A La Carte Definition

älə kärt, ălə
With a separate price for each item on the menu.
American Heritage
The definition of a la carte is a list of items on a menu which are priced separately.
A baked potato on a menu is an example of an a la carte item.

(Food and drink) Allowing selection from a fixed list of individually priced options shown on the menu.

The restaurant had a huge à la carte menu and four specials that day.
  • table d'hote
With a separate price for each item on the menu.
Webster's New World
A la carte is defined as ordering individual side dishes instead of an entree selection.
Ordering chips and a pickle instead of getting a whole meal is an example of ordering a la carte.
Alternative form of à la carte.

By ordering individually priced items from the menu.

We ate à la carte as that was most economic.

Origin of A La Carte

  • Borrowing from French à la carte ("on the menu; according to the card").

    From Wiktionary

  • French à la carte by the menu

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition