The Best Steakhouses in the United States
While the constancy of that dry-aged porterhouse and old-school vibe is comforting, the past decade has ushered in an equally worthy breed of steakhouses that are more stylish in the dining room and more inventive in the kitchen.
In Los Angeles, for instance, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut displays artwork by John Baldessari in a sleek room with gallery-white walls. And Urban Farmer, in Portland, OR, is about as hipster as a steakhouse can get, with a communal table and a tasting platter of grass-fed, corn-fed, and grain-finished beef that pairs nicely with local Ransom Spirits whiskey.
Sure, towering seafood platters, wedge salads, and creamed spinach still make an appearance on the menus of these newcomers, but you’ll also find roasted kabocha squash, pimento cheese–stuffed bacon puffs, and lobster corn dogs.
The clientele is changing more slowly. Martini-swilling power brokers in suits are still the norm in many steakhouses, and men still far outnumber women. You’re more likely to find the stiletto crowd in next-generation steakhouses like Mooo, Boston’s tongue-in-cheek beefery, with its black-and-white cow art and throne-like chairs.
Of course, ultimately, a steakhouse is all about the beef. If you want to get geeky, the breadth of information on cuts, aging techniques, and grading is staggering (we suggest checking out The Sirloin Report). If you ask a pro—say, Suzanne Strassburger, CEO of Strassburger Meats—it all boils down to taste.
Strassburger says she personally prefers a sirloin, bone-in, seasoned with salt and pepper, however the Riserva rib eye, dry-aged for eight months, at Vegas restaurant Carnevino has won critics over with its distinctive blue-cheese flavor. And San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib has been serving prime rib, and only prime rib, to loyal diners since 1949.
Take your pick among these favorite steakhouses, from old-school institutions like St. Elmo Steak House of Indianapolis to Kevin Rathbun Steak, which has a speakeasy-like ambience and playful southern-influenced fare.
They’re all well done—or rather, medium rare.
Cut, Beverly Hills, CA
Wolfgang Puck’s contemporary steakhouse in the swanky Beverly Wilshire is a head-turner, complete with gallery-like white walls, John Baldessari art, and celebrity clientele—Eva Longoria, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tom Cruise have all supped here. But the Michelin-starred, Richard Meier–designed beauty doesn’t crest along on looks alone. She’s serious about her steaks, grilled over wood and charcoal, then finished under a 1,200-degree broiler. There are a slew of sauces to pair with your Wagyu, grass-fed Angus, or 35-day dry-aged sirloin; we’re partial to the smoky, juicy, salt-and-pepper-seasoned beef.
St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis
The menu at this downtown saloon-cum-steakhouse—a favorite of race-car drivers, visiting celebs, and football players—hasn’t changed much since 1902. The shrimp cocktail, served in a silver bowl with a sinus-clearing, horseradish-spiked sauce and saltines on the side, is still the thing to order. Wet-aged steaks, which come with a hearty navy bean soup starter or a glass of Indiana Red Gold tomato juice and a side of green beans or potatoes, are enough for an entire meal—but don’t let that stop you from ordering at least one King crab mac-and-cheese for the table.
Charlie Palmer Steak, Washington, D.C.
When the Senate is in session, this high-ceilinged restaurant on the Hill is the place to go for steak with a side of politics. An impressive collection of all-American wines, dramatically displayed in a floating glass cube, complements the nouveau steakhouse menu—highlights include the dry-aged “cowboy steak” and lobster corn dogs. Ask for a sneak peek of the rooftop terrace (if it’s not reserved for a private event), which has fantastic views of the Capitol.
Killen’s Steakhouse, Pearland, TX
From the exterior, this Houston area mainstay in the semi-rural suburb of Pearland looks like a roadhouse dive. Inside, however, it’s casually elegant, with taupe-colored walls, white tablecloths, and the best beef inside and outside the beltway. Pair expertly seared steaks—sourced from Chicago’s Allen Brothers and Strube Ranch in Pittsburg, TX—with Parmesan-crusted creamed corn and fried asparagus with lump crab meat and lemon-butter sauce. Save room for the light, almost flanlike crème brûlée bread pudding, made with custard-soaked croissants and topped with a brandy–brown sugar syrup.
Kevin Rathbun Steak, Atlanta
On the Atlanta BeltLine, in a former Clorox warehouse in still-gritty Inman Park, Kevin Rathbun’s eponymous chophouse serves both steakhouse standards—chopped salad, creamed spinach, oysters on the half shell—and more whimsical creations, such as bacon swathed in a spicy-sweet Sriracha-molasses sauce, powdered sugar–dusted eggplant fries, and charred jalapeño creamed corn. Among the dry-aged steaks, opt for the porterhouse, with butter and jus, or the hulking 22-ounce bone-in rib eye.
Urban Farmer, Portland, OR
Shelves with jars of pickled fruits and vegetables, a 20-foot-long communal table made from old-growth Douglas fir, and an airy, atrium setting on the eighth floor of the LEED-certified Nines Hotel creates the kind of hipster-meets-farmhouse feel for which Portland has become famous. But there’s also plenty to satisfy the traditionalist: Pacific oysters on the half shell, creamed spinach, and cowhide booths. The New York tasting includes a sampling of grass-fed, corn-fed, and grain-finished beef, plus an optional Wagyu add-on—and goes nicely with the local Ransom Spirits whiskey or a glass of Willamette Valley Pinot.
Prime One Twelve, Miami
Reservation times are more like suggestions at this South Beach hot spot, recognizable for the steady flow of Ferraris, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces. But it’s worth the wait for the eye candy alone—and the high-top at the bar is the ideal perch from which to watch the star-studded stream of models and moguls. They’re here, as are you, to tuck into oversize portions of prime dry-aged steaks and sides like house-made tater tots and smoked bacon bits with chive sour cream.
Peter Luger, Brooklyn, NY
Regulars don’t need a menu at this no-frills Michelin-starred chophouse under the Williamsburg Bridge, where not much has changed since 1887. Start with still-sizzling, thick-cut bacon, best devoured immediately with a bit of steak sauce, then move onto the main event: the porterhouse, dry-aged, broiled with salt, and finished with clarified butter. Skip somewhat lackluster sides in favor of the New York–style cheesecake with a dollop of schlag (that’s homemade whipped cream, for the uninitiated).
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, New Orleans
A go-to for New Orleans power brokers (R&B singer Allen Toussaint is a regular) and visiting A-listers like Chris Noth and Jennifer Garner, this clubby subterranean establishment in the French Quarter serves a winning combination of USDA prime beef and Creole classics. The 16-ounce cast-iron-seared New York strip is a favorite. The more extravagant house filet arrives topped with béarnaise and sides of fried oysters, creamed spinach, and ham- and caramelized onion–flecked Pontalba potatoes. For a local twist, order the rib eye with Abita-spiked barbecue sauce and head-on shrimp.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Dallas
Wood-paneled walls, club chairs, and studded red leather booths are a proven steakhouse recipe and a handsome setting for tables piled with prime beef (dry-aged in house) plus Gulf seafood, jumbo lump crabmeat-laced macaroni and cheese, and towering desserts like gooey pecan pie with praline ice cream. What really sets this steakhouse apart is its 33,000-large, Wine Spectator–lauded list, which has vintages to suit big spenders—the 1847 Chateau d’Yquem, for example—as well as the rest of us. pappasbros.com
House of Prime Rib, San Francisco
A San Francisco landmark since 1949, this wood-paneled restaurant is dedicated to prime rib, aged 21 days, roasted in a rock-salt crust, and carved tableside from a gleaming, Zeppelin-like stainless-steel cart. If you manage to polish off your massive, still-bloody slab—not to mention hearty sides of creamed spinach, Yorkshire pudding, and potatoes (mashed or baked)—a second serving is complimentary.
This Beacon Hill beefery adjacent to boutique hotel XV Beacon eschews wood paneling and leather booths in favor of black-and-white cow art, amber resin chandeliers, and high-backed chairs. The kitchen focuses on prime cuts of dry-aged beef paired with house-made sauces, like béarnaise, bordelaise, and ketchup-based BBQ. Beef Wellington and a starter of bone marrow with herbed butter and red wine sauce are other standouts.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Chicago
This Chicago landmark in the Gold Coast has all the trappings of an old-school steakhouse: red leather booths, wood paneling, and supersized portions of corn-fed, Black Angus beef. The iconic meat palace teems with sports stars and politicos who sip martinis and order massive lobster tails to go with the 48-ounce porterhouse. The service is flawless even if you’re not an A-lister, and the enormous carrot cake is legendary. Sharing is the way to go, so that you can sample everything Gibsons has to offer.
Barclay Prime, Philadelphia
With green suede sofas and a clubby soundtrack, Stephen Starr’s Rittenhouse Square chophouse is designed for 21st-century carnivores and martini swillers. The Philly cheesesteak also gets an upgrade: a foot-long combination of Wagyu rib eye, truffled fontina, mushrooms, onions, and pickled hot peppers on a sesame-seed Italian loaf. A sandwich this good calls for celebrating and, in fact, comes with a half bottle of bubbly. Generally, the beef is excellent, and the steak knife selection is gimmicky, yet fun—ask to test-drive all six (Wusthof, Henckels, Laguiole, Porsche, Global, and Shun).
Thanks to a recent makeover, the dining room at Murray’s is brighter and more modern, the lounge has been gutted and outfitted with a gleaming walnut bar, and the banquet hall–like pink drapes and chairs are gone. There’s also a revamped lunch menu starring a burger made from ground steak trimmings and a meat lover’s sirloin-and-bacon sandwich. Some classic elements, thankfully, have not changed, including the mirrored walls, the glowing neon sign, and the famous Silver Butter Knife Steak, a 28-ounce strip sirloin for two, carved tableside.
It’s all about the beef, specifically wet-aged center-cut tenderloin, at Nicaraguan-born Michael Cordua’s Latin-style grills. The signature dish is the churrasco, a char-grilled, chimichurri-seasoned steak, and you could easily make a meal of the restaurant’s juicy, flavorful namesake and the complimentary plantain chips. Flaky empanadas and bacon-wrapped shrimp taquitos are worthy starters, and the famous tres leches cake is a must.
Jess & Jim’s, Kansas City, MO
In 1972, Calvin Trillin put this family-owned grill, a 30-minute drive from downtown Kansas City, on the map when he touted it in Playboy as one of the nation’s best steakhouses. The two-inch-thick, 25-ounce sirloin, which is named after the magazine and delivered well charred and sizzling, still lives up to that hype. Also of note is the twice-baked potato, which weighs in at more than a pound—and that’s before it’s loaded up with sour cream, bacon, and cheese.
Keens Steakhouse, New York City
A series of wood-paneled rooms with vintage photographs, playbills, and memorabilia (including a collection of 90,000 clay pipes) make up this iconic chophouse, serving meat-obsessed New Yorkers since 1885. And it doesn’t appear to have changed much since its Victorian-era naissance. The emphasis is, rightly so, on perfectly charred, oversize servings of dry-aged beef, though the signature dish is the mutton—actually a juicy, fatty saddle of lamb, and it’s legendary for a reason. Pair your meat with a side of French fries and a snifter from the 200-plus whiskey list.
Oak Steakhouse, Charleston, SC
Lowcountry native son Jeremiah Bacon—whose résumé includes stints at Le Bernardin and Per Se—has put a farm-to-stable spin on this chophouse in a historic Savings & Loan. Local shellfish makes an appearance in dishes like clams casino and shrimp and lobster mac and cheese, while regional Bibb lettuce replaces iceberg in a classic wedge salad. Start with the French toast–like bone marrow pudding, and go for a classic cut, like the New York strip, which arrives still sizzling.
Five O’Clock Steakhouse, Milwaukee
This supper club with a Mad Men vibe operates much as it did when the Coerper family opened it back in 1948. Dinner begins at the bar—ideally over martinis or Manhattans—then proceeds to the dimly lit dining room for classic steakhouse fare: buttery, garlicky shrimp scampi, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and charbroiled steaks. Opt for fattier cuts like the bone-in rib eye.
The Prime Rib, Baltimore
A pianist plays nightly, and waiters wear tuxes at this leopard-print-carpeted steakhouse in the posh Mount Vernon neighborhood—where diners, primarily bankers, lawyers, and well-heeled couples, look the part as well. The jumbo lump crab cakes are notable in a town rife with excellent options. The filet mignon—on the bone, with a well-crisped crust and a medium-rare center—rivals the restaurant’s namesake. Look for offshoots in D.C. and Philadelphia.
Jeff Ruby’s Precinct, Cincinnati
This Cincy landmark, located in a former police patrol house, is a favorite of bigwigs, sports stars, and visiting celebs. A 19th-century Brunswick bar, reclaimed saloon doors, and vintage barber chairs set the stage for USDA prime steaks topped with sauces like béarnaise, brandy cream, and mushroom bordelaise and served with house-made bread, salad, and baked potatoes—plus tableside fettuccine Alfredo and bananas foster.
Prime, Las Vegas
There’s no shortage of pomp and circumstance at this elegant steakhouse decked out with Tiffany-blue drapes, crystal-trimmed table lamps, and Old World–style paintings. Views of the Lake Bellagio fountains, top-notch steaks—including a six-peppercorn-crusted New York strip and a 28-ounce bone-in rib eye—and amped-up sides like spaetzle with Gruyère have made Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s steakhouse the gold standard in Vegas.
Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa, FL
This second-generation family-run steakhouse has become a gilded institution with eight ornate dining rooms, bow-tied waiters, and a nearly 600,000-bottle wine list. Steaks are dry aged for five weeks, hand cut to your specified thickness and weight, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter. Sides include vegetables sourced from Bern’s farm. A dedicated Dessert Room goes all-out with treats like the peanut butter truffle: a deep-dish Oreo crust filled with bittersweet chocolate and peanut butter mousse and topped with caramelized bananas.
Lonesome Dove, Fort Worth, TX
You don’t need to don your cowboy boots and Stetson to pay a visit to Tim Love’s meat mecca in Fort Worth’s 19th-century stockyards—but you’ll fit right in if you do. This is cowboy cuisine at its finest, with plenty of impressive steaks, including a corn-finished, open-pasture New York strip, a Texas Wagyu tomahawk chop, and a grass-fed Colorado rib eye, all served with serrano lime butter. There’s also elk loin, wild boar ribs, and kangaroo carpaccio nachos, plus a slew of Texas-inflected sides and starters, like butter lettuce with lardons, spiced pepitas, and chile buttermilk dressing. Wash it all down with a jalapeño cucumber margarita.
Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City’s oldest continuously running restaurant, set in the Oklahoma National Stockyards, attracts a mixed crowd: everyone from spur-sporting cowboys and cattle ranchers to George W. and Reba McEntire has supped at this Old West spot, where you can get steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Regulars know to start with the lamb fries, proceed to the corn-fed sirloin, and save room for coconut cream pie.
Michael Symon’s steakhouse makes a big first impression with its gray-and-dark-wood décor—there’s even a 720-pound redwood communal table in the main dining room. But it’s the meat that takes center stage, literally. Every day, a glass-encased charcoal spit showcases a different whole roasted animal, and you’ll find pig ears, beef cheek, and veal sweetbreads on the menu. For purists, there are charcoal-grilled steaks, finished over a cherrywood grill and best paired with a local brew.