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Steak at Roka Akor
Photograph: Courtesy Roka Akor

The 21 best steakhouses in Chicago

Enjoy rare cuts, indulgent sides and extra-attentive service at the best Chicago steakhouses.

Morgan Olsen
Allison Yates
Written by
Morgan Olsen
Contributor
Allison Yates
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Ask us about steakhouses and we’ll give you a thousand reasons why Chicago does it best. From long-standing neighborhood staples to newer fusion grills that double as the best seafood restaurants in Chicago, the best Chicago steakhouses evoke nostalgia, offer some of the most decadent desserts in Chicago and reenvision what it means to be a “meat-and-potatoes” kind of town. Our beef is aged for almost a month. It’s flown in from Japan or Argentina. It’s roasted over a twelve-foot grill. It’s salted, seared and delivered with plenty of sides.

Whether you want to order Maple & Ash’s “I Don’t Give a Fuck” just to say the words out loud, you prefer your steak with the backdrop of live Spanish guitar, or you’re seasoned “steakspert” with a palate to please (and a willingness to drop some serious cash), we rounded up the best Chicago steakhouses that treat your slab of meat like royalty.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best restaurants in Chicago

Best steakhouses in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

At this cavernous West Loop steakhouse, chef Chris Pandel blends old-school Midwestern charm with forward-thinking sensibilities. On the steak front, there are a handful of cuts to choose from, ranging from a ruby-red filet mignon to a splurge-worthy Japanese A5 wagyu strip loin. But you're here for the beef Wellington, with mushrooms, foie gras and spinach wrapped up into a perfectly flaky pastry crust. Finish it off with one of Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky’s Peach Tarte Tatin, an accidental 1880s creation made from peaches, honey crips, lemon verbena and salted ricotta ice cream.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Rush & Division
  • price 3 of 4

Whiling away the evening at Gibsons—with an ice-cold martini in one hand and a hunk of steak in the other—is practically a rite of passage in Chicago. Second only to the lively atmosphere are the accoutrements, including a loaded wedge salad, juicy oysters, bacon-studded Brussels sprouts and saucy baby back ribs. If you'd rather stay in, Gibsons will pack up its prime cuts to go—from burgers to porterhouse—so that you can play chef at home.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Rush & Division
  • price 3 of 4

This Gold Coast steakhouse feels wonderfully tongue-in-cheek—a chef's-choice option is called “I Don't Give a Fuck”—while still serving up classics like surf and turf, potato gratin and martinis. The laundry list of steaks on offer are complimented by a selection of "Arm Candy," including horseradish sauce, bone marrow stuffing and beefed-up butter. Though it's tempting to fill up on savory treats, be sure to save room for the sundae service, your own personalized ice cream bar stocked with hot fudge, toffee, sprinkles and more.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Loop

El Che is chef John Manion’s love letter to his time spent traveling throughout Argentina. Locally sourced vegetables, red meats, and whole seafood are cooked on custom-built grills and chapas in an open hearth. Your options range from a petite filet to the comically large 48-ounce bone-in ribeye. If you're going to splurge on a piece of meat like that, you've come to the right place: Manion uses open-flame cooking to render the cut tender and impossibly juicy.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

This Boka property from chef-partner Giuseppe Tentori takes the cake for the city's sexiest steakhouse. The enormous interior is decked out in fur-lined chairs, modern chandeliers and dark, moody jewel tones. You'll spot all the usual suspects on the dinner menu (a seafood tower, bone marrow, Brussels sprouts), but when it comes to meat, GT Prime is shaking things up. The kitchen offers pre-sliced portions of its finest cuts so that guests can dabble in beef strip loin, beef tenderloin and A5 Miyazaki Wagyu without filling up on a gigantic slab of meat.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

Perhaps glitziest of Giuliana and Bill Rancic's restaurants, RPM Steak is an expense-account buster, with a dry-aged steak burger, a jam-packed seafood platter, millionaire potatoes with black truffles and 14K chocolate cake with gold leaf. The steak options are similarly indulgent, with a lineup of wagyu and kobe beef, a 60-day long-bone ribeye and a 36-ounce Akaushi porterhouse. Trust us, it's worth every penny.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North

A glitzy newcomer to the scene, Steak 48 is modern and plush, though it's worth noting that the restaurant enforces a strict dress code that feels excessive (no corset tops, T-shirts or frayed clothing, among many other rules). If you don't get flagged for a wardrobe violation, a menu of wet-aged steaks await, including a wagyu filet and a New York strip. But our eyes are wandering over to the prime steakhouse meatloaf, which is crafted with ribeye, filet mignon, pork and black truffles.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Brendan Sodikoff's vaguely French steakhouse is a departure—or perhaps an evolution—for the restaurateur. While his other spots (Gilt Bar, Au Cheval) have their charms, the appeal of this spot—decked out with jazz-era decor and music—is practically universal. Diners need not be huge steak fans to get a good meal; in fact, as good as the steak frites is, both the fried and roasted chicken are even better. Elegant cocktails begin meals here; fabulous pies (lemon meringue, chocolate cream) end them.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

House salad: $22. Shrimp cocktail: $30. Twin lobster tails: $69. Before you shake your head and huff off to Portillo's, hear us out on one thing: If you’ve got these kinds of funds at your disposal, Mastro’s is the place to blow them. The martini is shaken with dry ice so that it bubbles like a cauldron when poured tableside. Steaks come out perfectly medium-rare on the hottest plates you’ve ever accidentally touched, and the signature side of lobster mashed potatoes—a cool $39—is comically indulgent.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Loop
  • price 2 of 4

