April 2019: We’ve added two recent arrivals on the steak scene – the handsome London Bridge offshoot of Brighton’s Coal Shed and Mr White’s English Chophouse (MPW’s poshed-up eatery within Whitechapel’s trendy New Road Hotel). Elsewhere, we’ve been impressed by the Sussex-reared steaks served at the Gladwin brothers’ Nutbourne in Battersea and the prime Glenarm beef on offer at Mark Hix’s Oyster & Chophouse. Two classics also make the cut: Sophie’s Steakhouse (a Chelsea institution) and Gaucho’s four-storey flagship in Piccadilly.
As any meat-lover knows, London has some of the best steak restaurants in the country. Whether you’re after British beef, Argentinian asado, or a 1kg tomahawk ribeye, the capital's restaurants and cafés will provide. We’ve eaten our way through the lot to round up the choicest cuts. Here's where to savour sirloin, chateaubriand, fillet steak and beyond.
London’s best restaurants for steak
Surely the grandest and most glamorous of Jason Atherton’s Midas-touch restaurants, Berners Tavern in Fitzrovia is a real humdinger with its vast baroque-style dining room and portrait-lined walls. The kitchen gives seasonal British ingredients a serious workout, and the grass-fed steaks from the Buccleuch Estate are sublime.
An offshoot of the Soho original, the Shoreditch branch of Blacklock’s trendy British chop house stays with the programme – which means cool vibes, post-industrial interiors, quality cuts and damn good value. The melty, crusted beef is a highlight (rump cap, ribeye, porterhouse, bone-in sirloin etc), and there are cocktails ‘for a fiver’. And if you need a speedy ‘worker’s lunch’, try one of their steak sarnies. There’s also an outlet in the City.
The only way is excess at this outrageously outlandish Soho spot – a luxe shoo-in for champagne-fuelled Gatsby-style fun. Dig the glitzy roaring ’20s decor while cherry-picking from an Anglo-Russian menu that naturally includes some luxurious steaks – including a mouth-watering chateaubriand… for one.
Broadway Market’s laid-back revelry makes it the perfect fit for Argentinian-born grill master John Rattagan’s casual take on Latin meat-feasting. The whole shebang is just right – one simply furnished room with an asado grill at its heart and a menu of suitably charred, juicy steaks.
A little hub of welcoming homeliness in the wealthy, exclusive St George’s Fields neighbourhood (near Marble Arch), Casa Malevo has a cosy, domestic feel with its old-fashioned dresser and conservatory out back. Its bare brick walls seem even rougher than most, while the steaks are big, beefy and intensely flavoursome.
Sizzling steaks and fish cooked over coals are the headliners at this handsome, warmly lit London Bridge offshoot of Brighton’s Coal Shed. If British beef’s your bag, home in on the prime rib, porterhouse, ribeye and other cuts sourced from small family farms and served with a choice of sauces. Check the blackboards for ‘sharing steaks’ in a variety of cuts and weights.
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Here’s the deal at this singular no-bookings venue: £10 pays for a long, thin ‘flat iron’ steak, sliced into fat mini slabs and served with a dinky pot of lamb’s lettuce. That’s it, apart from some proper sides, affordable wines and complimentary takeaway ice cream – no wonder there’s a queue. There are two branches in Soho, plus outlets in Shoreditch, Notting Hill (bookings available here only) and London Bridge.
Gaucho’s testosterone-fuelled steakhouse chain has branches from Richmond to Canary Wharf and beyond, but this Piccadilly behemoth is its bullish flagship. Spread over four floors (including a cocktail bar, terrace, vaulted cellars and a supper lounge), it serves up prime pampas-reared Argentinian beef against a clubby backdrop of black leather, cowhide, chandeliers and booming beats.
The polished Mayfair branch of the Russian-owned steakhouse chain brings Manhattan to Mayfair with its well-upholstered, well-aged look and truly excellent grass-fed beef from both sides of the Atlantic. Peruse the tray of raw cuts before ordering, say, a 400g Lake District Farmers grass-fed fillet or a USDA 150-day Angus sirloin with sauces and sides; also check the board for the ‘cuts of the day’. Branches in Canary Wharf and the City.
