9 Steakhouse Chains Where the Sides Are Better Than the Steaks
It's a fact: Steakhouse sides are sometimes more exciting than the actual steak. Often as over the top as the massive cuts of beef, these crispy, creamy, and over-stuffed options take dinner to the next level. After all, a meal that is just steak, and nothing else, doesn't sound like too much fun.
Although there are many great steakhouses out there, some places take their sides seriously and make them more exciting than others. So much better, in fact, that these sides can sometimes outshine the main entree. We're talking loaded mashed potatoes packed with bacon and cheese, a buffet of sides that include comfort food classics like pot roast and spaghetti, and homemade potato chips that taste ten times better than any packaged version you'd find at the supermarket.
We found decades-old restaurants that serve out-of-this-world mashed potatoes, amazing spots that put their own twist on classic steakhouse sides, and even a place that offers next-level premium meal additions like lobster tails and baby-back ribs. Here are ten steakhouse chains where the sides might be better than the actual steaks.
In business since 1993, Texas Roadhouse is the place to hit up if you want a delicious meal filled with truly one-of-a-kind dishes. Although they may be most known for their steaks, their lip-smackingly good side dishes steal the show. For starters, they offer tasty baby-back ribs and mouth-watering grilled shrimp as a side. They also have a steamy marshmallow-stuffed sweet potato that tastes just as good as the ones your family whips up at Thanksgiving, and their flavorful starters, like fried pickles with ranch or Cajun sauce, loaded potato skins, and scratch-made Texas red chili, will have you hooked.
There are currently over 600 Texas Roadhouse locations throughout the world, so you shouldn't have too much trouble tracking one down. Even better? The company keeps sustainability at its forefront, and most locations recycle their fryer oil into biofuel and use energy-efficient kitchen equipment. Tasty food and eco-friendly practices? It's a win-win.
Outback Steakhouse may have "steakhouse" in its name, but if you're familiar with the spot, you already know that's it more about the sides and appetizers here. For starters, the Bloomin' Onion has been attracting people from far and wide for years. If you're a Bloomin' Onion fan, then you'll be happy to hear that they recently added the Loaded Bloomin' Onion to their menus, which is a traditional Bloomin' Onion topped with loaded French fries, drizzled with tangy ranch dressing and served with spicy Bloomin' Onion sauce that has the perfect amount of kick.
If you're not a fan of onions, no sweat, Outback Steakhouse has many side options that come with your meal and some premium sides for a little bit extra. The loaded mashed potatoes, made with bacon, cheese, and sour cream, are especially good, and the spicy steak chili is out of this world. They also have a new veggie side dish, aptly named Over-the-Top Brussel Sprouts, that features bacon, Fresno chilis, and lip-puckering lemon aioli. Plus, the chain has a few different salads that change with the seasons. Don't miss the Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad or the Strawberry Salad to add a fresh element to your meal.
Sure, Longhorn Steakhouse has a long list of steaks on its menu (Porterhouse, sirloin, and ribeye! Oh my!), but what may just be as tasty as its steak offerings are its sides. For starters, it has no shortage of traditional sides prepared with a spin, like fire-grilled corn on the cob, crispy Brussels sprouts, loaded Idaho baked potatoes, seasoned rice pilaf, and steakhouse mac and cheese.
Beyond the basics, the chain also crafts out-of-this-world "steak additions," which include grilled lobster tails (yes, you can add grilled lobster tails to your meal for an additional few dollars), grilled shrimp, and grilled mushrooms. It also serves next-level soups, like hearty shrimp, lobster chowder, and loaded potato, if you're in the mood for something comforting.
Founded in Kentucky, Logan's Roadhouse has served steaks, burgers, and more since the 1990s. However, if you've been there before, then you know that it isn't all about the steaks, its soul-warming sides also deserve some praise.
Upon first glance, it might seem like your typical run-of-the-mill steakhouse sides, but the chain has options you don't really find at too many places like sweet cinnamon apples, homemade potato chips, and fried green beans. If you want something with a bit more heft, go for their premium sides, which include grilled mushroom skewers and poppin' mac and cheese, or one of its loaded dishes, which include mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.
