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25 Best Steakhouses in America, According to Chefs

From coast to coast, industry insiders turn to these restaurants for comfort, inspiration, and a perfectly cooked steak.

American steakhouses come in all sizes and scopes, from big cities to small towns, run by ritzy fine-dining restaurant groups or casual mini chains. Everyone's metric on what makes a superlative steakhouse varies, but when it comes to determining the best steakhouses in the nation, who better to poll than folks from the restaurant industry?

We've already asked chefs to share their favorite burgers and favorite tacos, so this time we asked them about their favorite steakhouses. The results varied wildly, from nostalgic institutions and chef-driven hot spots to reliable chains. Here are the 25 best steakhouses in America, according to chefs.

Keens Steakhouse

Steak from Keens Steakhouse in New York
Photo: Cath L. / Yelp

"Keens in New York City is my absolute favorite," raves TJ Lynch, co-owner of Lost Isle in Johns Island, S.C., describing the vibe as old-school yet warm and friendly. "The entire menu is great, not just the steaks. Hit the bar first for martinis, then order like you're Frank Sinatra." After drinks, Lynch recommends the wedge salad, shrimp cocktail, steak, potatoes, "mountains of wine," and finishing with brandy or Scotch.

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The Smoke House

interior of the smoke house
Photo: TripAdvisor

Lynch's Lost Isle business partner, Josh Taylor, has a steakhouse favorite of his own: The Smoke House in Burbank, Calif. Of the timeworn institution, he says "it's like going back in time," detailing the "red pleather booths, giant martinis with blue cheese olives, wedge salads, prime rib, bartenders in bow ties and vests." Taylor adds, "it's the most nostalgic-without-being-ironic place I've ever been. I probably haven't eaten there in 13 years but I still have that memory burned in my brain."

Grecian Steak & Seafood House

Two steaks with side dishes from Grecian Steak House in Pickneyville, Ill.
Courtesy of Grecian Steak House

Old-school nostalgia is the name of the game for Ben Goodnick too. The chef of Summer House Santa Monica, with locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, North Bethesda, and Disney Springs, says his favorite steakhouse is Grecian Steak & Seafood House in Pinckneyville, Ill. Describing it as "simple home-style cooking and gracious hospitality," Goodnick fondly recalls times spent there with his dad and friends after fishing trips.

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Grill 23 & Bar

Steak on plate from Grill 23 & Bar in Boston
Courtesy of Grill 23 & Bar

For newer-school recommendations, Goodnick also shouts out RPM Steak in Chicago and Grill 23 & Bar in Boston. For the latter, he cites the restaurant's stunning decor, high-caliber selection of meats, and menu innovations like honey-glazed trout, prime meatloaf, and everything-spiced carrots.

EPIC Steak

steak and lobster from epic steak in san francisco
Photo: EPIC Steak

Goodnick's last pick is EPIC Steak in San Francisco. Along with Grill 23 & Bar, the chef describes the restaurants as "beautiful rooms, committed to fantastic meats, and tons of options outside of the standard steakhouse fare."

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EJ's Place

a man in a white coat holding a delicious looking plate of steak
Photo: EJ's Place

"A steak is probably one of the most common menu items in any restaurant, and anyone can cook a steak at home, so when you go out to eat at a steakhouse, you really want to be transported." That's according to Max Robbins, culinary director of Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago. "Nothing is better than an old school supper club vibe," he adds, pointing to EJ's Place in Skokie, Ill. as his de facto supper club. "EJ's Place is as old-school as it gets, from the decor to the relish tray, and those charred steaks are so special and unique." Robbins says the service and drinks are unmatched and that beyond the delicious steaks, the kitchen serves excellent lamb chops and grilled calamari, too.

