The Absolute Best Steakhouses In America

Disclaimer: We are in no way responsible for the inevitable meat sweats that will result from reading this. Vegans: you still have time to turn back before it is too late.

The subject at hand, our dear friends, is meat. Specifically, we're talking about our favorite meat of choice, the steak, and exactly where in the glorious United States of America you can get your red-blooded hands on the best cuts of it in exciting settings. Per Crowd Cow, the first steakhouse in America, Delmonico's in Manhattan, opened its doors in 1837 and what followed was a nation of people obsessed with its style of food. Since then, you've been able to belly up to a white cloth-adorned table at any number of fine establishments and savor copious amounts of meat with loads of butter and starch to boot. It's gluttony at its finest, and we are here for it.

The name of the game in the steakhouse world is changing. We see old standbys with decades in the industry embracing the nostalgic elements of a traditional chophouse while newcomers rely on playful vibes, celebrity chefs, and exotic cuts of meat to make them stand out. Atmosphere aside, the absolute best steakhouses in America share one major element in common: you are going to be chowing down on a downright exquisite hunk of beef.

Tony's of Lexington

We are kicking off our list with the epitome of a traditional American chophouse. Adoring foodies should head to Kentucky, not solely for the region's vast Bourbon selection, but also for Tony's of Lexington (via Cincinnati.com). Here you can kill two birds with one stone because you can imbibe their impressive bourbon selection while enjoying the finest grades of meat in the area. The bi-level steakhouse feels upper crust, but not stuffy, with a mix of rustic and modern industrial vibes. The second Tony's in the area, this one sits right in the heart of the historic city and is an arm's length from the popular venue Rupp Arena.

You can begin your meal with fresh seafood, including Alaskan king crab and Blue Point Oysters, or a savory Rassati beef tartare. The vino is flowing with an incredible selection of higher-end wines from around the world. Non-meat eaters (should they be in attendance on your visit) can indulge in a flaky sea bass or choose from their rather impressive selection of perfectly cooked, al dente pastas. The must-eat here is the melt-in-your-mouth Sir Barton, a 14-ounce prime-cut New York strip. This is everything you love about a classic steakhouse but with plenty of welcomed modern twists.

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse has become a fixture in the current American steakhouse landscape (via Nashville Scene). With five locations in their portfolio — Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Columbus, and Lexington — they bring a certain, dare we say, level of sexiness to the classic chophouse. The atmosphere is downright elegant with an unexpected amount of energy and live entertainment. It's that certain level of "see and be seen" that you don't often experience outside the confines of the coasts and their bustling cities.

In addition to impeccable service, it is the food that brings people back. Meals begin with a selection of sushi, including toro and blackened salmon tataki. For the go big or go home type, the seafood tower will impress any date with live Maine lobster, red king crab, tiger shrimp, and a slew of other jewels from the sea. All of their USDA Prime steaks are cut from cattle selected, raised, and aged exclusively for the Jeff Ruby brand. For a truly opulent evening, try their Japanese A5 Wagyu that is sourced from the Miyazaki prefecture. Steaks can be topped with options that go well beyond the usual Bearnaise sauce, including sweet onion bacon jam and a bourbon peppercorn sauce.

STK Orlando

Simply put, STK is a vibe. With outposts all over the world — including Ibiza, Dubai, London, Toronto, and Nashville — one of its liveliest locations can be found in Central Florida (via Ziggy Knows Disney). Maybe it's the warm Orlando air and the overall mood it puts us in, but STK at Disney Springs nails it with service, ambiance, and beverages. STK is so much more than a traditional steakhouse, and this location features a beautiful rooftop, a standout brunch with bottomless mimosas, and an incredible happy hour with prices that will make you forget you are at a high-end steakhouse.

