Chicago has always been a meat town. As a matter of fact, by our count, there are exactly 734 steakhouses in River North alone. Steak everywhere. It’s on the walls. And while this is a great thing for the carnivore in us all, it can also be a little overwhelming when you aren’t exactly sure where to go.
Rather than leave your big night out up to chance, we’ve got you covered on which steakhouses to visit. Our favorites are a mix of new school and old school, but all places we like to hang for a big ol’ slab of meat plus the sides. If you’re going to drop big money for a big night on the town, make sure it’s worth it.
In no particular order, here's our current 10 favorite Chicago steakhouses.
RPM Steak exudes power, glamour, and sex appeal. It's a newer steakhouse built on some old-school roots. Speaking of sex appeal, this would be the place to wear your extra tight tuxedo t-shirt.
Chicago Cut is probably your best bet at catching an expensive business deal going down, or a celebrity. Oprah, Jay Cutler, Patrick Kane, Charles Barkley, and even President Obama have made visits. You might not be a fancy business person, but you’re a celebrity in your own right (at least you are to all 112 of your Instagram followers), so strut right in and order a bone-in prime rib.
Great steaks alone are good, but great steaks with a side of stone crab are better. That’s the kind of surf and turf you need in your life, and that's the kind of surf and turf Joe's will provide.
Is there anything Brendan Sodikoff can’t do? As if the best burgers in the world at Au Cheval aren’t good enough, Bavette’s is equally top notch in its own way. It puts a new meaning of cool in the old steakhouse concept.
Gibsons is the most iconic steakhouse of the bunch, and it's great for experiencing all of the things people love about Chicago steakhouses – great meat and even better service in a posh Viagra Triangle scene. But it’s not just big shot Gold Coasters and guys paying homage to The League. The crowd’s a mixed bag of regulars, tourists, and locals celebrating birthdays or other special occasions, and that’s no accident.
Boeufhaus isn't a traditional steakhouse. In fact, the term "steakhouse" doesn’t even adequately describe Boeufhaus. It’s more like a hip, underground, meat-centric club, and a giant steak will still be the highlight of your meal. Boeufhaus throws a huge curveball in an otherwise similar steakhouse world, and that's part of what makes it great.
The West Loop and Fulton Market were missing a steakhouse, and Swift & Sons has filled that void. It combines everything we like about a traditional steakhouse with everything we like about Fulton Market. T means great food, service, and action, all in a revamped warehouse space that once served more blue-collar needs.
Prime & Provisions can't be easily stereotyped. It's not as corporate as Chicago Cut, not as see and be seen as RPM, nor does it have the tradition of Gibsons. And weirdly, that in and of itself is a good niche for Prime & Provisions to have. Its colorful personality makes it a good choice for a number of occasions when you need a comfortable mood.
The super dry aged (and super expensive) beef at David Burke’s is really good, as are the unexpected menu items like pretzel crusted crab cakes and wagyu beef sashimi. Do it if you want to get a little weird.
There are so many steakhouses in the Gold Coast, so Maple & Ash said f*ck it, let's open another one. Can't blame them though, because they did a good job. Maple & Ash maintains the glamour, portion size, and quality of an old school steakhouse, but also has the freshness, menu selection, and soundtrack of a new steakhouse. It's the best of both worlds.