The steakhouse is one of America's most enduring and versatile culinary creations. Steakhouses range from leather-and-mahogany upscale to sawdust-and-Budweiser downscale, but they all exist for the same reason: to satisfy our insatiable craving for a perfectly cooked piece of meat. And sure enough, from coast to coast, from Alaska to Hawaii, there's no shortage of truly great steakhouses out there. We've tracked down the best steakhouses in every state and the District of Columbia.
We're lucky enough to live in a country that has more varieties of steakhouses (and restaurants in general) than previous generations could have ever imagined. There are the cavernous Wild West establishments where everyone seems to be wearing a Stetson and a pair of Lucchese boots; the power-broker-with-an-expense-account clubhouses; the joints that serve steak at the bar but don't quite fall into the bar-and-grill category; and the modernist steakhouses that turn all these conventions upside down. But whether they're clad in red leather or plywood, décor is only one aspect of the overall steakhouse experience. When it comes down to it, it's all about the steak. And from ripping-hot broilers to mesquite grills, these restaurants do it right.
In order to track down the best steakhouses in every state, we started by consulting our annual ranking of America's 50 best steakhouses, which is compiled by judging more than 200 steakhouses on strict criteria. But that only took us so far; to fill out the map we then took a deep dive into each remaining state's culinary scene, grading all the leading steakhouses by those same criteria: Is the meat sourced reputably and USDA Choice or Prime? Is it dry-aged, and if not, is it as high-quality as can be? Is it served at the proper doneness without fail and with a touch of ceremony? How are the side dishes and other supporting players? Is it revered by locals and out-of-towners alike? We also considered the overall steakhouse experience. Because the goal is to showcase homegrown favorites, we excluded chains with more than a handful of locations, like Capital Grille, Fleming's, and LongHorn.
In the end, our listing doesn't just showcase great steakhouses, it paints a picture of the American culinary landscape. In the states with America's major culinary capitals, like New York, California, and Illinois, the top steakhouses are refined fine dining institutions, confident in their legendary status. But in states that aren't nearly as renowned for their wealth of culinary options, the steakhouses are far more casual and scrappy, but still serve steaks that are in many ways just as satisfying as their big-city brethren.
Dean C. /Yelp
Alabama: George's Steak Pit, Sheffield
In business for mroe than 60 years, George's Steak Pit's very name reveals why it's so renowned: an open pit in the kitchen, on which steaks are grilled over hickory logs. The variety of steaks they're turning out is also staggering: ribeye, ribeye butt, bone-in ribeye, prime rib in two sizes, New York strip, T-bone in two sizes, filet mignon, tenderloin kebobs... The list goes on and on. And while a visit is still a splurge, no steak costs more than $37.95.
Alaska: Simon & Seafort's Saloon & Grill, Anchorage
An Anchorage favorite since 1978, this landmark isn't just the best steakhouse in Alaska, it's also one of the most picturesque in America, offering stunning views of the Alaska Range and Mount Susitna. As for the steaks, they're USDA Prime, and though you may have some trouble choosing between a grilled smoked sirloin, a char-grilled filet mignon, and their signature rock salt roasted prime rib (available in three sizes), you'll definitely go home happy.
Arizona: The Stockyards, Phoenix
The Wild West is still alive and well at this 70-year-old gem, established to feed all the cattlemen in the then-nearby packing houses and still going strong in a slightly out of the way corner of the city. An old-time saloon and murals of the Old West greet diners, but this place is no gimmick, being painstakingly restored in 2004. Huge corn-fed steaks are grilled over an open flame, with bestsellers including a 20-ounce buffalo ribeye and an 18-ounce prime rib. Other options include three sizes of ribeye, two sizes of New York strip, and three sizes of filet.
Stephen A. via Yelp
Arkansas: Riverfront Steakhouse, North Little Rock
An Arkansas gem, Riverfront may not look like much (it's tucked in next to a Benihana inside a hotel), but don't be fooled: The steaks here are USDA Prime and darn good. The 30-item salad bar is old-school and well-stocked, baked potatoes are the size of your head, and the 24-ounce porterhouse (the top seller) is, like all the steaks, heavily salted and peppered, seared in an infrared broiler, basted in butter, then placed back in the broiler to crisp up the crust.
