London's best restaurants for steak

Mad on meat? Follow our guide to steak restaurants in London to find the juiciest cuts in town

Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

We've tried and tested the very best restaurants in London for the very best cuts of meat, and here are the results – London's top steak restaurants. We've chosen from Argentinian steakhouses and British brasseries to find you the finest fillet, sirloin, rib-eye and more. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

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Steak restaurants in London

Hawksmoor Spitalfields

This Spitalfields steakhouse has wooed much of London since opening in 2006; word-of-blog has only served to create an even bigger buzz around the restaurant and its food. Hawksmoor’s USP is in supplying excellent produce cooked well, focusing on top-quality beef from renowned London butcher Ginger Pig. There’s a serious attitude to beef provenance and an impressive list of breeds; Longhorn is always available, but guest breeds range from Herefords to Lincoln Reds. The savvy staff do a terrific job of explaining the differences. 

You can also try the almost-as-excellent Hawksmoor Seven Dials, Hawksmoor Guildhall and Hawksmoor Air Street branches.

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Spitalfields

Zoilo

This is deconstructed, small-plates Argentinian cooking, and it works – with flavours as good as these, you want as many different mouthfuls as you can get. An empanada’s pastry was expert, as enjoyable as its creamy spinach and raisin filling. Fried chunks of queso de chancho (‘head cheese’) were like a seriously adult version of chicken nuggets. A miniature steak (softened up with the sous vide treatment then blasted on the grill) was flawless, the flavour like undiluted beef cordial.

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Marylebone

Casa Malevo

Critics' choice

The neighbourhood has a wealthy and exclusive vibe, but Casa Malevo is a little hub of welcoming homeliness. That’s partly thanks to the small, domestic-feeling interior, with its old-fashioned dresser and a back conservatory that overlooks gardens and a children’s play area. Decor includes framed photographs of appropriate images such as steaks or a gaucho’s spur. The bare brick walls (Argentinian steak restaurant standard issue, it seems) are even rougher than most. Happily, flavours followed this intense pattern.

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Marble Arch

Foxlow

It takes special magic to lift a curse. One held over a restaurant site, doubly so. The previous time we dined at this address, the (Nordic) cooking was excellent, but the atmosphere dreary. The building was – and has always been – a doomed sow’s ear of a site, a corridor-with-annexes. It would, we thought, take a sorcerer of Potter-like talents to turn it into a silk purse. But Hawksmoor founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott have reversed the hex.

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Farringdon

Garufin

Younger sibling to Highbury’s Garufa, Garufin is elusive, tucking itself into a basement down a quiet passageway just off Red Lion Street. While Garufa is a ‘starter, steak and pud’ kind of a place, Garufin bends the rules. Sure, there are slabs of beef, but this ‘Argentine kitchen’ has also plundered the regions to turn everyday dishes into – what else? – modish small plates.

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Midtown

Gaucho Piccadilly

From the Paraguayan-style cheesy breads to the dulce de leche pancakes, via the succulent empanadas, meat and fish dishes, the food is impeccably sourced and carefully prepared. The main event is the beef; before the meal, a waiter comes over with the five main steak cuts and explains how they’re best served and accompanied. If you want the meatiest meat, choose ribeye, though the fillet is heavenly for those frightened of fat. The truly impressive wine list is pricey, but the house malbec is usually excellent.

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Piccadilly

Goodman Mayfair

‘Bringing the New York steakhouse to London.’ Not the most original brief, but this (Russian-owned) newcomer has a decent stab at bringing Manhattan to Mayfair: dark-wood panelling, inviting leather booths, a bar counter running the length of the restaurant, and staff so chatty and involved in your order they practically sit down to eat with you. If the server did pull up a seat, you wouldn’t be happy to share the excellent steak – be it a 250g fillet, superbly rich and tender, or a less subtle 400g ‘Goodman ribeye’ from the US, rippled with delicious golden fat.

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Mayfair

Grillshack

Sixty-something serial restaurateur Richard Caring (who owns The Ivy, Pizza East and much, much more) is slowly taking over our city. I sometimes picture him sat on a swivelly chair, stroking a white cat, bwa-ha-ha-ing at us for lining his pockets (and given his magnificently bouffant hair, he can be extra smug). But while opening a burger-steak-chicken joint in Soho is a bit like putting a giant cash register out on the street and waiting for us to comes and stuff it with fivers, you’ve got to hand it to Caring – he gives good restaurant.

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Soho

Hix Oyster & Chop House

Although the name tells diners what to expect, there’s more to Hix than chops and oysters – Blythburgh pork crackling with apple sauce, for example (an ideal nibble), or irresistible deep-fried sprats with caper mayonnaise, followed by roast free-range Goosnargh chicken with wild garlic sauce (for two). Most diners have been male whenever we’ve dined here. We watched in admiration as one table tucked into a medley of steaks; the choice includes porterhouse (for two) and hanger steak with baked bone marrow.

For something similar (but not quite the same), you can also try this restaurant's Soho sibling, Hix, or its high-end hotel sibling, Hix Mayfair.

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Smithfield

Buen Ayre

Broadway Market’s atmosphere of laid-back revelry should make it the perfect spot for Buen Ayre, chef-proprietor John Patrick Rattagan’s attempt to bring casual Argentinian meat feasting to London. The layout is right – one small room, simply furnished, with the asado grill the focus at its centre. The beef on our ‘deluxe’ mixed grill (£53 for two, plus £4.50 for a side of above-average chips) certainly looked every charred, sticky inch the parrilla victim. Yet it didn’t elicit the gushing response that other steak specialists in the capital can.

