12 Best Steakhouses In Washington, D.C., According To A Trained Chef

Washington D.C. boasts a dynamic culinary scene with a wide range of restaurants. You can walk a few blocks and enjoy everything from authentic Ethiopian doro wat to birria tacos to a classic French blanquette de veau. There's also huge diversity in terms of mood: D.C. is full of romantic restaurants for date night and packed with good-time sports bars. Sometimes, though, you're looking for a tried and true steak dinner.

I learned to appreciate the skill it takes to cook a steak perfectly during my culinary school internship, where I worked on a restaurant line. I spent hours watching and learning from the grill chef as he managed several steaks at a time, cooking each to the perfect temperature. After soaking all this in, I put that knowledge to use when I cooked for clients as a personal chef. This list was compiled based on my personal dining experiences and customer and critic reviews; check the end of the article for more information on my methodology. 

Perfectly seared or grilled steaks combined with impeccable service take center stage at steakhouses scattered throughout the city. From classic charm to contemporary vibes, if you're a fan of succulent meat, fabulous sides, and atmosphere galore, these D.C. steakhouses will soon be your go-to spots.

Bobby Van's Steakhouse

Bobby Van's Steakhouse has stood the test of time. Located a mere block from the White House, its downtown location has made it a favorite lunch spot for the city's movers and shakers. They return to Bobby Van's Steakhouse for many reasons: Excellent service, an expansive wine list, and, of course, the steak.

Bobby Van's doesn't stray far from its roots, sticking to classic menu items that steakhouse aficionados expect and appreciate. These dishes are executed with a delicious twist, however. The filet diablo features a petit filet mignon served with grilled jumbo shrimp in a spicy diablo sauce, while the steak a la stone consists of a New York strip steak paired with sautéed red and green bell peppers, sweet onions, and mushrooms. The lamb chops and the French onion soup are terrific alternatives if you're not in the mood for steak.


(202) 589-0060

809 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

St. Anselm

St. Anselm is one of Washington's culinary gems. Though its owners categorize it as an American tavern with a steak specialty, the menu screams classic steakhouse. It features traditional sides like creamy spinach and mashed potatoes, as well as clever bites like chicken liver mousse served with house-made jelly. But the steaks are definitely what sets this spot apart. 

The chefs have mastered the craft of making excellent cuts of beef even better with their outstanding grilling skills. The brightest stars are the "bigs from the grill," which include Wagyu beef and a 16-ounce ribeye. The Butcher's Steak, which features garlic butter and flecks of chopped parsley, is prepared so well, you'd be thrilled to eat it with no sides at all. The equally delicious Wagyu skirt steak is sliced relatively thickly, but is so tender, you can cut it with a butter knife. It's all good, and it's all worth your time.


(202) 864-2199

1250 5th Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Ruth's Chris Steak House is a culinary master class in longevity. The chain, known for its high-quality steak, was founded in 1965 and has grown to include over 140 restaurants all over the world, including spots as far-reaching as Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines. No matter how far-flung its location may be, however, every Ruth's Chris Steak House offers diners the traditional steakhouse experience.

All of this spot's steaks — including the remarkable cowboy ribeye, which boasts 22 ounces of bone-in, USDA prime cut beef — are cooked using the restaurant's broiling method. In culinary school, you're taught to serve cold food on cold plates and hot food on warm plates. Ruth's Chris takes this to the next level by serving all of their steaks on a 500 degree plate, so diners can enjoy that trademark sizzle far longer than they do in most other steakhouses. This benefits everything Ruth's Chris serves, but the petite filet with shrimp stands out as one of the best bites on the menu. The contrasting textures of the shrimp and steak come together to create the surf and turf of your dreams.


(202) 918-5583

21st and L Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Medium Rare

If you love a simple steak dinner, Medium Rare is the steakhouse for you. The prix fixe dinner menu consists only of steak frites with their signature sauce, served with bread and a salad. Tell your server how you like your steak cooked, then enjoy your meal. This straightforward concept is reminiscent of French brassieres, whose menus are similarly steak-focused. 

