If you want to wrap your lips around some of the finest steaks in the US, head on down to Chicago, where you’ll find a slew of steak houses offering every kind of steak imageable. If you thought the only thing you could do with a slab of beef was slap it on the grill and serve it with fries on the side, you’ve clearly never tried the luxurious, butter-soft Japanese wagyu beef from the Chicago Chophouse, the surf and turf at Joe’s, or the mammoth 48-ounce porterhouse at Gibson’s. If your mouth is already watering, check out our top 20 picks of the best steak houses in Chicago.
20. Michael Jordan’s Steak House Chicago
Just creeping onto the list at number 20 is Michael Jordan’s Steak House Chicago. In the 20 years since Jordan played his last game for the Chicago Bulls, he’s built an empire that encompasses everything from books to trainers to cars to steaks. With a menu packed full of fresh seasonal ingredients, bold, vibrant flavors, and enough meat to satisfy the protein needs of an entire baseball team, his steakhouse on 505 N Michigan Ave is a beacon to residents, tourists, fans, and the plain hungry alike. If you visit, don’t miss the signature dish of prime Delmonico- aged for 45 days, marinated in ginger and served with a sweet, balsamic vinegar jus, it’s guaranteed to have you coming back for more.
19. Tango Sur
If you’re looking for somewhere affordable, informal and vibrant, head to Tango Sur. The dimly lit, intimate setting is packed with more candles than you’ll find at your average Bed Bath and Beyond, while the steaks do a great job at proving that cheap doesn’t have to mean poor quality: sourced from Argentina, the meat is packed full of flavor, and is so soft it basically melts in your mouth. As well as the usual beefy offerings, the steak house also serves up a great selection of sweetbreads, blood sausages, and short ribs. Best of all, it operates a BYOB policy; just make sure to turn up early, as it turns to fill up fast.
18. Gene & Georgetti
Gene & Georgetti maybe Chicago’s oldest steakhouse (it welcomed its first customer all the way back in 1941), but it’s showing no signs of slowing down with age. The walls are studded with photographs showing the evolution of both the restaurant and the city (along with some obligatory signed photos from celebrity diners). The menu is a pretty straightforward affair, with an emphasis on Italian cuisine: expect to see lots of spaghetti dishes, seafood, and pizza in addition to the steaks (which are simply wet-aged before being thrown on the heat). It may keep things simple, but with 75 years in the industry, its clearly doing something right.
17. Prime & Provisions
Located on 222 N La Salle St, Prime and Provisions manages to bridge the gap between comfort food and innovative dining. The ambiance is welcoming, modern, and friendly, while the menu will please your palate and keep your conscious happy at the same time: at present, Prime & Provisions is the only Chicago steakhouse serving humanely raised, hormone or antibiotic-free, U.S.D.A. Prime Creekstone Farms 100% All-Natural Black Angus Beef. The beef is dry-aged on-site for 45 days and finished off with some delicious local Wisconsin butter (from grass-fed cows, natch). Aside from the steaks, the menu is a combination of the angelic (check out the plentiful gluten-free options) and the devilish (the Caramel Pecan Brioche Bread Pudding a la mode is to die for). The wine list is extensive, while the option to round off your meal with a brandy and cigar is a great touch.
16. GT Prime
Since it decided to switch from a restaurant serving up small plates of 4 – 8-ounce samples to a full-blown steakhouse, GT Prime has gone from strength to strength. The layout is trendy but with enough traditional touches to feel familiar (think animal heads on the wall, big booths and friendly service). Along with the steaks, food options include beef tartare with malt vinegar chips, crab avocado, jumbo white asparagus served with duck egg, shaved parmesan and black truffle jus, and enough luxurious desserts to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. If you want to go on an all-out meat binge, don’t miss the aptly titled “Carnivore”, a mammoth selection of meat consisting of 8oz servings of filet, bison, wagyu, and venison (although you’d better clear it with your bank first – the admittedly huge platter will set you back a whopping $235).
15. Maple and Ash
Maple and Ash have taken the concept of the traditional steak house and overlaid it with a veneer of fine dining sensibility. Owned by chef Danny Grant (the proud owner of two Michelin stars), the restaurant has been offering residents of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood the chance to experience steak on a luxury level since 2015. Its seasonal menu features such highlights as the Fire-Roasted Seafood Tower, along with a huge selection of wines and a variety of dry-aged steaks served with locally sourced, imaginatively conceived accompaniments. One word of warning- although undoubtedly delicious, dinner at Maple and Ash doesn’t come for cheap, with some steaks going for upwards of $100.
14. Morton’s The Steakhouse
When Morton changed ownership back in 2012, local residents were in uproar at the thought of any changes to their beloved steak house. Fortunately, the concerns proved unwarranted: 7 years on, the restaurant is still serving up the same butter-soft porterhouse, garlic shrimps, and sumptuous key lime pie. While it’s not going to surprise you with its menu, Morton’s shows the value of tradition in an industry that often prides innovation over taste.
13. Fogo de Chao
If you’re in the mood for something big. bold and high on flavor, head to Fogo de Chao. The Brazilian churrascaria serves up a colorful menu of fresh, flavorful dishes inspired by the cuisine of Brazil. Its meaty offerings include everything from Medalhoes Com Bacon (bacon-wrapped steak) to Costela (beef ribs with a rock salt crust). If you want to try something different, the charcuterie platter (a colorful combination of cured meats and aged cheeses served alongside fig jam, caper berries, and whole grain mustard) comes highly recommended.
