America’s Best High-End Steakhouse Chains

These aren’t just steaks, they’re works of art

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Del Frisco's New York location is one of the most stunning dining rooms in the city. 

Steakhouses hold a special place in the hearts of American diners. They’re the restaurants we go to to celebrate birthdays, promotions, and other special occasions; they’re where high-rollers with expense accounts dine to seal the deal; and they’re a top choice whenever we’re looking to splurge. While there are wonderful stand-alone steakhouses in just about every city, there are far more high-end chain steakhouses, and today we’re honoring the top ten.

America’s Best High-End Steakhouse Chains (Slideshow)

When it comes to steakhouse chains, there are two main camps, casual and upscale. The first includes restaurants like Outback and LongHorn, and you can find our ranking of those here. But the second category includes some of the most expensive and refined chains in America — and these best high-end chains are just as good as, if not sometimes better than, some of the best stand-alone steakhouses in America, a ranking that you can find here.

In order to compile our ranking, we assembled a list of all the steakhouses in America with five or more locations and graded them according to the variety of steaks on the menu, the sourcing and quality of the meat used (dry-aging is always a plus), the quality and variety of side dishes and other menu items, the quality and variety of the wine list, the décor, and the overall dining experience. We assigned each of these categories a point value and tallied them up, and in the end a clear winner rose to the top.

A meal at a high-end steakhouse is an expensive undertaking, and all of these chains are working hard every day to make sure that your experience is worthy of the expense. Each of these chains is very good in its own way, and while some people might think that a steak is a steak, a great steakhouse is about a whole lot more than a piece of meat on a plate. Read on to learn which chain steakhouses are America’s best, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

#10 Shula’s

Founded by none other than former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula in Miami Lakes, Florida in 1989, Shula’s Steakhouse serves only Black Angus beef at their 14 locations nationwide. Their “SHULA CUT” steaks include two sizes of filet mignon, 16- or 20-ounce strips, a 22-ounce cowboy ribeye, and a 24- or 48-ounce porterhouse, and other options include prime rib, stone crabs in season, lamb porterhouse, and blackened sea scallops. While the wine list only contains a dozen or so bottles, it’s a dependable choice. The décor of each restaurant varies with the city. 

#9 Ruth’s Chris

When Ruth Fertel purchased the failing Chris Steakhouse in New Orleans in 1965, she couldn’t have had any idea that her restaurant would turn into an empire, with the most locations (more than 130) and highest overall profit of any luxury steakhouse chain in America. Some might think that their trademark way of serving steaks – served on 500-degree plates in a pool of sizzling butter – is a little bit of a gimmick, but we beg to differ; it’s ballsy, diet-be-damned, a nod to the sense of excess that great steakhouses inspire, and (most importantly) delicious. Filet (in two sizes), ribeye (boneless or bone-in), T-bone, New York strips, and porterhouses for two are USDA-prime, and other dishes include fresh lobster (usually still in a tank in the lobby when you arrive), lamb chops, veal osso buco ravioli, and nods to New Orleans like shrimp remoulade and barbecued shrimp. Their wine list is expansive (with more than 200 bottles) and spans the world, and a stellar happy hour at the bar includes $8 dishes and specialty cocktails Monday through Friday. 

Click here for more top high-end steakhouse chains.

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