Steak Ordering Guide

Ordering at a steakhouse might initially feel overwhelming, especially when you realize there’s more to it than simply asking for “a steak”. There are all kinds of steak cuts, and how they’re cooked can change their taste and texture. So, before you order, think about what you really like. Do you have a favorite cut? How do you like it cooked? And don’t forget the sides – they can make all the difference.

How To Order a Steak?

There’s a lot to consider when ordering a steak since there are so many cuts. So, here’s a step-by-step guide on ordering and ensuring you get a steak you’ll enjoy.

1. Choose the Right Cut of Steak

You can choose a steak that perfectly matches your taste preferences by exploring a wide range of beef cuts. Some steaks are naturally more tender or flavorful than others. Therefore, understanding the unique characteristics of various steak cuts, especially the most popular ones, is crucial. Furthermore, being well-versed in all the available cuts can be cost-effective; you’ll discover lesser-known steaks that are as delicious as their premium ones but come at a more affordable price.

Porterhouse steak, ribeye steak and strip steak also known as new york strip
Porterhouse steak, ribeye steak, and strip steak, also known as new york strip

Below, I’ve listed five of the most ordered steaks in restaurants. Any of these choices are sure to satisfy, especially the top two:

  • Ribeye Steak,
  • Strip Steak (also known as New York Strip),
  • T-bone Steak,
  • Porterhouse Steak,
  • Tenderloin Steak (also known as Filet Mignon).

However, if you’re new to the world of steaks, I invite you to check out more of my articles in the cuts category. For those who prefer a quick overview, consider checking out my ranking of steaks from best to worst.

The most tender steak filet mignon
The most tender steak: filet mignon

2. Choose the steak doneness

You can choose blue, rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well-done steak doneness. The doneness of a steak is as crucial as the choice of cut, if not more so. It affects the steak’s tenderness, juiciness, and overall texture. Depending on the desired level of doneness, a steak can range from juicy and tender to rubbery, chewy, dry, and tough. 

Below, I’ll describe each doneness level to help you determine which one suits you best.

  • Blue: Blue steak is seared on the outside but remains raw inside. It’s soft and will have a cool center with a deep blue-purplish-red hue. If you’re not a fan of almost raw meat, like tartare, blue steak might not be for you – it’s not a preference for many.
  • Rare: Rare steak has a warm red center and is tender. It’s slightly cooked but retains most of its natural juiciness.
  • Medium-Rare: Medium-rare steak is tender, juicy, and a favorite among many steak enthusiasts.
  • Medium: Medium steak has a pink center. It balances firmness and tenderness, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a bit more cook than medium-rare but still want some juiciness.
  • Medium-Well: Medium-well steak has only a hint of pink in the center. It’s firmer than the previous levels of doneness and tends to have less juiciness.
  • Well-Done: A well-done steak is fully cooked through with no pink visible. While most cuts of steak become tough and dry when cooked this way, many still prefer its well-done texture and the fact that it’s fully cooked.

Regarding medium-well or well-done steak, I respect everyone’s preference. However, my personal choice never goes beyond medium doneness. Tenderness and juiciness are some of the most important aspects of steak, which are lost forever if you cook steak to well-done. Instead, you will get a dry and tough piece of meat.

3. Don’t Forget About Side Dishes

When you’re at the restaurant, you’re not just ordering steak, right? You might want some side dishes, too. Remember this when choosing your steak because picking one that’s too big or too small can leave you with leftovers or still hungry. And hey, if you’re not sure, just ask the waiter. They’re there to help and can guide you to the right choice for your hunger level.

And here’s a little tip: if you’ve got a really good steak with that deep, rich flavor, go easy on the sauces and extras. Trust me, sometimes less is more, and that steak? It’ll speak for itself.

Enjoy Your Perfect Steak

So, you’ve dived deep into the world of steaks. What’s next? The next thing is just to go ahead and order. Know what you like, and don’t be shy to order using what you’ve picked up from my tips. Steakhouses and other restaurants give you those choices for a good reason – they know how to make a steak taste great. So trust them to cook it just the way you like it.

Ribeye steak with nice marbling
Ribeye steak with nice marbling
Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.