As anyone who's ever dropped way too much cash on a steak can tell you, steakhouses are some of the most expensive restaurants around. If you’ve got a hankering for a nice dry-aged prime New York strip, you’re going to have to be prepared to drop at least 50 bucks on it — or will you?
Even the most unremarkable of restaurants seem to have a steak of some sort on the menu, usually geared toward picky eaters who have money to burn. It’s not especially difficult to find a restaurant that sells some sort of reasonably priced steak. What is tough is to find a non-chain steakhouse that’s downright affordable.
Columbine Steak House & Lounge has been going strong since 1961, and this low-slung, no-frills Denver restaurant’s main claim to fame is how amazingly inexpensive it is. Fried chicken costs $9.75, a steak sandwich costs $8.70 and a pork chop will run you $12.75. Perhaps most impressively of all, there are six steaks on the menu, and the most expensive one of the bunch, an absolutely massive porterhouse, costs just $21.95. As for the rest: the large fillet is $19.75, a T-bone is $17.25, sirloin and New York strip are $14.95 and a small fillet is $13.75. Tax is already included in the price, and all steaks also come with salad, a potato and toast.
Dunston’s has been around since 1955, making it the city’s oldest steakhouse, and it’s also its least expensive. 6- or 9-ounce bacon-wrapped fillets go for $13.95 and $17.95, respectively; an 8-ounce New York strip costs $17.95 and their signature 14-ounce bone-in ribeye costs $27.95. No need to add a side onto that ribeye order — the steak also comes with a potato, salad and three vegetables. Because you want to eat like a Texan when in Texas, try one of the city’s finest chicken-fried steaks here. Bonus: it will set you back just $8.95.
Quality Eats sent shockwaves through New York’s carnivore community when it opened in 2015, thanks to owner Michael Stillman’s decision to offer lesser-seen cuts of steak like flatiron, hanger and skirt at shockingly low prices (especially for the West Village). To this day, the flagship location is packed every night of the week, leading Stillman to open two additional locations. The bavette cut (better known as a flank steak) costs just $24, but if you arrive between 5 and 7 p.m., you can get a better deal by getting the $19 bar steak.
Gaslamp Strip Club/Yelp
Guests are invited to grill their own steak at Gaslamp Strip Club, and the savings are passed down to the customer. Choice Angus beef is aged for 21 days and marinated in olive oil and garlic, and all entrées are served with salad and garlic bread. A 10-ounce skirt steak has a $17.95 price tag, a 14-ounce bone-in rib-eye costs $23.95 and a 12-ounce New York strip costs $24.95.
Picture your idea of a restaurant called The Big Steer in Altoona, Iowa, and it would probably come pretty close to what this place actually is, starting with a giant painted cow advertising its dinner specials and a sign in the front window hawking “Iowa’s Finest Prime Rib.” The interior is charmingly dated, but you don’t come here for the décor — you come here for the Iowa beef. That prime rib is indeed delicious, the homemade bread is legendary, the steaks are spectacular (order yours “Deburgo,” in a butter-garlic sauce that’s a regional specialty) and the Iowa pork is also worth sampling. It’s also downright affordable: A 12-ounce top sirloin or New York strip costs $24.95, a 16-ounce slab of prime rib is $28.95 and even a decadent 18-ounce bone-in ribeye has the low, low price of $33.95.
Cattleman’s Club is exactly the type of steakhouse you’d hope to find while ambling through Pierre, South Dakota. In business since 1986, the two locations (the one in Mitchell opened in 2014) go through an average of 120,000 pounds of USDA Choice beef a year. Today, these restaurants are run by founder Myril Arch’s daughter, Cindy, and the menu has changed little over the years. Highlights include a 16-ounce top sirloin for $22.99, prime rib for $18.99, a $22.99 bacon-wrapped filet, a $29.99 14-ounce New York strip and a massive 24-ounce T-bone for just $32.99.
