The Best Steakhouses In Downtown Chicago
The best downtown spots for a meal involving red meat and a ridiculously large potato.
Chicago has always been a meat town. As a matter of fact, by our count, there are approximately 1,734 steakhouses in River North alone. And while you have plenty of excellent options, the sheer number of possibilities can also be a little overwhelming.
Rather than leave what almost always ends up being an expensive meal to chance, use this guide. Our favorites are a mix of classic and newer spots, and they all work when you want a big slab of meat plus the classic sides.
Bavette's Bar and Boeuf
Bavette’s might not be the most classic, but it is our favorite steakhouse in Chicago. First, because the actual steak here is the best in the city. Second, because the speakeasy atmosphere and 1920s jazz music make it feel different from a traditional Chicago steakhouse, as does the fact that you can come here, not order a steak (entrees like the fried chicken and the lamb chops are outstanding), and still have a fantastic meal. Still, though, you should definitely get a steak, and an order of buttery mashed potatoes and truffle mac and cheese that might as well come with a defibrillator.
Nothing says “going out to dinner in Chicago” like a River North steakhouse with giant booths that’s owned by a former reality show star. And RPM Steak checks all those boxes. It also has really good food, including some very expensive cuts of steak - there’s a whole section of wagyu and kobe on the menu, if that’s what you’re looking for. This would be the place to wear your extra tight tuxedo T-shirt.
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Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Chicago Cut is a good bet for catching a celebrity athlete, or an expensive business deal going down. Mainly because this steakhouse is at the bottom of an office building, and full of successful-looking people in power suits who may or may not have an Alderman on the payroll. But the food (especially the bone-in prime rib) is excellent, and the space has an impressive view of the Chicago River. It’s also a great place for a general celebratory meal - because you might not be a fancy business person, but you’re a celebrity in your own right (at least to all 312 of your Instagram followers).
photo credit: Christina Slaton
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Great steaks alone are good, but great steaks with a side of stone crab are even better. Yes, the original Joe’s is in Miami, but Joe’s Chicago has been around long enough that it’s turned into a Chicago classic on its own. You’ll find all the steakhouse sides you’d expect (there’s a whole menu section devoted to potatoes, and plenty of creamed spinach), along with seasonal fish and shellfish. Just know that because Joe’s is in the part of River North that’s very close to Michigan Avenue, you’ll be eating with a lot of tourists carrying Garret Popcorn bags.
When GT Prime first opened, it was more of a meat-centric small plates restaurant that served steak in sliced tasting portions. We’re glad they changed their minds and decided to go full-steakhouse, serving their high-quality red meat in normal cuts. You’ll find fuzzy bar stools, animal heads on the walls, and giant leather booths that help show you this is a bonafide USDA River North restaurant. And if you do miss the sliced portions of steak, you can always order the “carnivore,” which has 8oz servings of filet, bison, wagyu, and NY strip for $270.
Prime & Provisions
Prime & Provisions is a hard steakhouse to classify - it’s not as iconic as Gibsons, as trendy as RPM, or as corporate as Chicago Cut. But it still serves fantastic steak, along with great seafood, and somewhat absurd sides like a giant piece of bacon topped with maple syrup and dark chocolate. Plus, the space is huge and full of giant booths.
Gene & Georgetti
Gene & Georgetti is Chicago’s oldest steakhouse - it’s been around since 1944. So if you have someone in town who likes to take architectural tours, or talk about whether Hoffa is buried in a construction site, take them here. But this place isn’t just about the steak - it’s also a great spot for Italian food. So order a big steak with a side of spaghetti and meatballs.