Chicago may have outgrown its reputation as a meat-and-potatoes town, but there's no denying it: This city loves its steak. The best Chicago steakhouses come in all shapes and sizes—from the old-school mainstay that's been around forever to the swanky newbie that's packed with glitz and glam. Whether you prefer a plump filet mignon, a thick-cut porterhouse or a juicy rib eye, there's something on this list for every carnivor. These prime spots offer more than just meat: The top Chicago steakhouses have generous sides, pristine seafood, knowledgeable sommeliers and splurge-worthy desserts. Though you'll find a beloved steakhouse in just about every Chicago neighborhood, these are our all-time favorites.
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A steakhouse we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market Chicago
Housed in the former Checker Taxi building, El Che Bar is Chef John Manion’s Argentine-American restaurant, a love letter to his time traveling throughout the country. Locally sourced vegetables, grilled meats, and whole seafood are cooked on custom-built grills and chapas in an open hearth, while the beverage program centers on spirits of the Americas and the dessert offerings trades in your average chocolate lava cake for the playful flavors of fire cakes, melting pionono and smoking affogato. Hungry for more of John Manion's delicious Argentinian cooking? You can also check out his chef stand at Time Out Market Chicago.
Best steakhouses in Chicago
At this cavernous West Loop steakhouse, chef Chris Pandel blends old-school Midwestern charm with forward-thinking sensibilities. On the steak front, there are seven 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 $105 beef Wellington, with mushrooms, foie gras and spinach wrapped up into perfectly flaky pastry crust. Pair it with a side of roasted cauliflower, which is rendered silky-smooth thanks to black truffle fonduta, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts.
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.
If you're looking to taste something truly decadent, snag a reservation at this French-German–inspired brasserie in West Town and order the 22-ounce 55-day dry-aged ribeye. Pre-sliced and beautifully presented, the meat is absurdly tender with a hint of funk that lingers between bites. You'd be foolish not to balance out the meal with veg-forward dishes like the crudité with green goddess dressing, ceci bean cavatelli and charred cabbage with spicy mustard.
This Boka Restaurant Group property from chef-partner Giuseppe Tentori takes the cake for sexiest steakhouse around. 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 small, 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. If you're dining with other curious meat eaters, opt for the Carnivore platter, with four four-ounce slices of the menu's best cuts.
The glitziest of Giuliana and Bill Rancic's restaurants, RPM steak is an expense-account buster, with a dry-aged steak burger, a $155 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.
The 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, creamed spinach and martinis. The latter get a whole section in the drink list, which features both classic martinis and updated versions. Expect well-selected wines and knowledgeable service—requesting a pairing for a steak resulted in sampling three different wines, all of which would have been perfect.
French onion soup: $13. Lobster roll: $29. Sixteen-ounce New York Strip: $60. Before you shake your head and huff off to Portillo's, hear us out on one thing: If you’ve got these kind of funds at your disposal—and in the elbows-to-Balenciaga-draped-elbows bar on weekends, it’s easy to leave with the distinct impression that many, many people do—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 $20–$38—is comically indulgent. Just remember: If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
As soon as you step foot inside this dimly lit River North steakhouse, you're transported to another time and place—specifically a jazzy speakeasy with serious personality and noteworthy service. In reality, the 2,000-square-foot space from Los Angeles-based the h.wood Group is situated on the ground floor of Found Hotel Chicago. The menu offers modern decadences like caviar dip, pigs in a blanket (with Andouille sausage and saffron aioli, of course), pan-seared scallops and a massive pork tomahawk for two. Round out the meal with a bottle of pinot noir and a 25-ounce, 30-day dry-aged ribeye with a side of red wine bordelaise.
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 17 selections including the Arturo Fuente Opus X "The Lost City," which goes for a cool $69. If you prefer to end your meal on a sweet note, save room for banana cream pie, caramel crème brûlée or tequila-lime icebox cake.
You should feel like a king 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 the best secret in town.
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, calf’s liver sauteed with onions and bacon, perfectly seared chops and garlicky shrimp DeJonghe that the veteran staff swears the joint invented. Believe ’em—these are the Chicago old-boys you don’t want to piss off.
The $60 porterhouse here is impeccably seasoned and boasts warm layers of sumptuous fat running through the full-flavored meat. The only problem is that for $60, the thing is kind of small. But this price-size discrepancy is rare at Gibsons: sweet-lobster cocktail easily satiates two, the juicy prime rib comes in a hefty portion typically reserved for the Flintstones, and desserts are so enormous that servers cut them in two, wrapping half in a takeaway bag, no questions asked.
This century-old brownstone is a quintessential Chicago steakhouse in every sense of the word. Businessmen with fat expense wallets head upstairs for white-tablecloth service, pricey wines and 48- or 64-ounce porterhouses fit for a king. We 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.
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?
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 (business or pleasure); 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).