And don't forget the starters. The appetizers include scratch-made loaded potato skins (they love to load things up there), beer-battered onion rings, a giant platter of nachos topped with sour cream and cheese, and fried calamari served with yummy chipotle aioli. Be sure to come hungry.
We'll come right out and say it—when you take a trip out to Morton's, it's not just their steaks you're craving, but their popular sides. The famous grill has locations worldwide, and a menu packed with mouth-watering items like Maine lobster macaroni and cheese, smoked gouda au gratin baked potatoes, giant thick-cut onion rings served with truffle sauce, and so much more.
Don't skip the soup and salad options, either. The seasonal burrata salad features a hunk of soft mozzarella cheese dressed with gazpacho vinaigrette. The dreamy Lobster Bisque is finished off with creme fraiche and lobster medallions.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Not only does Ruth's Chris Steakhouse know how to prepare top-notch steak, but it makes some pretty stand-out sides, too. The famous steakhouse, which got its start in the 1960s and now is found in over 20 countries, is known for serving amazing sides that can easily elevate your meal.
Choose from side options like cremini mushrooms, which are pan-roasted and garnished with fresh thyme, or their roasted brussels sprouts made with bacon and honey butter. The chain also has lobster mac and cheese, featuring cavatappi pasta and white cheddar sauce, and grilled asparagus dressed in a delicious hollandaise sauce.
That's not all though. This steakhouse also doesn't disappoint when it comes to appetizers—it offers sizzling crab cakes, goat cheese and artichoke dip (made with sundried tomatoes), and a chilled seafood tower that is served with both cocktail and sriracha-lime sauce. Every dish is made with the highest-quality ingredients and is sure to be a hit.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
Truffle twice-baked potatoes, creamed spinach with egg and smoked bacon, chateau mashed potatoes with Fontina, chives and shaved truffle, crab fried rice with scallions—there's no shortage of mind-blowing sides served at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse. Enjoy one of these picture-perfect sides with one of the restaurant's many high-quality steaks, which include filet mignon, prime ribeye, New York strip, Japanese Wagyu, and more.
The buzzy high-end spot, which is known for its top-notch steaks and elegant atmosphere, has been crafting some of the most delicious dishes since 1981. Not to mention the chain also has plenty of accolades—its wine list was praised by the New York Times and its Las Vegas location was recognized by Open Table as one of the best steakhouses in the country. You gotta try Del Frisco's.
Texas de Brazil
Texas de Brazil—where do we even begin? If you've never been to this popular Brazilian steakhouse chain before, then add it to your bucket list stat. This restaurant not only has great steaks, but also offers a whole list of incredible sides that you'll be thinking about for days after your meal.
Founded over 20 years ago in Dallas, Texas, this one-of-a-kind spot offers a ton of delicious hot sides, including mouth-watering Brazilian black beans, sweet fried bananas, sauteed mushrooms with wine, and filling jasmine rice. It also serves an amazing lobster bisque and a potato au gratin that knocks it out of the ballpark. Be sure not to leave without trying one of their desserts, too—some standouts include pecan pie, chocolate mousse cake, carrot cake, and Brazilian flan.
Ponderosa & Bonanza Steakhouse
Who can say no to a buffet? Ponderosa & Bonanza Steakhouse (the chains were once two separate businesses) may not be known as one of the greatest steakhouses out there, but their buffet offerings are unrivaled. For starters, they offer baked potato or steak fries with their steak entrees, but it's their buffet that you really can't miss. Choose from mouth-watering side dishes, such as chicken biscuit pie, slow-cooked beef pot roast, steamy French onion soup topped with melted cheese, and plates of spaghetti drenched in tomato sauce to accompany your steaks and chops.
The chain even offers a cold bar buffet, which includes lighter, yet still impressive, dishes such as Caesar salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, and more. A build-your-own taco bar is also available if you feel like enjoying your ribeye with a plate of tacos (hey, you never know.)
The steakhouse currently has nearly two dozen restaurants in the United States, mainly found along the East Coast and in the Midwest. If the restaurant's name sounds familiar, it's because it's inspired by the popular television series Bonanza—Bonanza is the show's name. Ponderosa was taken from where it was set—Ponderosa Ranch.