Our Favorite Side Dishes for Steak Ranked

Of all the types of meat that exist, you will be hard-pressed to find one that is better than steak. In most restaurants, steak will be the most expensive cut on the menu, and it is often the most delicious too. But it isn’t just the taste of steak that makes it so great.

Steak is always a great choice because it gives you a lot of freedom. Not only can you decide how your steak should be cooked, but you can also customize your steak with sauces and side dishes that are your absolute favorites.

steak with side dishes

When you visit a restaurant, you will often find that sometimes the choice of side dishes is very slim. But, if you are cooking a steak for yourself, at home, then you have a lot more freedom of choice. But what side dish is the right one? Well, that’s a tough decision to make. 

In this ultimate guide, we’ve ranked 23 of the greatest side dishes for steak, from worst to best. So, to find out where your favorite scores on this list, or to find a delicious new side dish to try, keep on reading. 

23. Peas

green peas

At the bottom of this list, we have peas. While peas are a very common side dish, there is no denying that they are definitely one of the most boring options available. Peas are often something that are included on a plate in a restaurant to fill the plate out, and give it more character, but they are rarely something that customers actually enjoy eating. So, it is clear why they only just make it onto this list. 

22. Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

Sticking to the theme of green side dishes, next up we have roasted broccoli. Roasted broccoli isn’t something that you will often find people raving about, but it can still make a great side dish. Depending on the way that you roast your broccoli, and the ingredients that you add to it, this option can taste delicious. But when it is done badly, this is one of the worst side dishes that you can pair with a steak. 

21. Garlic-Parsnip Purée

Garlic-Parsnip Purée

Some restaurants love to plate their dishes up in a very fancy manner. To achieve this, you will find that lots of places choose to purée their side dishes because it will make your steak sit nicer on the plate. If you want to achieve this look at home, then garlic-parsnip purée is an excellent option. It tastes great, and it is fairly easy to make. But, it simply doesn’t taste as good as roasted parsnips, which is why it ranks so low on this list.

20. Tomatoes


In the realm of pointless side dishes, we also have tomatoes. Lots of different restaurants include tomatoes on their plates, but they are often an item that returns to the kitchen after the customer is finished eating. A lot of people don’t like tomatoes, and a lot of people simply do not see this as a proper side dish. Instead, tomatoes are usually served in restaurants to make your plate look prettier, rather than to be enjoyed. 

19. Side Salad

Side Salad

With some meals, a side salad can be the perfect side dish. But for us, this simply isn’t the case for a steak. Despite this, it is one of the most common side dishes served with steak. Once again, we find that a lot of people tend to leave their side salad on their plate, and this is mainly because it simply doesn’t go with a steak. Steaks are juicy, and they often release blood when they are cut into (depending on how you like your steak cooked). Due to this, we find that a side salad simply isn’t a good pairing for a steak, although many restaurants probably will not agree. 

18. Grilled Cauliflower

Of the different types of vegetables that can be served as a side dish, grilled cauliflower is one of the more popular. When you eat cauliflower, it feels like you are eating something healthy, and if it is cooked correctly, it can taste delicious too. Whether you prefer lemon flavored cauliflower, or spicy cauliflower, at home you can tailor this side dish to fit your preferences. But, when you visit a restaurant, you will often find that the grilled cauliflower they serve is pretty boring, which is why it has only made it to number 20. 

17. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes with steak

There is no denying that potatoes make the ultimate side dish. But, the way in which the potatoes are cooked has a massive impact on how good they taste. Don’t get us wrong, mashed potatoes can taste amazing, when they are cooked well. But, in a lot of cases, the mashed potatoes in restaurants are often hit-and-miss. Sometimes it is too creamy, sometimes it is too lumpy, but all in all, it is very difficult to get this side dish right. 

16. Lemon & Herb Couscous

Lemon & Herb Couscous

For those on a health kick, couscous is often a great choice. This side dish is very healthy, and also very filling. So, when you eat it, you do not need to eat an excessive amount to fill yourself up. Of all the different flavors of couscous that you can get, lemon and herb has to be the best. But unfortunately, it isn’t often readily available in restaurants, which is why we cannot rank it higher on this list. 

15. Cauliflower Bake

Cauliflower Bake

This next side dish isn’t that common over here in the USA, and you will be hard-pressed to find it in most restaurants. But, if you are preparing your own steak at home, then cauliflower bake can make a great side dish. This dish is referred to as cauliflower cheese across the pond, and it consists of cauliflower in a cheese sauce with additional ingredients such as bacon, and spring onions. It isn’t the easiest side dish to make, but if you fancy trying something new, this is perfect. 

