Max Grudzinski, photo courtesy of Barclay Prime
From grand Las Vegas carnivore temples helmed by world-famous chefs to clubby Chicago dining rooms loaded with mahogany and brass to New York institutions with now-household names, the steakhouse is an American icon. These are the 50 best.
Pappas Bros Steakhouse/Yelp
To assemble our ranking of the best steakhouses in America, we started by compiling a list of more than 200 of America’s leading steakhouses. We excluded chains with more than a handful of locations, like Capital Grille, Fleming's and Ruth’s Chris, as those deserve their own ranking (along with less-expensive steakhouse chains).
We then judged them according to strict criteria: Is the meat sourced reputably and USDA Choice or Prime? Is it dry-aged, and if not, is it as high-quality as can be? Is it served at the proper doneness without fail and with a touch of ceremony? Is it revered by locals and out-of-towners alike? We also considered the overall steakhouse experience. No matter the setting, the service must be top-notch, the attention to detail should be spot-on, and diners should feel compelled to sit back in their chairs after their meal, pleasantly stuffed and content in the knowledge that they just ate one heck of a steak.
When Warren Buffett regularly holds court in your restaurant, you know you’ve got a keeper. That’s the case at Omaha landmark Gorat’s, which has been going strong since 1944. It remained in the Gorat family until 2012, when it was purchased and given a renovation, but the quality and preparation of the steak is as good as ever. Offerings include three sizes of filets, a 14-ounce New York strip, prime rib au jus and a whiskey-glazed rib-eye, but you might as well follow in the Oracle of Omaha’s footsteps and order the 22-ounce rib-eye.
Restaurateur Brian McCarty’s Malone’s opened in 1998 and is one of Lexington’s best restaurants. In fact, Malone’s is so popular that it sells its own line of steaks online. Malone’s serves only corn-fed USDA Prime steaks including a 12-ounce sirloin, filet mignon and rib-eye. The prime rib is also a standout, but whatever you order, make sure you start with their famous steak and potato soup.
The Buckhorn Exchange is a true Wild West holdout and one of America’s oldest restaurants, with an Old West feel thanks to its antique bar, wooden fixtures, 575-piece taxidermy collection, 125-piece gun collection and a menu that reflects that good ol’ American desire to eat some red meat. For those who really want to celebrate being on top of the food chain, there are plenty of exotic meats also offered, including elk, quail and buffalo (and sometimes ostrich and yak). But if you’re in the mood for USDA Prime steak, we suggest you go for The Big Steak, a New York strip loin carved tableside and available for two (2 pounds) to five (4 pounds) guests.
The upscale and classy Chandlers features a stylish martini bar, live jazz nightly and a variety of upscale steaks including a 48-day dry-aged New York strip, a USDA Prime rib-eye, Snake River Farms’ American wagyu and an all-natural grass-fed filet mignon. It also offers certified authentic Japanese wagyu filet mignon, which might just be the single best steak you’ll find in Idaho, especially when served a la Rossini (topped with foie gras, morel mushrooms and port reduction) or a moelle (with bone marrow flan, morels and marrow demi glace). Chandler’s also has a seafood selection so good you just might forget Idaho is landlocked.
Founded by Dominick “Doe” Signa and his wife Marnie in 1941, Mississippi legend Doe’s Eat Place got its start as a honkytonk that sold great hot tamales. Over time, the bar gave way to a full-service restaurant, but the beef tamales are still an absolute must-try. The steaks are even more legendary. Doe’s might be the most downscale steakhouse in America (guests enter through the kitchen), but that’s all part of the charm. The restaurant is a James Beard Foundation American Classic and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s not a gimmick, however. These enormous steaks are rubbed with a proprietary seasoning blend, cooked under a ripping-hot broiler and served with a ladle of rich jus. Doe’s isn’t just a restaurant — it’s an experience.