Broadway Market’s atmosphere of laid-back revelry should make it the perfect spot for Buen Ayre, chef-proprietor John Patrick Rattagan’s attempt to bring casual Argentinian meat feasting to London. The layout is right – one small room, simply furnished, with the asado grill the focus at its centre. The beef on our ‘deluxe’ mixed grill (£53 for two, plus £4.50 for a side of above-average chips) certainly looked every charred, sticky inch the parrilla victim. Yet it didn’t elicit the gushing response that other steak specialists in the capital can.

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London Fields

Flat Iron

What a difference a year makes. When we first visited this pop-up-gone-permanent, it hadn't yet found its feet on this site, and failed to impress. But on our most recent Friday night visit, the signature steak (one of two options: there was an off-menu onglet too) had been expertly cooked: beautifully scorched on the outside, and bloodily pink in the middle, service was swift and cheery, the shared-tables atmosphere lively, and even the no-bookings element a non-issue – you’re given a pager, allowing you to retreat to a local pub or nip downstairs for one of the excellent cocktails.

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Soho

High Timber

High Timber sits a hop, skip and a jump from the Millennium Bridge, with views across to the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern. It’s neutral and modern in looks, with a low ceiling, plate-glass windows and plain wooden furniture – though the anonymity is enlivened by some striking art (for sale) on the walls. Sirloin and ribeye steaks – made with top-notch, 28-day-matured Cumbrian beef – are the focus; assorted sauces range from traditional béarnaise to biltong butter.

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Bankside

Maze Grill

This steak-centred outlet of the Gordon Ramsay empire sells some fine food. A starter of tender salt and sichuan-pepper squid: very good. Aberdeen Angus ribeye steak: excellent. Slow-cooked pork belly with roast sweet potatoes and chilli-blazing pickled cabbage: outstanding. Great ingredients beautifully cooked. But there were numerous negatives too on our recent visit. One is the expense if you eat steak. A 10oz ribeye costs £32 and comes with not a single extra; it sat in solitary splendour on its wooden plank. Another is the wine list, which offers almost nothing under £30 a bottle. Another is the service, which was almost heroically inattentive at times.

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Mayfair

Santa Maria del Sur

Santa Maria is all about the steak – Argentinian, of course. Which sounds good for a place that prides itself on its parrilla skills, but not when almost everything except the beef was a disappointment. A starter of sweetbreads had the vinegary taste of jarred garlic and a damp, crumbly texture, while sardines on toast was no more than the sum of its parts. And yet our steaks were flavour bombs just waiting to go off. The house red (a 2010 malbec, the dominant grape on the list) was a good match.

Santa Maria is all about the steak – Argentinian, of course. Which sounds good for a place that prides itself on its parrilla skills, but not when almost everything except the beef was a disappointment. A starter of sweetbreads had the vinegary taste of jarred garlic and a damp, crumbly texture, while sardines on toast was no more than the sum of its parts. And yet our steaks were flavour bombs just waiting to go off. The house red (a 2010 malbec, the dominant grape on the list) was a good match.

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Clapham

Tramshed

After a promising start, Mark Hix’s chicken and steak restaurant has lost some allure. The room remains a winning combination of fun, glamour and heritage: a Damien Hirst cow and chicken in formaldehyde suspended over the main dining room makes a striking first impression set against the backdrop of a building that once generated the power for east London’s trams. The short menu has steak (rib, sirloin or salad) or chicken as mains. Steak salad passed muster, though we’re unconvinced by the topping of battered onion rings.

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Old Street
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Comments

11 comments
Jules Sciolist J
Jules Sciolist J

I've been to Gaucho and the Hawksmoor, but the best steak I've ever had was from Gym's Kitchen in Leyton. Just melted in my mouth.

Zay G
Zay G

SteakOut Norbury

Eddie P
Eddie P

http://www.buenayre.co.uk here is the best steak I have ever had in my life..... Prior to this was in tis o in Croatia, but this is something that I will take every steak loving friend to... Honestly it is awesome. And my favourite food in the world..... STEAK

Bigsexy N
Bigsexy N

How did you miss The Chamberlayne in Kensal Rise? The steaks are much nicer than at Hawksmoor

Lucy Murias
Lucy Murias

Really pleasantly surprised to Gaucho Charlotte. No doubt, I'm from Argentina, we offer the best meat we have in the Pampas! All the dishes we ate excellent, The tuna tiradito, "las empanadas", made ​​as in Argentina, a delight! We also tried a dish of vegetables, ricotta, almonds, special! And all accompanied by a delicious wine. They have a cellar with the best Argentine wines The decor and soft lighting, with the candles on the table, very good!. A impecble attention of all staff, made ​​this dinner a real party! Gaucho Charlotte, thank you very much for making us enjoy very good restaurant in a special place! My daughter Caroline and I enjoying dinner!

MC
MC

I know that Hawksmoor serves nice steaks. However I definitely prefer Danish restaurant, MASH, in Soho. It is without a doubt the best steak in London and the restaurant interior is beautiful!

richard B
richard B

The Danish may be on the decline!, they have gone down the British road now to attract more customers, that tells you a great deal!

SV
SV

Santa Maria Del Sur

Juan Lopez
Juan Lopez

The Rib eye steak surely is at 240 Upper Richmond Road