In part one of your IELTS Speaking test, you might be asked, “What is your favorite food?”
Let’s think about how you can answer this question easily. Below you’ll find many tips and 20 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Talk About
There are different ways you can answer this question. You could talk about any one of these:
- A dish you really like (sushi, pizza, noodles, tacos, hotpot, cake…)
- A type of food you like (seafood, meat, vegetarian, home-cooked food…)
- A nationality of food you like (Italian, British, French, Indian, Mexican…)
- A style of cooking you like (steamed, fried, roasted, barbecued…)
- A particular taste you like (spicy, mild, sour, sweet…)
Then, to say one or two sentences more, you can talk about:
- Some examples of that kind of food
- Why you like it so much
- What this dish is made of (the ingredients)
- How it is prepared
- If it’s popular or traditional in your country
- If it’s healthy or not
- If it’s eaten in an interesting way (with chopsticks, with your hands, in a small bowl…)
- If it’s eaten during a particular festival or time of year
- How long you’ve liked that food for
- The last time you ate it
- A restaurant you like eating this food at
- If you can cook it or not
- Anything else that comes to your mind
How Long You Should Speak
Your examiner needs to ask you 10-12 questions in part one, in only four to five minutes.
That leaves 10-20 seconds for each answer, which is usually only one or two sentences, maybe three or four at most.
Don’t speak for too long. If you speak for too long you are more likely to:
- Irritate the examiner
- Make unnecessary mistakes
Remember that in Part 1 you are only warming up, so keep it short and simple.
You can follow the three-step YES Method. Just say:
- Your answer (say what food you like)
- Explain your answer (say why you like it) or add more details
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Speak Quickly, Don’t Hesitate
In part one, you should focus on fluency, which means answering as smoothly as you can, without hesitation.
It’s easier to do this if you keep your English simple and your answers quite short.
In part two, you can begin to really show off your vocabulary.
However, in a part-one question like this, you will need to know enough vocabulary to describe your favorite food, in a simple way. So practice talking about food a lot, especially your favorite food.
Take a look at the following 20 sample answers.
Answers Describing a Dish
1. My favorite food is ramen noodles because ramen is so tasty and convenient. You only need to add hot water to prepare it. And it comes in so many flavors. My favorite flavors of ramen are shrimp and spicy beef.
2. My favorite food is moussaka, which is a popular dish in my home country of Greece. Moussaka is made from minced lamb, tomatoes, aubergines, and lots of cheese. I’ve loved this dish since I was a little boy.
3. I love fried chicken, especially chicken from KFC. My favorite is the big bucket of chicken legs. I would eat it every day if it wasn’t so unhealthy.
4. Hotpot is definitely my favorite food. Hotpot is a kind of soup or broth made with lots of vegetables and meat, or sometimes fish. You can put any ingredients you like in it. It’s delicious and quite healthy too, I think.
5. My favorite food is cheesecake. In Poland we have amazing cheesecake. It’s so rich and sweet and full of flavor. It’s very heavy too, so it really fills you up.
6. My favorite food is a vegetarian dish. It’s a kind of stir fry with tofu and all sorts of vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, and asparagus, with olive oil and soy sauce for flavoring.
Types of Food Answers
7. I grew up beside the sea in Spain, so I like really fresh seafood like fish or mussels or calamari. When it’s fresh from the sea, seafood tastes so good, all you need to do is add lemon and salt and it’s ready to eat.
8. To be honest, chocolate is my favorite food. I’m a bit of a chocoholic, and I eat chocolate almost every day. I especially like dark chocolate, which tastes a little bitter.
9. I really like soups. I’m always cooking all kinds of soups. I guess my favorite soup is a Spanish-style soup made with chorizo sausage and butter beans. It’s amazing.
10. I really love home-cooked food. Food cooked at home is usually filling and delicious. It really hits the spot. And you can make little changes to your dishes each time you make them, to experiment. My wife is a fantastic cook and she keeps me well fed.
National Cuisines Answers
11. In my opinion, you can’t beat Italian cuisine. Italian people have such an amazing culture of cooking and so many delicious dishes like ravioli, risotto, lasagna, and of course, pizza.
12. I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisine, especially really spicy curries like madras curry and chicken vindaloo. I grew up in a city that has Indian restaurants on every street corner, so I’ve liked eating curry all my life.
13. I think Chinese food is probably my favorite food. They have such a huge variety of different dishes. I especially like sweet and sour pork.
14. I like many kinds of food, but if I had to choose my favorite, I think it would be Mexican food because Mexican food is lot of fun. They have tasty main course dishes like quesadillas, and also great snacks like nachos. And you usually eat it with your hands.
Styles of Cooking Answers
15. I love barbecue. In summer, my flatmates and I always go out in the garden and have a proper barbecue with grilled burgers and sausages and spare ribs, all with lots of ketchup and barbecue sauce. I love it.
16. My favorite kind of food is steamed food. I often steam fish and vegetables for my dinner. Steaming makes the food so succulent and juicy, without losing any flavor. I reckon it’s the healthiest way to eat.
17. My mother taught me to bake bread and cakes and cookies when I was young, so now my favorite food is anything baked. I love baking loaves of bread and choc-chip cookies for my friends.
18. I love fried food like bacon and sausages, that kind of thing. My favorite dish is called a Full English Breakfast, which has all kinds of fried food, together with beans and toast and tea. It’s the best breakfast in the world, in my opinion.
Types of Taste Answers
19. I’m from the province of Hunan in China, which has a tradition of very spicy cuisine. So I love really hot, spicy food. Mild food tastes too boring for me.
20. I have a sweet tooth and so I’ve always loved sugary food. Even for savory dishes, I like them with some sugar added to the sauce. I also like the sweetness of pineapple on my pizza, and things like that.
Your Turn To Try
I hope you’ve gained some ideas from these answers. Now give this question a go yourself.
Set up your phone’s voice recorder, and ask out loud, “What is your favourite food?” or “What is your favorite meal?”
Try to answer quickly, without hesitation, using simple English. Remember to use the YES Method.
Speak for 10 or 20 seconds, then stop.
Listen to your recording and write down what you said, word for word.
See if you can notice any mistakes or moments when you hesitated.
Now, answer the question again. Try to improve it a little each time.
This way, you’ll be well prepared for your part-one questions in the IELTS Speaking test.