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RPM Steak
Photograph: Jeff Marini

The 17 best steakhouses in Chicago

Excellent service? Check. Rare cuts? Check. Indulgent sides? The best Chicago steakhouses have it all.

By Morgan Olsen
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To the surprise of absolutely no one, Chicago is the unofficial steakhouse capital of the country. This meat-and-potatoes town is dotted with red-meat shrines that range from fancy-schmancy to old-timey haunts. But all of the best Chicago steakhouses put beef on a pedestal, serving plump filet mignon, juicy tenderloin and thick T-bone steaks. As an added bonus, some double as the best seafood restaurants in Chicago, offering some surf to go with all that turf. Diners can also expect generous sides, primo wines and some of the most decadent desserts in Chicago. So, get dressed up, make a reservation and prepare to get primal at the best steakhouses in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best restaurants in Chicago

Best steakhouses in Chicago

Photograph: Eric Kleinberg

1. Swift & Sons

Restaurants Steakhouse West Loop

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. Pair it with a side of roasted cauliflower, which is rendered silky-smooth thanks to black truffle fonduta, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Photograph: Mireya Acierto

2. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Restaurants Steakhouse Rush & Division

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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Maple & Ash
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

3. Maple & Ash

Restaurants Steakhouse Rush & Division

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.

john manion at el che
Photograph: Neil Burger

4. El Che Steakhouse & Bar

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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Ribeye and filet at BoeufHaus.
Photograph: Laurie Peacock

5. Boeufhaus

Restaurants Steakhouse Ukrainian Village

This Humboldt Park steakhouse is currently closed to dine-in guests, but that shouldn't stop you from bringing Boeufhaus into your house. Available through Tock, the takeout dinner kits include everything you need to make a prime rib dinner for two at home, with thyme-roasted mushrooms, garlicky mashed potatoes, a mixed green salad and your choice of sauce (the bearnaise is a treat). For something a bit more casual, the daytime to-go menu features a spot-on cheesesteak and a stacked pastrami sandwich.

GT Prime
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

6. GT Prime

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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.

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RPM Steak
Photograph: Jeff Marini

7. RPM Steak

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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.

Steak 48
Photograph: Shannon O'Hara

8. Steak 48

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.

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9. Bavette’s

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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.

Mastro's Steakhouse
Courtesy: Mastro's Steakhouse

10. Mastro’s Steakhouse

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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.

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Photo: Mark Ballogg

11. Prime & Provisions

Restaurants Steakhouse Loop

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.

joe's steakhouse
Photograph: Christina Slaton

12. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Restaurants Seafood River North

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 the best secret in town.

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Gene and Georgetti
Photograph: Chris Lake

13. Gene & Georgetti

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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.

ChicagoCut.venue.jpg
Photograph: Martha Williams

14. Chicago Cut Steakhouse

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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.

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Chicago Chop House
Photograph: Neil Burger

15. Chicago Chop House

Restaurants Steakhouse River North

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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Photograph: Nicholas James

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