The Best Steakhouses In NYC
From a few NYC classics to some relatively new spots that are big on TikTok, here are our favorite places to eat a medium-rare porterhouse.
The modern steakhouse was invented in New York City, so it makes sense that we have a lot of them. But how many of these establishments—both the old classics and the inventive newcomers—offer something beyond overpriced beef? We suited up in our best business casual attire and ate a probably unsafe number of porterhouses to find out. You might be surprised by what’s on this list—and what was left off. Trust that any omissions were made on purpose.
You might think that an old-timey steakhouse smack in the middle of Times Square couldn’t possibly be good, but Gallagher’s is our favorite place to eat a slab of beef with a side of creamed spinach in New York City. Your experience starts the moment you walk up to the restaurant, since you can see into the meat locker from the sidewalk. Some kind of witchcraft happens in that meat locker, because no other steak tastes quite like this one. In terms of atmosphere, food, and service, the experience is flawless. It’s like being served an extravagant dinner by your favorite grandparents.
Most of New York’s great steakhouses are housed in dim, wood-paneled rooms designed to make you feel like you’re playing an elaborate game of D&D, but Porterhouse NYC turns that trope on its head. Here, you eat your red meat atop the ivory tower of the Time Warner Center, in an elegant, airy space overlooking Central Park. At $170, the porterhouse here is one of the priciest in the city, but it’s cooked perfectly, seasoned well, and comes with an unparalleled view. At lunch, you can get a three-course $48 steak frites situation that’s easily the best steakhouse lunch deal in this part of town. If you’re ordering à la carte, you’re morally obligated to get the ice cream sundae, which comes with chunks of brownies, meringue, chocolate chip cookies, and a full gravy boat of hot fudge.
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photo credit: Noah Devereaux
Cote is basically Korean BBQ, turbocharged. Each element of the dining experience at this Flatiron spot is taken up a notch—from the high-end steakhouse-quality meat to the fancy grills, smooth marble tables, and sharply- dressed servers. You’re welcome to order however you want here, but most people will go for the $68-per-person prix-fixe option. The steak is truly excellent—rich, tender, buttery—to the extent that you’ll want to eat some of it on its own before wrapping it up in a lettuce leaf with one of the provided sauces.
Keens has been around since 1885, but unlike some other legacy steakhouses, the food here is actually good. Even if you’re primarily here for steak, you should at least get the appetizer-sized “Taste of Mutton,” the thing that Keens is actually famous for. It comes with heady, crisp bits of fat and a jar of mint jelly that’s the color of actual mint and not a melted neon green crayon. The wedge salad is great, the porterhouse has an impressive bark, and you should not skip the coffee cantata sundae to close out your meal. The only things we don’t love at Keens are the fries and creamed spinach, both of which are a bit bland.
Skirt Steak’s concept is simple: Make people wait in line, then reward them with steak, peppercorn béarnaise, and unlimited fries. This restaurant pretty much only serves one thing. (Guess what it is.) For $35, you get a Bibb lettuce salad, sliced skirt steak (cooked rare, medium, or well-done), and unlimited fries served tableside from a big copper bowl. There are no other ordering decisions to be made, aside from whether you want to add drinks, a couple sides (like some very good garlic bread and cauliflower gratin), or a slice of blood orange cheesecake or chocolate tart from the roving dessert cart.
This steakhouse has been a London institution for long enough (with enough locations) to have lost some of its intrigue on the other side of the Atlantic, but we say keep the sticky toffee pudding coming. The steaks at this big, sleek Gramercy spot are unique in that they’re grilled over charcoal. They do their best work with the filet mignon, and the rump steak is another reliable option if you don't want to spend too much. Choose a steak to share with one other person, then find whatever sounds the most like it came out of Downton Abbey, and order that too.
Meet the Meat
Think of Meet The Meat as a budget Peter Luger, with a few twists on the menu. The main attraction is one of the few quality porterhouses in the city under $100, but you can also get a side of mac with mushrooms in it and a slab of Canadian bacon that’s more like a pork chop and less like fatty pork belly. You’ll find some misses—we do wish they had regular bacon, and the desserts don’t seem like they’re made in house—but there are more than enough hits for you to leave satisfied. The porterhouse is definitely worth coming for if you live in the area. The white-tablecloth dining room feels kind of dated, and a TV at the bar makes the space a bit less formal, but this is still a warm, inviting spot, perfect for a graduation or birthday dinner.
Old Homestead Steakhouse
Old Homestead has been around since 1868, which makes it even older than Keens and every other steakhouse on this list. It's in a three-floor space on the Chelsea/Meatpacking border, and it has over 15 different steaks on the menu. Their porterhouse is cooked and seasoned very nicely, but it doesn't knock our socks off. We actually like the ribeye here best of all. It's tender, has a ton of flavor, and pairs well with the excellent garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Finish your meal with the Drug Store Old Fashioned Sundae, with a combination of walnuts, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and really good vanilla ice cream.
photo credit: Henry Hargreaves
Smith & Wollensky
A fixture in Midtown East for over 40 years, Smith & Wollensky isn’t trying to be anything other than a classic and reliable steakhouse, and that’s exactly what it is. You’ll see white tablecloths, wine bottles stored everywhere, and servers wheeling out plates on carts throughout the large, two-story space. The massive prime rib is juicy and has an intense beefy flavor, but the bone-in dry-aged filet is the surprise winner here. Every picture-perfect slice with a deep brown crust and an ideal pink-and-red middle is so indulgent that you won’t mind that you're eating such a lean cut.
There’s something about the old-school, decadent way the food is presented at Christos that makes you feel like you’re eating a meal fit for a villain—a robber baron, perhaps. But you don’t have to feel too bad about it, because you’re (probably) not an oil tycoon. You’re just someone who happens to be enjoying lobster mashed potatoes served in a whole, cracked open lobster shell at a low-key steakhouse in Queens. The menu here leans Greek, which means you can (and should) get a fried saganaki appetizer, juicy loukaniko sausage, and a huge Greek salad with your meal. It also means that the steaks come out with a distinctly Greek seasoning that takes over even when you put their bacon-bourbon steak sauce on top.