With an energizing DJ and a fun photo booth, this is a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Meals begin with sips from their cocktail menu, including their signature Cucumber Stiletto martini, and their utterly delicious bread bursting with blue cheese butter and chive oil. Appetizers include their well-known Lil' Brgs, tuna tartare tacos, and crunchy jalapeno pickled shrimp cocktail. The filet and the dry-aged Delmonico are the cuts of choice here, paired with family-style sides including the inventive sweet corn pudding and the positively decadent lobster mac & cheese. Their signature Bag O' Donuts — with cinnamon sugar, dulce de leche, raspberry, and chocolate — is the only acceptable way to end a meal here. *chef's kiss*

Meat Market Palm Beach

The focus on vibes continues at Meat Market Palm Beach (via Sun Sentinel). South Florida has no shortage of standout steak options with Miami and Boca Raton just a short cruise down the coast, but Meat Market Palm Beach is the obvious choice for SoFl's best — and this is not the several drunken oyster shooters talking. While its Miami outpost is no more, the first thing you will notice upon stepping into Meat Market is the décor. Hand-blown glass bubble lighting trickles down from the ceiling as your cozy up in their smooth camel leather banquettes. It is just oozing 1970s throwback. It lacks that frou-frou attitude you experience at other nearby options, and we are so thankful for it. The crowd is youthful with a hint of glamor.

Meals begin with inspired raw bar and seafood selections, including roasted truffle Rockefeller oysters and a refreshing spin on tuna tartare with mango mole and citrus foam. Salads are a staple at many steakhouses, and Meat Market goes well beyond the mundane with a grilled kale Caesar that includes crunchy sourdough croutons and roasted Panko parmesan. Favorite meats include their American-style Kobe meatloaf, but you can't go wrong with any number of their cuts, including a splurge-worthy 30-ounce Wagyu beef tomahawk ribeye. Don't sleep on their selection of many sauces and butters, including marrow butter, atomic horseradish truffle, and habanero chimichurri.

CUT Beverly Hills

Our eyebrows are raised and pinky fingers are firmly placed in the upright position for this next one. Per Forbes, the Michelin star-awarded CUT Beverly Hills — the original CUT — is the peak of sophistication in the world of American steakhouses. Anchored by celebrity powerhouse chef Wolfgang Puck, it's everything we'd expect from a restaurant smack dab in the heart of Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel which also happened to be where Hollywood legend Warren Beatty lived for 15 years. One of the most sought-after steakhouses in the world also boasts an environment with incredible architecture and art displays. Lavishness aside, it is worth a cruise down Rodeo Drive — and the potential blow to, or obliteration of, your wallet.

The menu here is a full-blown journey for your mouth, beginning with the must-get appetizer, bone marrow flan. The lust-worthy, savory marrow is served with a tangy mushroom marmalade that perfectly cuts the fattiness. If you're coming here, you have to get a steak — it is non-negotiable. Cuts are globally-inspired with a bone-in New York strip from Illinois, a dry-aged ribeye from Nebraska, and a Japanese Wagyu New York strip from Kyushu, Japan. For a real party, the shareable 50-ounce Gold American Wagyu tomahawk steak will set you back only $425.00. If you want a taste of CUT but with more affordability, they do offer a lounge that has lower prices without sacrificing flavor.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse New York City

The city that doesn't sleep certainly doesn't sleep on the opportunity to feed its hopeful visitors steak. There are dozens of recognized steakhouses in Manhattan alone, but Gayot writes that it is Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse that continually receives praise. In the heart of midtown near Rockefeller Center, Del Frisco's has inspired a chain adorning its name across the country, but a pilgrimage to this location is a must for any carnivore. It may not be the original — that would be in Dallas — but the place is oozing with a totally unique feel while honoring the standard of a traditional steakhouse. The setting is businessy for sure, with slews of traveling folks donning their finest suits — an upscale dress code is also strictly enforced.

