The Absolute Best And Worst Ruth's Chris Locations

When we think of chain restaurants, typically the ones that come to mind are, if not fast food or fast casual, at least kind of mid-range chains that are the kind of place where a family can eat out without breaking the bank. Even the top chain steak houses — according to FSR, the 3 biggest earners in the U.S. as of 2020 were Texas Roadhouse, Outback, and Longhorn Steakhouse — are the kind of place where you don't really need to dress up.

Number 4 on the list, however, was Ruth's Chris Steak House, which is a horse (or cow) of a different color. Ruth's Chris, which has nearly 150 locations worldwide, is among the more elite ranks of fine dining chains. It was one of 1851's top picks for upscale franchises last year. Despite the fact that consistency may be one reason people choose to dine at chain restaurants even when they're shelling out big bucks, it seems that not every Ruth's Chris is able to deliver the same high-end experience that the name promises. Some locations, on the other hand, seem to go above and beyond when it comes to customer satisfaction. These are our picks for Ruth's Chris restaurants at both ends of the quality spectrum.

Worst: Pikesville, Maryland

Pikesville, Maryland is known as one of Baltimore's nicer suburbs, providing a peaceful refuge from the city's hubbub. It's particularly prized for its walkability, which is driven by its large Orthodox Jewish community — as Baltimore Magazine points out, Orthodox Jews are not permitted to drive on the Sabbath. This suburb offers all the high-end amenities, and that includes a Ruth's Chris Steak House. Sadly, the Pikesville Ruth's Chris isn't exactly the brand's pride and joy.

According to some reviews on Search on America, the Pikesville Ruth's Chris may be one of the chain's worst locations, period. One of the reviews put this location on par with Outback or Applebee's, only with a much higher price tag. Two reviewers complained of long wait times and the food being served overcooked and/or cold. One observed that the flowers decorating the tables were past their prime and dripping petals and also noted that the restaurant either did not have or did not enforce a dress code. They griped, "When I am paying $400 to eat in a nice place I would hope that the dress code did not allow for sweat pants, sweatshirts, and sneakers!" They did, however, note that the Baltimore and Annapolis Ruth's Chris locations offer far more elegant ambiance, so Pikesville steak lovers need not go too far out of their way for a more enjoyable experience.

Best: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge Louisiana may not be New Orleans, but it is gradually becoming an under-the-radar foodie destination in its own right. Travel Awaits says that the Baton Rouge restaurant scene offers anything from old-school fine dining to trendy farm-to-table eateries. Of course, the city also has some of the best Cajun and Creole cuisine on earth. Needless to say, any chain restaurant better put out a little effort in order to hang with the competition, and it seems the Baton Rouge Ruth's Chris is well aware of this.

While several Tripadvisor reviewers said that Ruth's Chris was probably Baton Rouge's best steak house, others also noted that this location might be in the running for the nation's best Ruth's Chris. What makes it so outstanding? The service, for one thing. Evidently, the staff really do make you feel like you are part of the family when you are there. One couple, celebrating a special occasion, noted that this Ruth's Chris "even went as far as organizing a surprise cake for our anniversary!" The food, apparently, is also on par with the service, and they prepare their sides and seafood dishes just as well as they do their superb steaks.

Worst: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas is known for offering fun in the sun, with golfing, whale watching, beachcombing, and sunbathing topping the list of "must-do" activities. As far as the food scene goes, tacos and tequila at a poolside cantina may be many people's pick, but Cabo does offer more upscale eateries as well. Unfortunately, the Cabo San Lucas Ruth's Chris seems to have less charm than a roadside seafood shack, at a price that many feel is far too high to pay for a not-so-fine dining experience.

The Cabo Ruth's Chris has a fairly high number of 1 and 2-star OpenTable reviews. One review from November 2021 notes that the restaurant was out of nearly all the main dishes at the time they dined there — not just steaks, but lobster and even chicken, something that forced them to make a meal out of sides alone. Another review spoke of the overly-bright lights, always a real ambiance killer, while yet another mentioned dirty restrooms and inattentive wait staff. Others complained of food being poorly cooked. As one former patron noted, "With so many fine dining choices here [in Cabo], we will not be coming back."