Cattleman’s Club is exactly the type of steakhouse you’d hope to find while ambling through Pierre, South Dakota. In business since 1986, this renowned steakhouse, along with its newer second location a couple hours away in Mitchell, go through an average of 120,000 pounds of USDA Choice beef annually. Today it’s run by founder Myril Arch’s daughter, Cindy, and the menu has changed little over the years: 8-, 12- or 16-ounce top sirloins; 10-, 16- or 20-ounce prime ribs; and 24-ounce porterhouses, T-bones and bone-in rib-eyes, rubbed with a savory seasoning and grilled. The restaurant is also one of the best places to sample the South Dakota regional specialty known as chislic — deep-fried chunks of sirloin sprinkled with house seasoning. Cattleman’s Club also happens to be one of America’s best inexpensive steakhouses.
Jess & Jim’s Steak House/Yelp
In a town known for great steak, Jess & Jim’s stands apart from the Kansas City pack. Family-owned and -operated since 1938, this casual steakhouse is no pomp and all steak. The beef is hand-cut daily, and trimmings are ground into meat for some of the best burgers in America. The steaks are served completely seasoning-free, all the better to taste the meat in its unadorned glory. You could go for the KC strip, a cut that this restaurant helped to popularize, but you might as well go all out and order the "Playboy Strip," a two-inch-thick, 25-ounce sirloin. Save room for the twice-baked potato.
The steaks at this elegant and mature 40-plus-year-old Waikiki restaurant are all USDA Prime, and are grilled over native kiawe (mesquite) wood, giving them a deep, smoky char. Offerings at Hy’s Steak House include boneless or bone-in New York strip, boneless or bone-in rib-eye, filet mignon, T-bone and a standout 34-ounce porterhouse. Slow-roasted prime rib, a rack of lamb, beef Wellington, châteaubriand, an opulent seafood platter and truffle king crab mac n’ cheese round out the menu and make Hy’s one of Hawaii’s premier fine dining experiences.
RingSide Steakhouse, in business since 1944, is about as old-school as it gets. Valet parking is offered, servers (some of whom have been working there for 30-plus years) wear tuxedos and it has one of the best wine lists in the state. The best part, of course, is the steaks, which are dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days and hand-cut on premises. While non-dry-aged steaks are available, we suggest you spend a few extra bucks and try either the bone-in New York strip, bone-in rib-eye or 34-ounce rib-eye for two — you won’t regret it. And make sure to try the onion rings; famed chef James Beard called them the best he’d ever had.
Chef Richard Chamberlain opened Chamberlain's Steak & Chop House in 1993, and this classy Texas meat emporium has thrived ever since. The appetizer list includes unconventional steakhouse dishes such as fresh pea soup with smoked pork belly and Vermont cheddar, ahi tuna poke with sesame ponzu and sriracha crema, and Texas wagyu beef potstickers. But there are also plenty of standards here, with 16 different steaks and chops on the menu, from a 6-ounce 40-day dry-aged filet mignon to a 14-ounce Texas wagyu rib-eye. If you’re not feeling steak, there are seafood choices including spiced Texas redfish and ancho garlic glazed colossal shrimp, prime rib in sizes from 8 to 20 ounces and 16 side dishes ranging from wild mushroom mac and cheese to Vermont Cheddar steak fries to crispy Brussels sprouts. If you go home hungry from Chamberlain's, you're just not trying.
Duane’s Prime Steak & Seafood/Yelp
The flagship restaurant inside the National Historic Landmark Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Duane’s Prime has been awarded four diamonds by AAA every year since 1996. This opulent and sophisticated place serves wet-aged USDA Prime steaks as well as a wide selection of fresh seafood. The châteaubriand for two, carved tableside, is the way to go if you’re on a date, but other attractive offerings include the rib-eye and filet mignon, classic steak Diane and a trio of filet medallions each topped with a different sauce. Make sure to save room for the chocolate soufflé with chocolate Grand Marnier sauce.
