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The best steakhouses in San Francisco

From old-school establishments to haute steakhouses, we round up the best places in the city for prime rib, dry-aged ribeye and filet mignon

Photograph: Kevin McCullough
Bourbon Steak



One of San Francisco's steakhouse veterans, Harris' offers classy old-style dining, with big steaks, big martinis, and big bills at meal's end. Sink into your booth, start with a strong cocktail, then proceed with a textbook Caesar salad (put together at your table), a prime piece of carefully aged steak (from Harris' own ranch) and a baked potato with all the trimmings. Hefty desserts follow.

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Nob Hill

Epic Roasthouse

The first destination restaurant to be built on the Embarcadero waterfront in decades, Epic Roasthouse and its adjoining sister, Waterbar, co-opted a pristine piece of real estate with spectacular views of the Bay Bridge for their haute surf and turf. Out of the wood-fired oven come daily procured selections of dry aged ribeye, côte de boeuf, porterhouse, prime rib and filet mignon, which you can augment with your choice of béarnaise, madeira, chimichurri or horseradish. Accompany your steak with sides such as späetzle gratin, sautéed spinach and fried green tomatoes.

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South Beach

Bourbon Steak

Gotham meets SF with this outpost of celeb chef Michael Mina's steak-and-whiskey-themed powerhouse. Looking to turn the tables on your cardiologist? Decadent is the only way to describe the steaks, and that's not because of the portion size or price (though both are hefty), it's how the beef is cooked. Employing an elaborate process of his own devise, Mina's steaks are slowly poached in butter for an hour in thermal circulators that are precise to within a tenth of a degree, then seared for a minute on each side on a wood-fired grill. The result is super-tender, perfectly cooked steaks worth their weight in...butter. For those feeling less carnivorous, there's seafood options, including a sumptuous lobster pot pie.

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Union Square

Alfred’s Steakhouse

One of the city's oldest restaurants, Alfred's feels like a bit of San Francisco gone by with old school leather booths, crystal chandeliers, and hefty martinis served from huge shakers, but it still ranks among the city's best steakhouses, with the loyal fan base to back it up. The chief attractions are giant Chicago ribeyes, tender T-bones and a porterhouse that covers the plate, but the rack of lamb and fish dishes are also top drawer. Along with the superlative martinis, the bar stocks more than 100 single malts.

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