The steaks at Medium Rare are Coulotte steaks, which are known for being lean, tender, and extremely delicious. They are consistently cooked to perfection and are fantastic on their own, but it's Medium Rare's secret sauce, poured generously over each serving, that elevates the steak into something diners want to eat again and again. If you're smart, you'll dip the crispy fries into the sauce as well.


(202) 237-1432

3500 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

The Palm

D.C.'s outpost of classic American steakhouse The Palm is known for being the place to go for people-watching. The dining room is a gathering place for the city's power brokers, from politicians to television personalities. Notably, The Pam features an Italian twist on steakhouse favorites. A buffalo mozzarella salad and linguine with white clam sauce share the menu with a wide variety of steaks and chops. 

While everything is tasty, the steak is the star here. The prime tomahawk ribeye and the Palm Duo, a center-cut filet served with a lobster tail, are especially impressive. A wide variety of toppings and sauces set the beef off perfectly. Note that though the dining room walls are lined with caricatures of the restaurant's famous customers, this bit of whimsy doesn't carry over to the dress code. The Palm requires upscale attire, so leave the tank tops and athletic wear at home.


(202) 293-9091

1225 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Charlie Palmer Steak

Charlie Palmer Steak's proximity to Capitol Hill makes it the perfect spot for political people-watching. It's a stone's throw from congressional offices and the National Mall, and many lawmakers and power players stop in regularly. The menu highlights Chef Dan Perron's take on bold American cooking, which centers the finest American cuts of beef, in addition to seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. The prime dry-aged porterhouse and Allen Brothers Black Angus ribeye stand out from Perron's progressive American cuisine. The porterhouse serves two (with leftovers), and the bone-in ribeye is also a hearty portion. Both are served with a beautifully caramelized crust and are richly marbled, which results in a deliciously savory experience.

Can't stay for dinner? Opting for happy hour doesn't mean you have to miss out on the restaurant's top-quality beef. Try the dual steakhouse sliders — don't skip the special sauce — or the charred sirloin skewer for a quick and filling meal.


(202) 547-8100

101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

The Grill

Since opening just before the pandemic, The Grill has quickly become a D.C. favorite. The menu is American cuisine with deep influences from Chef Roberto Santibañez's French culinary training, combined with his Mexican heritage. A particularly vivid example can be found in the fact that steaks can be served with a choice of sauces, including a classic bordelaise sauce or chimichurri.

We appreciate that the Grill's beef is raised and sourced from local farms. Everything is cooked on the restaurant's centerpiece Josper grill, a high-end grill made in Barcelona. It's also helpful that the expected filet mignon, ribeye, and New York strip are on the menu, though diners can also select other proteins. Sides like twice-baked potatoes with bacon lardons and sour cream and grilled sweet potatoes with pistachios and an orange-cumin reduction add a familiar but elevated touch.


(202) 916-5996

99 Market Square SW, Washington, DC 20024

Del Frisco Double Eagle Steakhouse

Del Frisco Double Eagle Steakhouse is ideally located in D.C.'s City Center neighborhood, an exclusive enclave of high-end condominiums, retail stores, and restaurants. The dress code is as strict as the restaurant's commitment to the traditional steakhouse experience — this is the place to bring your snazziest duds. The menu, expansive wine list, and noteworthy service combine to create an exceptional dining experience from start to finish.

Del Frisco is a all about classic steakhouse ambiance, down to its dark drapes and mood lighting. The menu follows suit, with traditional mainstays like a blue cheese lettuce wedge salad and mashed potatoes loaded with green onions and butter. The steak, however, is the real star here. The filet mignon is so tender, it cuts like butter, and the Japanese A5 Wagyu — a delicious splurge — boasts a mouthwatering combination of deep flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Expert tip: Order the bourbon peppercorn sauce with whichever steak you choose. You won't regret it.