Abe & Louie's

Steak on a plate from Abe & Louie's in Boston
Courtesy of Abe & Louie's

When his steak cravings set in, Dan Bazzinotti needn't look far. The Boston-based chef of Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group says his favorite steakhouse is local icon Abe & Louie's. "I enjoy sitting at their well-seasoned bar chatting it up with the bartenders and drinking some Robert Sinskey California Pinot Noir." He recommends starting with Oysters Rockefeller, followed by the NY strip or bone-in rib-eye with au gratin potatoes, steamed asparagus, and creamed spinach. "Last but not least, for dessert (besides a rye Manhattan), the butterscotch bread pudding is delightful and the best way to end the experience at Abe & Louie's!"

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Gallaghers Steakhouse

Gallaghers Old-fashioned Steak
Photo: Marisol M. / Yelp

For Vincent Benoliel, baker and owner of California-inspired Savta in New York City, it's the dry-aged porterhouse at New York's Gallaghers Steakhouse that scratches the itch. "The vibe at the restaurant is great, the authenticity is there—it's been open for almost 100 years!—and the service is always impeccable," he explains. "I'm kind of an old-school guy, so this restaurant is the perfect fit for me."

The Beefmastor Inn

assorted plates of ribeyes at beefmastor inn
Photo: Beefmastor Inn / Facebook

Describing it as "almost more of a culture than a restaurant," Rich Parentem, the chef/owner of the Clock Tower Grill in Brewster, N.Y., is a big fan of The Beefmastor Inn. The North Carolina restaurant "doesn't take reservations and there are only 10 tables, so people come ready to wait and tailgate in the parking lot, sometimes even giving up their spot in line to hang out a little bit longer." The restaurant only sells one cut of beef — the rib-eye — and they bring it raw to your table, asking how much you want (minimum 8 ounces), and slicing the portion at the table. "Your order comes with a baked potato and buttered toast, and you can add a baked onion," Parente adds of the immersive experience. "And it includes a super simple but perfect little salad bar."

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Guard and Grace

a filet from guard and grace
Photo: Guard and Grace / Facebook

"I don't usually write reviews, I'm not on social media, and I don't have a Yelp account, but if I did, I'd be writing reviews about this place every time I go." So says Justin Cucci, director and chef of Edible Beats restaurant group in Denver. The rave review is for Guard and Grace, which has locations in both Denver and Houston. "As someone who's in the business, it's hard for me to fathom how the hospitality and the food is executed at this level day in and day out," Cucci adds. "I'm always blown away by how I feel when I leave, and since I go there for every special occasion, the expectations are high, but somehow Troy (Guard, chef/owner) and his team continually blow me away by what they seem to do so effortlessly."

Benjamin Prime

a steak dinner from benjamin prime
Photo: Benjamin Prime

Back in New York City, Benjamin Prime is a go-to for Ed Brown, senior vice president of food and beverage for Restaurant Associates. "Benjamin Prime is on the very top of my list of best restaurants and certainly my favorite steakhouse," he raves. "The food is amazing, the wine list excellent, and above all, the hospitality is exceptional. Every guest feels like family and the most important person in the room."

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Library II

a steak from library two in nj
Photo: TripAdvisor

Vincent Olmo recommends Library II in Voorhees, N.J. The chef of Vela at YOTEL Miami, he explains, "You can order from a walk-up window, where they cut your steak right in front of you," adding that the restaurant has a cozy ambiance, featuring full bookshelves, low lighting, and a great salad bar. "The quality of the meat is fantastic," Olmo notes. "The chefs have perfected the amount of char on each cut of steak, and the ambiance is unmatched."

Galpão Gaucho

Meat grilling at Brazilian Steakhouse Galpao Gaucho
Courtesy of Galpão Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse

With locations in California, Las Vegas, and Charleston, Leonice Ludwig is a big fan of Brazilian-style Galpão Gaucho. A personal chef from Charleston's Chefs for Seniors, Ludwig describes it as "not just a restaurant, it's a culinary symphony." Their Rodizio service, offering 17 unlimited cuts of meats and seafood, is "a feast for every palate, promising an unparalleled dining experience." The brand is also inclusive of dietary restrictions and diners of all ages and preferences. "They are committed to creating a welcoming space for all diners," adds the chef. "Importantly, they cater to gluten-free diners, with over 90% of the menu suitable for their needs, ensuring everyone can enjoy a delicious meal."