This Wild West-themed saloon, complete with swinging doors and mounted stag heads, is about as Wyoming as it gets. The menu at T-Joe’s is primarily comprised of bar food, sandwiches and burgers, but its steaks and chops are beyond reproach. Slow-roasted prime rib or a 16-ounce ribeye costs $30 and a 12-ounce sirloin costs $27. All entrées come with your choice of two sides.
Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte/Yelp
There’s no menu at Midtown New York’s Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte, which also has locations in Paris and London. Well, there is a menu, there’s just one entree on it: a sliced steak, topped with a deeply flavorful green sauce, served with French fries and a green salad for $31.95. Want a bottle of Bordeaux? That’ll cost you $28.95. This is a classy French bistro, and if it looks like it was shipped directly from Paris, well that’s because it basically was: The original location opened there in 1959.
The steaks at the family-friendly Clayton Steakhouse are Choice-grade Sterling Silver beef, hand-cut and topped with a special house seasoning. The star of the menu is the ribeye, which is available in four sizes ranging from 10 ounces for $26.95 to 16 ounces for $34.95. If you’d rather have a 9-ounce sirloin, it’ll cost you just $18.95.
The fun and casual Jack’s Steakhouse & Seafood has been a Bismarck go-to for 22 years, and its claim to fame is its insanely affordable USDA Choice steaks. Prime rib costs $20.99, 16-ounce sirloin steaks will set you back just $19.99 (or $13.99 for a 9-ouncer) and a ribeye costs $18.99. You can jazz your steaks up with sauteed onions or sauteed mushrooms for $2.99 more. Come on a Wednesday and you can get two 9-ounce sirloins for the price of one.
In business since 1980, Jesse’s has earned a reputation for serving quality USDA Choice prime rib, charbroiled steaks and burgers. And if you want to sample the goods, you can do so for a bargain: prime rib au jus runs $22.95 for 12 ounces (or $17.96 on Sundays) or $26.95 for 16 ounces, 10-ounce strips sell for $19.95 and a 6-ounce filet costs just $20.95. Go ahead, add on four shrimp for $7.95.
Ruby River has been going strong in Salt Lake City for more than 20 years, with additional locations in Provo, Ogden and Reno. Its steaks, which are wet-aged for 21 days and seared at 1,600 degrees, are available in a wide variety of cuts, sizes and prices. On the super-affordable end are a $14.99 8-ounce top sirloin or 6-ounce garlic sirloin. There’s also the $19.99 12-ounce New York Strip or 7-ounce filet, the $20.99 12-ounce ribeye and the $22.99 12-ounce prime rib. Or if you’re really looking to splurge, the most expensive offering is a $29.99 porterhouse. Each steak comes with the choice of two classic steakhouse sides, including a jacketed baked potato or yam, garlic mashed potatoes, house-made soup, parmesan tomato and iceberg wedge salad.
Ronny’s is a Chicago legend, and it’s everything you look for in a classic old-school restaurant. It’s been in business since 1963, serving ample breakfast platters in the morning, while serving up ribs, burgers and big, no-frills steaks with garlic bread, a salad and a baked potato on the side the rest of the day. A giant 20-ounce steak will set you back just $24.99, but if you’re not looking to go that big, a 14-ouncer will cost you $20.99. There’s also a $9.99 lunchtime special for an 8-ounce steak. What kind of steak, exactly? Doesn’t matter, and the menu doesn’t say. Just know that’s it’s big, it’s good, it’s cheap and it’s undeniably Chicago.
The steaks at Marie Livingston’s, which has been presided over with a big dose of Southern hospitality by restaurateur Marie Livingston herself since 1992, are USDA Choice, cut daily on-premises, grilled over an open flame and served with rolls, salad and your choice of side. Ribeyes start at $24.99 for 10 ounces and 12-ounce strips cost $27.99, or you could share the signature 20-ounce bone-in ribeye, which costs just $32.99.
