By: Matt Meltzer
Credit: Flickr/Edsel Little
There may be no more purely American food than the epic slab of meat known as a steak. Sure, the Argentines and Australians have their own take on it, but nothing says “US of A” like devouring a piece of beef bigger than your head in the bold attempt to get your name on a plaque.
And when it comes to creating comfortable places to devour said meat, we’re the best in the world at that too. Just look at these 21 places. Truth be told, though, the best steakhouses in the United States are as different as the states themselves. In North Dakota, maybe it’s a supper club on a ranch; in Milwaukee, an ultra-modern (this can’t be Wisconsin???) joint frequented by half the Green Bay Packers. Who knows.
But we wanted to at least know what residents consider the top spot to eat meat in each of their respective states, and to do that, we spoke to locals, chefs, and state tourism boards, as well as consulted online reviews. And after all the opinions were tallied, we narrowed it down to these 51 spots, or the filet mignon of American steakhouses.
Though this spot in northern Alabama has been serving USDA choice cuts – from petit filets to 14oz ribeyes – since 1938, it also peddles a full menu of Southern staples like fried green tomatoes and Steak Jack Daniels (a New York strip basted in whiskey and covered in Cajun spices). But no trip to All Steak is complete without trying its famous orange sweet rolls.
Simon and Seafort’s Saloon & Grill
Contrary to popular opinion, you won’t be able to see Russia from the main dining room. What you will see, however, is Cook Inlet and the Alaska Range as you take down some of the tastiest rock-salt roasted prime rib and char-grilled filet north of the Lower 48. If you’re weirdly not into steak (why are you reading this story?!?!), you’re still in luck – it’s Alaska! Enjoy all the fresh-caught crab.
The obscene population explosion in Phoenix over the past couple of decades has brought some trendy, chic steakhouses to the Valley. But none can touch the old-school, red-leather elegance of Durant’s. An Arizona staple for over 65 years, it’s hosted the likes of John Wayne and Joe DiMaggio. The waiters still wear red tuxedo vests, you can still wash your steak down with a dry martini, and if you finish the 48oz porterhouse, you get your name on the wall (FYI: if an 8-year-old girl did it, so can you). Pro tip: use the back entrance. Sure, you could walk in on Center St, but you’ll miss all the hot action in the kitchen and give yourself away as a tourist.
Sonny Williams’ Steak Room
There are no shortages of steakhouses in Little Rock, and you could make a pretty solid case for Riverfront too. But for the absolute best steak-and-wine combo in the state, nobody beats Sonny Williams’. The place ages its meat for 24 days, which gives it an almost-sweet flavor. You’re gonna want to roll with the 12oz filet (served Sonny Style) and pair with a red from the award-winning wine list.
Credit: Flickr/Lance and Erin
The Hitching Post
Like three kids in the back of the car, LA, SF, and SD all argue that they’ve got the best steakhouse in the state. And you know what? We’re sick of listening to you kids argue so we’re turning this car around and going to The Hitching Post! This spot might have been made famous in Sideways (although, technically, that was its sister location in Buellton), but it’s much more than a movie set. The Hitching Post has a unique style of California “live-oak” barbecuing, slow cooking over an open fire so its meat boasts a fuller flavor than traditionally grilled streaks. And serving them in the heart of wine country doesn’t hurt either.
Guard and Grace
Colorado takes steak seriously. Its biggest city, Denver, was once a “cow town” that hosted a huge Livestock Exchange. Today, Denver (not to mention Fort Collins and Colorado Springs) supports a ton of top-notch, upscale steakhouses like Elway’s and Shanahan’s, and other steak palaces not owned by Broncos affiliates.
