The pandemic was hard on Chicago’s steakhouses. There were no business travelers looking for lavish expense account meals or regular Chicagoans with something to celebrate, and steak itself doesn’t make good takeout. The official count of steakhouses in the city dropped from 52 to 37. But many of the best are still here — plus a few newcomers — serving up the finest slabs of meat they can find from all parts of the world.Read More
20 Essential Chicago Steakhouses
These spots are a cut above
The Barn Steakhouse
Finding your way into the Barn, Amy Morton’s restaurant located in a former stable hidden in an alley in downtown Evanston, feels akin to discovering the secret speakeasy. It’s a cozy spot, with a choice of six cuts, plus a range of non-steak entrees, and classic touches like salads tossed tableside.
Artango Bar & Steakhouse
Chicago’s gateway to Argentinian cuisine can be found at this lively Lincoln Square restaurant. Artango channels the spirit of Buenos Aires thanks to a 1920s theme, live music, tango dancing, and an array of grilled meats. The grass-fed beef range from short ribs to ojo de bife (heart of rib eye), and they’re served with house-made chimichurri or oyster-malbec sauce. Steak flights are also an option for diners looking to share or sample multiple cuts.
For steak that won't break the bank, Lakeview’s beloved Argentinean restaurant is the place to go. All the standard cuts are available — the filet mignon topped with red onion wine sauce is a best seller — and come with salad. The kitchen also prepares items such as sweetbreads, short ribs, and blood sausages. There’s a BYOB policy so bring a bottle, but get there early to land a table because it’s always busy.
Mirabella Italian Cuisine & Bar
Headed by former Gene & Georgetti veteran Arturo Aucaquizhpi, Mirabella has brought the classic Italian steakhouse experience to the North Side. Local regulars keep coming back for the massive collection of pastas, broiled steaks served with crispy cottage fries, and specialties like shrimp de Jonghe and roasted chicken smothered in sautéed peppers and pepperoncini.
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Maple & Ash
The Gold Coast is rife with old-school steakhouses but lavish Maple & Ash takes a more modern approach. Guests enter through the attached ground-floor restaurant, Eight Bar and Patio, before arriving upstairs to a stylish and boisterous dining room. It’s home to a standout selection of caviar, fire-roasted seafood towers, dry-aged steaks, and fine wines. To go all out, opt for the set menu that puts the decision-making in the hands of the kitchen.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Arguably Chicago’s most iconic steakhouse, Gibsons has been an institution for more than 25 years. It’s the quintessential place to get mammoth cuts, such as 48-ounce porterhouses and 32-ounce tomahawk chops, or grass-fed Australian beef. Just like deep dish pizza and Italian beef, a Gibsons’ steak is a must-try Chicago food.
An unassuming French- and German-inspired brasserie, Boeufhaus has been a hit with beef lovers since opening in 2015. While the dry-aged steaks are the main attraction, the kitchen also makes terrific deli sandwiches and dishes like short rib beignets. It recently reopened after a two-year pandemic hiatus.
Fogo de Chão
Bring an appetite and get ready to feast at this Brazilian churrascaria. Servers dressed in gaucho outfits roam the dining room with spits of fire-roasted meats to give diners as much as they desire. The all-you-can-eat meal features everything from bacon-wrapped filet and top sirloin to pork ribs and lamb chops. Non-meat eaters aren’t left out either as there’s a bountiful salad bar.
Ron of Japan
Enjoy dinner and a show at this teppanyaki-style steakhouse. Guests are treated to a memorable experience as chefs cook and perform various tricks in front of them on iron griddles. Options include Prime steaks, lobster tails, fried rice, and much more. Just don’t forget to ask for the egg yolk sauce. A second location is in Northbrook.
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Chicago Chop House
Visit Chicago Chop House for a side of history with every meal. The restaurant is located inside a 120+ year-old Victorian brownstone building that was recently renovated, and old-time photos of the city line the dining room walls. The menu offers both wet-aged and dry-aged Angus beef, as well as succulent prime rib on Saturdays.
