Learning Idioms About Food: Start Your Way to Fluent English

Elly KimRevisado porKateryna Protsenko / más sobre Proceso editorial8 min
Creado: Jun 6, 2023Última actualización: Jan 11, 2024
food idioms

For some, idioms are cryptic, nonsensical phrases; for others, they are a great way to diversify their vocabulary and English skills. But the fact is that Americans use these expressions every day. And every learner meets these statements when communicating with native speakers, watching movies, or doing exercises in their student’s books. It’s worth noting that idioms with food are some of the most widespread ones.

Idioms are often confused, and their meanings are difficult to understand. Therefore, it’s important to learn varied expressions to avoid embarrassing situations. And we would like to be your loyal assistants! Promova language multitool will guide you in the world of food idioms, so let’s see what we’ve found!

Why Use Idioms About Food

These little phrases never imply their direct meaning. So, using idioms is an exciting and fun way to diversify your speech. It will be especially relevant when talking to native speakers. You will notice how much your vocabulary has improved and become more diverse.

The number of idioms reaches thousands, and it is quite difficult to learn them all. But we have collected the most interesting ones! Let’s divide them into several categories and see what they mean. It will be exciting and informative, so stay tuned!

Different Tastes: Eating Idioms You Didn’t Know

We bet that life would be much more boring without these simple little phrases with huge meanings. There are thousands of idioms, and learners, especially beginners, are confused by such a variety. What to say and how to understand a native speaker? Look at some popular idioms:

  1. Take something with a grain of salt: this statement means perceiving information with a touch of skepticism.
  2. That’s the way the cookie crumbles: used to describe a situation people cannot control.
  3. Variety is the spice of life: differences are what make life exciting.
  4. As busy as popcorn on a skillet: a person who is always busy.
  5. Like taking candy from a baby: something that is effortless to do.
  6. Have a sweet tooth: someone who cannot imagine their life without desserts and candies.
  7. As sour as vinegar: describes people who find it challenging to communicate and make new acquaintances.
  8. Sell like hotcakes: a considerable demand for the product that is sold out immediately.
  9. As sweet as honey: a very nice and friendly person.

Dessert lovers will definitely appreciate the above-mentioned idioms and use them with pleasure. These statements are very sweet and helpful, so don’t forget to learn at least a few.

Food Idioms List: Fruits and Vegetables

Starting with the simplest and most popular expressions is the best idea for beginners. Idioms about fruits and veggies are popular among English speakers. They are so diverse that you can implement them in almost any life situation. Take a look at the following statements:

  1. Apple of his (her) eye: being adored by a person.
  2. To buy a lemon: purchase something unnecessary.
  3. Low-hanging fruit: describes a problem that has a simple, evident solution.
  4. Cool as a cucumber: used to discuss a person who always keeps a cold mind.
  5. Top banana: the boss or the leader.
  6. Like two peas in a pod: used to describe people who have similar appearances (as a rule, relatives).
  7. To go bananas: to become crazy about something.
  8. To spill the beans: tell the secret.
  9. To have a pea brain: is used to describe a person with no education and knowledge (a stupid individual).
  10. To be a banana republic: is used to talk about a corrupted and poorly developed country.

These are only some idioms about fruits and vegetables we’ve found. Do you already know how to implement them when talking to native speakers? We think they might be really helpful!

Cakes and Desserts Idioms: Are You a Sweet Tooth?

Sweets are also a popular topic for idioms. However, they don’t always mean that someone will eat something tasty. The meanings are different, and we bet you won’t guess all of them. Let’s see the most popular examples of food metaphors.

  1. Half-baked: something is not well-thought-out.
  2. Pie in the empty sky: a promise that the person will not fulfill.
  3. The icing on the cake: something that makes a situation even more positive.
  4. Finger in the pie: being involved in multiple activities.
  5. Piece of cake: describes something easy to do.
  6. Have your cake and eat it: don’t ask for more than you deserve.
  7. A smart cookie: is used to describe an intelligent person.
  8. Have a bun in the oven: to be pregnant.
  9. As nutty as a fruitcake: a crazy person that behaves weirdly.

Confess how many delicious idioms you know. We are confident you could not guess some of the above expressions! But we have more for you, so don’t switch off!

Idioms with Potatoes and Meat

We use these words daily, but how can we combine them to make exciting phrases? English speakers can do everything and come up with impressive collocations. Check the following food idioms list:

  1. Bring home the bacon: to have a source of income that brings good money.
  2. Couch potato: someone who lays in front of their TV and does nothing useful.
  3. Meat and potatoes: essential basics of something.
  4. Small potatoes: something unimportant or insignificant.
  5. Goose is cooked: describes a situation when someone is in trouble.
  6. Gravy train: earning money easily (is mostly used when talking about people who got their jobs thanks to rich parents).
  7. Drop like a hot potato: when a person suddenly stops doing something.