Guard and Grace hits all the right modern steakhouse notes – a vibrant feel that doesn’t recall a funeral home, in-house charcuterie, and a raw bar with sashimi; plus barrel-aged Manhattans, an eclectic wine list, and side dishes like handmade truffled gnocchi and chipotle-lime smashed potatoes. Steak-wise, there are grass-fed filets (including a filet “flight” with 4oz prime, Angus, and grass-fed cuts), plus the traditional assortment of prime and Angus selections.
David Burke Prime
Does it really surprise anyone that the best steakhouse in the state is located in a casino? Of course, not. Nothing says: “Keep playing those nickel slots” like an 18oz, 75-day, dry-aged salt brick ribeye. Yeah, this 280-seater at Foxwoods dry-ages everything with a patented process (that involves a room lined with Himalayan salt) and serves nine different cuts aged between 24 and 76 days.
This heart-of-Little Italy landmark has become a local favorite for its massive slabs of prime rib and old-school steakhouse bravado, all delivered with steady charm by classically attentive servers. Considered a top stop along the foodie-centric Delaware Culinary Trail, Walter’s is the place to score that pampered martini-and-filet-mignon feeling, or for the not-so-fancy, a free seafood bar on Thursdays and Sundays. And on Wednesdays… Baltimore-style pit beef sandwiches!
District of Columbia
Though it’s not a steakhouse in the fine-dining, lobbyists-definitely-can’t-buy-you-a-meal-here sense of the word, this four-year-old spot has quickly become the most popular in the District. Taking a hint from the Parisian smash L’entrecote, for $19.95, you get a dry-aged sirloin cap topped with French fries and a secret mustard-cream-pepper sauce. And that’s it. That’s the whole menu. And if you want more, well, a second helping of steak frites is absolutely free.
With all due respect to the 4,000 (insanely expensive) prime steakhouses that have opened in Miami over the past two years, Bern’s has been around since the 1950s, and for the price of your trimmed-to-order chateaubriand (actually, any steak really), you also get French onion soup and a Caesar salad made tableside.
Kevin Rathbun Steak
Atlanta is another city with at least 11 places that could make a pretty legit claim to being the top spot in Georgia. But were any of them opened by a James Beard award-winning chef who was on Iron Chef and touts serving his meat extra-rare “blue,” thumbing his nose at pesky details like FDA-recommended standards? No, they were not. And it’s those kinda stones that win fights in the South, and why Kevin Rathbun (and his blue steaks) take the top prize of best steakhouse in Georgia.
Hy’s Steak House
You might think that ordering steak on an island is akin to ordering sushi in Iowa, but you’d be wrong. The steaks at this odd Waikiki restaurant (where collars and shoes are required) are cooked over Hawaiian Kiawe wood, which gives them an exquisite flavor you won’t find on the mainland. Plus, the waiters wear tuxedos and make Caesar salad and bananas Foster at your table.
Sure, “local sourcing” in Idaho is pretty easy when you’re talking about side dishes – potatoes! But what about local beef? Well, they’ve got that covered too: Snake River Farms in Boise provides much of the prime, American Wagyu, and other high-grade beef at the city’s finest steakhouse. Throw in a martini bar helmed by Martini Mix-Off winner Pat Carden, and you’ve got the best beef joint in the Gem State.
Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf
Some all-knowing steak experts named this the top steakhouse in Chicago a while back, and since there’s still no burgeoning beef scene in Springfield, Bavette’s takes the top honor in Illinois as well. Inside this speakeasy-style steak den, you can sip on over 50 whiskeys before (or while) chowing down on 22oz dry-aged ribeye covered with bone marrow, towers of seafood, or short-rib stroganoff.
St. Elmo Steak House
Please resist the temptation to run into the kitchen, stare at the broiler, and start doing your best John Parr imitation. Yeah, that song was good, but the steaks here are better. Probably the most famous Midwestern steakhouse outside of Chicago, St. Elmo is also the biggest tourist attraction in Indy that doesn’t involve burning tire rubber. The classic steakhouse fare is first-rate, but honestly, the joint is even more famous for its cocktail sauce; it’s got enough horseradish to clear a sinus infection but still won’t ruin your appetite for dinner.