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The family who founded Mastro’s introduced another steakhouse to Chicago in 2017. Straddling the line between modern and traditional, Steak 48’s two floors are equipped with an open kitchen, fireplaces, multiple bars, and an outdoor patio. The locally- and sustainably-sourced steaks are wet-aged for 28 days and can be topped with accompaniments such as burrata, foie gras, or black truffle-sauteed lobster.
Gene & Georgetti
Chicago’s oldest steakhouse — opened in 1941 — hasn’t skipped a beat over the decades. The steaks are simply wet-aged before being thrown in the broiler. There’s nothing overly complex about the process but Gene & Georgetti has stood the test of time, which may be the greatest accomplishment of all.
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Downtown steakhouses are typically pricey affairs but Kinzie Chophouse offers some affordable bites alongside premium cuts of beef. Although longtime owner Susan Frasca sold this River North spot across from Merchandise Mart in 2019 after almost 30 years of great success, folks can still enjoy the same white-tablecloth experience and favorites like 36-ounce tomahawks, dry-aged Kansas City strips, and filets. The rest of the lineup includes reasonably-priced pastas, risottos, sandwiches, and more.
Bavette's Bar & Boeuf
Hogsalt Hospitality’s sultry French-inspired spot is at the forefront of a new wave of steakhouses in Chicago. There are traditional entrees, such as roasted chicken and lamb chops, along with contemporary choices like fried chicken and a French dip sandwich. The beef is predictably top-notch, especially the 42-day dry-aged rib eye that’s complemented by Béarnaise sauce.
Swift & Sons
Boka Restaurant Group’s exquisite meat palace wows diners with compelling versions of Caesar salad, steak tartare, and other steakhouse staples. Not content with just standard steaks, chef Chris Pandel has also created a beef Wellington worth trying. For dessert, a chocolate trolley filled with cakes, cookies, candies, and more is wheeled around the dining room.
Prime & Provisions
DineAmic Group’s sophisticated steakhouse is a modern-yet-retro experience that draws inspiration from the supper clubs of the 1920s. The all-natural Black Angus beef is dry-aged on site, lightly finished with Wisconsin grass-fed butter, and arrives to the table with roasted garlic. Couples can share a giant 38-ounce tomahawk rib eye or a sizzling hot center-cut porterhouse served on 600-degree plates.
Bazaar Meat by José Andrés
Bazaar Meat is the upstairs half of the two-in-one double whammy José Andrés brought to Chicago this past December in partnership with Gibsons (the other half is Bar Mar). It offers meats of all kinds, including suckling pig, sweetbreads, and blood sausage, but the standouts are the steaks: wagyu, angus, “vaca viejo” (from older working cattle, said to have a more pronounced flavor), chateubriand, bone-in, skirt steak, and much, much more.
El Che Steakhouse & Bar
John Manion pays tribute to asado, traditional South American barbecue, at his West Loop restaurant. The dining room is set up to give diners a first-hand look at Argentinian-style cuts cooking over open flames on a custom-built hearth. Order the parrillada platter for a variety of different meats, including grilled beef short ribs, sweetbreads, bone marrow, morcilla, chorizo, bife angosto, and more.
Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Located inside a building that was once a Chicago Fire Department firehouse, this South Loop establishment is steeped in history. In 2017, ownership rebuilt and restored the space after a devastating fire forced it to close. The menu boasts highlights like lobster bisque, Prime steaks, and Irish coffee cheesecake.
The item at the very top of the menu at Holu is “Meat Paradise,” and the new-ish steakhouse in the 88 Marketplace in Pilsen delivers: there are USDA Prime cuts, Australian and American wagyu, and Japanese Kobe, plus non-beefy seasonal specials like Iberico ham, live eel, and lobster. Order by the ounce to try out every cut, and then cook the meat to your desired temperature on a tabletop grill.
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