From Michelin-starred favorites to under-the-radar chop shops, decades-old icons and hot-out-the-gate modern meateries, it's not hard to find a good steak in NYC. But when you're dropping big bucks on a single meal, you want the absolute best. Here, we've done all the necessary sifting so you don't have to open Yelp on an empty stomach.
If you’re looking for legacy, Keen’s is your place. The steakhouse was originally part of the Lambs Club in London, but opened its Herald Square locale in 1885. Other than steak, Keen’s is known for owning the largest collection of churchwarden pipes in the world; Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, and J.P. Morgan all having been part of its Pipe Club. Splurge on the Chateaubriand steak for two (with three sauces) – it’s admittedly not cheap, but it is USDA prime grade, dry-aged in house, and implausibly tender. They also have a pub menu with more affordable options like prime rib, grilled filet mignon skewers, and prime sirloin steak sandwiches so you can appease your carnivorous appetite on even a modest budget.
Where to Find it: 72 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018
Peter Luger’s may have a hip Williamsburg address – cushioned between a BK-based designer clothing store and a joint cocktail/cigar lounge – but it debuted in 1887, far before the nabe found its trendy footing. The chophouse actually transitioned its cafe-billiards-club-bowling-alley setup becoming an iconic Michelin-starred venue as it was made more accessible to Manhattanites with the addition of the Williamsburg Bridge. Today, the James Beard "America's Classics" award recipient rocks a wood-paneled dining room lined with German steins (giving off all types of Old World beer hall ambiance) which features a menu of USDA prime steaks, all dry-aged on-site. Our pick is the criminally under-billed “steak for two” (it can actually feed upwards of three), which comes with a gravy boat of PL's homemade old fashioned steak sauce.
Where to Find it: 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Benjamin may have just hit the scene 10 years go, but it’s helmed by executive chef Arturo McLeod who spent two decades cooking up NYC’s most beloved cuts in Peter Luger’s kitchen. The Beaux-Arts style spot takes up residence in the Dylan Hotel, just a block from Grand Central Station. The oak-paneled dining room has soaring, two-story vaulted ceilings, leather seating, and an enormous working fireplace. All meats are chef-selected and dry aged on-site; while the porterhouse, prime ribeye, and filet mignon are next to none, they also have a wide selection of fresh seafood and hearty soups for the vegetarians and pescatarians you’ve somehow dragged along.
Where to Find it: 52 E 41st Street, New York, NY 10017
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Restaurateur Michael Stillman opened Quality Eats in November 2015 to much anticipation thanks to the success of its sister restaurant Quality Meats. Part of QE’s attention-grabbing debut was also due to its highly affordable menu – a direct result of opting for non-standard cuts. While you won’t find any filet mignon or porterhouses on the roster, the bavette and top blade flatiron present two wallet-friendly (at $19 and $21), just as flavorful options. The chop shop’s decor also lends itself to avid instagrammers as it trades atypical masculine interiors for mod, somewhat cutesy decor a la whitewashed brick walls, doodle-decorated plates, comfy leather booths, and a drawing-engraved bar. If you're still on the fence, just know that baked potato monkey bread is available as a side.
Where to Find it: 19 Greenwich Avenue (off West 10th), New York, NY 10014
All red everything – that is damask wallpaper, a leather-tufted bar, and plush booths framed by pinup photos – courtesy of interior designer David Rockwell, sets the bordello-like scene at Strip House. The strip steak is the cut of choice, but everything is served up sizzling, French style, and seasoned with simple salt and pepper. Sides are as worthy of your attention as the mains, namely potatoes fried in goose fat, black truffle creamed spinach, and roasted Brussel sprouts with Asian pears and shallots.
Where to Find it: 13 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003 and 15 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
When it opened in 1837 as the first fine dining establishment in the country, Delmonico’s piqued interest with its house specialty – steak; the city’s largest private wine cellar – with 1,000+ bottles; and private dining rooms that allowed for discreet meetings. Skip ahead more than a century and a half, and the FiDi steakhouse continues to impress with its original Pompeian pillars, and opulent interiors that harken back to its inception. On the menu is a 45 day dry-aged bone-in ribeye, a 28 day dry-aged t-bone, and a variety of tomahawk, filet mignon, and porterhouse cuts. While red meat is certainly Delmonico’s calling card, they’re also good for eggs Benedict, lobster Newburg, and baked Alaska...because they invented them.
Where to Find it: 56 Beaver Street, New York, NY 10004
Gallaghers is pretty transparent when it comes to their menu – just take it from their sidewalk-viewable meat locker which is filled to the rafters with aging prime cuts of beef. Indoors, roasted prime rib, New York sirloin, ribeye, filet mignon and more are all grilled over blazing hickory coals giving them the distinct flavor diners have come to love over the last 90 odd years. Gallaghers started as a speakeasy in 1927, pulling in a crowd of Prohibition-era gamblers, sports figures, and Broadway stars before being converted to a traditional steakhouse in 1933 as liquor bans were lifted. In just the last couple of years, the steakhouse switched hands and new proprietor Dean Poll got to work restoring the joint to its former glory. Case in point? The dining room’s 14 iconic hickory log chandeliers which were just rehung.
Where to Find it: 228 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019
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Sparks is primarily known for two things: its boneless prime sirloin, and for being the 1985 scene of mob boss Paul Castellano’s (head of the Gambino crime family) assassination as ordered by John Gotti. Despite its history, the steakhouse remains relatively under-the-radar which is a plus in our opinion. The entire experience is admittedly Sopranos-esque – something we're totally cool with. Hearty meals of extra thick veal chops and beef scaloppini are served up alongside vintage Bordeaux, placed on stark white tablecloths in a dark, art-laden dining room.
Where to Find it: 210 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017