Chicago is home to many restaurants where you can get a gorgeous cut of steak. But when you’re looking to get your fix, why not go for the best that the city has to offer?
Here, 10 chophouses that stand out in the Windy City:
What Our Inspectors Say: “Polished black, white, and wood décor speaks to the finer things in life, with a menu of succulent steaks, raw bar offerings, and sides to back it up. For the best people-watching, score one of the semicircular booths edging the room.”
What to Order: Here, go big or go home and start with an appetizer of thick-cut bacon with Bourbon and vanilla bean glaze. Under the steaks and chops portion of the menu you’ll find a selection of Prime dry-aged cuts of beef, as well as Wagyu and Kobe meats (think Miyazaki and Hokkaido snow beef). Signatures include RPM steak frites with black truffle Béarnaise and a 90-day dry-aged Allen Brothers rib eye.
What Our Inspectors Say: “With a sultry jazz soundtrack and speakeasy ambience, this swanky destination is unfailingly packed every evening with a boisterous crowd. The feel inside may be dark and loud, but that only adds to the bonhomie of the chic and cavernous den, outfitted with exposed brick walls, mismatched dangling light fixtures, and tobacco-brown Chesterfield-style sofas. Steakhouse and raw bar standards dominate the menu. Most steaks are wet-aged and though some may prefer more funk, the cuts are expertly broiled.”
What to Order: Butcher’s cuts feature roasted bone marrow with caramelized red onion jam, and a 10-ounce rib eye steak frites. Other USDA Prime slabs include three sizes of filet mignon, the classic 16-ounce Chicago cut rib eye, and a 42-day dry-aged bone-in New York strip. Enhance your dinner with maître d’ butter, peppercorn crust, gorgonzola or (more) roasted bone marrow.
What Our Inspectors Say: “No, it’s not a Hollywood set. This Italian-American steak joint is the real thing, and those wise guys at the bar have been clinking their ice cubes in this wood-paneled room for decades. The historic spot, founded in 1941, is boisterous downstairs with the aforementioned regulars and guys grabbing a bite; upstairs is more refined for local politico lunches and a bit of old-school romance at dinner.”
What to Order: Broiled steaks and chops come in a variety of sizes and are accompanied by the classic steakhouse sauces. Meat-heavy Italian specialties include veal scaloppine, meat lasagna and Italian sausage “alla Joe.”
What Our Inspectors Say: “A far cry from the clubby, masculine steakhouses of yesteryear, this expansive but welcoming space goes for understated glamour, with tasteful inlaid wood and burgundy columns offset by natural stone walls, white birch branches, and a marble bar.”
What to Order: Start with a steakhouse classic, like an iceberg wedge (with Black River bleu cheese) or lobster bisque. Steak cuts are broken down into dry-aged and traditional/specialty selections, including bone-in and Tomahawk rib eyes, Wagyu skirt steak and Japanese Kuroge.
What Our Inspectors Say: “The finely tailored locale bustles day and night, thanks to being wrapped in windows along the riverfront, sumptuous red leather furnishings, warm wood trim, and a crackerjack service team cementing its steakhouse vibe.”
What to Order: Instead of traditional escargot, order “lobsterscargot”—pieces of Maine lobster tail doused in garlic butter and served with Havarti and crostini. An entire page of the menu is dedicated to chop house favorites, complete with a detailed map of a cow and a list of meat temperatures. If you’re feeling fancy (and if it’s available), opt for the Chicago cut Bone-in filet.
What Our Inspectors Say: “A renovated meat and produce warehouse built in the 1920s, the space unwinds from a raw bar aptly named Cold Storage into a plush hangout. Here, wood-trimmed archways and concrete columns modulate the scale of the rooms. The kitchen’s contemporary take on steak serves up USDA Prime beef seared at high heat and presented with a trio of sauces.”
What to Order: All the classic prime steaks are up for grabs; the “large format” 48-ounce porterhouse will set you back $135. Steak sauces and condiments include oxtail marmalade, anchovy-garlic butter, seared foie gras and butter-poached crab.
What Our inspectors Say: “Every meal here is like a party, especially if you arrive with an above-average appetite. The space feels as dynamic as the locale, with an enormous dining room and open kitchen. The menu offers different formats, but the one that seems to be earning attention is the “I Don’t Give A (ahem)” prix fixe, for a premium price. In keeping with the steakhouse theme, portions are gargantuan.”
What to Order: Here, decadence is the name of the game—start off with Sauternes-soaked foie gras served with seasonal compote, hazelnuts and brioche and follow it up with a 37-day dry-aged bone-in New York strip or Australian rack of lamb. Also available: caviar service, a fire-roasted seafood tower and “arm candy” for your steaks, like Bordelaise, Sauce Diane and Penta Crème bleu cheese.
What Our inspectors Say: “Black SUVs unload VIPs in front of the revolving door, which in turn leads to a gleaming wall of bottles at the gilded bar. Live lounge music may take the level of conversation up a notch, but sip on a shaken martini to blank out the surrounding din.”
What to Order: Though the menu is plentiful, you came here for the star event. Look for bone-in filets, a “chef’s cut” New York strip, double-cut porterhouse and veal chop on the menu. Sides include lobster mashed potatoes, colossal onion rings, Alaskan King crab black truffle gnocchi and creamed corn.
What Our inspectors Say: “Leave your dated 1993 Bulls jersey in the closet for a meal at this swanky steakhouse, tucked just off the lobby of the InterContinental Hotel. Leather and velvet accents telegraph an upscale vibe, and references to His Airness are subtle—from oversized sepia photographs of basketball netting to a 23-layer chocolate cake for dessert.”
What to Order: Start with smoked New York strip carpaccio served with micro basil, Pecorino and balsamic before hitting up one of the many steak entrées, like a bone-in filet with bone marrow butter, or MJ's 45-day dry-aged Delmonico with ginger/balsamic jus.
What Our inspectors Say: “Though it would also feel at home in Las Vegas, this glitzy oversized steakhouse fits right in with its swanky Chicago riverfront neighbors. The polished, masculine interior makes its priorities clear from the get-go, showcasing a two-story wine tower and a peek into the dry-aging room under bold, barrel-vaulted ceilings and chandeliers.”
What to Order: Thick-cut bacon is available for grabs here, and it’s doused in black pepper, local Michigan maple syrup and dark chocolate. Here, the dry-aged center-cut porterhouse for two runs $59 per guest; the steak menu also features a dry-aged bone-in Kansas City strip, hand-cut filet mignon and a slow-roasted bone-in prime rib served with roasting jus and house horseradish. Steak “escorts”—aka, sides—include purple cauliflower au gratin, charred Brussels sprouts with elephant garlic and crispy bacon and a “substantial” baked potato with aged cheddar and bacon.
Pictured at the top of the article is the tomahawk steak from RPM Steak by John Stoffer.