The Best Room Service Foods

I love room service. One of my earliest foodie memories is my dad teaching me that if you stay in the Disneyland Hotel once a year, you can pick up the phone and 20 minutes later, fresh Mickey Mouse pancakes will come to your door. You can eat them in your bathrobe with warm maple syrup and watch cartoons on the tv while you think about the awesome vacation day ahead of you.

Obviously, I was hooked.

However, not all food does well in room service. Soups universally arrive cold and gloopy. Cold cut sandwiches are usually flaccid and unpleasant. And for PETE’S SAKE, room service pizza should be served only to prisoners on death row.

If you wanna order room service like a champ no matter if you are at the Holiday Inn or the Ritz, here’s what you order:

Club sandwich

The room service gold standard. These toasted, multilayered sandwiches are made for hotel room service. They are great when made with plain ole turkey and iceberg lettuce. They are sublime when served with house roasted turkey and homemade garlic aioli. They are great with french fries, potato chips, or any other number of side dishes. Great warm or cold Perfect for a hangover breakfast or a midnight snack. Club sandwiches are always divine, but hey are the best when order them in your hotel bathrobe.

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Caesar salad

My favorite salad of all time, and it’s ideal to order for room service. It is ready relatively quickly, is light enough to eat before going to sleep, and has a similar flavor profile worldwide – you know what you’re getting. You can often supplement it with salmon or chicken for an extra hit of protein, and if you need a side dish that isn’t fried, this is always the way to go.

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Burger and fries

Old faithful. Gotta love it. The burger is always better at a fancier hotel but I have had some damned good room service burgers at lower end establishments. There’s just nothing like meat, bread, and a pile of fried potatoes. Sure it’s better when the beef is locally sourced, the bread is brioche, and the fries are covered with Parmesan and truffle oil, but I’m not picky when it’s late and I’m jet lagged – are you? I always order extra condiments because I love tiny jars of mayonnaise and ketchup. If you don’t, I’m not sure that we should be friends.

Ice cream

Cake can be dry. Cookies can be as hard as hockey pucks. Ya know what always delivers? Ice cream. As long as it arrives in a semi-frozen state, I’m good. Whipped cream? Sure! Nuts? Love ’em! But I’m happy with a dish of plain chocolate ice cream if I need something sweet and you will be too. If your work is footing the bill, take a Snickers from the minibar and break it up over the ice cream for a mini sundae. You’re welcome.

Pasta (if it’s a great hotel)

Yes, this one has a caveat. I have had some truly wretched room service spaghetti – cold, gummy, weirdly sauced with bits of red peppers and worse.

However.

The best bowl of pasta I have ever had in my life was in my room in the Park Hyatt Tokyo. It arrived al dente, piping hot, and tossed in the most beautifully bright, complex, garlicky, savory tomato sauce. Served with aged Parmigiano Reggiano and warm foccacia. And I have had a few incredible bowls of spaghetti Bolognese since then at similarly high-end hotels. If you’re splashing out in a great hotel, hit up the pasta section of the menu and you are unlikely to be disappointed.