The electroreduction of nitrate on Pt(1 0 0) electrodes in phosphate buffer neutral solution, pH 7.2, is reported. The sensitivity of the reaction to the crystallographic order of the surface is studied through the controlled introduction of defects by using stepped surfaces with (1 0 0) terraces of different length separated by monoatomic steps, either with (1 1 1) or (1 1 0) symmetry. The results of this study show that nitrate reduction occurs mainly on the well defined (1 0 0) terraces in the potential region where H adsorption starts to decrease, allowing the nitrate anion to access the surface. Adsorbed NO has been detected as a stable intermediate in this media. An oxidation process observed at 0.8 V has been identified as leading to the formation of adsorbed NO and being responsible for a secondary reduction process observed in the subsequent negative scan. Using in situ FTIRS, ammonium was found to be the main product of nitrate reduction. This species can be oxidized at high potentials resulting in adsorbed NO and nitrate (probably with nitrite as intermediate).