Craving a medium-rare slab of dry-aged beef? A great steak may be a simple pleasure, but it’s far from pedestrian; done right, it becomes transcendent. Enter the best steakhouses Boston has to offer, serving up incomparable rib eyes, Wagyu and sirloin. Devour all that steak (or opt for the best burgers in Boston, if that’s the kind of meat that you prefer) and wash it all down with a glass of red at the best wine bars in Boston or a cold beer at one of the best Boston sports bars. Maybe those paleo obsessives are onto something after all.
Best steakhouses in Boston
Grill 23 is Boston’s steakhouse patriarch, an expense-account stalwart since the 1980s. Every menu item is a classic: You might start with a shrimp cocktail or iceberg wedge before moving on to the a la carte cut of your choice: 100-day-aged rib eye, Kobe cap steak, or maybe the prime porterhouse with some creamed spinach and sauteed mushrooms. If the dinner prices make you blanch, head over to the bar for more accessible cuts like the flatiron steak with arugula chimichurri.
Brian Piccini and Chris Coombs have become two of the city’s great restauranteurs, and Boston Chops might be their crowning achievement. The duo took over a cursed dining space in the South End and transformed it into a steakhouse that is at once special-occasion and accessible. The steak frites menu lets you mix and match your cut with your sauce (hanger, strip, skirt; Bearnaise, Bordelaise, chimichurri butter). Your waiter then comes to the table with a massive bowl of fries to top out your plate; you can replenish anytime he comes back around. Classic starters include oysters and popovers, although the star might be the massive tower of thick onion rings.
Grab the corporate credit card and prepare to make a night of it, because this is a meal you’ll want to savor. The steaks here are enormous—even the filet mignon starts at 10 ounces—and the sides equally decadent (think creamed spinach with extra Bechamel sauce). The Chef Suggestions are even more over the top: seared tenderloin with butter poached lobster tails and a porcini-rubbed bone-in rib eye with 15-year aged balsamic vinegar (the restaurant’s signature dish). The separate bar menu lets you dip a toe in all the meaty decadence, with tenderloin sliders and a $19 sirloin burger.
A steakhouse speakeasy? Such a thing does exist, in this instance tucked behind a red curtain inside cocktail bar JM Curley. Only the tiniest of signs points you to the doorway in the back, but beyond that curtain is a Lilliputian chophouse doling out classics: caviar tray service, a wedge salad, and surprisingly affordable steak cuts, adorned with the likes of bone marrow and foie gras butter. Equal love is given to the sides (sauteed spinach, bone marrow) as well as classic cocktails like the French 75 and the Ward Eight. This is the place to take jaded visitors who think they’ve eaten it all.
Okay, so the name is a little disconcerting—but it also speaks to the freshness of the steak cuts. There are no less than 14 different options on the menu, all sourced from small natural-beef farms. Steaks are served with bone marrow butter and roasted garlic, though for a nominal fee you can add some Bearnaise or Bordelaise. For those with bottomless budgets, there’s the six-ounce, $160 Japanese Wagyu sirloin; for dining companions who have hit their meat limits, plenty of seafood options abound.
Whereas most steakhouses go strictly old-school with the decor, Nick Varano’s STRIP is 100 percent SoBe, or maybe even Vegas: oversized light fixtures, curvaceous banquettes, and B&W prints of 1980s celebrities (hello, Gianni Versace!). But the steak menu is as throwback as it gets, in the best possible way: 10 a la carte options (petit filet, dry-aged rib eye, Wagyu) served either with house truffle butter or a flight of sauces. Come brunch, you can get your steak with a couple of sunnyside up egg and a Bellini (or three).
If a chain restaurant plates a glorious steak, we could care less about the number of outlets populating the country. The cuts here are expensive but divine: bone-in filet, prime strip, and a Wagyu tomahawk that likely costs more than your last heating bill (the Wagyu carpaccio appetizer is a less stressful entry point). The staff is refreshingly gracious for such a glam, massive space; add in tremendous water views and a second-floor deck actually overhanging the Boston Harbor and you understand why locals show up here as often as tourists do.
For starters, there’s the grade-A meat quality you’ve come to expect from the Boston restaurant group: deeply marbled, dry-aged Black Angus cuts that lend that perfect balance of fat and salt you desire from a splurge steak. There are those indulgent treatments, too (gorgonzola brûlée?!). But we hold this outpost especially dear for its location: directly on the water, with a sizable patio that lends your sirloin a little sea-air zip in the summer months. Specialty cocktails that incorporate regional spirits merely add to the localized experience.
One of the city’s best steakhouses… is a seafood restaurant? Strange but true. Amidst the raw bar and sushi offerings are six dry-aged steaks, from a bone-in filet to a 16-ounce rib eye, all seared at 1200 degrees. Steaks come with “accessories” like black truffle butter or blue cheese crust, along with traditional sides like creamed spinach and asparagus with hollandaise. Add in a glam interior and impeccable service, and Ocean Prime goes head to head with the city’s more traditional steakhouses. On Surf and Turf Sundays, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: an eight ounce filet with your choice of shrimp, scallops, or crab cakes for a $55 fixed price.
This is another Boston institution that you might take for granted—at least until the next sirloin craving hits. Abe & Louie’s understands the allure of the classic chophouse and delivers on every level: red banquette booths, dark wood paneling, and prime Midwestern steaks aged at least 30 days on the bone. Each cut comes accompanied by throwback sides like creamed spinach and a massive baked potato; you can choose between wood-fired or skillet-blackened. And pescatarians, take heed: the swordfish steak is actually considered one of the city’s finest dishes.
How is it that one of the area’s most exciting new steakhouses opened all the way out in Burlington? All we know is that it’s well worth the Uber ride. The beautifully appointed glass and iron space places an emphasis on the little things: house-made flavored salts, tableside presentations, and polenta cakes shaped like little cows. Splurge on the tomahawk steak for two ($85), then return on a Sunday for some daytime filets—the steak menu then is available from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you spot the Angus cows milling around outside (PSA: the cows aren’t actually going to become dinner). Located inside a revamped barn, Gibbet Hill Grill combines a country aesthetic with an urbane menu, including an expansive a la carte steak selection. Prime cuts include bone-in rib eye and a 10-ounce filet mignon, all of which come with two “farm sides” (maple glazed carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, onion rings). The beverage program is its own surprise, including a wine list favoring undersung, family-owned vineyards designed to pair especially well with beef.
It’s time to familiarize yourself with the phenomenon known as the beefsteak meal. The banquet-style dinners were once a 19th century staple, and Flank has revived the tradition: several courses of sliced steak and accompaniments that you’re encouraged to eat with your hands. If prime-time finger foods aren’t your thing, many other traditional offerings abound, including a 44-ounce porterhouse and a 50-ounce (!!) bone-in rib eye topped with your choice of hollandaise, chimichurri, or black truffle herb butter.
Because sometimes you want your steak on a stick. Fogo de Chao is a chain, sure, but it’s also a treat: Brazilian churrasco, or traditionally grilled meat—brandy-marinated chicken, parmesan-crusted pork, multiple cuts of seasoned beef—brought to the table on skewers and sliced right onto your plate. Sides like corn salad and (yum) caramelized bananas augment the experience, although it’s hard to save room with all that protein grabbing your attention (and plate space). Head there for lunch or brunch for the same meaty experience at a lesser cost.