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The best steakhouses in New York City

Devour porterhouses, sirloins and rib eyes at some of the best steakhouses and steak restaurants in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy Peter Luger

New York is a carne-loving town—just look at the best BBQ, best butcher shops and best burgers in NYC for proof. But one area we truly excel in is steakhouses and steak restaurants, those temples of dry age and mineral funk, those celebratory confabs that demand to be marked with a napkin tucked beneath your chin, a steak knife clutched in your fist and a juicy slab of beef in a pool of its own juices on your plate. From old classics that peddle in porterhouse to new-wave meateries where you can get your sirloin with a side of gnocchi, these are the best steakhouses in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best steakhouses in NYC

1

Peter Luger

Although a slew of Luger copycats have prospered in NYC, none have captured the elusive charm of this stucco-walled, beer-hall-style eatery, with its well-worn wooden floors and tables, and waiters in waistcoats and bowties. The famous porterhouse for two—36 ounces of sliced prime beef—is a singular New York experience that’s worth having.

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Williamsburg
2

Keens Steakhouse

Sirloin and porterhouse (for two and three) hold their own against any steak in the city at this 130-year-old slice of history. The ceiling and walls are hung with smoking pipes, some from such long-ago Keens regulars as Babe Ruth, J.P. Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt.

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Midtown West
3

Old Homestead Steakhouse

Opened in 1868 as a dockworkers’ chophouse, this clubby establishment draws a laid-back New York crowd (MePa’s glamazons need not apply). But even those finicky eaters would be impressed by starters such as a tender-as-sashimi seared yellowfin tuna, and by ever-fresh raw-bar selections. Still, folks come here for the beef. Spring for the flavorful strip steak or a well-seasoned prime rib. Any way you carve it, this place stands the test of time.

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Chelsea
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4

Quality Meats

Michael Stillman, the son of Smith & Wollensky founder Alan Stillman, shuttered Manhattan Ocean Club, a seafood palace in midtown, and replaced it with this highly stylized industrial theme park complete with meat-hook light fixtures, wooden butcher blocks, white tiles and exposed brick. Lespinasse-trained chef Craig Koketsu nails the steaks and breathes new life into traditional side dishes. Pudding-like corn crème brûlée and the airy “gnocchi & cheese,” a clever take on mac and cheese, are terrific.

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Midtown West
5

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

It was a gamble for Wolfgang Zwiener, a former Peter Luger waiter, to open his own steakhouse in midtown in 2004 and riskier still for him to attempt an offshoot of his offshoot. But this is one of the best (albeit priciest) restaurants of its ilk. The steaks kick ass: They’re thick, juicy and charred enough to be flavorful without tasting like carbon. Big groups can order porterhouses for two, and solo diners can dig into a filet mignon, rib eye or sirloin and not feel like they’re getting the second-best item on the menu.

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Tribeca
6

Sammy’s Roumanian Steak House

Walk into this LES rathskeller on a crowded evening, and you may think you’ve stumbled into a bar mitzvah—Yiddish sing-alongs and folk dancing are ignited by the live synthesizer and further fueled by icy shots of vodka. The very Eastern European menu includes saline chicken liver, garlicky karnatzlach sausage and enormous beef tenderloins, all of which are hearty enough to slow down the hora. The sparse decor may be dated, but the prices aren’t: Order carefully, or you’ll lose your dowry paying for your meal.

Photograph: Flickr/CC/Evan Kane

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Lower East Side
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7

Porter House Bar and Grill

This restaurant from chef Michael Lomonaco (Windows on the World) is part of the all-star lineup at the Time Warner Center. Inside the sexy interior, portions are large, and prices are fair. The steaks get a glorious char, and the wine list offers 500 labels to choose from, including a selection of half bottles.

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Upper West Side
8

St. Anselm

Grilling may be the ultimate American art form, but New York restaurants rarely explore its greaseless, flame-licked potential. With St. Anselm, Joe Carroll delivers one of the city’s most impressive exceptions. The well-rounded menu, heavy on veggies, combines Mediterranean, Asian and all-American flavors, but head chef Katrina Zito uses the simple cooking method to tie it all together—from smoky slabs of halloumi to miniature fire-roasted eggplants with fried goat cheese and honey. Main-event proteins include a charred hanger packed with an earthy flavor—as fine a slab of beef as is available at any hoary steakhouse in town.