Gene & Georgetti/ Yelp
The poet Carl Sandburg called Chicago the "Hog Butcher for the World," but its famous stockyards were long known as a source of great beef, too. Since 1941, old-style Italian-flavored steakhouse Gene & Georgetti has done beef proud. Start your meal with Italian sausage and peppers, baked clams or fried ravioli, then move on to the beef. The steaks are broiled and dependably good, especially the 22-ounce rib-eye and roast prime rib. A huge choice of non-steak items, including plenty of pastas and parms, is also served.
Certified Angus Beef has been the star of the show at Charleston’s Oak Steakhouse since it first opened its doors in a 150-plus-year-old building in 2005. Filets, rib-eyes and strips are certainly the menu’s centerpiece, but chef Mark Keiser brings a farm-to-table approach to the entire menu with standout dishes like housemade charcuterie, pan-seared sea scallops with sunchoke puree and roasted root vegetables, and a daily rotating seafood selection depending on what’s available at the market that morning.
With locations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica, BOA is bold, colorful, and modern to the max. Steaks include a 40-day dry-aged New York strip, a 21-day dry-aged rib-eye and a Durham Ranch bison rib-eye, and all are served with your choice of rubs and sauces. But the offerings don’t stop there: There’s a wide selection of seafood, and the tableside steak tartare is about as classic as it gets.
Michael Symon is one of America’s most fearless, fun and unpredictable chefs, and all those traits are evident at his entry into the Detroit dining scene. The dinner menu at Roast contains delicious and unexpected twists including beef cheek pierogies, house-cured charcuterie and chicken livers with creamy polenta, but the steak selection isn’t fooling around. Dishes like filet mignon with crab béarnaise, dry-aged New York strip with giardiniera, dry-aged rib-eye with umami butter and grilled endive, and dry-aged porterhouse for two with romesco and spring onion will make it immediately obvious why Symon is one of Food Network’s Iron Chefs.
You may remember this restaurant from its role as a location in 2004’s indie hit “Sideways” (Virginia Madsen’s character is a waitress here), but that’s far from The Hitching Post II’s biggest claim to fame. This Santa Barbara County gem, which opened in 1986, is owned by Frank and Natalie Ostini, who have been among the primary evangelists for Santa Maria-style barbecue, a style that’s closer to Mexican asado than Texas-style low-and-slow. At a huge glassed-in pit adjacent to the main dining room, Frank and his team grill top sirloin, filet mignon, New York strips, rib-eyes, ribs, lamb chops, quail, chicken and shrimp over red oak after dusting them with a secret spice blend. It’s a cooking technique that’s unique to the area, and The Hitching Post II just might be the best place to experience it.
The Old Homestead has been serving steaks to hungry New Yorkers since 1868 and is one of the last reminders of the days when New York’s Meatpacking District was still an actual meatpacking district. Owners Greg and Marc Sherry have built relationships with local suppliers who provide them with some of the finest cuts you’ll find anywhere, and they take it one step further by dry-aging them for up to 40 days. Offerings include a top-selling center-cut sirloin, rib steak, prime rib and filet mignon on the bone, plus porterhouse, filet mignon or rib steaks for two. Japanese Kobe steaks are also available for high-rollers, and the $43 20-ounce Kobe burger is one of the most opulent (and expensive) burgers you’ll ever encounter.
The classy and stylish Kayne Prime is a Nashville must-visit, run by M Street, one of the city’s most successful and trend-setting restaurant groups. The market-driven menu is impeccably sourced, and Kayne Prime is one of the few steakhouses to list exactly where each cut comes from. Steaks are cooked under a 1,200-degree broiler and served with your choice of 10 “chapeaux,” including truffle béarnaise, yuzu chimichurri, foie gras and bone marrow butter. Make sure to try the risotto tater tots and macaroni and cheese.