Known for cooking huge, local Iowa steaks on a charcoal grill since it was founded by Henry Schneider in 1982, Iowa Beef Steakhouse is also renowned for its low prices. Though brothers Joe and Will Kellogg bought the restaurant and made some changes in 2015, the cheap steaks remain. A 12-ounce sirloin costs just $19.95 and a 16-ounce New York strip or 24-ounce sirloin will set you back $28.95. Also on the menu are 21-ounce ribeyes and T-bones selling for $31.95.
Steak 'N Lobster/Yelp
The name doesn’t lie: There are only steak and lobster on the menu at this Japanese-tinged restaurant, along with a handful of sides. The steaks are grass-fed Black Angus, and the lobsters are from Maine. A few steaks are available: a New York strip, a hickory-smoked Cajun-seasoned top sirloin and a marinated “kogi” steak, all 10 ounces and served with your choice of soup or salad. Whole lobsters and lobster rolls are available, too. The price? Twenty bucks, across the board.
Run by Greek immigrant Ari Katras since 1973, Ari’s Best Steak House serves a straightforward menu of grilled steaks, ribs, chicken, gyros and burgers. The steaks are undoubtedly the star of the menu, though, and they’re insanely inexpensive. A 6-ounce sirloin costs just $9.99, a 14-ounce filet costs $14.68 and a 16-ounce T-bone costs $18.99. The most expensive item on the menu, a 20-ounce porterhouse, costs just $21.99.
A food stand located right on the beach in downtown Waikiki, Steak Shack serves steak with a Hawaiian twist. Sliced steak platters are served with two scoops of rice and a house salad, and the price ranges from $9.00 for 6 ounces to $18.50 for 14 ounces. Be sure to squirt on some teriyaki sauce.
Family-run since it opened in 1960, Laffoon’s Frontier Steakhouse’s menu is chock-full of family-style classics like pork tenderloin, hot open roast beef sandwiches, fried chicken and pork chops, but first-timers should order one of the two steaks on the menu: roast sirloin for $14.99 or a 12-ounce Kansas City strip for $19.99. The chicken-fried steak, topped with gravy, costs just $13.99 and is also a smart move.
“Quality steaks at budget prices!” is the motto at Charco Broiler Steak House, which has been family-owned since first opening its doors over 50 years ago. Best identified by the giant steer on the roof (named “Sonny the Steer”), Charco is equally renowned for its low prices. A 6-ounce Black Angus filet costs $11.99, an 8-ounce top sirloin costs $10.99 and an 8-ounce ribeye costs just $13.99. The $8.25 country fried steak is also a steal. And to gild the lily, all entrées come with a stuffed potato, a green salad and Texas toast.
Located in a strip mall in the Houston suburbs, Nik’s is a no-frills dining room that serves a massive menu of Southern and Cajun classics including fried cheddar-stuffed jalapenos, gumbo, po’boys, etouffee, fried and grilled shrimp and some very affordable grilled steaks. The least-expensive offering, an 8-ounce sirloin, costs $12.99, and the most expensive, a 14-ounce T-bone, costs just $16.99. And they all come with your choice of two sides, which range from mixed veggies to Cajun rice, hushpuppies and fried corn.
Cattlemen’s Steakhouse opened in the heart of Oklahoma City’s famed Stockyards City in 1910 and is the city’s oldest continually operating restaurant. The no-frills temple to the noble steer is as popular with cowboy-hatted locals as it was with former president George H. W. Bush. One look at what’s on everybody’s plate — beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner — will tell you what this place is all about, as will the giant illuminated photo of grazing cattle along the back wall. The beef here is sourced locally, aged "according to a closely guarded house secret," portioned out on-premises, broiled under an intense charcoal fire and served with natural jus. It’s also surprisingly affordable: An extra-thick top sirloin costs $22.95, a bacon-wrapped small filet is $23.95 and the most expensive steak, a giant T-bone, costs only $31.50. That’s a small price to pay for the best steak at one of the 50 best steakhouses in America.
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