5 Things You Should Never Order from Room Service

You'll thank us later

Room service is delightful--in theory. You do zero work. You move zero muscles. But you’re also risking some gross side effects. Here are a handful of items to avoid.

room service onion

Onions (or Anything Strong-smelling)

Flavorful as they are, onions are pungent. When ordering room service, skip particularly strong-smelling ingredients like eggs, fish or garlic, which will stink up your itty-bitty space for long after you’ve finished that onion-and-goat-cheese omelet. (Yes, even if you immediately put your trays outside after eating.) Instead order gentler onion alternatives like shallots or leeks. 

room service steak

Well-done Steak

You know those covers they put over plates being delivered for room service? Yeah, those make it really easy for a steak to continue cooking in its own heat. And be tough and rubbery as a result. That’s why if you must indulge in a midnight New York strip, order it one shade rarer than you normally would to account for post-cooking cooking.

room service avocado


Real talk: Avocados are annoying. They’re so colorful and pretty and delicious, yes, but they’re also just so damn hard to serve, what with all the discoloration that happens approximately six seconds after you slice it. To be safe, skip the avo toast unless you don’t mind your breakfast looking like something that wasn’t meant for human consumption. Instead, opt for toast with nut butter or yogurt and granola that keeps its appeal during the duration of the elevator ride.

room service coffee


Yes, having a perfectly poured cup of coffee delivered directly to you in a comfy bed seems like the height of luxury, but most hotels aren’t brewing a fresh pot for everyone who orders a cup. (Meaning: It could be hours old.) It pains us to say, but you’re probably better off dusting off your room’s coffeemaker.

room service fancy

Anything Too Fancy

Overall, it’s typically best to keep your room service order simple. Don’t splurge on the most expensive, fanciest thing on the menu because chances are, it’s not going to live up to your expectations (or even be the same dish served in the hotel’s restaurant). Instead, stick to hard-to-mess-up classics like a bacon cheeseburger with fries or a more virtuous chicken Caesar salad (with dressing on the side to avoid any sogginess). Happy ordering!​ 


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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.