Definition of à la carte in English:

à la carte


  • (of a menu or restaurant) listing or serving food that can be ordered as separate items, rather than part of a set meal.

    • ‘Minimum A La Carte order for delivery is two meals’
    • ‘This is our A La Carte menu: you can select as many items as you need.’
    • ‘After a two-year hiatus, Avon Old Farms Inn restaurant has brought back its a la carte menus for lunch and dinner, and has resurrected its Sunday brunch.’


  • As separately priced items from a menu, not as part of a set meal.

    ‘wine and good food served à la carte’
    • ‘These are the domain of those who want to eat Sushi, a la Carte’
    • ‘You can read the monthly menu and order a la carte.’
    • ‘I'll Take My Music a la Carte’
    • ‘In a Japanese restaurant in the U.S., many dishes may be ordered as "appetizers" to indicate that they are served "a la carte" -- not as a full meal. For example, a 'shrimp tempura appetizer' is just the tempura, no rice, no soup, etc’
    • ‘Served with green beans almondine. Available a la carte.’


Early 19th century: French, literally according to the (menu) card.


à la carte

/ˌä lä ˈkärt//ˌä lə ˈkärt/