Best: Austin, Texas

There may once have been a time, way back in the day, when Austin would have been referred to as one of Texas' hidden gems, but this college town (and also state capital) has long been on everyone's radar. The music scene, the film festivals, and of course the food lure visitors from all over the country. In a town with so much to offer, why would anyone choose to dine at a chain restaurant? Well, because the Austin Ruth's Chris is just that good.

Tripadvisor reviewers rave about Austin's Ruth Chris location. One reviewer said it had to be one of the best Ruth's Chris locations, offering what may be, hooves-down, the best steak in Austin. Another diner enthused that their steak was "the best I've had, flavorful, tender, and grilled to perfection!" Still another person praised the art deco interior and soft lighting. Mention was also made of some pretty sweet happy hour deals at the bar as well as a Thanksgiving menu that's both superior to and less pricey than the holiday fare offered by some of Austin's other high-end establishments.

Worst: Charlotte, North Carolina – South Park

While Atlanta — or Hotlanta, as it's dubbed itself — may be the epicenter of the New South's 21st-century renaissance, Charlotte, NC is very much in the mix. It's a center for banking and commerce and is one of the rare southern cities to have 2 pro sports franchises: the NFL Panthers and the NBA Hornets. Eater also speculates that Charlotte may be poised to become the South's latest foodie mecca. If that's true, then the Ruth's Chris in Charlotte's South Park neighborhood really needs to step up its game.

One Tripadvisor user, a fine dining restaurant owner, says they travel for business a lot and always eat at Ruth's Chris locations across the country. They've singled out this Charlotte location as the worst one in the entire U.S. due to inattentive service and refusal to accommodate special requests. While this might be understandable at a high volume quick-service chain, it is less forgivable when you're charging hundreds of dollars for a special occasion meal. Others complained about the food, particularly side dishes that weren't up to snuff such as lukewarm lobster bisque with bits of shell and the cold, greasy calamari. Mention was also made of an overactive air conditioner making the restaurant interior uncomfortably chilly in the summertime as well as exposed wiring on the exterior patio.

Best: Boise, Idaho

Idaho may be famous for potatoes, but Boise has more to offer than mere spuds. From tech companies to ski slopes to a Shakespeare festival, QuestionerLab says Boise's got it going on, though NPR noted a few years back that this fast-gentrifying city is in danger of being overrun with hipsters. While Boise may now have its share of farm-to-table eateries, indie coffeehouses, and microbreweries, meat-and-potatoes Idaho still loves its steakhouses. Luckily, the Boise Ruth's Chris is a real gem.

On OpenTable, the Boise Ruth's Chris has over 1,000 reviews averaging 4.8 stars. It rates very highly for food, service, and ambiance, and just slightly lower for value since Ruth's Chris has never been what you'd call budget-friendly, especially by Boise standards. The words "amazing" and "awesome" pop up frequently in reviews, with the food described as delicious and the servers as attentive and accommodating. One person noted an instance where the Boise Ruth's Chris staff and management went above and beyond their usual standards of exemplary hospitality. They said they made a spur-of-the-moment reservation for a birthday, and when they arrived 15 minutes later, there was a card on the table and the birthday person got to choose any dessert they wanted off the menu as a freebie.

Worst: Charlotte, North Carolina – Uptown

Poor Charlotte! What did they do to merit not one, but two, of the worst Ruth's Chris Steak Houses? While the South Park location may be pretty bad, the Uptown one seems to be no better. One Tripadvisor review comes from a couple who say they have visited this restaurant numerous times over several decades and enjoyed it in the past. However, their last visit in 2021, with an inattentive server, cold, flavorless food, and a bill of $270 for just 2 people, was such a mess that they say they have no plans to return to this location ever again.

Other diners have also reported numerous issues with the Uptown Ruth's Chris location. Yelpers note that they are pretty strict in enforcing their dress code here, so don't even try to eat there with torn jeans, even the ripped-for-fashion kind. One customer complained that the cool-blue lighting is extremely unflattering and gives the place an ambiance more suited to an office or retail environment, while another person noted that their party was not offered the complementary birthday dessert that Ruth's Chris locations typically provide. Generally, the consensus among a number of unsatisfied diners at this Ruth's Chris seems to be that the level of service and quality of food in recent years do not match the prices charged by this chain. What might be an enjoyable meal at Outback, after all, is a huge disappointment at triple the price.