California: CUT, Beverly Hills
Wolfgang Puck helped invent California cuisine (and gave us California-style pizza) at Spago, pioneered Asian fusion food at Chinois on Main, and even figured out a way to produce decent airport food at his many Wolfgang Puck Express outlets, so we shouldn't be surprised that he has also reinvented the steakhouse with CUT in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (there are now spin-offs in Las Vegas, London, and Singapore). The traditional red leather booths and bucolic paintings have given way to a cool white interior by rationalist architect Richard Meier and a series of pieces by conceptual artist John Baldessari. In place of iceberg wedges and grilled swordfish, look for warm veal tongue with baby artichokes and roast Maine lobster with black truffle sabayon. Oh, and the steaks? Not the usual four or five choices, but a total of 17 cuts and places of origin, from Australian filet mignon to Illinois bone-in New York sirloin to genuine Japanese Wagyu ribeye from Miyazaki Prefecture. Puck has reinvented the steakhouse experience at CUT, and what he's done is nothing short of mind-blowing.
Janice W. via Yelp
Colorado: The Buckhorn Exchange, Denver
One of America's oldest restaurants (and the oldest in Denver), the Buckhorn Exchange was opened by Henry "Shorty Scout" Zietz opened in 1893, an era when cattlemen, miners, railroad workers, silver barons, Indian chiefs, drifters, and businessmen all dined under the same roof. The restaurant was given the first liquor license in the state of Colorado and the menu remains mostly unchanged to this day. The Buckhorn is a true Wild West holdout with its circa-1857 antique bar, wooden fixtures, 575-piece taxidermy collection, 125-piece gun collection, and a menu that reflects that good ol' American desire to eat some red meat. For those who really want to celebrate being on top of the food chain, there are plenty of exotic meats on offer including elk, quail, and buffalo (and sometimes ostrich and yak). But if you're in the mood for UDSA Prime steak, we suggest you go for the Big Steak, a New York strip loin carved tableside and available for two (two pounds) to five (four pounds) guests.
Trent R. via Yelp
Connecticut: David Burke Prime, Mashantucket
The best steakhouse in Connecticut is tucked away inside the gleaming and expansive Foxwoods Resort Casino. Executive chef Pedro Avila dry-ages his steaks on site in a salt-brick aging room, and the overall experience can compete with any of the best steakhouses in New York. Steaks age from 28 to up to 45 days, and the 55-day dry-aged ribeye for two is an absolute masterpiece. The menu is rounded out by live lobsters, massive shellfish towers, prime rib, and playful appetizers including surf and turf dumplings and candied bacon.
David Burke Prime via Yelp
Delaware: Walter's Steakhouse, Wilmington
Wilmington's oldest steakhouse also serves some of the best prime rib you'll have anywhere, available in four different sizes (ranging from 10 to 34 ounces) and cut from either the chuck or sirloin side. (It's also available on a fresh onion roll with horseradish cream.) Ribeye steak, filet, New York strip, and porterhouse round out the steaks, and guests who dine there on Sundays and Thursdays can visit a complimentary seafood bar.
Florida: Bern's, Tampa
Don't come to Bern's if you're on a diet; Bern's is about wonderful excess. There are 20 kinds of caviar on the menu of this big, old-style, legendary establishment. The menu also includes two preparations of foie gras, two kinds of steak tartare (one with truffles), oysters three ways, endless varieties of fish and shellfish, 16 different cheeses both domestic and imported, nearly 50 desserts (including gluten- and sugar-free varieties) - served upstairs in a special dessert room - and a list of about 7,000 wines (5,500 of them red). Oh, and did we mention steaks? There are seven different cuts in a total of 51 different sizes (from 6 ounces of filet mignon to 60 ounces of strip sirloin), broiled to eight different temperatures, from very rare ("no crust, cold and raw") to, gulp, well-done ("sturdy little crust, no color, no juice, dried out"). Come hungry.
Georgia: Kevin Rathbun Steak, Atlanta
Located in a former Clorox factory in up-and-coming Inman Park, Kevin Rathbun's steakhouse is part of an empire that also includes Rathbun's and Krog Bar, all located on the same street. At his spacious, whimsically appointed steakhouse, Rathbun serves steakhouse classics like escargots, seafood towers, dry-aged porterhouse for two and three, a 22-ounce cowboy ribeye, and 16-ounce New York strips; but there's also a wide selection of items that you don't see on most steakhouse menus like Coca-Cola baby back pork ribs, eggplant fries, lobster fritters, ahi tuna poke, and Asian-style meatballs. If you go twice, order whatever you like. But if you go once, get the steak; we'd recommend that cowboy ribeye.
