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Bucket List Steaks: 15 Steakhouses You Need to Visit at Least Once

Bucket List Steaks: 15 Steakhouses You Need to Visit at Least Once

A great steak is fairly simple. You get a really good cut, season it properly, cook it just right, and, ta-da!, you’ve got yourself a great steak. Knowing that, it’s strange that there aren’t more great steakhouses. Next time you’re craving a cut, forget the hunting and just try one of these. Here are the 15 best steakhouses you need to visit at least once.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Houston, TX

If you find yourself sauntering through the Lone Star State, a steak pretty much needs to be on the menu. When in Rome, right? Make sure to do it right, however, and that means saddling up at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. They dry-age their steaks in-house; season them with kosher salt, black pepper, and butter; and serve them alongside classic veggie sides. It’s pricey and swanky—as many great steakhouses are—but the marbled goodness you’ll sink your teeth into is worth it. Link

Bern’s Steak House

Tampa, FL

Nothing goes better with a great steak than a big red wine, and few places pair the two together like Bern’s. Opened in 1956, Bern’s has become known not only for their steaks—which are cut to order—but for their massive wine collection. Select a wine from one of the largest collections in the world, order up a hand-cut steak to your liking, and prepare to feast like a king. It’s pricey, posh, and devoid of t-shirts and jeans, which, if we’re being honest, is how we like our steakhouses. Link

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

Pittsburgh, PA

If you’re ready for some Argentinian flair, and the exact opposite atmosphere of Bern’s, consider making a trip out to Pittsburgh to visit Gaucho Parrilla Argentina. The simple wood-fired meats are tremendous on their own, but the restaurant really stands out thanks to its collection of sauces. The chimichurri is other-worldly. Hell, Yelp agrees, as they named the Pittsburgh joint one of their Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015. Link

Peter Luger Steak House

Brooklyn, NY

There isn’t a temple of meat as revered as Peter Luger Steak House. The New York institution was established in the 1880s—yes, the 1800s!—and has become, perhaps, the most famous steakhouse in the world. Inside you’ll find simple wooden decor and plenty of old school charm. The curated selection of steaks keeps you from overanalyzing, and each comes out perfectly cooked. While steak sauce may seem blasphemous, we must point out that Peter Luger’s is really worth trying, with its spicy, horseradish-y tang. Link

Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse

Martin City, MO

One of the most legendary steakhouses serves one of the most legendary steaks. Jess & Jim’s, which is located in Martin City, Missouri, has been plating sizzling steaks since 1938, and when you stop by, the Playboy Strip is what you want to devour. The 25 oz. strip steak gets its name from the iconic centerfolded mag, which honored Jess & Jim’s as the best steakhouse back in 1972. All the hand-cut steaks are served unseasoned (you can request house seasoning) and accompanied by garlic toast, salad, and a side. Link

House of Prime Rib

San Francisco, CA

Prime rib might not be the cut you order at most steakhouses, but not getting it at House of Prime Rib is basically a sin. Relax in one of their large, throwback booths, order up your meat, and drool as it’s carved table-side. They pride themselves on selecting the top 2% of beef on the market and promise you it will be the most tender, juicy, and flavorful beef out there. To go with your old-school hunk of meat, make sure to get a salad—yes, a salad—because it’s also on another level. Don’t eat beef? Well, they do have one fish option. Link

Barclay Prime

Philadelphia, PA

When an Eagles fan wants some meat that isn’t sandwiched between bread and soaked in Cheez Whiz, he’d be wise to stop by Barclay Prime—as long as he ditches the old McNabb jersey first. Stephen Starr has stellar restaurants dotted all over the City of Brotherly Love, and Barclay Prime, his steakhouse in Rittenhouse Square, is one of the finest. Situated in the Barclay building, which was constructed in 1929 as a luxury hotel, the restaurant excels at top-notch steaks and service. You pick out your weapon of choice (the steak knife you want) and can then go to town on that dry-aged ribeye. Link