Best: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnesota Nice, fact or fiction? The Star Tribune notes that while this phrase may have first started appearing in that paper as recently as the 80s, the concept has long been a familiar one to residents of that state. What no one can really agree on, however, is exactly what it means. At a minimum, it seems to indicate a certain level of polite, yet restrained, friendliness. In a different Tribune article, however, they note that the cordiality may not always extend to non-Minnesotans, many of whom feel unwelcome in the Gopher State. Well, we're pleased to report that there's one place even Wisconsinites and Illinoisans can find a warm Minnesota welcome: the Minneapolis Ruth's Chris.

As one Tripadvisor user noted, they have visited a number of Ruth's Chris locations, and the Minneapolis one, they say, is among the best. One reason it gets their vote is the servers who manage to deliver the appropriate level of attention without crossing the line into hovering. Another person who hosted a business dinner there described the waitstaff as being both helpful and entertaining. It seems like the employees may be savvy enough to realize which diners require a higher level of engagement and which ones prefer to enjoy their meal in peace. The food doesn't disappoint, either, as most diners found it to live up to the high standards that Ruth's Chris fans have come to expect.

Worst: Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia is a city with a lot to offer, ranging from historical monuments to basketball-playing rodents to a vampire-haunted cemetery. Richmond also has a thriving dining scene that caused Forbes to dub the city "a hidden culinary gem." With so many dining options available to you, one place you might want to pass on is the local Ruth's Chris.

The Richmond Ruth's Chris, a restaurant that dates back to the 1990s, has a number of issues that earn it a spot on this "worst of" list. One Tripadvisor user, a veteran of numerous Ruth's Chris restaurants across the country, nominated the Richmond location as the absolute worst. They made this pronouncement based not only on an eyeball-rolling waitress, but also a fatty, gristle-filled, overcooked steak. Another diner cited salty soup, dry steaks, and wandering wait staff as reasons why their Richmond Ruth's Chris meal was the worst restaurant experience they'd had in their life. While both of these reviews are older ones, more recent reviews also spoke of rude servers, overpriced and underwhelming food, and deeply disappointed diners.

Best: Troy, Michigan

While Detroit has seen some tough times, the truth is, it's been on the rebound for the better part of a decade now, and the Detroit Free Press says the city's thriving business climate is moving onward and upward in the coming year. The Ruth's Chris located in suburban Troy hung in there through Detroit's lean years, and by 2017, The Detroit Jewish News reported that the restaurant was doing so well that it was able to refresh its décor.

Detroit-area diners certainly seem to appreciate not only the ambiance but also the excellent service and delicious food. It seems that this location has a lot of devoted fans who return time and time again, and one well-traveled Yelper declares, "Having traveled a bit, we've decided this is the Best Ruth's Chris in the chain." Many diners praise the perfectly seasoned and cooked food, the strong drinks, and the "fantastic" service, with one person even noting that their server was kind enough to charge their phone while they ate. One thing this Ruth's Chris has to offer, at least as of a few months ago, is something you don't find everywhere: a server with a super-soulful voice. While it's not unusual for restaurant staff to sing "Happy Birthday" if requested, one diner was tipped off to ask for a particular server who rendered a gospel-tinged version that made for a truly memorable birthday celebration

Worst: Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee, is quite the music mecca. It's home to Graceland, the #1 stop on any Elvis pilgrimage, and Beale Street is legendary in its own right. Memphis Tourism notes that their town features in more songs than any other city in the world (take that, New York and Paris!). They also reveal that Memphis is known, amongst other things, for being the pork barbecue capital of the world. Well, perhaps the city should just stick to pork barbecue if their Ruth's Chris is anything to go by.

The Ruth's Chris in Memphis has a number of disappointed customers. Perhaps by now they are ex-customers. One Tripadvisor user found it to be the worst Ruth's Chris they'd ever eaten at due to the fact that the plates weren't sizzling hot as advertised and the steaks were undercooked. Several people spoke of overzealous interpretation of dress codes, including a Yelp user who said that their party was denied service because one of the members wore leggings under a tunic. Still another Yelper complained that the dress code was enforced unevenly, applied to some but not others. Other issues reviewers have brought up include poorly made drinks, badly cooked food, and incredibly long wait times for orders to be taken and food to arrive.

Best: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis is perhaps best known for the 500-mile car race that bears its name. The city also holds a place in food history, however, as it is home to not only Van Camp's baked beans but also Wonder Bread. Neither of these native products is something you're likely to find on the menu of the Indianapolis Ruth's Chris, but if you dine there, you're likely to have quite an enjoyable experience.

One Tripadvisor reviewer, admittedly not a Ruth's Chris fan, says that they have nevertheless eaten at a number of this chain's locations over the years and claims that the Indianapolis one is the best of the bunch. In fact, it even merited a 5-star rating from someone who says they consider the chain, on the whole, to be "overrated [and] overpriced." It seems a well-cooked ribeye won this diner over, while others have been wowed by the "show-stopper" seafood and the stellar service. One couple, who ate there just a few months ago, says that the well-run restaurant is a sure sign of superb management. Another diner was pleased to note that this location even offers a number of specials that give you a bit more bang for your buck.

Worst: Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City, New Jersey was once primarily known as a beach resort, at least during warm weather months. (New Jersey is not known for its year-round temperate climate.) Since the '70s, however, it's been the East Coast's answer to Las Vegas. If you go for a visit, you may well expect to be out a significant sum of money — as the saying goes, "Do not pass Go and do not collect $200" (The Atlantic City Free Public Library reminds us that Monopoly, after all, is set in its home city). Losing your shirt at the casinos is by now a time-honored tradition, but according to a number of disgruntled restaurant patrons, it seems you're equally likely to feel ripped off after dining at Atlantic City's Ruth's Chris.

One Tripadvisor user feels that Ruth's Chris may be Atlantic city's worst bargain, while another votes for this location as being the worst Ruth's Chris ever. Complaints are almost too numerous to list, including menu items ordered but never received, wrong items delivered (including a cheaper bottle of wine swapped out for the one that was ordered and paid for), and steaks that were either too raw or too tough and definitely not worth the exorbitant prices charged for them.

Best: Weehawken, New Jersey

Where in the world is Weehawken? According to Google Maps, it lies just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, so it appears to be a bedroom community for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd. Still, the whole point of living in New Jersey, for some, may be the fact that you don't have to fight city traffic whenever you go out to eat, and Weehawken itself offers a number of fine dining experiences including its own Ruth's Chris.

Yelpers seem to agree that Weehawken's Ruth Chris is a far cry from the one downstate in Atlantic City. For starters, the restaurant offers a large parking lot, something Manhattanites seldom see. While that alone offers a certain thrill, perhaps one that may rate a drive through the Lincoln Tunnel, the restaurant itself offers a romantic ambiance with soft lights, soft music, and intimate dining rooms that have been known to host small weddings. The food is top-notch, the drinks are reasonably priced for the area, and the waitstaff is personable, friendly, and even entertaining. To top it all off, this location is right by the river, something that one frequent diner says "makes for a great walk along the pier on a beautiful night."

Worst: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale may be a dream destination for many, particularly in the dead of winter when it's still beach weather in Florida. As Visit Florida points out, the city even has canals and gondolas, making it America's very own Venice. If you really want to enjoy your visit, though, you may wish to dine at any of the Fort Lauderdale area's 4,000+ restaurants other than Ruth's Chris. The Fort Lauderdale franchise, according to a number of Tripadvisor reviews, is far from the finest one in the chain.

According to one couple who have eaten at different Ruth's Chris locations in 3 different countries, the Fort Lauderdale location is, at least, consistent in what it has to offer: poor service, badly-cooked food, and an ambiance that could best be described as "depressing." While their claim that Ft. Lauderdale's Ruth's Chris is the worst one of all is over a decade old, more recent reviews indicate that this franchise may not have improved much since then. Several recent diners have complained of poorly cooked food, with one remarking on sides that arrived stone-cold. Another party felt that the servers were reluctant to honor an advertised deal, while a different diner was horrified by a restroom they said was absolutely "filthy." This is something that would put anyone off their meal, no matter the cost.