Once inside, you'll experience true excellence in the form of top-notch hospitality, a broad selection of wines (including vintage pours), and all the comforts of the traditional steakhouse (via Del Frisco's). Standout starters include their Del's jumbo lump crab cake with cajun-lobster cream sauce and a classic blue cheese iceberg lettuce wedge. The menu may not be as original as the others on our list, but a classic filet mignon or prime ribeye are dependable cuts of choice. They are perfectly paired with sides like shishito creamed corn or Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and lemon butter. Their business lunch is a popular and affordable way to get a taste of this legendary establishment.

Cattleman's Club Steakhouse

We are now heading to where arguably some of the juiciest cuts of meat can be found in atmospheres that feel the complete opposite of pretentious: the Midwest. Pierre, South Dakota is home to rolling prairies as far as the eye can see, and to one of the best steakhouses in the country, Cattleman's Club (via Argus Leader). Time stands still at this honored spot that was opened in 1986 by local Pierre-area rancher, Myril Arch. Not much has changed over the years aside from some expected additions and renovations — including old-school tables, flatware, and walls covered in Western-themed artwork. It is everything you'd imagine a South Dakota steakhouse to be like, and then some.

The meal starts with an iceberg lettuce salad that comes with an unexpected tray of accoutrements to add. Speaking of expectations, yours will be blown away after just one bite. This is no-frills, so don't expect your Kobe hand-rubbed beef. Here, you will be downing filets, a classic sirloin, New York strip steak, bone-in ribeye, or Myril Arch's famous prime rib. The steaks are so shockingly tender and well-seasoned that you will understand why this seemingly commonplace steakhouse along the Missouri river is a sought-out destination by visitors from all over the world.

RPM Steak

The next entry on our list comes with star power, but they can't rely on that alone to be a standout in a city known for incredible steak options. As we've mentioned before, RPM Steak is the brainchild of American power couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic in partnership with restaurant heavy-hitters Lettuce Entertain You. It made its Chicago debut in 2014 and seamlessly found its home in a city overrun with great steakhouses. Unlike the many other players in the town's steakhouse game that cater to the old-school vibes, this was designed with a more upscale, youthful crowd in mind. The vibe is modern contemporary, with an air of scene-y — and we're not mad about that part one bit.

At any given moment you can peruse a menu of over two dozen varieties of meats sourced from all over the world — including a 20-ounce grass-fed ribeye or a Japanese Kobe A5 strip steak. These are just as outstanding as their quality seafood options. Noteworthy options include a coal-roasted king crab and a bluefin tuna sashimi with yuzu kosho and fennel pollen. The chef-driven approach here has landed it recognition from Michelin and a coveted spot on their shortlist of Chicago's Best Steakhouses.

Sperry's Belle Meade

It's not all pomp and circumstance when it comes to steakhouses. Some of the very best in the country are long-running establishments with a local feel that one might even describe as dated, but that is alright by us. Once you peel back the curtain, you'll unlock just why they've been a success for so many decades. Sperry's Belle Meade, opened in 1974 by brothers Houston and Dick Thomas, is that exact type of gem. The restaurant quickly gained notoriety for housing the first salad bar in the area, a novelty at the time that is still a favorite today.

The heavy, wood-covered, and dark setting feels otherworldly and like a true escape from every day life. Meals here still begin with their surprisingly fresh and delicious salad bar before partaking in the best shrimp cocktail in the area. The prime rib is king cut and fantastic but a must is their filet Oskar. They take a tender, sink-your-teeth-in-its-so-good 8-ounce filet mignon and top it with king crab and bearnaise sauce. The heavens will part and you will hear the angels singing after this one.

Knife

If you find yourself in Texas, you can almost bet on any meal centering around the state's favorite food: meat. When you're not ingesting a questionable amount of the delicious BBQ that they are known for, steak is what's on the menu. Per D Magazine, in this fiercely competitive landscape, Knife has risen the ranks in becoming the premier destination to get your carnivore on in Dallas. 