Like its meaty siblings in Borough, Guildhall and Spitalfields, the Seven Dials branch of the Hawksmoor bandwagon puts mighty slabs of British-reared beef above all else. Set in a buzzy wood- and leather-clad basement with irresistible dressed-down appeal, it offers drool-worthy steaks (and much else besides) to go with gutsy red wines, craft beers and killer cocktails.
Striking modern art, expansive views and wines courtesy of the restaurant’s South African owners set the scene at this enviably sited Thames-side restaurant. Ribeyes and fillets from 28-day-matured Cumbrian beef are the focus, supported by a choice of sauces ranging from chimichurri to truffle mustard. Back-up comes from biltong, rooibos-smoked salmon and other Cape classics.
The restaurant that put Mark Hix on the map, this true-Brit chophouse is a Farringdon cracker – polished and warm, gloriously relaxed but classic in style, with superb cooking to boot. All the trademark Hix riffs are on display here – including Glenarm Estate’s finest (aged club steaks, bone-in rib, hanger, fillet on the bone, porterhouse etc) cooked to pure perfection. Similar steak deals are on offer at Hix Soho.
Part of The Ned’s gastro multiplex, this City outpost gives good steak in the shape of top cuts at high-end prices. Don your best Gatsby garb, join the cacophonous crowd and pick from a beefy line-up that runs from Aberdeen Angus T-bone and Hereford tomahawk to Argentinian Rioplatense ribeye and A5 Japanese sakura wagyu.
There may be bluefin tuna on the menu, but steak fiends come to Macellaio in Clerkenwell for a fix of native Fassona beef – Piedmont’s finest, dry-aged for five weeks and butchered on site with great glee. Add tuna to your plate for a blood-red riff on surf ‘n’ turf. Branches in South Kensington, Fitzrovia, Southwark, Exmouth Market and Northcote Road’s ‘Nappy Valley’.
Although everyone talks about the venison (and the veni-moo burger), this cosy Fitzrovia joint has an appetite for all kinds of ‘butcher’s cuts’ – provided they’re of Scottish provenance. Macduff’s ribeye (with beef-dripping tomatoes) and a mighty 1kg tomahawk steak are among the Lowland highlights. There’s also a branch in the City.
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Custom-built for Mayfair’s Maserati set, Maze Grill is Gordon Ramsay’s homage to New York steakhouses in all their red-blooded glory. Be warned that prices are high: a dry-aged 300g ribeye costs £40 and sits in solitary splendour on its wooden board, with not an extra in sight. Branches also on Park Walk and Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea.
Located within Whitechapel’s trendy New Road Hotel, Marco Pierre White’s take on the traditional chophouse serves poshed-up British fare with a vaguely French accent against a backdrop of ’80s pop, geometric chairs and mirrored panelling. Dry-aged 35-day steaks are the headline acts (from ribeye and sirloin to T-bone) and they’re complemented by classic sauces.
Yet another faux-rustic eatery from the go-getting Gladwin brothers (of The Shed and Rabbit fame), Nutbourne also has a green and pleasant feel. Top-notch seasonal ingredients from the family farm in Nutbourne, Sussex do the business – especially steaks cut from home-reared beef, which are given the BBQ treatment over charcoal from Nutbourne’s vineyard and served with trimmings including wild garlic aïoli.
Giving the Argentinians, Brits and Americans a run for their money, this Shoreditch branch of a Basque steak specialist means business – it even has its own butcher’s shop, plus a pintxos bar and grill. Immensely flavoursome txuletón beef (from cattle that are at least six years old) is the must-have.
Stylishly robust Santa Maria in Battersea is all about Argentinian steak – which is good for a place that prides itself on its parrilla skills. A ginormous grill by the window delivers wave after wave of meaty pampas-reared flavour bombs – although we’re less impressed by the starters. House Malbec is the booze of choice.
Although it doesn’t take bookings, this self-styled New York steakhouse has discovered how to pull in the Chelsea crowds. To start, Sophie’s has an approachably buzzy, upscale vibe, while the short menu concentrates on steaks from British breeds, all aged and butchered on the premises and charred to a T. There are plenty of decent red wines to wash it all down too. There’s also a bigger branch in Soho.
Although it’s mostly about deconstructed, small-plates Argentinian cooking at this counter-focused Marylebone restaurant, nothing beats a classic sirloin, ribeye or asado – a flank steak served with grilled hispi cabbage, roscoff onions and braised jus. All you need is a side of hand-cut chips ‘Provenzal’.
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