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Orilla Bar & Grill

steak and fixings from orilla bar and grill
Photo: AA Advantage Dining

"There are so many amazing American steakhouses, but if I had to choose my favorite, it would be Orilla Bar & Grill in Miami." That's per Daniel Yohai Cruz, head of product development for Wild Fork. "Known for its refined yet relaxed environment, Orilla Bar & Grill combines traditional Argentinian cuisine, like grilled empanadas and sweetbreads, with an elevated steakhouse experience, with everything from USDA Prime steaks to grilled duck breast."

Smith & Wollensky

smith and wollensky filet
Photo: Smith & Wollensky / Facebook

As the executive chef of Omaha Steaks, David Rose knows a thing or two about a good steakhouse. Which is why he's a fan of Smith & Wollensky. When he's not cooking steak himself, he's raving about the dry-aged cuts at the high-end chain, citing the filet mignon for its particularly tender texture and mild flavor.

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Al Biernat's North

Steak with two sauces on a plate from Al Biernat's North in Dallas
Courtesy of Al Biernat's North

According to Grant Morgan, executive chef of 97 West Kitchen & Bar, the best steakhouse in meat-loving Texas is Al Biernat's North in Dallas. "The atmosphere is casually elegant and lends itself to a celebratory lunch, casual appetizers and cocktails after a round of golf or a romantic dinner date," explains Morgan. "The prime bone-in filet mignon, followed by Al's coconut cream pie is a match made in heaven!"

Mr. B's — A Bartolotta Steakhouse

Steak on a plate at Bartolotta Restaurants
Courtesy of The Bartolotta Restaurants

The wood-burning oven is what distinguishes Mr. B.s — A Bartolotta Steakhouse for customers like Dane Baldwin. The chef/owner of The Diplomat in Milwaukee, he heads to the suburbs to get his fix, where two locations use a wood-burning oven to achieve a unique taste and texture for their steaks. "For me, it's a rib-eye perfectly roasted in the oven, the right amount of marbling providing fat needed to pick up the flavors of the hardwoods," says the chef. "It's not listed this way, but do what the locals do, and get the Yukon gold potato purée and request the garlic Al Forno steak topping on the potatoes! I'll never forget the first time I had this combo, truly delicious!"

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Pearl & Vine

Steak on a plate at Pearl & Vine restaurant in Katy, Tex.
Courtesy of Pearl & Vine

Everything really is bigger in Texas. Especially the go-to steak order for Kevin Lee, co-director of Houston's Phat Eatery, who shouted out Pearl & Vine in suburban Katy as his favorite. "The 26 ounces of prime bone-in rib-eye goodness with their bourbon-peppercorn sauce is a can't-miss," Lee says. "Chef Ryan Hallsted always serves up their wood-fired steaks just right!"

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas
Photo: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse / Facebook

Another popular Texas pick is Texas-born chain Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, which gets a glowing endorsement from both Paul Miller of Gr8 Plate Hospitality and Brandi Key, chef and culinary director of Daily Gather and Dish Society.

"Not only are the steaks wonderful and always prepared properly, but they cover all the bases with sides and starters," explains Miller. "From caviar, lobster, crab legs — and what I think are the best crab cakes in town — there's also an impressive array of desserts and after-dinner drinks."

Key agrees, calling it "hands-down my favorite steakhouse." The Houston location, on Westheimer, is particularly known for its swanky decor, extensive wine list, and cocktail program, along with fresh platters of seafood, and of course, beef. "They pride themselves on butchering high-quality beef cuts and carefully aging them in-house," Key notes. "Beef tenderloins, strip steaks, and more are cut to weight when you order them, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked in one of three giant broilers on the line to your perfect temperature." Especially when paired with scalloped potatoes or buttered asparagus, the chef assures "you will always leave satisfied and feeling a little pampered."