It is trendy, to say the least, and helmed by John Tesar, a James Beard-nominated chef who's dabbled in television on Bravo's Top Chef (via Knife Dallas). Located in the ritzy Highland Dallas Hotel, Knife fuses the elements of the traditional chophouse with modern restaurants — Tesar even traveled throughout the United States studying and experimenting with all sorts of cuts of beef to prepare for opening.

The menu is expansive and steaks are divided into three categories — new-school, old-school, and exotic. You may be tempted to go right to old-school, which includes the standards you would find in any steakhouse like filets and sirloins, but their particular specialty is using Tesar's immense knowledge of dry-aging meat. Those efforts are on full display with their 240-day dry-aged steak. Sourcing is key and they get their cuts from farms all across the country. Their burgers also should not be overlooked as they include inventive selections like the rib burger, which tops a short rib patty with collard greens and horseradish mayo.

Bern's Steak House

Bern's is an American institution and a bucket list must for any lover of the traditional steakhouse. In the truly unexpected location of Tampa, Florida, you can count celebrities and royals on their long list of clientele. It is one of those you have to see it to believe it spots. The dimly lit interior Is both elegant and cozy at this restaurant that first opened its doors in 1956. According to The Coolist, Bern's owner Bern Laxer was incredibly ahead of his time as one of the first to honor the farm-to-table concept, sourcing his produce from a local organic farm.

Enough about vegetables, you are visiting Bern's Steak House for its outstanding cuts of meat prepared utterly perfectly. You can (and should) wash that dry-aged steak — what they are known for — down with a glass of wine. Their cellar currently houses the largest collection of wines in any restaurant in the world, with over 600,000 bottles including a $30,000 bottle of 1947 Chateau Latour. All guests are treated to a tour of the kitchen and wine cellar after their meal, a truly delicious way to end the night.

St. Elmo Steak House

What's in a name? Well, for St. Elmo Steak House in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, the name alone is iconic. Founded in 1902, the historic restaurant has gained worldwide appeal as one of the oldest steakhouses in the United States still sitting in its original location (via Indianapolis Monthly). They have also garnered a laundry list of awards, including being named one of America's Classics by the James Beard Foundation and making it on Forbes' top 10 list of classic restaurants.

It is a true experience, from its bow tie-laden wait staff down to its world-famous shrimp cocktail. This isn't just any shrimp cocktail. According to the restaurant, a traditional meal at St. Elmo's begins with four jumbo shrimp in their signature, spicy (and often tear-inducing) cocktail sauce — the plating alone will have you drooling. Crustaceans aside, you must get a steak here and that meat is going to be corn-fed, wet-aged USDA Choice. Preparation is simple, a classic season and sear, but the result is an explosion of flavor that is downright breathtaking.

Keens

Located in the heart of Manhattan's Theatre District, Keens Steakhouse was opened as Keens Chophouse in 1885 by Albert Keen. Its history is as rich as its collection of churchwarden pipes, the largest in the world. Their early 20th century Pipe Club even counted Babe Ruth and Teddy Roosevelt as just a few of its 90,000 members. The restaurant was gentlemen-only until 1905 when actress and paramour of King Edward of England Lillie Langtry famously took the restaurant to court for being denied access to the premises. She would later win and celebrate in true fashion by wearing a feathered boa and sinking her pearly whites into their famous mutton chops.

The mutton chops are the restaurant's signature dish and the must-order item on any visit. Famous James Beard himself was even noted as saying "Its essential muttony flavor puts everyday chops momentarily in the pale." From a bygone era, their mutton chop comes from whole lamb loins that are pastured in Colorado resulting in darker red meat than typical (via Eater). It is aged only a few days at Keens before being seared and then topped with a house-made au jus crafted from the lamb scraps along with garlic, shallots, and veal stock. It's incredibly decadent and a true bucket list item. Other selections of note include their large menu of classic dry-aged steaks, including king's cut prime rib and a Chateaubriand for two, as well as a mac daddy order of 50 oysters from their raw bar.