The Best Steakhouses In Philadelphia guide image


The Best Steakhouses In Philadelphia

The 7 best steakhouses in Philly.

This town is full of steak options, whether you want birria tacos, Japanese wagyu, or ribeye that’s chopped and layered into a cheesesteak. But sometimes you're looking for a classic steakhouse experience, with all the white tablecloths, stellar service, and juicy porterhouses that come with it. Here are the seven places you should head to for perfectly-cooked slabs of meat that are worth dropping big money on. 


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Barclay Prime


237 S 18th St, Philadelphia
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If you ever get a call from a friend who’s in Philly for one night and needs your top recommendation for a steakhouse, send them to Barclay Prime. It still feels trendy, even though it’s a long-running Philly staple, and the steak here is some of the best you’ll have in your life (especially the A5 wagyu filets). There’s also a $140 cheesesteak on the menu that’s dripping with truffle cheese and foie gras and comes with a half-bottle of champagne. It’ll probably be the most expensive cheesesteak you’ll have in your life, but it’s seriously good and comes with service that will make you feel more pampered than Jeff Bezos’ dog.

photo credit: Max Grudzinski

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Butcher And Singer

With golden chandeliers, long curved leather booths, and retro lamps on each table, Butcher & Singer feels like a clubhouse straight out of The Great Gatsby. Before the bone-in filets and seafood towers, this used to be a bank, and it still feels like you could walk into Butcher & Singer and ask for $100 in pennies without anyone batting an eye. The servers wear tuxedos and use phrases like “excite your palate” to describe the tuna tartare and king salmon. All of their steaks are also top-notch, and you don’t want to skip the creamy mac and cheese. The whole experience is a bit over-the-top, but it’s what makes Butcher & Singer a unique Philly restaurant.

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Most steakhouses are huge, cavernous halls with two-story ceilings and tons of big round tables. Alpen Rose is not that. It’s an intimate, 15-table wood-paneled room that looks like the inside of a treasure chest or the personal library of a retired Harvard professor, and it’s full of expensive-looking paintings in elaborate frames. It’s a place where you can sit at leather booths and order a tomahawk ribeye, raw bar items, mac and cheese with aged cheddar, and a tender prime rib roast that’s just the right size for two people. If you still have room for dessert, they have a banana cream pie that you’ll be thinking about days after eating it. 

Sometimes you just want to pretend to do important business and exchange business cards with people like you’re Patrick Bateman in American Psycho—except maybe without the whole intense face mask and serial killer situation. When that’s the case, go to Del Frisco’s. It’s in the old Packard building, which is so big it’s basically like having a meal inside of 30th Street Station, and the crowd here is generally lots of people in suits one-upping each other over a few porterhouses. Along with the traditional options, they have an excellent signature cocktail (The VIP), cauliflower steak that’s delicious, and you should be sure to end every meal with the butter cake.

Most steakhouses are somewhat intimidating. They’re overly fancy, they have high ceilings and lots of dark wood, and you wouldn’t want to spend a first date connecting with someone while you try to make sure your posture is at exactly 90 degrees. Malbec is the opposite. This small Argentinian spot in Society Hill looks more like a French bistro than a steakhouse, and it’s more affordable than most of the other places on this list. In addition to a bunch of steaks (which are all mostly under $50), they also have some great Argentinian specialties like empanadas and grilled beef chitterlings.

Saloon is already one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the city, but it also has a list of steaks that are just as good as the larger steakhouses. The menu has things like clams casino and a petit filet served with mashed potatoes, but we also love the Italian specialties. And it has floor-to-ceiling dark wood walls and stained glass windows, which makes it feel like you’re in the rectory of a church that happens to have a lot of extra communion wine and really good food.

Some steakhouses have a running rotation of elevator music or what sounds like Bach’s greatest hits playlist. At Rittenhouse Grill, you'll find a jazz pianist serenading you while you dive into things like roast prime rib, oysters, and juicy sea bass filets topped with a miso glaze. On most nights, expect a dimly-lit atmosphere in a space full of leopard print carpet, cushy black leather, and a crowd that ranges from people celebrating their 50th anniversary to a group of friends sipping on merlot and arguing over if Jack could have fit on the door in Titanic. Before you chime in with the fact that he objectively could have, get at least one order of the lump crab cakes. 

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