If you happen to find yourself in Le Mars, IA, then we’re assuming you lost a contest (kidding, Le Mars!). In fact, just the opposite – you are in luck. Archie’s has been dry-aging and hand-cutting its steaks for over 65 years and was named No. 4 on Rachel Ray’s list of the 200 top steakhouses in America. That’s right, FOURTH. And if you needed another reason to go: the wine selection was a James Beard semi-finalist in 2014 and won the James Beard American Classic Award in 2015.
Little Apple Brewing Company
When a steakhouse is founded by a group of cattle ranchers in need of a place to entertain clients, you know the meat’s going to be tops. And when it’s all Certified Angus Beef – served with beer made at the adjoining brewery – you know Little Apple is on par with any joint in the Big Apple. A comparison that’s also fun ‘cause, you know, the place is in Manhattan (Kansas). While the steaks are the main attraction, this spot also features a special menu where the chefs play with seasonal ingredients.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
Though maybe not the favorite of longtime Luh-villians, this Cincinnati transplant, with its crystal chandeliers and hardwood booths, is THE spot for power lunches in Louisville. It’s hard to argue with a menu that rocks four different bone-in prime steaks (including a 22oz chili-rubbed dry number served w/ cipollini onions & shishito peppers), herb-roasted lobster tail, and barrel-cut filet mignon. Are you keeping it real by eating here? No. But… it’s steak. Who cares.
It wouldn’t be the Big Easy if you didn’t pair your steak with some fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood. The Brennan family is as big a name in New Orleans cuisine as there is and the steak-focused Dickie keeps the place local by giving his USDA prime steaks “a New Orleans touch” – plating some with fried oysters while topping others with jumbo shrimp.
Timber Steakhouse and Rotisserie
Portland is the new Portland, so goes the word on the street. And at the center of Portland, Maine’s booming culinary scene is this modern steakhouse, with an interior that eschews big red booths and chic glass tables for light wood, horseshoes, and blacksmith. The bourbon-marinated steak tips are the best meat you’ll find in Maine, but if you prefer beef sans sauce, try the 8oz filet mignon surf & turf, served, of course, with butter-poached Maine lobster.
Credit: Flickr/Paul Gardner
The Prime Rib
Maryland might be known for crab cakes and Old Bay, but the state still boasts some impressive steakhouses. Chief among them: this old-school spot in Baltimore complete with leopard print carpet and a live piano player to bring you back to 1965, the year the joint opened. And yes, even though it’s a steakhouse, you can still get some of the best crab cakes in Baltimore, with a heaping side of Old Bay.
Grill 23 & Bar
If you’re gonna open shop in one of the sexiest neighborhoods in America, then you not only have to serve some great steaks, but your interior’s gotta get people excited too. And the mahogany walls, giant marble columns, and sexy bar in this Back Bay steakhouse don’t disappoint. Neither do the steaks – you’re going with the famous 100-day, dry-aged ribeye.
Despite never being featured in a heart-racing Chrysler commercial, Michael Symon still believes in Detroit. In fact, he believes in it so much that even back in 2008, when the city was freefalling into ruin, he opened this spot. Seven years later, it’s the cornerstone of the Downtown Detroit food scene – it’s dimly lit, elegant, and a good place to hideout on Christmas. But even if you don’t want to use its prime cuts as an excuse to avoid your family, this is a Detroit must, right up there with Slows and the coney joints.
Long before they crowded The Palm after big games, the Lakers would get their post-game meals here. Because, of course, they used to play in Minneapolis. But NBA history aside, this place has been the destination for steak in the Twin Cities since 1946 and continues to dominate as one of the nation’s best. Its signature steak – a 28oz sirloin dubbed The Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two – is so tender it can be cut with a butter knife, and they’ll prove it by slicing it tableside. Have some fun: order it EXTRA well-done and see how tough that server really is.
