ESL Fast Food Vocabulary

Instructor: Amanda Robb
In this lesson, you'll learn how to choose vocabulary about fast foods for your ESL students. We'll go over some specific vocabulary words and activities you can use to practice them with your students.

Fast Food Culture

Fast food restaurants are popular around the globe, and people in the United States are one of the top consumers. Some English as a second language (ESL) students might be familiar with American fast food, but others may have never encountered these meals.

Fast food is part of American life.
fast food

Fast Food Vocabulary

Different parts of the United States have different fast food restaurants, so depending on where you teach, you might want to include those specific foods in your vocabulary list. For example, in the Northeast, Americans rely on Dunkin' Donuts for their morning caffeine fix. Students from this region may be familiar with the donuts and coffee menu. However, students in the South might be more familiar with Chick-fil-A and those on the West Coast with In-N-Out Burger.

To help you structure lessons for your students, the vocabulary words here are divided into primary and advanced levels. Advanced vocabulary can be used to discuss the impacts of fast food and extend lessons for ESL students with greater language proficiency.


  • Beef
  • Burger
  • Combo
  • Bacon
  • Egg
  • Fries
  • Deep-fry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Donuts
  • Pizza
  • Toppings
  • Pepperoni
  • Soda (pop)
  • Milkshake
  • Ice cream
  • For here/To go
  • Drive-through
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Pickles


  • Saturated fat
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Preservatives
  • Agriculture
  • Franchise

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