Kevin Rathbun Steak
Hawaii: Hy's Steak House, Honolulu
The steaks at this elegant and mature 36-year-old Waikiki legend are all USDA Prime, and are grilled over native kiawe (mesquite) wood, giving them a deep, smoky char. Offerings include boneless or bone-in New York strip, boneless or bone-in ribeye, filet mignon, T-bone, and a standout 34-ounce porterhouse. Slow-roasted prime rib, rack of lamb, escargot, duck foie gras, caviar, and a chef's selection seafood platter help to make Hy's one of Hawaii's premier fine dining experiences.
Manda Bear B. via Yelp
Idaho: Chandlers, Boise
This upscale and classy Boise restaurant features a stylish martini bar, live jazz nightly, and four varieties of beef: USDA Prime from Chairman's Reserve, natural and organic grass-fed beef from Oregon's Painted Hills, American Kobe from Snake River Farms, and Japanese Wagyu. The 8-ounce center cut American Kobe might just be the single best steak you'll find in the state, especially when paired with housemade béarnaise and a side of crazy good mashed potatoes. Chandler's also happens to have one of the state's best seafood selections - you just might forget it's landlocked.
Chandlers via Yelp
Illinois: Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse, Chicago
If you were to close your eyes and try to imagine what a 25-year-old steakhouse in downtown Chicago called Gibson's would be like, you'd probably hit the nail right on the head: red leather booths, wood paneling, martinis, high-roller customers, flawless service, giant steaks, and lobster tails. The USDA Prime steak served here is second to none, and the old-fashioned menu of steakhouse classics includes spicy lobster cocktail in a steamed artichoke, wedge salad, and classic cuts of beef including bone-in filet mignon, London broil bordelaise with roasted bone marrow, and the 22-ounce W.R's Chicago Cut, a mammoth bone-in ribeye. If you're looking to dine here, make sure you call well in advance; reservations are hard to come by. And while the website states that jeans are OK, we'd advise wearing something a little more suited to the upscale surroundings.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse / Facebook
Indiana: St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis
Setting foot into St. Elmo is like stepping back in time - to 1902, to be exact. The saloon-style décor hasn't changed save for a '90s-era expansion, and neither has the menu: There's a wide selection of wet-aged steaks and chops, a classic shrimp cocktail with sinus-clearing cocktail sauce and saltines, a wedge salad, and a loaded baked potato, all served with the professionalism you'd expect from a place that's been doing it for more than 100 years (one waiter has been on-staff since 1976). St. Elmo is steakhouse-meets-comfort food, an inviting place where time really stands still. However, that commitment to keeping the past alive doesn't mean that quality suffers; the menu proudly displays the names of 17 local sources for the food served.
Iowa: The Big Steer, Altoona
Picture in your mind your idea of a restaurant called The Big Steer in Altoona, Iowa, and we bet you'll come pretty close to what this place actually is, starting with a giant painted cow advertising its Sunday brunch and dinner specials and sign in the front window hawking "Iowa's Finest Prime Rib." The interior is charmingly dated, but you don't come here for the décor; you come here for the Iowa beef. That prime rib is, in fact, paradigm-changing, and very well might be Iowa's best. The homemade bread is legendary, the steaks are spectacular (order yours "Deburgo," in a butter-garlic sauce that's a regional specialty), and the Iowa pork is also worth sampling.
Facebook/The Big Steer
Kansas: Hereford House, Shawnee and Leawood
At this 60-year-old steakhouse, steaks are raised locally, hand cut, and Certified Angus; let your server know exactly how big you want your steak or prime rib to be, and it's all yours. Aside from Kansas City strip, ribeye, top sirloin, prime rib, porterhouse, and filet, country fried steaks, pork ribs, and burgers are also favorites.
Hereford House via Yelp
Kentucky: Malone's, Lexington
When restaurateur Brian McCarty realized that nowhere in the Lexington area could he get a steak as good as the USDA Prime ones he'd eaten in Chicago, he decided to singlehandedly change that. Today Malone's is one of the city's best restaurants, and they're even selling their own line of steaks (purchased from those same Chicago butchers) online. At the restaurant, a wide variety of steaks are cooked under an infrared broiler including 12-ounce Prime sirloin, filet mignon with King Crab legs or crispy fried lobster tail, and ribeye, and prime rib is also a standout. Make sure you start with their famous steak and potato soup.
Louisiana: Dickie Brennan's, New Orleans
This French Quarter power broker staple, which is located in a clubby, basement-level space, is a regular hangout for the city's wheelers and dealers and high-rollers. With a swanky bar and six private dining rooms, Dickie Brennan's serves USDA Prime steaks with a creative New Orleans twist; the 6-ounce house filet is topped with fried oysters and béarnaise sauce, the barbecue ribeye is topped with Abita beer barbecue shrimp; and any steak can be topped with jumbo lump crabmeat or Danish blue cheese. That's not to say that you should avoid unadorned steaks; the 16-ounce strip is seared in a cast-iron skillet and just might be New Orleans' finest steak.
