From stuffy to sexy, these fifteen steakhouses around the world make our cut—do they make yours?
Talk travel: Where’s the best steak?
San Francisco, California | Rate It
Dine here and you’ll agree that cows don’t need to eat corn. Grass-fed beef, served up as a filet mignon and tartare, is the specialty at this old-style chophouse next door to the Giants baseball park. The kitchen stocks only naturally raised local meats and poultry, including a 22-ounce rib eye and a double-cut pork chop (both grass fed but grain finished) sized to satisfy a sumo wrestler. (photo, right)
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Loyal Pappas fans love the contemporary atmosphere here and the cut and flavor of the dry-aged beef. The dining room is less masculine and better lit than typical steakhouses but still feels a bit formal and special. The filet mignon, offered in three weights, is the most popular cut of beef, and au gratin potatoes and creamed spinach are popular side dishes. The wine selection is legendary, as are the cigars offered—60 sizes and brands.
Prague, Czech Republic | Rate It
This new steak house occupies a unique location just below the Prague Castle ramparts, and the sound track here is as hip and smooth as the restored interior. But don’t get stuck inside: in fair weather head up the labyrinthine staircases to the rooftop garden, which displays great views of Old Town and Malá Strana. The kitchen sends out the town’s best cuts of beef, expertly prepared, including a killer double-cut T-bone.
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Kobe, Japan | Rate It
Japan’s first steak house is famed for its superb hand-fed Kobe beef from one farm in the nearby city of Sanda. The melt-in-your-mouth sumiyaki (charcoal-broiled) steak is worth its weight in yen—and it’s only served with mustard and pepper. (Don’t even think about asking for other condiments.)
Gorat’s Steak House.
Four generations of Gorats have run this local institution since 1944. There is entertainment Thursday through Saturday nights, but this casual, family-friendly Italian steakhouse is definitely no-frills. Try the filet mignon or their famous Omaha Sirloin, a bone-in strip. If you find that you’re a fan, you’re in good company—it’s a favorite of billionaire Warren Buffett.
New York, NY | Rate It
A masculine, vivacious space is the showcase for Laurent Tourendel’s third “BLT” restaurant featuring Franco-American cuisine. The menu is scrawled on a black wall. Everything is served a la carte, and prices are high, but so is the quality of every dish. Although there are poultry, veal, and lamb dishes on the menu, steaks are the main event. (photo, right)
Bern’s Steak House
Tampa, Florida | Rate It
Fine mahogany paneling and ornate chandeliers define the elegance at legendary Bern’s, which many feel is Tampa’s best restaurant. Owner David Laxer ages his own beef, grows his own organic vegetables, roasts his own coffee, and maintains his own saltwater fish tanks. Cuts of topmost beef are sold by weight and thickness.
Fabens, New Mexico
This is pretty much in the middle of nowhere—20 mi east of El Paso—but it’s worth the trip, as much for the quirky theme-rooms as for the terrific steaks. The mesquite-smoked barbecue and seafood on the menu are as tempting as the steaks; strict vegetarians won’t find a happy meal here. Consistently voted a local favorite, the succulent steaks are so tender they almost melt in your mouth.
Buenos Aires, Argentina | Rate It
You’d be hard-pressed to do better for Argentine steaks, anytime, anyplace. Amid elaborate decor, including scores of soccer mementos, a courtly staff will treat you to unimpeachable mollejas (sweetbreads) and chinchulines de chivito (kid intestines), plus a brilliant array of grilled steaks. The baby beef is tender enough to cut with a spoon.
Le Relais de l’Entrecote
Geneva, Switzerland | Rate It
It is rare to find a line of people waiting for a table anywhere in Geneva, so the fact that it’s commonplace outside this bustling wood-paneled Parisian import means the tender strips of grilled steak drenched in herb-based sauce maison (house sauce) are a true cut above.
Sydney, Australia | Rate It
Steak houses in Sydney were once old-fashioned, macho affairs where men in dark suits scoffed down copious quantities of cheap red wine and charred red meat. Now, inspired by the likes of Smith & Wollensky and Maloney & Porcelli in New York, this subterranean diner elevates the image of the Aussie steak. The result is an elegant restaurant in what was once the staff canteen for postal workers under the General Post Office. (photo, right)
Las Vegas, Nevada
This bold space brightened with massive red lanterns overlooks the immense atrium of the Forum Shops at Caesars. Choose from the long list of meats, such as bone-in Kansas City filet mignon or free-range veal chop, and then match your selection with any number of rubs, sauces, and mustards (blue cheese, chimichurri, or horseradish, to name a few). Surf-and-turf is taken to new levels here with the Australian lobster tail, Kobe filet mignon, and Hudson Valley foie gras.
Morton’s, The Steakhouse
Chicago, Illinois | Rate It
Gibsons on the Gold Coast is more fun, but this is Chicago’s best steak house, a spin-off of the Gold Coast original. Excellent service and a good wine list add to the principal attraction: beautiful, hefty steaks cooked to perfection. A kitschy tradition mandates that everything you order, from gargantuan Idahos to massive slabs of beef, is brought to the table for your approval before the chef gets started.
Madrid, Spain | Rate It
This Castilian tavern wouldn’t have looked out of place two or three centuries ago. Squeeze past the old, zinc-top bar, crowded with Madrilenos downing shots of Valdepenas red wine, and into the tile dining rooms. Feast on thick slabs of red meat, sizzling on plates so hot that the meat continues to cook at your table. You order by weight, so remember that a medio kilo is more than a pound.
Peter Luger Steakhouse
Brooklyn, New York
Peter Luger Steakhouse, tucked away in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, brings meat-loving pilgrims from all over New York City—and the world. Other steak houses have better lighting, more elegant dining, bigger wine lists, less brusque service, and comfortable chairs instead of wooden benches, but the steak makes it worth it. You probably won’t see a menu, but here’s all you need to know: shrimp cocktail, beefsteak tomato and onion salad, home fries, creamed spinach, pecan pie, and porterhouse steak—ordered according to how many are in your party. Be sure to make a reservation, and bring lots of cash—Luger’s doesn’t take plastic.