Iconic Dallas steakhouse Al Biernat’s is all dark woods, vaulted ceilings and soft lighting. Since 1998, this clubby steakhouse has been presided over by none other than Al Biernat himself, who is nothing short of a consummate host. Once you’ve taken your seat, expect to be treated like royalty as you work your way through the expansive menu, highlighted by steaks such as a 22-ounce cowboy rib-eye, a 30-ounce porterhouse, a Prime New York strip and a 14-ounce ribeye filet. And if you happen to visit on a Friday during lunchtime, don‘t miss the prime rib special.
Located in up-and-coming Inman Park, Kevin Rathbun Steak is part of an empire that also includes Rathbun’s and Krog Bar, all located on the same street. At his spacious, whimsically appointed steakhouse, Rathbun serves steakhouse classics like escargots, seafood towers, dry-aged steaks for two and three, a cowboy rib-eye and 16-ounce New York strips. There’s also a wide selection of items that you don’t see on most steakhouse menus like Sonoma Jack cheese pecan fritters with red pepper jelly, smoked foie gras with red grits and sauce au poivre, and Dover sole with field peas and preserved lemon.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse/Yelp
Dickie Brennan’s is located in a clubby, basement-level space and is a regular hangout for the Big Easy’s wheelers and dealers and high-rollers. With a swanky bar and six private dining rooms, this French Quarter power-broker staple serves USDA Prime steaks with creative New Orleans twists. The 6-ounce house filet is topped with fried oysters and béarnaise sauce, the barbecue rib-eye is topped with barbecue shrimp, and any steak can be topped with gulf crab or shrimp. That’s not to say that you should avoid unadorned steaks; the 16-ounce strip is seared in a cast-iron skillet, and just might be New Orleans’ finest steak.
Mr. B's - A Bartolotta Steakhouse/Yelp
Paul Bartolotta is a renowned restaurateur, best known for his Bartolotta Ristorante on the outskirts of Milwaukee, but he’s proven that he’s mastered the art of steak with his nearby Mr. B’s. At this classic Italian steakhouse, the steaks are cooked in a high-heat wood-burning oven. Go for the Angus rib-eye or New York strip, or share a 44-ounce porterhouse for two — just make sure you top it with Diane sauce, made with brandy, mustard, cream and mushrooms.
Alexander’s Steakhouse (which also has locations in Cupertino and Pasadena) is unique and exciting with plenty of Japanese influence, and every item is impeccably sourced. Where else can you find wagyu beef from an astounding eight different Japanese sources (including real-deal A5 Hyogo Kobe) sharing a menu with uni toast, abalone congee and beef tongue with green strawberry and mustard? Even the so-called traditional steaks are cheffed-up. For example, the 12-ounce bone-in filet is topped with shiitake butter and caramelized onion glacé and the 19-ounce T-bone is served with black garlic miso sauce and leek fondue.
Setting foot into St. Elmo is like stepping back in time — to 1902 to be exact. The saloon-style décor hasn’t changed, save for a '90s-era expansion, and there’s a wide selection of wet- and dry-aged steaks and chops, a wedge salad, a loaded baked potato and a classic shrimp cocktail with sinus-clearing cocktail sauce and saltines (that also happens to be one of the most iconic restaurant dishes in America). All these dishes are served with the professionalism you’d expect from a place that’s been doing it for more than 110 years. St. Elmo is an inviting place where time really stands still. Its commitment to keeping the past alive doesn’t mean that quality suffers, however; the menu proudly displays the names of 24 local sources for the food served.
Not to be confused with Cattleman’s Steakhouse down in Texas or any of the other restaurants with the same name across the country, 109-year-old Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, located in the heart of famed Stockyards City, claims to be Oklahoma 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 steaks here are broiled under an intense charcoal fire and served with natural jus. Go for the T-bone after your appetizer of lamb fries (sliced and deep-fried lamb testicles), and finish your meal with a slice of homemade pie.
Sparks is a great, old-fashioned steakhouse in the classic Manhattan style. It has been in business since 1966. The atmosphere is unmistakably masculine, the service is friendly-brusque and the menu is classic steakhouse right down the line. Signature steaks include the filet mignon and a sirloin topped with a pile of Roquefort. The wine list is an anthology of California cabernet sauvignons, red Burgundies and Bordeaux, and other reds, plus a decent selection of whites — all at prices that are often very fair.
Manda Bear B./Yelp
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s steakhouse in the Bellagio, Prime, is the textbook definition of sumptuous with richly upholstered chairs, Tiffany blue velvet draping, commissioned artwork on the walls and a stunning view of the famed Bellagio fountains. But the decadence isn’t just in the decor. The menu is chock-full of the finer things in life, from caviar to seared foie gras to Dover sole to dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye to A5 certified Kobe beef from Japan. If you’re considering bringing along the little one be advised that children under 5 aren’t permitted.
Omaha USDA Prime steaks at the classy, classic and comfortable John Howie Steak are aged for 28, 35 or 42 days and grilled over mesquite coals, lending a charred smokiness. Wagyu long-bone rib-eyes and châteaubriand for two are also on offer. The rest of the menu is simultaneously classic and innovative: foie gras “bacon and eggs” and tempura-fried Kurobuta bacon share menu space with Dungeness crab cakes, tableside Caesar salad, classic French onion soup and filet mignon Oscar-style. There’s one additional thing that sets John Howie apart from the pack: If you’d rather buy your steak raw and cook it at home, they’ll let you take it to go (or order it online) with seasoning and cooking instructions.
Perini Ranch proprietor Tom Perini is a living legend in Texas, where his eponymous ranch, steakhouse and comfy cabins are tiny Buffalo Gap’s claim to fame. A master of cowboy cuisine, his burger is one of America’s best and his Certified Angus steaks — seasoned with a proprietary rub and grilled over mesquite coals — are well worth the trek. Thankfully, you can purchase that rub (as well as an entire mesquite-smoked peppered beef tenderloin) online. If the pit-roasted prime rib is available when you visit, don’t miss it. And be sure to order a side crock of white hominy with bacon, green chiles and cheddar.
If you’re looking for a classic steakhouse experience and happen to be in the Twin Cities, drop into Murray’s, which has been going strong since 1946. Opened by Art and Marie Murray, the restaurant is still in the family, and many of Marie’s old recipes are still used. The famed "Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two," a 28-ounce strip loin carved tableside, is one of the country’s great monuments to steak. Châteaubriand for two, New York strips, porterhouses and rib-eyes are also spot-on, and if you’re not looking to drop too much cash, the 8-ounce top sirloin dinner steak is a great deal at just $26.
Pacific Dining Car has been open in its original downtown location since 1921. This classic LA restaurant serves Prime dry-aged corn-fed Black Angus beef from Creekstone Farms in five cuts with various accompaniments (including a choice of six sauces). There’s also prime rib and other usual steakhouse offerings including shrimp cocktail, a Roquefort-topped iceberg wedge salad with candied bacon, onion rings and potatoes au gratin. The "baseball cut," a particularly thick 10-ounce slab of aged top sirloin, is the star of the menu. The wine list is a knockout, full of trophy bottles like Opus One and Penfolds Grange, but also a number of very drinkable choices that mere mortals can afford.
In meat-centric Chicago, it’s tough for a steakhouse to stand out from the pack. But GT Prime, which opened in 2016, does. Here you’ll find a variety of wagyu steaks, 30-day, dry-aged strips and rib-eyes, prime rib and even bison tenderloin. But we recommend coming with a group and getting The Carnivore, which consists of 8-ounce portions of beef tenderloin, bison tenderloin, venison loin and American wagyu, sliced and intended for sharing. And if you’re looking to have a really extravagant evening, go for the wagyu Carnivore, which ups the ante with Australian wagyu filet and New York strip, Gabriel Farms American wagyu and A5 Miyazaki strip. The spacious, modern restaurant also offers plenty of dishes that are completely off the beaten path, like duck leg tortellini with edamame and tripe, yellowfin tuna with green tea soba noodles and tomato dashi, and braised pork shank with barley and drunken prunes.
Located inside a historic building dating to 1903, Metropolitan Grill has all the trappings of a classic upscale steakhouse: large mahogany doors, a tuxedo-clad maître d’, cuts of beef on display, soaring ceilings, crown moldings, oversized booths, plus plenty of brass and even more mahogany. The 60-foot black marble bar is a jewel (don’t miss the award-winning martinis) and the wine list has received Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence.” But don’t let the pretension fool you: The focus here is on the beef. Chef Eric Hellner sources the Prime steak from Double R Ranch near Washington’s Canadian border, and it’s all custom dry-aged and seared over hot mesquite charcoal. Start with the Dungeness crab cocktail and follow it up with a New York strip loin, porterhouse or châteaubriand.
Dark woods, potted palms, chandeliers, bookshelves and deep Chesterfield-style booths immediately let you know that Harris' Steakhouse, a San Francisco landmark since 1984, means business. Steaks are sourced from the Midwest’s best farms and dry-aged and butchered in house. Start your meal off right with a martini and prawn cocktail, and strap in for a timeless steakhouse experience. Must-orders include the Harris steak (a thick-cut bone-in strip), prime rib and American wagyu rib-eye.
Since 1973, Cattleman’s Steakhouse owner Dieter Gerzymisch has been purchasing fresh meat daily from local ranches and portioning it out on the premises, so it follows that the menu is all about meat, meat and more meat. There’s the top sirloin, New York strip, filet and rib-eye, each weighing in at 10 ounces. But you want to come for The Wagon Master, a one-and-a-quarter-pound T-bone; The Cowgirl, a one-and-a-half-pound T-bone; and finally, The Cowboy, a full two pounds of T-bone goodness. Each steak comes with a baked potato, beans, coleslaw, bread, butter and sour cream, just in case you’re still hungry. Yeah, it may be a little kitschy with its Wild West theme and gift shop, but when it comes to steak, Cattleman’s is the real deal.
Four-time James Beard Award-nominated chef John Tesar has done more than just about anyone to put the Dallas dining scene on the map, and his steakhouse, Knife, is celebrating Texas-bred beef like few others. Steaks such as a 240-day dry-aged ribeye, a 110-day dry-aged Akaushi sirloin, a 45-day dry-aged ribeye, Texas Wagyu skirt steak, flat irons, culottes and a “grilled BIG short rib” are cooked over red oak. But the ode to meat does not end there. Charcuterie is made in-house, tastings of ham and five varieties of bacon are available (order the bacon), and the no-frills Ozersky Burger (one of six different burgers on offer) is regarded as one of America’s best.
Charlie Palmer Steak/Yelp
Charlie Palmer firmly established himself as one of the country’s finest chefs when he opened Aureole in New York in 1988, and since then he’s expanded his empire to 16 bars and restaurants throughout the country, including five locations of Charlie Palmer Steak, in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas; Napa, California and Reno, Nevada.
They’re all unique, however, focused on seasonal local ingredients, and committed to letting each executive chef’s unique skills shine through by paying just as much attention to the rest of the menu as the steaks. And as for those steaks, they include a 22-ounce bone-in rib-eye, Imperial Ranch wagyu strip steak and porterhouse for two. Want sautéed foie gras or butter poached lobster on that? Go for it.
Chef Michael Mina’s first steakhouse, Mandalay Bay’s swanky and sophisticated Stripsteak, is anything but stuffy. The menu seamlessly combines the new and the traditional with offerings ranging from a shellfish platter and Caesar salad to a Kaluga caviar “Twinkee,” Mishima Reserve beef tataki, tuna “poppers” with crispy rice cakes and Colorado lamb loin “katsu.” Steaks (both Angus and wagyu), seafood and foie gras are cooked on a wood-burning grill. If you’ve just hit the jackpot, invest in the $164 tasting of three wagyu steaks. There are also more than 100 whiskeys on offer, including four from Pappy Van Winkle.
Red leather booths, wood paneling, martinis, high-rollers, flawless service, giant steaks and lobster tails make up Chicago’s Gibsons. The USDA Prime steak served here is sourced from top Midwestern producers and aged for a minimum of 40 days. The old-fashioned menu of steakhouse classics includes spicy lobster cocktail in a steamed artichoke, wedge salad and classic cuts of beef including bone-in filet mignon, a 26- or 48-ounce porterhouse and a dry-aged 42-ounce tomahawk chop.
Midtown Manhattan classic Gallagher’s has been holding its own on 52nd Street since it first opened its doors as a speakeasy in 1927. A loving seven-month restoration by current owner Dean Poll in 2013 helped to bring the restaurant into the 21st century, but the steaks — as well as the legendary humidity-controlled aging room that’s open to public view — are still as iconic and delicious as ever. The only steakhouse in the city that grills its steaks over hickory coals, Gallaghers is renowned for its porterhouse, which is available for two, three or four. The New York sirloin, filet mignon, rib-eye and prime rib are also things of beauty, as are the gargantuan shrimp cocktail, the golden brown and crispy hash browns and the otherworldly chocolate cake. Start off the evening with a martini in the original horseshoe bar, and be prepared for a timeless steakhouse experience.
Red The Steakhouse/Yelp
With two locations in Cleveland and one in Miami, Red is just about everything you look for in a steakhouse. Steaks are Certified Angus, and there are plenty of traditional classics like oysters, French onion soup and shrimp cocktail, as well as Italian-influenced fare like free-range veal chop parmigiana, hot peppers stuffed with housemade Italian sausage and linguini with clam sauce. If it’s your first time visiting, go for the signature steak: a Prime, Certified Angus rib-eye, wet-aged for 20 days and then dry-aged for 20 days. If you want to go big and top it with bone marrow or blue cheese, nobody will stop you.
The wait staff might be a bit gruff at Peter Luger, a surprisingly casual German-style old steakhouse that’s been in an off-the-beaten-path corner of Williamsburg since 1887, but that’s all part of the show. The star attraction, the steak, is dry-aged, butchered on the premises and broiled under extreme heat before being sliced and presented on a platter with plenty of sizzling butter. When you sit down, don’t ask for a menu. Just order the tomato and onion salad, some thick-cut bacon, creamed spinach, hash browns and the steak for two. Use the house steak sauce to douse the onions and tomatoes (don’t let it anywhere near the steak), and be prepared to drop a wad of cash on the table before leaving or pay with a debit card — no credit cards accepted. Sure, it may be a bit of a tourist trap, but it’s still an absolutely quintessential New York steakhouse experience.
Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Ronnie Killen opened Killen’s Steakhouse in the outskirts of Houston in 2006. Killen’s has separate menu sections for wet-aged and dry-aged steaks. You’ll also find domestic Wagyu from three different farms, Japanese A5 Wagyu and Australian Wagyu. As a nod to the Lone Star State, the menu also includes regional favorites such as chicken fried steak, mesquite-smoked pork belly and pan-seared Gulf snapper. Be sure to save room for the crème brûlée bread pudding.
*An earlier version of this slideshow mentioned that the restaurant resembled a roadhouse. The reference was removed on Nov. 19.
Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak/Yelp
Part of Tom Colicchio's ever-growing Craft empire, the clubby Craftsteak steakhouse centers its menu around eight different steaks, mostly Angus dry-aged in-house, and also offers a wide choice of both domestic and Japanese wagyu (an 8-ounce Japanese A5 wagyu New York strip will set you back $290) and a luxurious selection of seafood. Order the assortment of five different roasted mushrooms on the side.