Maine: Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie, Portland
Portland is a food-lover's paradise, allegedly home to more restaurants per capita than any other city, and if you're in the mood for steak there, Timber is the place to go. Steaks are sourced from local Maine ranches and are grass fed, all natural, and Black Angus. Filet mignon, marinated steak tips, New York strip, and a 40-ounce bone-in ribeye will definitely satisfy your meat tooth, and their burger, made with dry-aged sirloin, is one if the city's best. The restaurant's slow-roasted rotisserie chicken is also a definite standout.
Facebook/Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie
Maryland: Lewnes' Steakhouse, Annapolis
In business since 1921 and in its current incarnation since 1989, this refined and classic institution is an Annapolis legend. The focused menu is full of all the steakhouse classics: start with shrimp cocktail or stellar jumbo lump crab balls (this is Maryland, after all), follow it up with a New York strip or ribeye with some hash browns and sautéed spinach, and chase it down with a selection from their ample wine list. A couple Greek specialties, like garides scortholemono (Aegean-style shrimp) and a popular Greek salad, are nods to the owners' heritage.
Massachusetts: Bogie's Place, Boston
Dining at this diminutive 20-seat steakhouse, which is without signage and hidden away inside burger joint JM Curley, is an experience unto itself; more a private party than a restaurant. A sign reading "Adults Only. Please No Cell Phone Use." adorns the entrance, and these rules aren't arbitrary. Inside you'll find power brokers eating caviar, foie gras, and 30-day dry-aged New York strips, ensconced in comfortable booths amidst jazz and wine-colored walls. Bogie would have definitely felt right at home here.
M K. via Yelp
Michigan: Roast, Detroit
Michael Symon is one of America's most fearless, fun, and unpredictable chefs, and at his entry into the Detroit dining scene, all of this is evident and more. The dinner menu at Roast, which we ranked one of America's best restaurants in 2015, contains delicious and unexpected twists including beef cheek pierogies, pork belly with watermelon and halloumi, and "roast beast" with cassoulet and pork sausage, but the steak selection isn't fooling around. Dishes like filet mignon with crab Béarnaise, dry aged New York strip with smoked mushroom conserva, dry aged ribeye with preserved lemon and smoked garlic, and dry aged porterhouse for two with marbled potato and caramelized onion will make immediately obvious why Symon is one of Food Network's Iron Chefs.
Linda L. via Yelp
Minnesota: Murray's, Minneapolis
If you're looking for a classic steakhouse experience and happen to be in the Twin Cities, drop into the recently renovated Murray's, which has been going strong since 1946. Opened by Art and Marie Murray, the restaurant is still in the family, and many of Marie's old recipes are still used. Their famed "Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two," a 28-ounce strip loin carved tableside, is one of the country's great monuments to a well-made steak. Thankfully, the renovation didn't do away with any of the restaurant's classic charm (although it thankfully replaced the banquet hall-style pink drapes and chairs), and the classic neon sign is right where it's always been.
Mississippi: Doe's Eat Place, Greenville
Founded by Dominick "Doe" Signa and his wife, Marnie, in 1941, this Mississippi legend got its start as a honky tonk that sold great tamales. Over time, the honky tonk gave way to a full-service restaurant, but the tamales are still legendary. Even more legendary are the steaks. Doe's might be the most downscale and shabby steakhouse in America (guests enter through the kitchen), but that's all a part of the charm; the restaurant is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's not a gimmick, however: These enormous steaks are rubbed with proprietary seasoning, cooked under a ripping-hot broiler, and served with a ladle of rich jus. Doe's isn't just a restaurant - it's an experience.
Facebook/Doe's Eat Place - The Original
Missouri: Jess & Jim's, Kansas City
In a town known for great steak, Jess & Jim's stands apart from the pack, and did so even before Calvin Trillin put it on the map in 1972, when he named it one of the country's best steakhouses in Playboy. Family owned and operated since 1938, this no-frills, casual steakhouse is no pomp and all steak. The beef is from Wichita-based Sterling Silver, and is hand cut daily (trimmings are ground into meat for world-class burgers). It's served completely seasoning-free, all the better to taste the meat in its unadorned glory. You could go for the KC strip, a cut that this restaurant helped to popularize, but you might as well go all out and order the "Playboy Strip," named in honor of the publication that helped make this place famous: a 2-inch-thick, 25-ounce sirloin. Save room for the twice-baked potato.