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Mill Pond Steakhouse

Steaks being plated by Chef Lynell Blanding at Mill Pond Steakhouse in Rembert, S.C.
Courtesy of Mill Pond Steakhouse

For steak topped with excellent seafood, Javier Uriarte recommends Mill Pond Steakhouse in Rembert, S.C. According to the executive chef/owner of Ratio Restaurant, "It is a very cool stop with classic surf 'n' turf with a Southern accent. A place that you would never think to go and try out because it is in the middle of nowhere but has excellent food and service! I choose this spot for any special occasion."

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

plated prime rib with side dishes
Photo: Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse/Facebook

As the chef of Mr. B.s — A Bartolotta Steakhouse in Wisconsin, Paul Bartolotta knows a good steakhouse when he finds one. And that's precisely how he feels about Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Chicago. "When I was living and working in Chicago in the early '90s, as the executive chef and managing partner of Spiaggia, there was a steakhouse located just around the corner from my restaurant and apartment called Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse, which is still open today," he says. "It is everything you want from an old-school steakhouse: incredible cuts of meat, lively atmosphere, and great cocktails. I spent many evenings there and still visit whenever I can."

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Cote Miami

cote miami wagyu steaks over a grill
Photo: COTE / Facebook

For Jacob Bickelhaupt, chef of Konro in West Palm Peach, it's the Korean-American flavors at Cote Miami that set it apart. "As a chef myself, I have a deep appreciation for bold and adventurous flavors, and COTE Miami truly delivers," says the chef, who makes his own "drunken" Takamori A5 Wagyu, grilled over binchotan coal, at Konro. "The combination of Korean BBQ in an upscale American steakhouse setting is a match made in culinary heaven and is why they are my pick every time for the top steakhouse in the country." In addition to the "attention to every detail in every dish at COTE Miami," Bickelhaupt also loves the atmosphere: "the ambiance is elegant yet inviting, making it the perfect spot for a special night out."


a steak from knife steakhouse
Photo: Knife

Matthew McClure is a big fan of Knife in Dallas for its innovative techniques and thoughtful sides. The executive chef at The Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, Vt. describes the Texas restaurant as a "chef-driven steakhouse that takes a contemporary approach to aging and cooking meat," with innovative techniques and sides that set it apart. "From Knife, I've learned the importance of incorporating modern cooking influences into a classic steakhouse setting. This lesson has been invaluable in my own kitchens at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, where I blend traditional steakhouse elements with innovative techniques to create a unique and memorable dining experience."

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LongHorn Steakhouse

LongHorn porterhouse at LongHorn Steakhouse
Photo: Chris Shott for Eat This, Not That!

Of all the steakhouse chains, LongHorn Steakhouse earns a shoutout from Zac Lennox, chef of Houston's Palacios Murphy restaurant group, for its penchant for wood-grilled steak. "There is something that just jingles your DNA when you eat meat that has been cooked on a wood fire," he explains. "When you get a piece of meat and the smoke is in the juice, it just takes you to another place. It is enjoyment on a cellular, timeless level."

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Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse 12 oz. Ft. Worth Ribeye & Grilled Shrimp
Texas Roadhouse

When a craving for filet mignon sinks in, Manuel Rodriguez beelines to Texas Roadhouse. According to the director of food and beverage for Innisfree Hotels, it's a steakhouse that offers a good cut of meat at an affordable price. "When you walk in, you can actually pick the piece of steak you want since they hand-cut their steaks in-house, ensuring they meet their quality standards."

Matt Kirouac
Matt Kirouac is a travel and food writer and culinary school graduate, with a passion for national parks, all things Disney, and road trip restaurants. Read more about Matt
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