Credit: Flickr/Shannon Hurst Lane
Doe’s Eat Place
Though Doe’s has about eight other locations throughout the South, the real Doe’s experience is at the Greenville original. This white wood house on the Mississippi Delta has been around since 1941, when Dominick “Doe” Signa opened a honky tonk in the front that served his wife’s famous tamales. In the back, Doe grilled steaks for local doctors, until they became so popular (the steaks that is, not the docs) that Doe closed the honky tonk in order to focus on the “eat place.” And while the beef is the obvious main attraction here, you shouldn’t leave without trying its all-beef tamales.
This would be an absolutely perfect name for a steakhouse in the Hearst Castle, but since that’s not happening, you’ll have to settle for an old Victorian home on the outskirts of St. Louis. While the restaurant keeps things simple with a spectacular, Cardinals-like lineup of steaks, it stays true to its cinephile roots with a salad named the Rosebud.
Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse
If you’re the kind of person who believes fine steaks should be served with fine wine by waiters in tuxedos, well, maybe Montana isn’t the place for you. This spot outside Bozeman lets you order USDA prime steaks, and then eat them on white paper placemats printed with ads for local businesses, for like a fraction the price (the 8oz prime tenderloin is $24.50) you’d pay in one of your fancy city-slicker steakhouses.
When your entire state smells of cattle, the least you should be able to get in return is some quality steak, right? And the best place to offset miles and miles of feedlot smell? Farmer Browns. This family-run spot near Omaha has been open since 1964, and, like the great Midwesterners that its owners are, they show exceptional gratitude when their spot is named one of the 21 best steakhouses in America. But, f’real guys, you CAN post more than two pictures a year to your Facebook.
Everybody’s all over Gordon Ramsay Steak and his Hell’s Kitchen menu where you can taste food from the show. But for our money, this classic Old Vegas steakhouse that was once used as THE comp location by casinos for their best customers is the move. The steaks are as good as any on a reality show and the joint has seen the likes of Elvis, Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and every other real celebrity who made Las Vegas cool come through the door. The off-Strip gem is a Vegas staple, and despite the influx of newer, trendier places around town, still stands up as the best pure steakhouse in Nevada.
Hanover Street Chophouse
As part of Downtown Manchester’s burgeoning nightlife scene, this spot (which opened in 2010) offers some of the most exceptional beef in the Granite State. It’s also got an extensive raw bar, amazing specialty drinks, and impeccable service. Also, the wine list tops 200 varieties and has been recognized by Wine Spectator five years running.
Originally a staple of NYC’s meatpacking district, the second location at AC’s Borgata Hotel has quickly climbed the ranks to become the finest steakhouse in all of the Garden State. The 34oz Gotham ribeye is your go-to here, but try to enjoy it without looking up to the second floor; from there, portraits of cows stare down at you in a judging manner. If you want to take the edge off after a big run at the blackjack table, start with something from the Macallan Full and Rare Vintage Scotch collection.
Monte Carlo Steakhouse and Liquor Store
Founded by Greek immigrants who pride themselves on serving not only the best steaks, but the best authentic Greek cuisine in New Mexico, this place is kinda like a Greek restaurant inside a steakhouse inside a liquor store, and it’s all named after a section of Monaco. So very confusing. And while Guy Fieri was impressed by the ribeye when he visited on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the main attraction is the baklava.
New York City
It’s a tough call between this storied Midtown steakhouse that’s been serving beef since the Cleveland administration and Peter Luger. But the last time I went to Peter Luger, they refused to cook my steak how I ordered it, and anybody who tells you how (and not what) to eat really ain’t all that great. So the win goes to Keens out of both spite and merit. Not only does the place serve steak as good as any in the city, but it might be the only steakhouse in America that’s also world renowned for its mutton.