(202) 289-0201

950 I Street NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20001

The Capital Grille

There's a reason the steaks at The Capital Grille stand out from other steakhouses: The restaurant takes great pride in ensuring every steak is dry-aged for maximum flavor and tenderness. The chefs complete the process, which takes 18 to 24 days, in-house. Once it's done, expert in-house butchers are said to cut each steak according to stringent quality standards. This results in steaks that are incredibly flavorful and tender.

The menu at the Grille has a steak for every appetite. The signature steak, a bone-in ribeye with a porcini mushroom crust, is served with aged balsamic vinegar, but coffee lovers will swoon for the kona-crusted dry-aged bone-in New York strip steak with shallot butter. These extraordinary steaks are just one draw for The Capital Grille. Recipes are all perfectly executed with the highest quality ingredients, and the customer service is consistently stellar. The Grille's Pennsylvania Avenue location is also easily accessible and gives diners a dazzling view of the Capitol building.


(202) 737-6200

601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Harvest Tide

Harvest Tide is relatively new to Washington, D.C., but it's quickly earned a reputation as a top stop for succulent steak. Nestled in the city's Eastern Market neighborhood, the restaurant also serves seafood and artisan pizzas. But Sunday is officially steak night at Harvest Tide, where you can dig into one of the spot's dry-aged USDA prime steaks and hand-cut fries for $45. Don't worry if you're all booked up on Sunday, though — you can also enjoy phenomenal steaks every day at full price, and they are more than worth it. Harvest Tide prides itself on serving antibiotic and hormone-free beef from local farms. When it reaches the restaurant, the chefs dry-age the beef in their onsite meat locker for at least 21 days.

The dry-aged ribeye is remarkably tender and has an intense, almost buttery flavor, thanks to this dry-aging process. Celebrating a special occasion? Order the Delmonico steak with the mustard wine balsamic reduction and caramelized onions. You won't regret it.


(202) 733-1691

212 7th Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20003

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is the product of the Joe's Stone Crab chain of restaurants. As you might expect, the seafood options are abundant, but the bone-in signature prime steaks are what make Joe's a true treat. Cooking and serving steaks on the bone gives the meat much more flavor than boneless steaks, which is apparent in each bite: They have a richness and depth that is nearly unmatched. Master butchers take things to the next level by hand-cutting each steak to Joe's specifications.

While everything is divine, the bone-in filet mignon is a delicious monument to Joe's steak skills. The bone infuses the filet with beefy intensity and helps keep the steak juicy. You really can't go wrong with any steak on the menu, though. Just be sure to pair your perfect steak with a selection or two from Joe's side dish options. There are seven potato options alone, and every one is delectable.


(202) 489-0140

750 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

The Prime Rib

The Prime Rib sets the standard for American steakhouses. The first restaurant opened in Baltimore in 1965, and today, there are four locations in D.C., Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The Washington location on K Street is a convenient spot for business lunches and dinners for the many lawyers and lobbyists working nearby.

Steaks here are elevated by a commitment to sourcing, including the Prime Rib's beef sourced from Creekstone Farms, a premier cattle farm whose branded beef program is one of only a handful certified by the USDA. This unwavering commitment to quality is why The Prime Rib's steaks are well-known. The menu is varied but not overwhelming, with traditional steakhouse dishes like roast prime rib, filet mignon, and a USDA prime bone-in ribeye available. All of these can be ordered with béarnaise sauce, gorgonzola butter, or Oscar style.


(202) 466-8811

2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006


From learning to cook steaks to temperature in culinary school to cooking just about every cut of steak available for the clients I served as a personal chef, I compiled this list based on my own personal experiences, as well as recommendations from my colleagues in the city's culinary scene and reviews written by customers and critics. 

Quality of steak, variety of cuts, and, of course, taste were all taken into consideration when judging which spots to include on this list. Ambiance and overall service were also important. The restaurants that made the list consistently serve top-notch steaks and offer an assortment of traditional and non-traditional sauces, toppings, and sides.