s exquisite.” This phrase captures the refined and sophisticated nature of the food, emphasizing that it is truly a standout culinary experience.

È da dieci e lode (It’s ten out of ten)

To express overwhelming satisfaction with a dish, you can say “è da dieci e lode,” meaning “it’s ten out of ten.” This phrase implies that the food has exceeded all expectations and is of the highest quality. It’s a way of complimenting the chef on their exceptional culinary skills.

Non c’è niente da dire (There’s nothing to say)

When a dish is so good that it leaves you speechless, you can express your satisfaction by saying “non c’è niente da dire,” which means “there’s nothing to say.” This phrase conveys that the food has left such a lasting impression that words fail to capture its excellence.

Mi fa venire l’acquolina in bocca (It makes my mouth water)

If a dish arouses your appetite and makes your mouth water with anticipation, you can use the phrase “mi fa venire l’acquolina in bocca.” This expression vividly describes the sensation of craving that a particularly appetizing dish elicits.

Reaction to Good Food

When faced with exceptional food, Italians have a flair for expressing their reactions. Here are some colorful phrases that convey their appreciation:

Mamma mia!

“Mamma mia!” is a quintessentially Italian exclamation used to express surprise, excitement, or admiration. When faced with a dish that is incredibly tasty and satisfying, Italians often let out a heartfelt “mamma mia!” This phrase perfectly captures the mix of awe and delight that exceptional food can inspire.

Che bontà! (How delicious!)

When presented with a dish that tantalizes the taste buds, you can exclaim “che bontà!” This phrase encapsulates the sheer deliciousness and enjoyment of the food. It’s a genuine expression of appreciation for the wonderful flavors that bring so much pleasure.

Buonissima! (Very tasty!)

To emphasize just how tasty a dish is, you can exclaim “buonissima!” This exclamation highlights the exceptional taste and flavor profile of the food, leaving no doubt that it is an incredibly delicious culinary creation.

Che gusto! (What a taste!)

When a dish evokes an explosion of flavors in your mouth, you can say “che gusto!” This exclamation conveys your admiration for the incredible taste and gives credit to the chef for skillfully combining ingredients to create such a sensory delight.

Sapore eccezionale! (Exceptional flavor!)

To acknowledge truly remarkable flavor that stands out from the crowd, you can use the phrase “sapore eccezionale!” This expression conveys a sense of awe and emphasizes the exceptional quality and taste of the food in question.

What Do Italians Say When They Like Food?

Expressions of Appreciation

When you want to express your sincere appreciation for a meal or dish, here are some phrases that will convey your gratitude and admiration:

Grazie di cuore (Thank you from the heart)

To express deep gratitude and appreciation, you can say “grazie di cuore,” which translates to “thank you from the heart.” This phrase conveys that the food has touched your heart and that you are truly grateful for the experience.

Apprezzo molto (I appreciate it a lot)

When you want to express your genuine appreciation for a meal or dish, you can say “apprezzo molto,” meaning “I appreciate it a lot.” This phrase signifies that you value and acknowledge the effort, skill, and care that went into creating the culinary masterpiece.

Mi hai fatto felice (You made me happy)

If a meal or dish has brought you immense joy and happiness, you can say “mi hai fatto felice,” which means “you made me happy.” This expression conveys that the food has not only satisfied your hunger but has also brought you genuine happiness and delight.

Sei un grande chef (You are a great chef)

When you want to compliment the chef for their exceptional culinary skills, you can say “sei un grande chef,” which translates to “you are a great chef.” This phrase acknowledges the talent and expertise of the chef and lets them know that their skills are truly appreciated.

Ti ringrazio per questa prelibatezza (Thank you for this delicacy)

To express gratitude and appreciation for a particularly exquisite dish, you can say “ti ringrazio per questa prelibatezza,” meaning “thank you for this delicacy.” This phrase signifies that you recognize the dish as something special, rare, and delicious, and you are grateful for the opportunity to savor it.

Exclamations of Satisfaction

Some dishes and culinary experiences are so extraordinary that they warrant exuberant exclamations. Here are some phrases to convey your utmost satisfaction and delight:

Divino! (Divine!)

When a dish is so heavenly that it feels like a gift from the gods, you can exclaim “divino!” This exclamation conveys the sense of awe and wonder that comes with tasting something truly exceptional.

Che meraviglia! (What a marvel!)

If a dish leaves you in awe and amazement, you can exclaim “che meraviglia!” This phrase expresses that the food is not just good but truly extraordinary, leaving you marveling at its remarkable flavors and presentation.

Favoloso! (Fabulous!)

When a dish surpasses your expectations and makes you feel like you’re in a culinary fairy tale, you can say “favoloso!” This expression captures the enchantment and delight that the food brings, emphasizing its fabulous nature.

Straordinario! (Extraordinary!)

For a dish that is truly out of the ordinary, you can use the word “straordinario” to express your amazement. This word emphasizes that the food is exceptional, standing out from the crowd with its unique flavors, presentation, or overall concept.

Impeccabile! (Impeccable!)

When a dish is flawlessly executed and leaves you without any complaints, you can describe it as “impeccabile.” This word conveys that the food is faultless, exemplifying the highest standards of taste, texture, and presentation.

What Do Italians Say When They Like Food?