12. Chicago Chop House
If you like a side order of history with your sirloin, don’t miss a visit to the Chicago Chop House. The walls are plastered with photos from old-time Chicago, providing the ideal backdrop to a menu that combines traditional dishes with modern treatments. The exquisitely marbled wagyu reserve is melt-in-the-mouth tender, while the $145 grand porterhouse sourced from sustainably raised, Black Angus cattle is guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.
11. Swift and Sons
If you’re a fan of steakhouse classics like Caesar salad, steak tartare, shrimp cocktail, and crab legs (not to mention every cut of steak imaginable), then head to Swift & Son’s, a great, consistently reliable steakhouse that’s been voted among of the best of its kind for years.
10. RPM Steak
When RPM Steak first opened, local residents were doubtful its owners (a reality star and former E! anchor) had the chops to make it a success. Fast forward a few years, and those doubters are eating their words... well, they would be, if they weren’t filling their mouths with one of RPM’s 15 different cuts of steak. Other standout items from the menu include the Big Eye Tuna Sashimi, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and a sumptuous Baked Alaska (flambeed tableside by your waiter). It certainly ain’t cheap, but if you’re looking to impress a special someone, it’s guaranteed to do just that.
9. Steak 48
Created by the same family who founded Mastro’s (more on which coming up very shortly), Steak 48 is a relatively new addition to the Chicago steak house scene (it welcomed its first customers in 2017), but already its carved out a place for itself as THE place to go for locally sourced, sustainably farmed meats, a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and some of the best seafood dishes you’ll find in the city.
8. Mastro’s Steakhouse
With a welcoming, charming ambiance, a classic menu full of steak house favorites like shrimp cocktail, key lime pie, rack of lamb, Alaskan king crab legs, and every kind of steak you’d expect, the Illinois base of this Arizona chain makes a very welcome addition to the Chicago restaurant scene.
7. Benny’s Chop House
Fans of live jazz will love Benny’s Chop House… fans of steak may love it even more. Expect an expansive wine list and an eclectic menu full of such tasty offerings as S’ mores Milk Chocolate Cheesecake, Banana Cream Pie with caramelized bananas, and Japanese Black Tajima Kobe, an exquisite delicacy you’re unlikely to find in many of Chicago’s other restaurants.
6. Gibson Bar & Steakhouse
With a great, fun ambiance, a menu full of giant slabs of prime cut, expertly cooked red meat, superb accompaniments, and tasty cocktails, there’s a reason Gibson Bar & Steakhouse is one of the best known (and best-loved) steakhouses in Chicago. If you can resist the temptation of one of the restaurant’s great steak dishes, try one of the “Local Favorites” for size instead: the Blue Star Burger (which is basted in steak sauce before being heaped with caramelized onions and Wisconsin cheddar cheese and served on a pretzel bun) comes especially recommend.
5. Chicago Cut Steakhouse
A popular hangout for celebrities, the Chicago Cut Steakhouse is one of Chicago’s finest steak houses (even if not necessarily its cheapest). If you don’t mind laying down the cash to impress, this is the place to do it. Voted as one of Open Table’s 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America for 2018, the steak house’s prime location is perfectly complemented by a strong menu featuring such creations as lollipop lamb chops, roasted foie gras, lobster escargot, jumbo lump crab cocktail, charred octopus salad, and a full selection of hand-selected, USDA 100% prime beef cuts, butchered on-site and dry-aged for 35 days.
Located in what used to be a butcher’s shop on 1012 N. Western Ave., Humboldt Park, Boeufhaus might be one of the smallest restaurants to make our list (offering just 34 seats), but that doesn’t stop it being one of the biggest hitters. Walk through the door and you may think you’d wandered into a trendy Brooklyn hangout, but a quick glimpse at the menu will leave you in no doubt as to where you are. Featuring a strong lineup of steak house classics (albeit treated with a contemporary twist), the menu has a strong focus on seasonal, local ingredients, artisanal products, and ethically reared meat.
3. El Che Steakhouse & Bar
El Che Steakhouse & Bar is an experience you don’t want to miss. Take a seat and watch the talented chefs cook up a storm over the custom-built hearth. If you can drag your eyes away to the menu, you’ll find it loaded with meaty treats flavored with a South- American flair. Choose between snacks like bruschetta with whipped herbed mozzarella and cilantro basil salad, or chilled prawns served with red wine vinaigrette, aji Amarillo and cilantro, and mains that feature, among other things, a meat -mountain called “parrillada”, a house special that includes everything from grilled beef short ribs, bife angosto, sweetbreads, and chorizo, to bone marrow, salsa Criolla and chimichurri.
2. Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf
Top-quality beef, an incredible short rib stroganoff, and delectable double bone pork chops are among the many treats that await you at Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf. Even if the menu fails to tempt you (although how it couldn’t, I don’t know), the décor, music, service, and general ambiance will make for one of the best dining experiences you’ll experience in the whole of Chicago.
1. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab
If surf and turf is your thing, then trust me when I say you don’t want to miss a visit to Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab. It's stone crabs are enough to make a grown man weep, while its steaks are amongst the best you’ll ever eat. Just be sure you don’t fill up so much on the mains you have to skip dessert- even if you left your sweet tooth at home, you’ll kick yourself for not trying the sublime peach huckleberry pie, a divine concoction of summer peaches and huckleberries, topped with a traditional pie crust and served a la mode. As an added benefit, $1 from every slice goes towards Chicago White Sox Charities.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn