The 16 Absolute Best Steakhouses In Chicago

From 1865 to 1971, Chicago was the proud meatpacking capital of the U.S and processed over 18 million animals during its peak year of production. The bustling Union Stockyard, which employed a whopping 45,000 people, was a tourist sight in and of itself. Visitors toured the endless pens, packing, and processing plants. They stayed at the StockYard Inn and dined on prime steak at the Inn's elegant Sirloin Room, one of the city's first dedicated steakhouses, where diners selected their own steaks and then watched as they were branded with their initials.

Though the stockyards declined after WWII, the city's love of a good steak only swelled, and Chicago defined the classic steakhouse dining experience: expect comfy, roomy booths, classic sides (like creamed spinach and massive baked potatoes), and top-quality cuts of meat. Here are our picks for the best steakhouses in Chicago, from old-school standbys to modern twists on the quintessential Chicago steakhouse experience.

Steak 48 Chicago

Surf and turf lovers will appreciate Steak 48 Chicago's prime steaks and extensive seafood selection. Located in River North at the center of a shopping hub, the upscale 12,000 square feet two-level dining space has a strict dress code and overall elegant feel, making it an excellent pick for a special date night or special occasion. Several private dining rooms and event venue spaces are also available for private dinner parties.

Start your dining experience on the lower level, where the bar is always buzzing. The lively kitchen and raw is open, so you can see the culinary team prepping the seafood specialties that Steak 48 is known for; succulent Alaskan king crab, jumbo shrimp, Maine lobster, and freshly shucked oysters from the West and East Coasts. The 45-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye stands out on the steak menu.

A lush outdoor patio, alighted with fireplaces during chillier evenings, looks out over the surrounding River North neighborhood.

Fogo de Chao

The founders of Fogo de Chão grew up on a traditional Southern Brazilian farm, where they mastered the churrasco grilling tradition — the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meat over an open flame — that they'd eventually introduce to over 20 countries around the world. From its first location in Porto Allegre, Brazil, the Fogo concept was first introduced to the U.S. in Dallas, Texas. Its massive Chicago restaurant, located in the River North neighborhood, seats more than 300 guests.

Fogo de Chão offers an all-you-can-eat steakhouse experience with fire-roasted meats delivered directly to your table. To attract the meat-laden chefs dressed in their gaucho best, each diner receives a card with red (STOP, I'm full!) on one side, and green (bring on the meat!) on the other side.

Beyond meat, the massive salad bar offers an endless variety of soups, salads, exotic vegetables, imported cheeses, bread, and apps, including smoked salmon, Italian and Brazilian cured meats, and feijoada, a traditional black bean stew with sausage typically served with yet another Brazilian specialty, farofa (baked yuca flour with bacon).

Try the signature cocktail at this restaurant, the caipirinha, a sweet-and-sour cocktail spiked with lime and cachaça, a Brazilian-made rum-like liquor.

Bavette's Bar and Boeuf

Bavette's Bar and Boeuf brings a touch of French flair to the classic Chicago steakhouse experience. The chic, softly lit atmosphere, abuzz with music and guests dressed to the nines, recalls an early 20th-century jazz club. Start with the cocktails: Bavette's Bar is known for its martini selection, and six takes on the standard Old-Fashioned. No surprise, the star menu items here are the French steak classics: the ribeye steak frites, a wet-aged steak served with the best fries in town, plus a smooth and buttery béarnaise sauce, and the steak tartare, which arrives Parisian-style, with dijonnaise sauce and a slow-cooked egg.

All the American steakhouse classics are on the menu here, too, including Chicago cut ribeye, bone-in filet mignon, and dry-aged New York cut strip steak, as well as nostalgic apps like sizzling shrimp scampi, baked crab cakes, and shrimp cocktail. Skip dessert and opt for a boozy Bavette's Bar signature chocolate or espresso martini.

Tango Sur

Tango Sur also brings the flavors of Argentina to the table, with a focus on asado, long strips of flank-cut beef ribs a la parrilla (grilled). The highlight of the menu here is the Parrillada Para Dos, which serves Tango Sur's specialties — chorizo (pork sausage), morcilla (blood sausage), chinchulines (chitterlings), and mollejas (sweetbread) on a tabletop grill for two.

Start with the empanadas, Argentine turnovers filled with your choice of beef, chicken, corn, ham, and cheese, or spinach and cheese. Tango Sur also features relleno, or stuffed steaks: the vacio relleno is a flank steak stuffed with chimichurri and served with roasted sweet potatoes, while the lomo relleno is a filet mignon, stuffed with ham and chimichurri and served with portobello mushroom marsala. The steaks here are more budget-friendly, and BYOB means you can bring your own wine to pair for a more affordable steakhouse experience. Bonus: Tango Sur offers all of its dishes to-go, so you can bring a taste of Buenos Aires into your own home.

Artango Bar and Steakhouse

In the northside neighborhood of Lincoln Square, Artango Bar and Steakhouse brings Buenos Aires' Golden Age to the table. Guests here are immersed in Art Nouveau décor and the music and dance of Buenos Aires, and a rustic menu showcases imported Argentine steaks and wines.

Steaks here are prime or black Angus, hand-cut, grilled gaucho-style, a la parrilla, and served with your choice of traditional Argentinian sauces: chimichurri (parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar), or criolla sauce (finely chopped onions, vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, chili peppers, bell peppers, olive oil, and cilantro).

The wine list is one of the most extensive Argentianian-focused lists in the city, and the dessert menu offers a taste of traditional Buenos Aires sweets, including churros, flan, and dulce de leche soufflé. Artango's "steak flights," shareable plates featuring N.Y. strip steak, slow-grilled short ribs, morcilla, chorizo, and mollejas (sweetbreads), make an excellent pick for larger group dining. The restaurant also hosts lively Argentinian music and dance nights, as well as tango and flamenco lessons.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

The tagline "Come for the stone crab, stay for the steak" would be fitting for Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, the Chicago outpost of a Miami icon.

Joe's Stone Crab started out as a small lunch counter serving the catch of the day in 1913 and morphed into one of the oceanside's city's most beloved restaurants. Then Richard Melman and the Lettuce Entertain You team opened a Chicago home base, serving up the same succulent stone crab along with great steaks in a formal yet comfy setting.

For your surf n' turf extravaganza, start with Joe's specialty, Florida stone crab claws, served chilled with house mustard, or king crab also served chilled but with a generous pour of melted butter. Then, move on to the signature 'Filet & Tail,' a 6-ounce filet mignon served alongside a 10-ounce North Atlantic lobster tail. The entire menu is also available to go. Insider's tip: Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab hosts a cocktail hour Monday through Friday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cocktails are served with small bites, all ranging from $5 to $7.

RPM Steak

Celebrity couple and former Lincoln Park residents Bill and Giuliana Rancic launched the RPM empire — a group of restaurants focused on exceptional cuisine paired with equally exceptional service — with Chicago-based restaurateurs R.J. Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You. The sister restaurant to RPM Italian and RPM Seafood, RPM Steak offers an updated take on the classic steakhouse experience in Chicago's River North neighborhood. The meat-centric menu features nearly two dozen different cuts of beef sourced from top-notch butchers across the globe and is essentially a classic steakhouse, albeit with a trendy, swanky atmosphere, making it a top pick for an elegant date night or celebratory dinner in Chicago.

Signature steaks include The Duke, a 10-ounce ribeye filet, and the Bernie Miller Chop, a 16-ounce USDA-prime filet, but there is steak to fit every steak lover's style featured on the menu, from the 48-ounce Porterhouse to the Chateau Uenae Snow Beef, a rare ribeye flown in from Japan. Top it off with a homemade peppercorn sauce, black truffle bearnaise, or infused garlic and rosemary or black truffle butter. The potato-focused sides include the Millionaire's Potato, a baked potato topped with fontina cheese and shaved black truffle imported from Italy. RPM Steak also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including wine tastings, virtual and in-person cooking demos, and more. Its entire menu is available to go if you prefer to bring the steakhouse experience into your home (or hotel).

Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse

American radio and television sportscaster Harry Caray, the announcer for the Chicago Cubs for 15 years, is a Chicago icon, best known for singing a rollicking rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch. Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse is dedicated to his legacy. Housed in a historic landmark building in River North, the restaurant is filled to the brim with Cary, Cubs, and Chicago memorabilia. But it's best known for its thick, USDA prime, aged steaks, and classic Italian-American dishes. It's also a go-to steakhouse for anyone who wants to catch a sporting event while dining, thanks to the plasma-television-packed bar.

Harry Caray's signature steaks meet Chicago steak lovers' high standards and are selected from the finest Midwestern USDA Prime beef and wet-aged for up to 28 days or dry-aged for up to 45 days, but the apps and sides here have an Italian twist. Start with the Tuscan charcuterie board, a shareable favorite, loaded with Genoa salami, soppressata, bresaola, speck, pecorino toscano, dolcelatte gorgonzola, taleggio, cerignola olives, artichoke hearts, crostini, and tomato jam. The menu also features several hand-cut plates of pasta, including the steak-centric tenderloin linguini, hand-rolled linguini with beef tenderloin, and a luscious cream sauce spiked with sherry and mushrooms.

The restaurant also houses a speakeasy located near the former office of Chicago Outfit mobster Frank Nitti.

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan is best known as the best basketball player of all time, a Chicago icon. But he's also the owner of a popular Chicago steakhouse, which opened in 1993 during his historic NBA career. Located along the Magnificent Mile inside the InterContinental Chicago Hotel, Michael Jordan's Steakhouse is known for its select, juicy, tender, and deeply marbled USDA prime and dry-aged steaks. Start with the award-winning cocktails, most of which are made with Cincoro, a premium tequila crafted by Jordan himself.

The signature meal experience here is called the Steaksmanship, which includes a steak flight, or shareable platter, of the restaurant's best steaks — 45-day dry-aged Delmonico, USDA prime Kansas City strip steak, and Tomahawk ribeye paired with market-fresh seafood dishes. Shareable sides include steakhouse classics like mac n' cheese, pan-roasted lemon asparagus, and parmesan truffle fries. The atmosphere is upscale with a price point to match. The highlight of the dessert menu is the 23-layer chocolate cake, with 23 layers representing Jordan's Chicago Bulls jersey number.

Prime & Provisions

Located at the edge of Chicago's downtown Loop is Prime & Provisions. The vibe here is clubby; its masculine energy extends into the heated & covered outdoor cigar lounge, while the steaks here are among the best in the city.

You can even see the steak that's about to make its way to your plate in the chandelier-capped, Himalayan salt-lined 500 square-foot dry-aging room. But despite the overall glam factor, the focus here is on serving high-quality steaks. DineAmic Hospitality's David Rekhson and Lucas Stoioff, along with Executive Chef Partner, Joseph Rizza, experimented for months with various all-natural dry-aging processes. The 100% all-natural USDA prime black Angus beef steaks here are seared in a 1,200 F broiler and served on a sizzling hot plate. Sauces are a no-go here, too, and steaks are instead served with a dash of sea salt and a pour of Wisconsin all-natural grass-fed butter, thus highlighting natural flavors. Take your pick from every steakhouse potato dish under the sun: whipped potatoes, brûléed sweet potatoes, truffled french fries, and the biggest baked potatoes this side of Idaho.

Maple & Ash

Under the helm of 2-Michelin-star Chef Danny Grant, Maple & Ash offers a new take on the classic Chicago steakhouse, with a buzzy atmosphere that makes for an elegant evening of wining and dining. The Michelin Guide named it "Chicago's buzziest steakhouse" for its clubby, multi-level atmosphere and celebratory vibe. The kitchen is centered by a wood-fired hearth, where generous cuts of steak, including olive-fed Wagyu and a 45-day, dry-aged Tomahawk are grilled to perfection. Seafood and surf-and-turf lovers will find a home here, too: Try the wood-fired Skuna Bay salmon, Norwegian halibut, and Galician turbot.

The sides include classic steakhouse favorites like whipped and buttered potatoes, mac and cheese, roasted asparagus, au gratin potatoes, and hand-cut fries. Though Maple & Ash's wine list was named "One of the Most Outstanding in the World" by Wine Spectator, the cocktails are on point, too. Try the IDGAF Old Fashioned, a smokier, swankier take on the classic that glitters.

Gibson's Italia

Gibson's Italian-focused River West dining hotspot, Gibson's Italia, bills itself as a steakhouse that combines "casual elegance with Italian influences and a world-class tour of beef." Indeed, the steaks served here meet the same high standards of Gibson's Gold Coast original. And the ambiance offers just as much prime people watching in addition to prime steaks, albeit with a bright and modern atmosphere, with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the Chicago River canyon scape.

The most significant difference between Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse and Gibson's Italia is the menu. Antipasti (charred octopus, meatballs, cotto e crudo platters), hand-rolled pasta, and entrees like chicken parmigiana and veal milanesa replace nostalgic, American steakhouse appetizers and sides. The dessert menu offers classic steakhouse sweets with an Italian twist, like spumoni baked Alaska, a flourless chocolate cake layered with pistachio nougatine, chocolate ganache, spumoni gelato, meringue and luxardo cherries, and an over-the-top tiramisu (espresso-Marsala soaked savoiardi layered with mascarpone cream and dusted with cocoa).

The wine list here offers an array of Italian vintages, plus contemporary cocktails, in a beverage menu so extensive it's contained in a 44-page Beverage Book.

Chicago Cut Steakhouse

Located along the Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago Cut Steakhouse is a celeb hotspot, with confirmed star sightings tracked on its official website. But the USDA prime steaks served here are stellar, too, butchered onsite and aged for 35 days in the in-house dry-aging room, placing Chicago Cut Steakhouse among our top picks for the best steakhouses in the city. Choose from bone-in ribeye, Delmonico, New York strip, Kansas City strip, or Porterhouse. Can't decide between land and sea? Opt for the 8-ounce filet served with two lobster tails.

The self-proclaimed "holy grail" is the bone-in prime rib. Chicago Cut Steakhouse is a popular option for business lunches, too. You can hear the buzz of deals being made table-side while expert servers, and sometimes the owners, stroll the premises, ready to accommodate every whim. Start with Champagne, then delve into the extensive wine list, which offers every pairing imaginable. The signature drink, the Perfection, pours Stoli Elite into a crystal glass edged with Russian Osetra caviar-stuffed olives.

Chicago Chop House

We love Chicago Chop House for its historic atmosphere – check out the dining room photos of Chicago's most famous citizens throughout history. Housed in a late 19th-century brownstone in Chicago's River North neighborhood, Chicago Chop House has been serving classic steaks, fresh seafood, and decadent desserts with live piano entertainment since 1989. Start with classic steakhouse apps — calamari, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, and scampi — before indulging in Chicago Chop House's signature cuts of Miyazakigyu A5 filet cut (5 ounces), Mishima Wagyu reserve Manhattan New York strip (12 ounces), Australian Wagyu AA8-9+ Grade Delmonico. And don't forget nostalgic sides like hand-cut french fries, bacon cheddar mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and farm-fresh creamed corn. Seafood options include maple-glazed salmon, Alaskan king crab legs, and broiled Chilean sea bass.

The dessert menu sticks with the classics, too, like baked Alaska, carrot cake, and New York cheesecake. Chicago Chop House's beautiful courtyard and boozy cocktails make it a perfect pick for a steak-centric Sunday brunch. The weekend Prime Rib Special pairs au jus prime rib, charred upon request, with horseradish cream, garlic mashed potatoes, and truffled creamed corn. Sign up for the Chicago Chop House VIP card for discounts and specials throughout the year.

Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse

Gibson's is the classic Chicago-style steakhouse par excellence. Since it opened its doors in a former disco space in Chicago's Gold Coast, locals, out-of-town visitors, and celebrities have been flocking to the swanky steakhouse for its extensive wine list, classic cocktails, unparalleled service, and, of course, its fine steaks.

What sets Gibson's apart from other steakhouses is that all the meat served here is sourced directly from a curated list of farms in the upper Midwest, with cattle corn-fed for up to 120 days and raised according to Gibsons' strict standards. The first steakhouse in the country to have its own USDA certification program, Gibson's prime Angus steaks are aged for a minimum of 40 days. The signature steaks are so famous they are shipped across the country.

Expect all the nostalgic steakhouse sides like jumbo lump crab cakes, loaded wedge salads, mega shrimp cocktails, baked potatoes, and classic creamed spinach. Don't overlook the seafood section: Gibson's is a surf & turf institution.

Though Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse has added two suburban outposts to its repertoire, the Gold Coast original has the swankiest atmosphere by far. Expect prime people watching — frequent diner Johnny Depp loves the iconic Chicago steakhouse so much he once left a Gibson's waiter a $4,000 tip, notes Access Hollywood. Be sure to check out the restaurant's wall of fame featuring photographs of Gibson steak-loving stars.

Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse

Gene & Georgetti is hidden in the shadow of the El's Brown line, in a classic 1870's wood-frame house. Gene & Georgetti was the realization of the American dream for partners Gene Michelotti and Alfredo "Georgetti" Federighi. While working as a bartender, Michelotti encountered his future business partner Federighi, who was working as a chef. In 1941, Gene & Georgetti opened its doors, with Alfredo handling the kitchen and Gene working the front and holding down the bar.

The steaks here are graded in the top 2% for marbling and texture, wet-aged for a minimum of 21 days, and broiled at 1,400 F to seal the flavor. "We've been doing it this way for 80 years," boasts the culinary team. Billing itself as a "Tuscan-style' steakhouse, the best steak on the menu is by far the 48-ounce Fiorentina. Don't miss the many seasonal Tuscan specialities on the menu, including polenta con porcini, prosciutto and burrata, and tortellini in brodo.

The restaurant is still in family hands: Gene's daughter Marion and her husband Tony Durpetti work hard to keep the restaurant in the family while treating its staff and customers like family. Step up to the second floor, where you'll find a mural depicting the neighborhood as it was when the steakhouse opened, a primarily Italian-American area anchored by the Church of the Assumption.