Drawing inspiration from 1920s supper clubs, this Loop steakhouse is the kind of place that's made for client dinners and special occasions. The steak here is finished with Wisconsin grass-fed butter, with options like the dry-aged bone-in ribeye, a 10-ounce barrel-cut filet mignon and a slow-roasted prime rib with house horseradish. Close out your meal by making a selection from the Cigar Box, with more than 20 stogies to choose from. If you prefer to end your meal on a sweet note, save room for banana cream pie, caramel crème brûlée or classic carrot cake.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

You should feel like royalty when you’re paying through the nose for a steakhouse experience, and you will here. Start with the sweet, cool stone crabs, oysters Rockerfeller and a delicious chopped salad that could easily feed two. Go straight to the top with the bone-in New York strip, perfect when ordered charred medium-rare, or the Alaskan king crab legs served chilled. Key lime pie is puckeringly sweet for those who like a hit-you-over-the-head finish, and Joe's fried chicken is one of the best secrets in town.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

If you’ve always dreamed of Kobe beef cooked in a twelve-foot robata grill using mesquite charcoals, look no further than this River North steakhouse. Roka Akor is one of only 32 restaurants in the U.S. licensed to sell this variety of wagyu, which is sourced from Japan's Hyōgo Prefecture. Pair it with their signature black truffle-infused aioli and make sure to sample the Mankei Neko, a cocktail made from Hatozaki Japanese whisky, black tea, agave, orange juice and balsamic vinegar.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

If it gets any more old-school than this circa-1941 steakhouse, we haven’t seen it. Filling every inch of the wood-lined dining room are Naugahyde bar stools, chairs and banquettes as blood-red as the steaks (both well-aged, we might add). Servers range from formal to gruff, but they mean well and they deliver the goods: textbook veal Vesuvio, a “garbage” salad fit for four, fried gnocchi stuffed with gorgonzola, perfectly seared chops and garlicky shrimp DeJonghe that the veteran staff swears the joint invented.

  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

Who can pick just one cut when you could order an entire steak flight? If variety is what you desire, order the Asado Argentina for two and relish the Argentine-imported short ribs, morcilla, chorizo and mollejas (sweetbreads) while enjoying live jazz and flamenco guitar. You can’t go wrong with a glass of Malbec, but we recommend trying one of the house cocktails inspired by tango culture, like the sabor a tango with barrel-aged cachaça, thyme, lime and fruits de la passion liqueur.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

Situated along the river, Chicago Cut is a glassy beacon for carnivores who are looking for dinner and a show. The suit- and LBD-clad crowd flock here for center barrel cut filet mignon, lobster mac and cheese and lollipop lamb chops. Make sure to browse the extensive glossary of meat temperatures before your server takes your order: Your choices range from Black & Blue (seared raw) to well done; ordering medium-rare has never steered us wrong.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

This elegant River North staple has been serving locals, tourists and downtown office workers since 1991. If the ribeye and porterhouse cuts aren't enough to draw you in, the eight sauce options—whisky peppercorn, bacon maple demi glace, bell pepper romesco, to name a few—are tempting to eat by the spoonful. And if beef isn’t your thing, order the signature anniversary cut 21-days dry-aged lamb chop, which you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Lower West Side

One of Chicago’s newest steakhouses pulls out all the stops: wagyu tartare with caviar, dry aged beef sushi, duck breast, tuna chutoro and other menu items described as “Funky! Butty! Chessy!” Whatever that is supposed to mean, we’re here for it. This Asian barbecue and classic American steak fusion restaurant in East Pilsen has a minimalist decor with smokeless grills at each table, because you wouldn’t want your fresh-grilled eel prepared any other way. Just make sure to save some room for the one-of-a-kind sturgeon caviar and egg yolk dessert.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

This century-old brownstone is a quintessential Chicago steakhouse in every sense of the word. Out-of-town execs with fat expense wallets head upstairs for white-tablecloth service, pricey wines and 48- or 64-ounce porterhouses. We much prefer the subterranean piano bar, where every inch of wall is covered with vintage photos of Capone and crew and the high wooden tables are packed with storytellers and uncompromising carnivores.

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  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Wrigleyville
  • price 1 of 4

Things to know when planning a trip to this Argentine grill: You will wait for a table, and when it’s time to order, it’s best to keep it simple. Start with a plate of empanadas to share, then order a perfectly seared steak to dunk in the house chimichurri sauce and finish with the flan. Bring along that bottle of big red wine you’ve been holding on to, drink it with your slab of beef, sit outside on the sidewalk and enjoy the live Latin guitar—is life really always this sweet in Buenos Aires?

Morton’s the Steakhouse
  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Loop
  • price 3 of 4

The way food is touted here—by wheeling over a cart of uncooked meats, including a live lobster—can be a little off-putting (not everybody wants to witness their dinner being wheeled off to its death). But there are reasons Morton’s is so famous: the classic Chicago steakhouse interior, tailor-made for sealing the deal; crab cakes with hardly any filler; generous lobster cocktails; and barely seasoned steaks that stand out for their flavor (rib eye), their tenderness (filet mignon) or both (porterhouse).

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Irving Park
  • price 2 of 4

This Avondale favorite provides what owner and head chef Arturo Aucaquizhpi calls “Loop quality with neighborhood prices.” A 20-year veteran of Gene & Georgetti’s, Aucaquizhpi offers a menu that is full of steakhouse classics like shrimp cocktail, ribeye and filet mignon, accompanied by an extensive offering of Italian pastas as well as chicken, veal, and pork dishes. Chef Aucaquizhpi knows how to sizzle a great piece of meat, but if you’re a first-timer you should go for the Chicken Mirabella—a half chicken broiled at 1,500 degrees accompanied by bell peppers and pepperoncini, topped with lemon.

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