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
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.
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.
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.
Flat Iron takes no bookings and there’s little choice to make on the menu. Here’s the deal: one steak (a ‘flat iron’, the US term for a full-flavoured but affordable leg cut) for £10. It's served long and thin, then sliced into fat mini-slabs, with a dinky pot of lamb’s lettuce. Proper sides (crispy fries, steamed greens) are £2.50 a pop. With affordable wine and the option of takeaway ice cream at no extra cost, it’s a fun, wallet-friendly night out. No wonder there’s a queue.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
Find more meaty treats in London
Put down the tongs. Bin those cremated bangers. Leave your garden to the foxes. London’s best barbecue isn’t at home. Whether it's ribs, kebabs or quality steak, have it chargrilled and carefully cooked to perfection at London restaurants where the heat is cranked up high or left low and slow for results beyond your wildest meat dreams. We peer through a cloud of smoke to tenderly debone 20 of London's most moutwatering grilled meats.
Le Relais de Venise l'Entrecôte
This Soho branch is one of four London restaurants from a group that kicked off with a Paris original, back in 1959. That one's still going strong, and the expansion has now taken in New York, too. They've made their name with the only dish on the main menu: steak-frites. It's preceded by a simple green salad with walnuts and a mustard vinaigrette – and there are a few French desserts and cheeses to follow – but most head here solely for the USP. The steak is cooked to order and served not with the traditional herb butter, but with their own 'secret' sauce, apparently guarded closely by the daughter of the original owner, Paul Gineste de Saurs. It comes accompanied by a bucket-load of top-notch fries. A short selection of wines is offered, too.