Barclay Prime replaces red leather with green and yellow suede, a clubby soundtrack and slightly incongruous crystal chandeliers. While the setting is undoubtedly 21st century, the menu is as classic as can be. Appetizers include caviar, wagyu beef carpaccio and sauteed foie gras. Entree steaks are dry-aged for up to 40 days, and the 20-ounce New York strip is an absolute showstopper — and there's world-class service to boot. Don’t forget to order the colossal shrimp cocktail to start; these monsters are absolutely massive.
The traditional steakhouse red leather booths and bucolic paintings give way to a cool white interior by rationalist architect Richard Meier and a series of pieces by conceptual artist John Baldessari at Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin-starred CUT in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. His reinvention of the steakhouse doesn’t just come down to decor, however. In place of iceberg wedges and grilled swordfish, look for Alaskan king crab and Louisiana shrimp Louis, bone marrow flan with toasted brioche and French loup de mer with Moroccan chermoula. Oh, and the steaks? Not the usual four or five choices, but a total of 17 cuts and places of origin, from a Prime Creekstone Farms rib-eye to genuine Japanese wagyu rib-eye from Miyazaki Prefecture grilled over white oak and mesquite charcoal.
Pappas Bros Steakhouse/Yelp
If you’re in Dallas or Houston and you find yourself in need of a perfect steak, a red leather booth, wood-paneled walls and a wine list that boasts about 3,900 options, head over to Pappas Bros. At this shrine to steak, the Prime beef is dry-aged in-house for at least 28 days and served bone-in or bone-out. There’s something for everyone, from a 40-ounce porterhouse carved tableside down to an 8-ounce filet mignon, with stops along the way including an 18-ounce bone-in New York strip and a Texas Akaushi filet mignon. All steaks are simply seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with some butter. The entire experience is about as classic steakhouse as you’re likely to find.
At Bazaar Meat, the ceaselessly energetic Jose Andrés has a menu that includes plenty of Spanish tastes, an extensive raw bar, plenty of fresh seafood and the option of pre-ordering an entire roast suckling pig, but there’s no denying that this is definitely a steakhouse. Look no further than a real-deal A5 Kobe rib-eye, a châteaubriand for two from California’s Brandt Beef with pomme soufflé and périgord sauce, a 20-ounce grass-fed bone-in strip loin from Wisconsin’s Strauss Farm and a true rarity: a rib-eye of “vaca vieja,” an 8-year-old working Holstein from California.
Perfectly charred steaks and chops have been served at New York institution Keens since 1885. Before you’re served your expertly cooked, dry-aged sirloin, filet mignon, prime rib, porterhouse for two or porterhouse for three, have a look around. This labyrinthine shrine to old New York is spread over two floors and three townhouses and features memorabilia from more than 100 years of New York history, including playbills, political cartoons and photographs, as well as a collection of more than 50,000 pipes from the era when regulars like Babe Ruth and Teddy Roosevelt would store theirs there. If you go once, try the porterhouse or the spectacular prime rib. If you go twice, try the famous mutton chop, a 26-ounce lamb saddle that’s nearly two inches thick and dates back to the restaurant’s earliest days.
Legendary Tampa destination Bern’s has been going strong since 1956 and is all about wonderful excess. Case in point: there are 20 kinds of caviar, two preparations of foie gras, four kinds of steak tartare (one with truffles), endless varieties of fish and shellfish, escargots, 15 different cheeses both domestic and imported, more than 50 desserts (enjoyed after your meal in a separate “dessert lounge”), house-roasted coffee and a 500,000-bottle wine cellar that very well might house the largest private wine collection on earth.
Oh, and did we mention steaks? There are six different cuts in a total of 51 different sizes (from 8 ounces of filet mignon to 60 ounces of strip sirloin, as well as 15 different sizes of châteaubriand), along with “luxe beef” options including a 100-day dry-aged Delmonico and dry-aged Japanese wagyu. Quite simply, Bern’s is everything you look for in a steakhouse, and it’s one of the very best restaurants in America.
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