Popular Food-related Expressions

In addition to compliments and reactions to food, there are some popular Italian expressions that describe food characteristics. These expressions give insight into the appreciation Italians have for food. Here are some commonly used phrases:

Saporito (Tasty)

When you want to describe food that has great flavor, you can use the word “saporito.” It’s a versatile term that can be applied to a variety of dishes, signifying that the food has a pleasant and satisfying taste.

Fresco (Fresh)

Italians value the use of fresh ingredients in their cuisine, and the word “fresco” is used to describe food that is fresh. Whether it’s fresh vegetables, seafood, or meat, the term “fresco” conveys the use of high-quality ingredients in a dish.

Leggero (Light)

Italian cuisine is known for its emphasis on balance and freshness, and the word “leggero” encapsulates the idea of lightness in food. It describes dishes that are not only delicious but also easy on the stomach, highlighting the use of healthy and wholesome ingredients.

Croccante (Crunchy)

When you encounter a dish with a satisfying crunch, you can use the word “croccante” to describe the texture. From crispy pizza crust to perfectly fried vegetables, “croccante” signifies a textural element that adds another layer of enjoyment to the culinary experience.

Sfizioso (Appetizing)

If a dish looks so appetizing that it makes your mouth water, you can use the word “sfizioso” to describe it. This term captures the allure and appeal of the food, emphasizing its visual presentation and the anticipation it creates.

Adjectives to Describe Food Texture

The texture of food plays a significant role in the overall dining experience. Italians have a range of adjectives to describe different textures. Here are some commonly used words:

Morbidissimo (Very soft)

When you encounter food that is exceptionally soft and tender, you can use the word “morbidissimo.” This term implies that the food has a delightful melt-in-your-mouth quality, leaving you craving more.

Croccantissimo (Extra crispy)

To describe food that is incredibly crispy, you can say “croccantissimo.” This term conveys a perfectly executed level of crispiness, emphasizing the enjoyable and satisfying crunch that the food offers.

Cremoso (Creamy)

“Cremoso” is the word to use when you want to highlight the rich and smooth texture of a dish. Whether it’s a creamy pasta sauce or a luscious dessert, this term signifies that the food has a luxurious, velvety consistency.

Fondente (Melting)

When a dish has a melt-in-your-mouth quality, you can use the term “fondente” to describe it. This term implies that the food has a smooth and velvety texture that creates a delightful sensation as it melts on your tongue.

Scrocchiarello (Crackling)

To describe food that has a satisfying and audible crunch, you can use the word “scrocchiarello.” This term captures the sound and crispiness of a crackling texture, adding another layer of sensory enjoyment to the culinary experience.

What Do Italians Say When They Like Food?

Regional Expressions for Food Appreciation

Italy is a country with diverse culinary traditions and regional specialties. Naturally, different regions have their own dialects and expressions to convey their appreciation for food. Here are some regional expressions for food appreciation:

Buonissimo e fa cumpagnìa (Very good and pleasant)

In the Neapolitan dialect, you may hear the phrase “buonissimo e fa cumpagnìa.” This expression is used to describe food that is not only very good but also pleasant to eat. It embodies the idea that food is not just nourishment but also an opportunity for enjoyment and sociability.

Magnifica la sòtta de carne (The meat sauce is magnificent)

In Emilia-Romagna, a region renowned for its rich culinary heritage, you might hear the expression “magnifica la sòtta de carne.” This phrase refers to the meat sauce used in dishes such as ragù. It emphasizes the exceptional quality and complexity of the sauce, which is considered an essential component of many traditional Emilian dishes.

La grandiosa torta napoletana (The amazing Neapolitan cake)

In Naples, a city famous for its delectable pastries and desserts, locals might describe a particularly impressive cake as “la grandiosa torta napoletana.” This expression signifies that the cake is more than just good; it is something truly special and deserving of admiration.

Quella pizza è da leccarsi i baffi (That pizza is lip-smacking)

When faced with an exceptionally delicious pizza, you might hear Italians say “quella pizza è da leccarsi i baffi.” This phrase conveys that the pizza is so good that it is worth licking your mustache (baffi) to savor every last flavor. It reflects the passion and enthusiasm Italians have for their beloved pizza.

È una gioia per il palato! (It’s a delight for the palate!)

In Tuscany, a region known for its simple yet flavorful cuisine, you may hear the expression “è una gioia per il palato!” This phrase encompasses the joy and satisfaction that a truly delicious dish brings to the palate. It acknowledges the pleasure and fulfillment that arise from the harmonious combination of flavors.


Italian cuisine is not just about food; it’s a celebration of flavors, traditions, and the joy of coming together to share a meal. The array of expressions used to appreciate Italian food reflects the passion and enthusiasm Italians have for their culinary heritage. From simple yet heartfelt phrases like “delizioso” and “buonissimo” to exclamations of awe like “mamma mia!” and “che gusto!” these expressions capture the deep love and appreciation Italians have for their nation’s cuisine.

Furthermore, the regional variations in language and expressions highlight the diverse culinary landscape of Italy. Each region boasts its own unique specialties and flavor profiles, adding to the richness and diversity of Italian cuisine. Whether it’s enjoying a slice of Neapolitan pizza or savoring a bowl of Tuscan pasta, these expressions allow us to fully immerse ourselves in the experience, appreciating the remarkable food that Italy has to offer.

In conclusion, Italian cuisine is more than just sustenance; it is an integral part of the country’s culture and a reflection of the passion and creativity of the Italian people. So, the next time you find yourself indulging in Italian food, don’t hesitate to use these phrases to express your appreciation. Buon appetito!

What Do Italians Say When They Like Food?


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