In 1959, the section of Highway 70 between Raleigh and Durham seemed like a pretty ridiculous place to open a 250-seat restaurant. Talk about foresight. As the Research Triangle has grown, so too has this iconic red barn on the side of the road. Today, in addition to an expanded dining room, there’s a wine cellar/private seating area, and a Wild Turkey Lounge that boasts the largest private collection of Wild Turkey decanters in the world. Oh yeah, and it’s also served over 13 million diners. The steaks still come with soup and salad, and despite being one of America’s top 50 grossing independent restaurants, the family-run spot retains its warm Southern charm.
While a lot of big-city restaurants claim to have a “supper club” atmosphere, it takes a restaurant in a barn in the middle of North Dakota to really capture the essence of what one is. Opened in 1946 on a family homestead in Devils Lake, The Ranch quickly became a favorite of traveling salesmen and hunters. Even today, with its remote location, the warm hospitality and extensive menu of North Dakota comfort food draws people from all over. And despite the oil boom, it still keeps its prices low; as in a 9oz filet mignon for an eye-popping $29.
Red, the Steakhouse
So, there used to be this guy in Cleveland who was a huge star, and then after making it big, he took his talents to South Beach and became an even greater success. LeBron you say? Yeah, OK him too, but we’re talking about Peter Vauthy, who before running the best steakhouse in Miami, ran the best one in Cleveland: Red. This place not only serves up a big menu of Certified Angus Beef, but it also plates some of the best Italian fare topped with Peter’s heart-stopping Red Lead sauce.
It wouldn’t be an iconic restaurant in the West without SOME kind of gambling connection. So that number 33 you see all over the oldest restaurant in Oklahoma? That’s a reference to the “hard six” one-time owner Gene Wade rolled in a dice game to win the place. Now a cornerstone of trendy Stockyards City, this place will serve you steak three meals a day (probably four, if you ask nicely) and not a one of them will cost you more than $30.
With all due respect to the legendary RingSide – and the bevy of PDX strip cubs that serve steak – this Argentine-style joint takes the title for best in Oregon. Why? Well, never mind that there’s a Brunch Village-worthy line out the door every time you want to go, but they also do crazy stuff like infuse the steak drippings with celery, onion, and lemon before throwing them BACK on the steak.
The conversation really could begin and end with the words “Stephen Starr.“ But since sometimes you need more than a name to fill you up, this steakhouse (in the same building where the Abscam sting went down) has plenty of beef to choose from. The Pat LaFrieda meat selection ranges from the delectable 8oz filet mignon to a massive 50oz tomahawk ribeye that may or may not be meant for two people. That’s for you and your cardiologist to decide.
10 Prime Steak & Sushi
Chalk it up to being located in the country’s smallest state, but 10 Prime is often named both best steak AND sushi in Rhode Island. The Downtown Providence hotspot serves 28-day-aged Certified Angus Beef and offers a 40oz porterhouse that’s… OK, we have to… roughly the size of Rhode Island.
Nothing says “the South” like church and free-flowing bourbon. And that’s what you get every Sunday at Halls’ Gospel Brunch. It’s possibly America’s most quintessentially Southern brunch, where you’ll enjoy a live Southern gospel choir with your sweet potato pancakes, shrimp & grits, and full bar service. But even if you don’t go for brunch, the steaks at this place – from the prime steaks and burgers to the grass-fed filet and $25-an-ounce Japanese Wagyu – are the best in South Carolina.
Foleys Fish, Chop and Steakhouse
Sioux Falls might have the best culinary scene in America that you don’t know about. And aside from the bistros and patisseries, the meat-and-potatoes of it is Foleys, an expansive fine-dining steakhouse a few miles southwest of Downtown. Inside you’ll find the same plush, white tablecloth action you’d expect in a big city steakhouse, complemented by a menu full of corn-fed, Midwestern beef and Iowa pork chops.
Credit: Flickr/Rachel Chapdelaine
It’ll be tough to save room for the steaks when Kayne starts you off with its famous bacon-topped maple cotton candy, but make sure you do. Nashville’s premiere steakhouse serves meat from all over the globe, and while nothing on the menu comes anywhere near “cheap,” it’s the rare meal that you won’t mind dropping some cash on.
Not even Tom Landry could name the best steakhouse in Texas without getting at LEAST 400 people telling him he’s wrong. With that in mind, we’re rolling with a place that’s topped Dallas’ best-of lists for decades, offers up Akaushi Kobe steaks, regularly does craft beer dinners, and has grown to become the best steakhouse in several other Texas cities, as well. Obviously, you should now feel free to jump directly to the comments.
Maddox Ranch House
Oh, you wanted a nice cabernet to pair with your 14oz bison ribeye? This is Utah, pal. Try again. Proving you CAN enjoy a first-rate meal without alcohol, Utah’s self-proclaimed “top family dining destination” serves up the best steaks in the state without a drop of booze in the house but with – and your wallet will appreciate this – veggies, soup, a potato, and salad or shrimp cocktail, all included.
The whole “farm-to-table” movement is cute, until you think to yourself, “There hasn’t been a farm in Downtown Cleveland since the 1800s.” But for an actual farm-to-table experience, where else to go but Vermont? This post-and-beam restaurant sits on a farm that raises not only black Angus cattle and horses, but also chickens, turkeys, pigs, and barn cats. And four nights a week, Chef Ira White prepares a BYOB three-course meal ($45-$47) made out of ingredients she imports from other states… just kidding, from the farm!
Credit: Flickr/Ted Eytan
Ray’s The Steaks
Though some might argue that Arlington isn’t really Virginia, it’s hard to argue that any place inside the Commonwealth serves better steaks. Here, they start with Certified Angus Beef aged up to 60 days (both wet and dry) before applying a proprietary rub and cooking the meat over an open flame. The joint’s so good it spawned a burger offshoot – Ray’s to the Third – that serves one of the best burgers in DC.
Even before Seattle was a 21st-century boomtown of dudes with tons of money and no women to spend it on, “the Met” was an old-school, mahogany-doored steakhouse made for men with big appetites. While it doesn’t date back as the far as the Marion Building in which it’s located (est. 1903), you can still get a little Seattle history while enjoying your 100% Mayura Station Australian Wagyu.
Prime 44 West
White Sulphur Springs
When it comes to steaks and strippers, West Virginia is extremely underrated. The place dubbed “almost heaven” has the most strip clubs per capita, and it boasts this place inside the legendary Greenbrier resort. It’s a top dinner spot for every guy who competes in the annual PGA Tour event, and the menu’s nothing but prime cuts inspired by namesake Jerry West. Jackets are recommended, and the place oozes so much old-school class it even boasts an adjacent cigar bar.
Carnevor Steakhouse Moderne
While nobody would ever confuse Milwaukee with South Beach when it comes to spotting celebs (or for any reason, really), if there’s one place in Wisconsin to do it, it’s here. This ultra-chic, not-very-Milwaukee steakhouse has a sleek, amber décor that lights up a menu of Allen Brothers prime steaks. It’s a hotspot among Packers players and other famous people who happen to be in southeast Wisconsin, and the menu is highlighted by a Japanese Wagyu A5 filet mignon that, no doubt, is what really powered Ryan Braun to all those home runs.
Rib & Chop House
Anyone who’s ever driven through Wyoming knows two things: 1) there is such a thing as a dirt-road interstate offramp, and 2) there’s no shortage of cattle ranches in the state. Which is why the best steakhouse in Wyoming has also birthed nine other locations in the Rockies and Pennsylvania. No matter, the Certified Angus Beef keeps this place a leg above other restaurants. And the 24-hour marinated baby back ribs make it well worth the four-hour drive from anywhere else in the state you’re coming from.
More from Thrillist: