order for/on/as a side dish

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Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, everyone. How are you?

So, if I am at a restaurant (outback, for example) and I want to know if I can order something together with a steak. How could I ask a waiter that?

"May I order baked potato as a/the side dish/side?"
"May I order baked potato for a/the side dish/side?"
"May I order baked potato on a/the side dish/side?"

is any of those sentences above correct?

Thank you so much!
  • In AE, "on the side" would be much more common, I think, as would "Could I/Can I get" meaning is it possible for me to have.

    "Could I get a baked potato on the side?"

    "Could I get an order of baked potato on the side?

    "as a side" is also possible.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    The menu will tell you if the steak includes a side dish or more than one side. Do the waiter a favor and read the menu. ;)
    "The side dish" and "the side" only work if there is only one side dish. You want "a side" or "a side dish" if you get to pick two or more side dishes.
    You can order something "on the side" but that means you want it to the side of what it's normally on - your steak comes covered in sauce but you'd rather have it in a cup.
    If you order something "on the side dish", they put something on the side dish.
    I'll have broccoli as my side dish and I want the butter on side. Give me butter separate from the broccoli.
    I'll have broccoli as my side dish and I want the butter on the side dish. Put the butter on the broccoli.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    You have a lot of choices, but they all seem to work, but note:

    1. If by "outback," you mean the Outback restaurant chain, it must be capitalized, otherwise it looks as though mean some restaurant out the back door of wherever you are.
    2. "May I order" is far too stiff for diners in a restaurant. There's no need to "back into" such a statement. "I'd like a baked potato with my steak," is all you need.
    3. Since the normal serving portion is an entire baked potato, we'd be more likely to order "a baked potato."
    4. "Side" by itself is short for "side dish." It's restaurant jargon, more or less, that has become common.

    You might see this existing thread:Side dish, Side item

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