Montana: Jake's, Billings
Since 1979, Jake's has firmly held onto its reputation as the state's finest steakhouse, with a "cowboy chic" atmosphere and steaks that are sourced locally and cooked perfectly. Their prime rib (the house specialty) is the stuff of legend, slow roasted and served with horseradish and au jus, but you also can't go wrong with 16-ounce ribeye (dusted with house seasoning), 14-ounce center-cut New York strip, or 8-ounce baseball cut top sirloin. Their Big Montana Steak Salad is another top seller, and make sure you start with their hot Dungeness crab dip.
Nebraska: Gorat's, Omaha
When Warren Buffett regularly holds court in your restaurant, you know you've got a keeper. That's the case at Omaha landmark Gorat's, which has been going strong since 1944. It remained in the Gorat family until 2012, when it was purchased and given a renovation, but the quality and preparation of the steak (which comes from - where else? - Omaha Steaks) is as good as ever. For the true Buffett experience, do as he does and order the T-bone, rare, with a double order of hash browns and a Cherry Coke.
Yelp/ Anthony G
Nevada: Bazaar Meat, Las Vegas
Having conquered Spanish cuisine both traditional and avant-garde, the cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, historical American fare, and both the Mexican-Chinese and Chinese-Peruvian idioms, what was the ceaselessly energetic José Andrés going to tackle next? Hmmm. How about, oh, I don't know, meat? At this Sin City venture, Andrés includes plenty of Spanish tastes as well as an extensive raw bar and "meat from the sea" (fish to you), but while pedants might argue that this isn't exactly a steakhouse, the focus is appropriately meaty. With a menu of carpaccio, tartares, cured meats, and, yes, serious beef rib steaks from California, Oregon, and Washington State, including a chateaubriand from the Golden State's Brandt Beef served with truffle sauce and pommes soufflés, Bazaar Meat can provide pretty much all the meat you need when you're out on the town.
Philip T/ Yelp
New Hampshire: Hanover Street Chophouse, Manchester
Hanover Street Chophouse might just be the swankiest restaurant in the entire state; it's clubby, elegant, and exactly the type of place where you'll want to become a regular. Classing up downtown since 2005, an ideal meal there might start with a selection of local cheeses, thick-cut Neuske's bacon, and a seafood tower, then continue with a dry-aged bone-in ribeye and one of their six filet mignon preparations, in either 8 or 12 ounces (bacon maple Bourbon jam and blue cheese fondue are always good options). Make sure you accompany it with a wine from their 200-bottle collection.
Facebook/Hanover Street Chophouse
New Jersey: The River Palm Terrace, Edgewater
Even though it's located on the opposite side of the Hudson River from Manhattan, just south of the George Washington Bridge, The River Palm Terrace can rank right up there with the big boys across the water. All steaks are Black Angus USDA Prime, dry-aged in-house for 28 days, and sliced daily by their in-house butcher, and seafood is purchased daily from New York's Hunts Point Market, with at least six fresh varieties (and some surprisingly great sushi) on offer daily. New York strips, filets, T-bones, and porterhouses for two are given a deep sear under a ripping-hot broiler, and nearly every other item on the menu is equally worthy of praise.
Photo by Laura S. via Yelp
New Mexico: The Bull Ring, Santa Fe
This comfortable and low-key steakhouse, in business since 1971, is a Santa Fe landmark and a carnivore's dream. Nestled in the courtyard of an unassuming downtown office building, the restaurant prides itself in serving only corn-fed USDA Prime beef, hand-cut on-premises daily. Make sure you start with some onion rings and a cup of their green chile stew (as one does in Santa Fe), then move onto a filet, ribeye, New York strip, prime rib, porterhouse, or El Matador (a sirloin strip served with green chili, sautéed mushrooms, and onion straws). You really can't go wrong.
Photo by Gary M. via Yelp
New York: Peter Luger, New York City
When you sit down at your table at the perpetually packed Peter Luger, located in an off-the-beaten-path corner of Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, don't ask for a menu. Just order the tomato and onion salad, some thick-cut bacon, creamed spinach, hash browns, and the steak for three, a massive porterhouse broiled under extreme heat before being sliced and presented on a platter.
Sure, the wait staff might be a bit gruff in this surprisingly casual German-styled old steakhouse that's been here since 1887, but that's all a part of the show. The star attraction, the steak, is simply the best you'll find anywhere in America (along with the porterhouse, an equally impressive rib steak is also available). It's dry-aged and butchered on the premises, and when it's presented, in all its crusty, well-marbled, beefy glory, your jaw will drop. Use the house steak sauce to douse the onions and tomatoes (don't let it anywhere near the steak), and be prepared to drop a wad of cash on the table before leaving - no credit cards accepted here, big spender.