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

Chicago, IL

You don’t want bright lights, huge windows, and more color than a box of Crayolas when you’re inside a chophouse. What you want is exactly what you’ll find at Bavette’s—rich mahogany, the lights dimmed, and a seriously perfect slab of boeuf. Pair that Wet Aged Bone In Ribeye with a classic cocktail and some pommes frites with garlic aioli. Link


Bossier City. LA

Fine dining may be a trend on its last legs, but it still seems to make sense in the steak world. That’s exactly what you’ll find at 2Johns. From the grand piano to the white table cloths, the Louisiana steak and seafood spot is old world elegant. We recommend going classic French and ordering yourself the Steak Au Poivre, but we couldn’t fault you for choosing the Filet Oscar or the 24 oz. Cowboy Cut Ribeye. Link

Golden Steer

Las Vegas, NV

After you crush the blackjack table, head over to the Golden Steer, Sin City’s oldest steakhouse, to dine like Elvis and Sinatra. The legendary steakhouse has been serving up meats to the who’s who of the world since 1958. Today, you can still relax in one of their swanky booths just like Ali, Marilyn Monroe, and others did in the past. Known for their Prime Beef and Prime Rib, the Golden Steer is a throwback steakhouse worthy of spending your winnings at. Link

The Pine Club

Dayton, OH

The Pine Club feels like a no-frills kind of spot, as many restaurants that date back to the ’40s do. But while the scenery—squeaky booths, paper placemats, a leaf of lettuce resting next on the plate next to your meal—might not command your attention, their steaks sure do. Hit with a dose of butter before arriving at your table, their Bone In Rib Eye, which was profiled by Food Network earlier this year, is packed with more flavor than your taste buds could imagine. They don’t take reservations, so if you want that steak, you may have to wait. You should wait. Link

Photo Credit: The Food Network

Keens Steakhouse

New York, NY

New York has an unfair amount of legendary steakhouses. There’s the aforementioned Peter Luger Steak House, and then there’s Keens Steakhouse, which boasts an equally impressive past. First opened in 1885, the legendary chop shop stakes claim to one of the largest collection of smoking pipes in the world (more than 50,000), which you’ll see on the ceiling. The tradition of checking one’s pipe when entering an inn dates back to the 1600s, and Keens borrowed the idea in the early 20th century. It’s one of many things that feel like they are from a time gone by—old-timey portraits and newspaper clippings also line the wood walls. The mutton chops are the most well-known dish, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the steaks, which are all picked by hand and dry-aged at the restaurant. Link

Manny’s Steakhouse

Minneapolis, MN

Scoring a 28 for food on Zagat is no easy task—hell, Keens only scored a 26 last go-round—so that’s enough to tell you that Manny’s Steakhouse is worthy of your attention. The Minneapolis meat mecca boasts standout items like an 85-day aged bone-in ribeye, a bludgeon of beef, and a double porterhouse, all of which will send you into a glorious food coma. Just try to save some space for the Maker’s Mark Whiskey Bread Pudding. Link

Red, the Steakhouse

Miami Beach, FL

With locations in Florida and Ohio, two states get to experience the insanity that is Red, the Steakhouse. The Miami Beach outpost is our pick of the bunch, but you can’t go wrong stopping at any of the restaurants. Serving both Certified Angus Beef that’s been wet aged no less than 45 days and Japanese Kobe, the steakhouse has a fine steak for even those with the highest standards. Each is seasoned with kosher salt, peppercorns, and an “aglio brushing,” and can be accompanied by an array of classic sauces. Link

Halls Chophouse

Charleston, SC

The Hall family want to introduce you to some southern hospitality—and ridiculously good steak. A staple of South Carolina (and some national) “Best Of” lists, Halls Chophouse is a swanky spot without the stereotypical stuffy vibe. As Zagat reviews say, you’ll be “pampered.” Whether you’re dining at Halls Chophouse on a Friday night or stopping by for their Sunday Gospel Brunch, where you can pair your steak with some shrimp and grits or waffles, you’re in for one fine cut of beef. The restaurant’s 28-day aged USDA prime steaks are flown in from the legendary Allen Brothers in Chicago. Each is juicy, tender, and cooked perfectly. You’ll want to pair your bone-in ribeye with some lobster mac n’ cheese. Link

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