The 6 Best Steakhouses in Chicago
A mix of the classics and new favorites
In this town, there are plenty of staple steakhouses slinging fancy meat and potatoes. But what if you’re looking for something to fit the bill across a variety of occasions, from business dinners and date nights to celebratory meals and courting out-of-town guests? Whether it’s neighborhood-casual vibes at a French-German brasserie you’re after or a see-and-be-seen Gold Coast hangout that will impress just about any guest, you’re bound to find your match here. Read on for our top spots for Chicago carnivores.
Why you’re here: You want to catch up with an old friend in a relaxed atmosphere.
What you’re ordering: French-meets-German fare with a heavy emphasis on artisanal ingredients. Shortrib beignets and the beef tartare with quail egg are no-brainers to start. Steak options are pretty classic, like a ribeye and NY strip, plus steak frites with beef fat fries. Other non-steak entrees include a veal chop with stewed tomato and duck breast with beet, spring onion and snap peas.
1012 N. Western Ave. (map)
Why you’re here: You’re headed out for date night.
What you’re ordering: When the complimentary sourdough bread is as much of a standout as the rest of the menu, you know you can’t go wrong. Start with the smoked salmon Caesar and roasted bone marrow or a chilled seafood tower. Steaks range from three types of filet mignon and a 16 oz. ribeye to a 42-day-aged porterhouse. The frites, truffle mac and cheese and elote-style corn make for excellent accompaniments. Feeling extra indulgent? An order of fried chicken is a sleeper hit, and the velvety smooth chocolate cream pie with Oreo crust is a must-order.
218 W. Kinzie St. (map)
Why you’re here: You’re celebrating a milestone birthday.
What you’re ordering: The namesake maple and ash wood hearth is the star of the menu here. Begin with the wedge salad with crispy glazed bacon and blue cheese and a fire-roasted seafood tower finished with garlic butter and chili oil. You can even order a “pasta back,” a heaping portion of handmade pasta added to the tower’s remaining butter and oil. Steaks are impressive here — we’re talking a 40 oz. Eisenhower and 16 oz. American wagyu strip, plus plenty of favorite cuts like filet mignon and a bone-in ribeye. Not into steak? The ricotta agnolotti and wild striped bass are solid options and there are plenty of standout sides like au gratin potatoes and Brussels sprouts with preserved lemon to fill up on. Truly feeling like celebrating? Opt for the “I Don’t Give a F*@K” menu, a chef’s choice menu featuring Maple & Ash’s biggest hits.
8 W. Maple St. (map)
Why you’re here: You have a big client or coworkers to impress.
What you’re ordering: You’re going to want to save room for your steak, so keep things lighter up front with some raw oysters or the lump crab Caesar (although you can’t go wrong with the French onion soup either). Choose from 28-day wet-aged steaks like a NY strip or filet, or a 45-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye or bone-in Kansas City strip. A trio of Japanese wagyu cuts are also available (as long as your expense account is available too). All steaks are served with a head of roasted garlic for slathering. The properly whipped potatoes, mac and cheese and creamed spinach make fine additions to the above. End on a sweet note with the NY-style cheesecake and peanut butter and whipped milk chocolate pie drizzled tableside with velvety chocolate syrup.
222 N. LaSalle St. (map)
Why you’re here: You’re dining with a group of red meat (and red wine) lovers.
What you’re ordering: The boisterous dining room is the perfect backdrop for enjoying hefty portions of Argentine meats, and the BYOB policy is a major plus. Empanadas are an early star of the show here (order a variety of fillings and savor that chimichurri) but you’ll want to save room for the main attraction. El Filet, a filet mignon topped with red onion wine sauce and served with spinach mashed potatoes is a popular choice, as is the Churrasco Argentino featuring grilled sirloin and vesuvio potatoes. Finish with flan, chocolate cake or a slice of dulce de leche cheesecake.
3763 N. Southport Ave. (map)
Why you’re here: You’re entertaining out-of-towners who are looking for a true Chicago dining experience.
What you’re ordering: A meal here is a marathon, not a sprint. Colossal shrimp cocktail and the jumbo lump crab cake are popular appetizers. With the largest steak menu on this list, you may want to study beforehand. The T-bone, porterhouse and prime rib are just a few selections available, while there are also plenty of fish entrees for non meat-eaters. Side dishes are traditional but plentiful, ranging from a double baked potato and creamed spinach, to grilled asparagus or sauteed mushrooms. Gibsons’ dessert menu of showstoppers includes sky-high carrot cake, chocolate mousse pie and macadamia turtle pie.
1028 N. Rush St. (map)
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