Photo by ElysseP. via Yelp
North Carolina: Angus Barn, Raleigh
This sprawling compound is home to two event spaces, two lounges, private dining rooms, one of the country's largest wine cellars, and a classy restaurant serving the best steaks in the state. Steaks are dry-aged and include a 42-ounce bone-in tomahawk ribeye, chateaubriand, prime rib, and a 15-ounce New York strip; add-ons include Oscar (crab, asparagus, and hollandaise), blue cheese and balsamic glaze, and sautéed onions. All steaks are served with your choice of soup, salad, and potato, and as many menu items as possible are sourced from local North Carolina farms.
Yelp/ Emily H
North Dakota: 40 Steak & Seafood, Bismarck
Each of the five dining rooms at this spacious restaurant represents a different aspect of North Dakota - women of the prairie, cattlemen, governors, oil booms, families - and they each offer different décor and furnishings. USDA Prime steaks offered include boneless ribeye, bacon-wrapped filet, flat iron, and hanger steak with gorgonzola mustard and bacon. But for a quintessential North Dakota culinary experience, splurge on one of their bone-in ribeyes, dry aged for either 90, 150, or a whopping 260 days. That's certainly something you don't see too often.
Facebook/40 Steak + Seafood
Ohio: Red, Cleveland
With two locations in Cleveland and one in Miami, Red is stylish, classy, and just about everything you look for in a steakhouse. Steaks are Certified Angus and there are plenty of traditional classics like oysters, French onion soup, and shrimp cocktail, but you'll also find unique offerings like a free-range veal chop stuffed with foie gras, mushrooms, and fontina as well as Italian options like lobster fra diavolo and linguine with clam sauce. Their off-menu surf and turf, which pairs an herb-brushed tomahawk ribeye with a king-crab-stuffed 16-ounce lobster tail, also might just be America's best. High-rollers, take note: If you want to top your steak with seared foie gras with black truffle demi-glace, nobody will stop you.
Yelp / Red PrimeSteak
Oklahoma: Cattlemen's Steakhouse, Oklahoma City
Not to be confused with Cattleman's Steakhouse down in Texas or any of the other restaurants with the same name across the country, this 105-year-old gem, located in the heart of famed Stockyards City, is Oklahoma City's oldest continually operating restaurant. The no-frills temple to the noble steer is as popular with cowboy-hatted locals as it is with former president George H. W. Bush when he's in town. One look at what's on everybody's plate - beef, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - will tell you what this place is all about, as will the giant illuminated photo of grazing cattle along the back wall. The beef here is sourced locally, aged "according to a closely guarded house secret," the website says, portioned out on premises, broiled under an intense charcoal fire, and served with natural jus. Go for the T-bone after your appetizer of lamb fries (don't be afraid, they're good), and finish it off with a slice of homemade pie. Now that's a country steak dinner we can hang our hats on.
Oregon: RingSide Steakhouse, Portland
This steakhouse, in business since 1944, is about as old-school as it gets, in the best way possible. Valet parking is offered, servers (some of whom have been working there for 30 years) wear tuxedoes, it has one of the best wine lists in the state, steaks are dry-aged and hand-cut on premises, and they're aged for a minimum of 28 days. And while non-dry-aged steaks are available, we suggest you spend a few extra bucks and try either the bone-in New York strip, bone-in ribeye, or 34-ounce porterhouse for two; you won't regret it. And make sure you try the onion rings; James Beard called them the best he'd ever had.
Pennsylvania: Barclay Prime, Philadelphia
Sure, this Stephen Starr steakhouse on Rittenhouse Square might boast a selection of as many as seven different steak knives and a $100 Wagyu ribeye and foie gras cheesesteak that comes with a half-bottle of Perrier-Jouët, but that doesn't mean it's gimmicky. Described as a "luxury boutique steakhouse" on its website, the restaurant replaces red leather with green and yellow suede, a clubby soundtrack, and slightly incongruous crystal chandeliers. While the setting is undoubtedly twenty-first century, the menu is as classic as can be: Steaks are dry-aged for 28 days, and the ribeye, from New York's Gachot & Gachot (which supplies the legendary Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn), is arguably the best steak in the city - and there's world-class service to boot. Don't forget to order the shrimp cocktail; these monsters come four to a pound.
