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8 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Order from Hotel Room Service

Because not every food can survive under a vented lid.

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fresh egg and frying pinmargouillat photo/Shutterstock

Scrambled eggs

Everyone heading out on a luxurious vacation fantasizes about breakfast in bed. But when it comes down to it, breakfast foods just don’t hold up too well under room-service lids. Scrambled eggs, for example, begin to lose heat and taste almost as soon as they leave the pan. That means when they get to you, they’re “cold and gluey,” says Jonathan Knudsen, an executive at JK Hospitality in New York. Got a trip coming up? Memorize the 10 red flags of a bad hotel.

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belgian wafflemargouillat photo/Shutterstock

Waffles

This crispy breakfast pastry is another food you’ll want to avoid calling in. Once you put a pile of waffles under a room-service lid, they’ll begin to get soggy because of the steam. Instead, order pancakes or French toast, which retain heat better and don’t get as noticeably limp. 

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Fried chicken breast and chicken drumstick on a wooden background.Bon Appetit/Shutterstock

Fried foods

Obviously, fried foods don’t hold up too well under steamy room-service plates—unless you like your fries soggy, that is. As a rule of thumb, Knudsen says to avoid foods like calamari, fried chicken, and quesadillas. The exception to the rule? Buffalo chicken. “Although fried, they cannot be overcooked,” says Knudsen. “Plus, the hot tossed sauce keeps them warmer longer.” One way to make sure your hotel’s food is top of the line? Start your hotel search with the best hotel in every state, according to travelers.

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Fresh green broccoli on wooden backgroundDani Vincek/Shutterstock

Steamed veggies

A side dish of steamed veggies might seem like the perfect way to get your greens in while on vacation. Unfortunately, “items like broccoli, and even squash and carrots sweat under a hospitality cover and become nothing more than flat colors on a plate by the time they reach a guest room,” Kelly Merritt, author of The Everything Family Guide to Budget Travel, told Southern Living. Instead, try the soup of the day, says Knudsen.

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still life with fast food hamburger menu, french fries on wood deskqoppi/Shutterstock

Burgers

Our experts had mixed reviews on room-service burgers. On the one hand, they say the classic food is a hard-to-ruin standby that people should feel comfortable ordering. Others, however, say the time it takes the burger to travel from the kitchen to your room could result in it becoming overcooked—and that’s before you take into account the wilted lettuce and the soggy fries. Instead, order the chicken or turkey club with a fruit salad or side salad in place of the fries. Before even booking your hotel though, know the 15 things you should never do in a hotel room.

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Pepperoni pizza on a board, restaurantSinichenko Maksim/Shutterstock

Pizza

Pizza is another food you might think you’d be safe ordering. But unless your hotel has an Italian restaurant on site, you might want to avoid it. Otherwise, “there is a good chance that it will be previously frozen or a bit tired from sitting under a heat lamp,” Gian Nicola Colucci, executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, told Southern Living.

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Traditional pasta alla puttanesca with anchovies, tomatoes, garlic and black olives close-up on a plate on the table. horizontal top view from aboveAS Food studio/Shutterstock

Pasta

A pasta craving is hard to ignore—especially if you’re longing for the comforts of home. Still, it might not be the best option. “By the time it gets from the kitchen to the room it’s either sticky or cold or the sauce has totally fallen apart. Good pasta is meant to be enjoyed immediately and if you order from room service you’re going to be paying a lot for a really subpar product,” Bradford Phillips, executive chef at Troquet River North in the Hotel Felix in Chicago, told BravoTV.

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New York Cheesecake or Classic Cheesecake sliced on rustic wood, top view with copy space for textVladislav Noseek/Shutterstock

Pastries

Now that you’ve had your dinner (a club sandwich or a soup and salad, we hope), it’s time for dessert. Unfortunately, if you have high hopes for that room-service cheesecake, you’ll probably be disappointed. Unless your hotel has a bakery or pastry chef on the property, it’s likely you’ll be served something that’s either been sitting out for a while, or is dry, stale and overly sweet. Now, learn the 21 secrets hotels don’t want you to know.