Remember that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts is in over her head at a classy Beverly Hills restaurant, confused about which fork to use? Remember her famous line, “Careful, they’re slippery little suckers!” – referring to the snail she was attempting to eat?

Has this happened to you? Have you ever been invited to a fancy schmancy restaurant by a big client, agonized over your outfit, and sat down at a table where one place setting included more silverware than your entire utensil drawer at home?

We understand that most people don’t eat at these types of restaurants very often, but we think it’s good to be prepared. That’s why we’ve done the homework for you! Here’s an explanation of some of the forks you may encounter at a 5-star restaurant, and some rules of thumb to make your ostentatious (we mean classy) dining experience a little less intimidating. Oh, and we even found this cool image of forks for you to print and keep with you at all times…you never know when you’re going to need to know which fork to use for ice cream…yes, you read that right…there’s an ice cream fork!

Let’s go down the list…

There’s a dinner fork for dinner, a lunch fork for lunch, and a breakfast fork for…oh no…there’s no breakfast fork! Looks like the fork industry has some work to do!

There’s a fish fork for fish, a lobster fork for lobster, a fruit fork for…well, you get the point! There’s a salad fork, dessert fork, ice cream fork, pastry fork, seafood fork (could we use the fish fork to eat seafood, or vice versa? We probably shouldn’t risk it!), strawberry fork (what about eating a strawberry with the fruit fork?), snail fork, and finally…an oyster fork.

We should really thank the fork industry for giving diners something to talk about! (The ice cream fork was definitely a conversation starter here at Restaurant.com!)

Now, where to begin?

Start from the outside and work your way in. In most cases, you’ll find forks on the left. The biggest fork is for your main entree, the medium-sized fork is for your salad, and the smallest fork is for your dessert. If you’re eating a meal that requires a special type of fork (snails, for instance), we give you permission to casually peek at the image we provided.

What are your thoughts on the different types of forks?