Rhode Island: Ten Prime Steak & Sushi, Providence
Swanky and sexy, Ten Prime isn't just Rhode Island's best steakhouse, it's also one of Providence's best restaurants and date spot. Prime corn-fed Certified Angus steaks are complemented by creative sushi rolls and steak toppers including roasted bone marrow with foie gras butter, melted Roquefort with rosemary demi-glace, and grilled lobster tail. Wagyu flat iron steaks are a welcome option, as is a 40-ounce double porterhouse; it's slightly out of character for a classy joint like this, but if you eat the whole thing, you get your name on a plaque.
Facebook/Ten Prime Steak & Sushi
South Carolina: Oak Steakhouse, Charleston
Chef Jeremiah Bacon, who's spent time in kitchens including New York's Le Bernardin and Per Se, might have a porky last name, but beef is the star of the show at his Charleston steakhouse. The dry-aged Certified Angus steaks come sizzling on a hot platter (with local shrimp compound butter on top). While the steak, including a prime bone-in ribeye and a New York strip, is certainly the menu's centerpiece, Bacon brings a farm-to-table approach to the entire menu with standout dishes like housemade charcuterie, pan-seared sea scallops with smoked grapefruit purée, and a daily rotating seafood selection depending on what's available at the market that morning.
Oak Steakhouse/ Facebook
South Dakota: Cattleman's Club, Pierre
Cattleman's Club is exactly the type of steakhouse you'd home to find while ambling through Pierre, South Dakota. Celebrating its 30th year, this legendary steakhouse goes through an average of 60,000 pounds of USDA Choice beef a year, and is located on an expansive tract of land overlooking the Missouri River. Today it's run by founder Myril Arch's daughter, Cindy, and the menu has changed little over the years: 8-, 12-, or 16-ounce top sirloins; 10-, 16-, or 20-ounce prime ribs; and 24-ounce porterhouses, T-bones, and bone-in ribeyes, rubbed with seasoning and grilled. The restaurant is also one of the best places to sample the South Dakota regional specialty known as chislic, deep-fried chunks of sirloin sprinkled with house seasoning.
Facebook/Cattleman's Club Steakhouse
Tennessee: Kayne Prime, Nashville
This classy and stylish steakhouse is a Nashville must-visit, run by M Street, one of the city's most successful and trend-setting restaurant groups. Their market-driven menu is impeccably sourced, and it's one of the few steakhouses in the country to list exactly where each cut comes from: filet and New York strip are from Birmingham's Evans Meats; Wagyu filet is from Missouri's Premier Proteins; Wagyu strip comes from Greg Norman Ranch in Australia; and flat iron, dry-aged bone-in ribeye, and bone-in filet come from Michael's Meats in Columbus, Ohio. Steaks are cooked under a 1,200-degree broiler, and served with your choice of nine toppings, including truffle béarnaise, yuzu chimichurri, foie gras, and bone marrow butter. Make sure you try the risotto tater tots and macaroni and cheese on the side.
Texas: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Dallas and Houston
If you're in Dallas or Houston and you find yourself in need of a perfect steak, a red leather booth, wood-paneled walls, and a wine list that boasts about 2,300 options, head over to Pappas Bros. At this shrine to beef, which has repeatedly been lauded as one of the state's best restaurants since it opened in 1976, the meat is dry-aged in house and served bone-in or bone-out. There's something for everyone, from a 40-ounce porterhouse carved tableside down to an 8-ounce filet mignon, with stops along the way including an 18-ounce bone-in New York strip and a ribeye of Texas Akaushi Kobe beef. They're seasoned with just salt and pepper and finished with some butter. The entire experience is about as classic steakhouse as you're likely to find.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse / Facebook
Utah: Harbor Seafood & Steak Co., Salt Lake City
Opened in 2014, Harbor Seafood & Steak Co. has gained legions of loyal regulars thanks to its commitment to sourcing seasonal produce, high-quality wild-caught seafood, and (most importantly) Wagyu steaks from Snake River Farms. As the name might imply, the seafood dishes here are exceptional, but the Wagyu, served with creative sides, is where the menu really shines. Choose from a filet (either four or seven ounces) with blue cheese, bacon, peas, and pancetta; sirloin with mac and cheese, broccolini, and almonds; or ribeye with green beans, toasted hazelnuts, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes; top it off with shrimp, crab, lobster, or scallops; and wash it all down with a glass of wine from the Pacific Northwest.
Yelp/ TJ D.
