As a native English speaker with a good education, I find that "I would like to eat something" sounds somewhat awkward. I think that "I would like something to eat" is a much more natural sounding sentence, and it functionally has the same meaning.
However, "I would like something to eat" is marked as incorrect, and I cannot understand any good reason why.
-ais is a è sound (open mouth) like in "bed".
-ai is a é sound (smile) like in "cliche"
This is the official rule. However, many French people do not mark this difference and pronounce both like "è", all the more if they don't know conjugations and write the future suffix like the conditional suffix, which is unfortunately very frequent.
In other exercises (where you have to pick a word from the list) it's always "want", there is hardly ever "would like" available, yet here you have to type "would like" to get the answer correct. That's very misleading because I do know the difference between veux and voudrais, I just thought - based on previous exercises - it was ok to use these interchangeably...
I don't know why "would like" wasn't available for you, but since "voudrais" was in the Tips section of the first Restaurant lesson (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Restaurant/tips) I used "would like" or "'d like" all the time in the exercises for "voudrais" and it was always available.
In fact, a lot of people asked in the discussions that why "want" was wrong in those exercises.