Which of the above-mentioned idioms can you use in your daily life? We are confident you will find a way to implement them all. Take time to learn the expressions and impress others with your perfect English skills.


Food for Brain: Useful Statements for Every Day

We have a lot more idioms about food in our arsenal, so don’t switch off! Plenty of expressions will help improve your speech. Are you ready to speak like you were born in the US? Then, consider the following:

  1. Bite off more than you can chew: trying to do some overwork a person cannot perform.
  2. Bite the hand that feeds you: to harm the one you depend on.
  3. Eat your heart out: to be envious of another individual.
  4. Eat crow: describes a situation where a person has admitted their mistake.
  5. A bitter pill to swallow: sad or unpleasant information a person must accept.
  6. Eat high on the hog: to earn a lot and have a luxury living.
  7. Having a lot on one’s plate: describes a very busy person.
  8. There’s no such thing as a free lunch: getting something good for free is impossible.
  9. On a silver platter: receive something you don’t deserve.
  10. Melt in one’s mouth: something very delicious.
  11. Eat a humble pie: to apologize for a significant mistake.

You can find these phrases in books, movies, and when speaking with English people. It’s better to learn them in advance and understand everything without searching for meanings in dictionaries! 

Drinking Idioms

You can find different statements not only about food but also about drinks. They are no less exciting and have varied meanings. Would you like to improve your lexicon with some food phrases? Take a look at those we’ve chosen:

  1. Not my cup of tea: it is used to say a person doesn’t like something.
  2. Cry over spilled milk: worry about situations you cannot change.
  3. Not for all tea in China: when a person wouldn’t do something for any price or reward.
  4. A storm in a teacup: describes a situation when a person worries about an issue that is not worth attention.
  5. Champagne taste on a beer budget: this idiom is about a person who likes buying things they cannot afford.
  6. Drink like a fish: describes those who drink a lot (usually refers to alcohol).
  7. In hot water: being in trouble with another person when you’ve done something bad.
  8. Dutch courage: drinking alcohol when being nervous when you need courage.
  9. Of the finest water: used to talk about something of the highest quality.
  10. Water under the bridge: something that happened in the past and cannot now be changed.

Do you think you can use these statements in your daily life? We bet it’s easy to implement idioms about drinks and start speaking like a Native American. Use them to enrich your vocabulary and emotionally color your speech. We are confident it will be useful when communicating with English speakers.

Promova Will Be Your Best Source and Assistant

There are plenty of practical idioms related to food, but it’s quite difficult to find them on your own. Therefore, do not hesitate and contact Promova, the best language-learning platform. Our highly qualified tutors will do everything for your comfortable and effective education. We know you hate typical classes. And Promova has a lot to surprise you!

Students highly appreciate our innovative approach to learning. Our platform is for those who want to continuously develop their skills. Install the Promova app to take your lessons with you, enjoy the best educational tool on your smartphone, and start thinking in English! Forget about boredom, as our tutors will come up with individual programs for everyone.

Those who are already fluent can progress with our Conversation Club. A lot of practice is exactly what learners need! Trust us: we will do everything to make learning English easy and fun!


Are there any tips on how to remember food idioms?

Experienced tutors recommend implementing the three-level strategy to learn the idioms better. First, you should read or hear a new expression and understand its meaning. After that, write it down and try to remember it. Finally, implement the statement in your daily life and use it when communicating with English speakers. This system works, so try it when learning something new. Check out some exercises to get more practice!

Where to search for idioms about food?

You can surely hear some expressions from native speakers if you communicate with them. However, those who lack practice can search for idioms in dictionaries. The Idioms and The Oxford Dictionary are reliable sources that can help every learner. These platforms allow you to find useful phrases gathered in one place.

What are the three reasons to use idioms when speaking English?

Some may say learning these expressions is unnecessary, as you can always replace them with phrases with direct meanings. Of course, it’s possible. But native speakers are used to idioms in their daily lives, so you may have difficulty understanding them. Moreover, idioms are a great way to improve your lexicon and learn the English mentality better.

What is the most widely used metaphor for food?

It’s hard to distinguish only one phrase, as Americans use thousands of idioms regularly. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to remember them all. Just contact Promova teachers, and they will provide you with a list of the most popular food idioms. Don’t forget to understand the context and visualize the phrases. Learning will be delightful and exciting for every student.