Vermont: Guild Tavern, Burlington
A custom-built wood-fired grill is the centerpiece of the kitchen at Guild Tavern, presided over by chef-owner Philip Clayton, who honed his skills at some of Vermont's finest restaurants and is dedicated to serving only the finest local ingredients. Beef comes from LaPlatte River Angus Farm, located about 15 minutes away from the restaurant, and it's really allowed to shine when grilled over Vermont hardwood. New York strips, ribeyes, and filets are all on offer, as well as a crazy good burger and a sirloin for two, carved tableside.
Virginia: Ray's The Steaks, Arlington
Restaurateur Michael Landrum is, as far we most people are concerned, the king of the Arlington culinary scene. He serves the state's best burgers at Ray's Hell Burger and the state's best steaks at Ray's The Steaks, and that's not even exaggerating. Steaks here are dry-aged for 45 days before being hand-trimmed, seasoned with their signature rub, and grilled over an open flame. A variety of cuts and styles are available, but you can't go wrong with the New York strip, available in either the "classic" or "steakhouse" cut. The prices are also insanely reasonable; a classic cut strip with aged Roquefort-port wine sauce will only set you back $29.99.
Facebook/Rays The Steaks
Washington: Metropolitan Grill, Seattle
Metropolitan Grill hails itself as home of "the best steak in town," and you'd be hard-pressed to argue with that. Located inside a historic building dating to 1903, the place has all the trappings of a classic upscale steakhouse: large mahogany doors, a tuxedo-clad maître d', cuts of beef on display, soaring ceilings, crown moldings, oversized booths, plus plenty of brass and even more mahogany. But don't let the pretension fool you: The focus here is on the beef. Chef Eric Hellner sources the prime steak from Double R Ranch in Washington State, and it's all custom dry-aged, seasoned with a proprietary spice mix, and seared over hot mesquite charcoal. The 60-foot black marble bar is a jewel (don't miss the award-winning martinis), and the wine list has received Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence."
Metropolitan Grill / Facebook
West Virginia: The Chop House, Charleston
Diners in the mood for a classic and old-school steakhouse experience in "the other Charleston" should look no further than The Chop House. All steaks here are USDA Prime, available as 8- or 11-ounce filet mignons, steak au poivre, New York strip, 24-ounce porterhouse, or 22-ounce blackened of barbecued cowboy ribeye. Beef Wellington on the menu is also a nice touch, as is a generous seafood platter, fried lobster bites, and a roasted rack of venison.
Facebook/Chop House Charleston
Wisconsin: Mr. B's, Milwaukee
Paul Bartolotta is a renowned restaurateur, best known for his eponymous seafood restaurant at the Wynn Las Vegas (which he left earlier this year) and his 21-year-old Bartolotta Ristorante on the outskirts of Milwaukee, but he's proven that he's mastered the art of steak with his nearby Mr. B's. At this classic Italian steakhouse, the steaks are aged for up to 35 days, and are flown in fresh from Nebraska or Colorado. Sit out on the patio and go for the 35-day-aged prime Colorado ribeye; on a gorgeous night with the stars overhead, you just might think you've gone to carnivore heaven.
Wyoming: Winchester Steak House, Buffalo
Located at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, this steakhouse looks like it could have been a set piece for a John Wayne movie. That said, it's the best steakhouse you'll encounter in the entire state, serving some of the best prime rib you'll find anywhere, and it's packed with locals most night of the week. Steaks, which include New York strip, Prime sirloin, ribeye, porterhouse, and filet, are grilled over hardwood, and another favorite is pepper steak, chunks of grilled filet with mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Nightly specials are also worth seeking out; their chicken pot pie, only available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, is down-home perfection.
Washington, D.C.: Charlie Palmer Steak
Charlie Palmer firmly established himself as one of the country's finest chefs when he opened Aureole in New York in 1988, and since then he's expanded his empire to 17 bars and restaurants throughout the country, including four locations of Charlie Palmer Steak. They're all unique, however, and there's no other steakhouse in America quite like the D.C. location. Dishes including locally sourced blue crab cocktail, Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, and local heirloom tomatoes with watermelon and local feta demonstrate a commitment to using local and seasonal ingredients; and offerings like housemade charcuterie, pan-roasted Louisiana prawns with aged Cheddar grits, and sheep's milk ricotta agnolotti with fennel, navel orange, marcona almond, and aged balsamic prove that just as much attention is paid to the rest of the menu as the steaks. And as for those steaks, they include cowboy cut bone-in ribeye, Snake River Farms Wagyu strip steak, 21-day dry aged bone-in New York strip, and porterhouse for two with bacon lardons and pearl onions. Want seared foie gras or stuffed poached blue crab on that? Go for it. The sides are amazing too.