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Williamsburg
9

American Cut

A spin-off of the Atlantic City original, it’s a playpen for high-rolling carnivores, suffused with wafting scents of singed fat and smoke-laced bourbon. Burnished rosewood tables big enough for a poker game await hedge-funders eager to go all in on beef and booze. The menu caters to lily gilding, inviting you to top any of its wet- or dry-aged steaks with bacon, foie gras or an entire Singapore-style lobster. If you’re keen on embellishments, you’ll want the bone-in rib eye that’s Katz-ified into a smoky, spice-crusted pastrami steak topped with caraway butter.

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Tribeca
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10

Gallagher’s Steak House

If you want to get close to the source of your steak, take a stroll past Gallagher’s glass-enclosed street-side meat locker. Inside, the mustily masculine restaurant attracts a largely male clientele with its huge wooden bar and photos of celebrities on the walls. The uncomplicated menu holds few surprises, though patrons are pleased to discover that the aged beef is flamed over hickory logs. The sirloin was better marbled and more flavorful than the touted porterhouse; the creamed spinach was watery and bland. But quibbles are for wimps. Stare down a few sides of beef in that locker, and keep eating.

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Midtown West
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Comments

19 comments
Ernest G
Ernest G

We were "regulars" at five of the first eight listed here. Each was remarkable in its own way! BTW, that small plate of potatoes in the Peter Luger picture holds a serving of the best potatoes I ever tasted, anywhere, anytime. Aaahhhh... New York, NY. 

Josh H
Josh H

Thank you for the list. Out of these 12 restaurants, I can say that  Keens Steakhouse is the one I liked so far.  They are one of the oldest steakhouses in New York and still they serve like old times. I tried Prime T-Bone Steak and it was very delicious. Service was extraordinary. So delicious, did not want it to end! I will be back! Sometimes is hard to get a reservation there so I always check for best steakhouse in nyc before I go there.


Dad in W
Dad in W

In the burbs my goto is Ruths Chris in Tarrytown. Always a great meal.

Jessie H
Jessie H

This summer I'm taking a big road trip. I want to spend some of the time visiting steak houses around the country. The mean you shared is absolutely to die for. That steak looks so good. What is that cooked at, it looks like it has a lot of pink? That's exactly how I like it and the rest of the food just adds to perfection. I don't know where my trip it taking me, but hopefully I find more like the one you have talked about. http://ballandchain.com.au/place/ 

Daniel M
Daniel M

I am surprised not to see Maestro's on this list.  It is probably one of the best steakhouses I have been to in the city.


Chuck D
Chuck D

My favorite steak place in NYC is Uncle Jack's Steakhouse. Their new Prime Filet Mignon Sandwich, made on garlic bread with roasted onions, greens, Buffalini mozzarella and herb fries is to die for. Seriously, it just melts in your mouth its so delicious! I was there last Wednesday evening, and stuck around for their new "guys night" (drink samples at the bar Wednesday nights).

You Ain't R
You Ain't R

I've eaten at every one (it's one of the benefits of being wealthy), and for my money, Sparks is the best. If you go there, tell them Amir sent you.

http://YouAintRich.com/

Rob B
Rob B

If you are ever over in Staten Island, you have to try "Ruddy and Dean" Steak Company. In house aged beef. Great owner who even is your waiter. Great group of chefs. Good Stuff. All Seared Steaks. Gotta check it out. 44 Richmond Terrace , Right across the street from The Staten Island Ferry. Great view!!!!

Rich A
Rich A

How I miss the great Ben Benson's.  And when did Keen's change their name from "chophouse" to "steakhouse"?

Tyrone Bobby Joe H
Tyrone Bobby Joe H

The first picture on this article looked more like a regular house than a steakhouse! I'm definitely going to have to visit some of these places the next time I visit New York! I'm looking for a couple steakhouses in my area right now. Hopefully I find something good! http://www.bardis.com/ 

Tom H
Tom H

@Tyrone Bobby Joe H : WOW! So Bardi's still exists! Back in the early 70's, some friends & I would travel to TO to see Rangers-Leafs @ Maple Leaf Gardens.  We would sometimes have pre-game dinner @ Bardi's.  excellent steaks! 

K Bear
K Bear

List is a joke. St Anslem? Really? Just because a restaurant offers a steak on the menu doesn't make them a steak house. Even Time Out's review doesn't suggest any steaks to eat - but vegetables and lamb. St Anslem could be a great restaurant, but when the title says "Best STEAKHOUSE in NYC" the list should contain ACTUAL STEAKHOUSES.

douglas kris
douglas kris

You are missing the oldest one in NYC, Delmonico's