Steakhouses can be a lot of things to a lot of people. They can be a celebration dinner, a date night, a business lunch, or just an excuse to eat a dazzling array of potatoes. They can be restaurants to seek out for top-tier seafood, chicken, and of course, filet. But, bargain dining isn't typically the first thing that comes to mind when envisioning said filet.
Here's a hot tip, though: many of America's finest steakhouse chains, from the omnipresent to the high-end, offer lunch specials that make it easy to indulge those steak cravings on a budget. In addition to steakhouses that offer killer holiday menus and full meal deals, certain chains excel at lunch specials, offering a pared-down selection of menu items at a fraction of the average dinner cost.
From customizable plates to smaller portion sizes at reduced costs, these are the steakhouse chains with the best lunch specials.
There's a wealth of options on the afternoon menu at LongHorn Steakhouse, where sandwiches, steaks, and entrée-worthy salads are all offered at a discounted rate Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In fact, you can lunch here for a scant $8.99, which is the going rate for the crispy buttermilk sandwich combo, served with your choice of side, soup, or salad. Other options aren't much pricier, like the 7-Pepper Sirloin Lunch Salad Combo for $10.99, LongHorn Salmon for $18.29, and Cowboy Pork Chops for $15.29. Steaks, which also come with a side, include a six-ounce sirloin for as little as $13.79.
Leave it to the home of the infamous Bloomin' Onion to offer some of the most interesting lunch specials in the country. Yes, you can certainly get a steak—a center-cut sirloin, to be exact, for just $13.99. But, the real fun is in the plethora of only-at-Outback specialties available, like the barbecue-glazed Grilled Chicken on the Barbie ($11.99), the Spicy Jammin' Meatloaf ($13.99), and the Bloomin' Fried Chicken ($12.99). All are portioned for more modest lunch appetites because, well, good luck being productive at the office after polishing off a dinner-sized slab of meatloaf. All are available until 4 p.m., with the option of fries or veggies.
Morton's The Steakhouse
Steakhouses are the epitome of the "power lunch," a ritual typified by moneyed patrons toasting dirty martinis over burly plates of surf and turf. But, the pastime needn't be confined to the big spenders, as evidenced by some economical power lunch promos at places like Morton's The Steakhouse. At locations that offer lunch, the swanky chain features a two-course "power lunch" for $32, with ample entrée options like a six-ounce center-cut filet, grilled salmon fillet, or Maine lobster ravioli. It's all served with a soup or salad, and additional sides—like lobster mac and cheese, sour cream mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach—can be added for $10.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
Another power player on the power lunch scene, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse offers a handful of original entrées, plus your choice of starter, for a mere $36. Starters include tuna tartare, blue cheese lettuce wedge, and lobster bisque, followed by entrée options such as Jidori chicken piccata with sautéed spinach and lemon-caper sauce, pan-roasted salmon with a grape-olive relish, pine nuts, brown butter farro, and goat cheese, and filet medallions with mashed potatoes, green beans, and red wine demi-glace.
The Capital Grille
From its stellar wine list to scene-stealing french fries, the Capital Grille gets top marks in numerous steakhouse categories. Still, it might still come as a surprise that one of America's ritziest chains also serves a lunch deal. For an upscale steakhouse at a not-so-upscale price point, swing by midday, when the restaurant offers a "plates" option. For $28, guests can choose a starter between a field greens salad, New England clam chowder, and Caesar salad, followed by a choice of entrée. The options include seared salmon with Mediterranean couscous, asparagus, and heirloom tomatoes; roasted chicken breast with mushrooms and parmesan risotto; and sliced tenderloin steak frites with chimichurri and rosemary fries. It's a lot of high-quality food for a smidgen of the going rate at dinner.
Among the most filling of all lunch specials is that at STK, where a weekday prix-fixe power lunch goes for $45. It includes a rather whopping selection of starters, entrées, and to-go dessert. Available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests start with appetizer options such as tuna tartare tacos and a baby gem Caesar, with entrées like a six-ounce filet mignon, steak frites, maple-rubbed salmon, and mushroom tagliatelle. Sides, like sweet corn pudding and crispy bacon-topped Brussels sprouts, are an additional $5 each, and lunch ends with some STK sweets to-go.
There's something innately swanky about dining at The Palm, a timeworn chain that feels preserved in a Rat Pack-era aesthetic. But, the bill doesn't have to be as swanky as the vibe. The chain offers a three-course lunch special for $29, spanning from starters to sweets, with a couple surcharges for particularly indulgent dishes like a center-cut filet and Chicken Parmigiana. Otherwise, guests can choose between a salad or lobster bisque, an entrée, and a dessert of either cheesecake or zeppoles. You get all that and a side of Italian herb-seasoned hand-cut fries and housemade giardiniera.
Considering its expansive and eclectic menu offerings, from wood-grilled shrimp and grits to brick-oven gnocchi, it feels almost a misnomer to categorize Seasons 52 as a steakhouse. But this wine-centric contemporary American mini-chain just so happens to specialize in superlative steaks, which merits inclusion in any meaty roundup. For lunch, the restaurant features one of its menu specialties—flatbreads—as a special combo with soup or salad for $13.50. For that, diners get a half flatbread of their choosing, with options like pesto chicken, roasted mushroom, all-natural pepperoni, or Philly cheesesteak. To pair, there's butternut squash soup, mushroom bisque, lobster bisque, field greens salad, and romaine Caesar.
Saltgrass Steak House
Come dinnertime, steaks and seafood entrées at Saltgrass Steak House skew towards the $30 and $40 price range, but there are bargains to be found for the earlier crowd. Available both for lunch and early dinner dining, select entrées are served at discounted rates (and more reasonable portion sizes), such as a bacon-wrapped filet for $21.49, a 10-ounce ribeye for $20.49, a Gulf Coast steak and shrimp combo for $20.49, and chopped steak with grilled onions, mushrooms, and Cognac sauce for $14.49. It's all served with your choice of fries, mashed potatoes, or fried green beans.