14. Cheesy Baked Asparagus

Cheesy Baked Asparagus

If you liked the thought of cheesy cauliflower, then you will love the taste of cheesy baked asparagus. This dish is a lot more common in the USA than cauliflower bake, but it is essentially the same thing. Except it uses asparagus instead of cauliflower. This is a dish that you will find in some restaurants, and it is easy to see why they serve it because it is truly delicious. But, if you aren’t a fan of cheese, this won’t be the best choice. 

13. Roasted Baby Carrots

A nice and simple side dish that still tastes great is roasted baby carrots. Roasted baby carrots are a great side dish if you like a bit of color on your plate because carrots are orange. But, they are also a great side dish if you love flavor. Carrots taste amazing raw, but they taste even better when they are roasted. They are a great side dish, but we would recommend pairing them with another for the ultimate steak experience. 

12. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Next up, we have a side dish that might be controversial. Brussels sprouts aren’t for everyone, and they are something that really divides opinion when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. But, when they are cooked, great Brussels sprouts are amazing. They are full of flavor, and incredibly filling, so it isn’t surprising that they also make a great side dish for a steak. 

11. Bruschetta


If you want your entire flavor focus to be on your steak, then bruschetta can make a great side dish. Bruschetta tastes great, but it doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor, so you can enjoy it, without the flavor of the bruschetta overwhelming your steak. Bruschetta is also a great side dish for a steak because it allows you to mop up the juices from your steak, and enjoy them. 

10. Curly Kale

Curly Kale

Another healthy choice to pair with your steak is curly kale. You will most commonly see kale included in smoothies as a way to boost your health, but it can also make a great side dish for your steak. Curly kale looks very similar to cabbage, and so it is very easy to confuse the two. But, the flavor is very different. Again, kale isn’t everybody’s favorite choice, but if you are a fan, then this can make a great side dish. 

9. Cheesy Garlic Butter Rolls

Cheesy Garlic Butter Rolls

When you look at the menu for a restaurant, you will often find garlic bread listed as a side dish. But, some nicer restaurants will also offer cheesy garlic butter rolls. Garlic bread is delicious, but it tastes even better when it is combined with cheese and butter. However, not everybody loves cheese, so this dish can only make it to number 9. 

8. Garlic Butter Potatoes

Garlic Butter Potatoes

One of the ultimate seasonings is garlic, this is something that simply cannot be denied. There are very few things that you can add garlic to without it making it taste better, and this is why garlic butter potatoes are such a great side dish. Some restaurants struggle to cook the potatoes to perfection, but when this dish is done right, it is one of the best options that you can choose. 

7. Roasted Vegetables

roasted vegetables

If you like vegetables, then you cannot go wrong by choosing roasted vegetables as a side dish. Roasted vegetables are always a safe bet, and this is mainly because it is very difficult to get this dish wrong. Some restaurants will offer different vegetables within this dish, but typically you will receive a mixture of baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and butternut squash. All of which will be cooked to perfection, ready for you to enjoy. 

6. Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

Like we said earlier, garlic bread is perhaps the ultimate side dish. It tastes great on its own, but it tastes even better when it is made using garlic butter and cheese. Garlic bread is always a great choice because it is difficult for restaurants to get it wrong, so it is a safe bet. However, when it comes to steak, there are simply better side dishes for this dish, and so it just misses out on the top 5. 

5. Fries

steak and Fries

There’s not really much for us to say about fries, simply because you already know how great they are. Fries make an excellent side dish for pretty much any meal, and the same goes for steak. 

4. Onion Rings

steak and Onion Rings

When you order a burger, you will often find onion rings served as a side dish with it. But, it is becoming increasingly more common for these to also be served alongside steaks too. Onion rings are delicious and full of flavor, and these flavors complement your steak perfectly, which is why they are such a good option. 

3. Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

But, one of the best side dishes of all time has to be mac ‘n’ cheese. This dish tastes amazing when served on its own, but it tastes even better when it is served alongside a steak. However, mac ‘n’ cheese simply isn’t the best option. 

2. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato fries

Fries are brilliant, but something that is even better is sweet potato fries. These have become something of a craze in recent years, because of their different flavor, and healthiness. But, while they are great, sweet potato fries simply do not take the top spot on this list. 

1. Garlic Mushrooms 


Instead, this spot is held by garlic mushrooms. Whether you prefer your garlic mushrooms breaded, or in a sauce, they will always taste outstanding. Mushrooms on their own can be fairly boring, but when they are served in garlic, they taste outstanding. So, if you are looking for the ultimate steak side dish, then this is it. 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.