Is there anything more satisfying than a thick-cut steak with a side of potatoes and a glass of good wine? Something about the toothsome texture of a great piece of meat with a char on the outside and a cool, soft center feels like absolute heaven to meat-lovers around the world.
The modern-day steakhouse evolved from the chophouses that grew up in New York in the 1850s. Chophouses functioned as clubs of sorts, men-only. New York got the best cuts of meat in the nation back then, and travelers gathered alongside locals to feast on mutton, steaks, lamb kidneys, and strips of bacon washed down with pints of British ale.
For more than a century, steakhouses remained more or less unchanged — dark paneled, no-nonsense, “classic” eateries — but today, while the traditional places endure, many steakhouses are adapting and updating to newer methods of cooking, serving farm-to-table fare, and even offering décor that’s more high art than old-fashioned austerity.
New York wasn’t alone in its love of steak.
In Europe, the combination of railroads, farming productivity, and a wealthier population made way for steak to become a more common meal. Bistros in Paris, for example, started serving steak in the late 19th century, though they served steak to their cultural taste: rare. The Brazilian-style steakhouse, or churrascaria, grew from the fireside roasts of the gauchos, or South American cowboys, living in Southern Brazil.
And though the steak may be cooked to cultural norms, it nonetheless is a popular meal around the world.
Some of the entries on our list of the world’s best steakhouses are old-school classics, while others are up-and-comers embracing new techniques. But they all have one thing in common: seriously good meat.
On this list you’ll find steaks that have come from the world’s most pampered, award-winning cows. We’ve rounded up steakhouses that are both critically acclaimed and celebrated by locals. Because man (and woman) cannot live on steak alone, we also considered side dishes in our ranking. Finally, we took the restaurant’s ambiance into account, because when you’re paying a premium for a quality cut of meat, you might as well enjoy your surroundings while you do it.
Check out our ranked list of the top steakhouses in the world, but make sure you eat a snack first; the contents of this list will most definitely cause strong meat cravings.
#10 Uruguay: Parador La Huella
There are said to be more cows than people in Uruguay, so you know beef is going to be honored. Trip Advisor reviewers rave that “every single dish is great and fresh” at this beachside hotspot. Bon Appétit magazine agrees, calling the grilled chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, kidneys, short ribs, skirt steaks, rump steaks, suckling pig, pork flank steak, and roast lamb delicious meals “born of ritual and fed by experience and hard work.”
#9 Dublin: Shanahan’s on the Green
The interior of this proudly "American-style" steakhouse is warm and masculine, and the downstairs Oval Office bar is filled with memorabilia honoring U.S. presidents of Irish origin (the centerpiece is John F. Kennedy's rocking chair, formerly ensconced on Air Force One). The steaks are all certified grass-fed Irish Angus and cooked in a special broiler to pink perfection. Starters and sides include old standbys like shrimp cocktail, crispy fried onions, and broiled potatoes, and of course there's first-rate Irish smoked salmon. Shanahan’s does the classic steakhouse proud; it has consistently been recognized as one of the best restaurants in Dublin by The Dubliner, The Independent, and The Irish Times.