Best Of The Best Casual Steakhouses: Top 5 Budget-Friendly Chains Most Recommended By Experts

Steakhouses are the perfect setting for date night, but unfortunately, they can sometimes break the bank. It’s date night, but you don’t want to overthink, or overspend. You’re looking for a high-quality meal in a relaxed setting that’s hopefully local, but where to go? We’re about to set you up for success. We searched the web to find the best casual steakhouse chains most recommended by experts and we’ve listed them here for you. You’ll get quality beef in a casual setting at affordable prices. Oh, and there’s likely to be a location close by. Best date ever!

Looking forward to your date, but worried about your sensitive stomach? You may want to consider ordering your steak sous vide. Characterized by vacuum sealing food in a plastic bag and slowly cooking it in warm water, researchers say this unique approach to cooking actually helps improve the digestibility of beef proteins. This method also results in a juicy, tender and delicious steak. So, it’s a win, win!

These chains come highly recommended across ten reviews. You may be shocked (as many reviewers were) by the high-quality food at budget-friendly prices that these restaurants are serving up. And with most of the chains on our list having hundreds, some even thousands, of locations, you’re sure to find one within driving distance. Because there’s nothing worse than a long drive home when you’re in a food coma.

Are you ready to reserve your table? We’ve compiled a list of the five best casual steakhouse chains, according to experts. Of course, we want to know which steakhouse is your favorite, so comment below to let us know!

The List: Casual Steakhouse Chains for Valentine’s Day, Per Experts

1. LongHorn Steakhouse

An extremely popular steakhouse that started back in 1981, LongHorn has now grown to over 500 locations. This chain holds the top spot on most lists we reviewed, showing that you can find quality steaks at casual establishments.

“The quintessential Texas themed steakhouse, LongHorn Steakhouse offers a combination of affordability and welcoming ambience matched by a quality menu featuring fantastic steak and seafood options,” writes 12 Tomatoes.

And if you’re looking to get close to your date, Restaurant Clicks recommends “[LongHorn’s] 30-ounce porterhouse for two.” But if you’d prefer to scarf down your own meal, “you can’t beat their beef filet stuffed with white cheddar and bacon.”

“There’s a wide variety of never-frozen steaks on the menu (including an 18-ounce grilled rib-eye or T-bone, a 12-ounce strip and filets up to 10 ounces), a solid lunch menu, intriguing seasonal specials and a good bar with five different margaritas,” says Daily Meal. “Ingredients are sourced with an eye toward sustainability, ribs are cooked for four hours and prime rib for eight, and just about every location allows you to order online and pick up.”

2. Texas Roadhouse

Edging out LongHorn in number of locations with over 600, Texas Roadhouse is the place where upon walking in you will see a beautiful bouquet of steaks in a display case. You’re free to choose a steak from the case or from the menu.

As for the quality of the food: “The prime rib is made all day, and just about everything on the menu is made from scratch at each location. Not only are the steaks expertly prepared, the ribs and Texas red chili (a beloved regional chili style) are also very popular, and specialty drinks like the Jamaican Cowboy probably go down a little too easy,” writes Daily Meal.

And if you need a little more convincing about their food: “Texas Roadhouse is definitely a casual steakhouse (with casual steakhouse prices), but don’t think the laid-back atmosphere means the steaks will disappoint. Far from it. In fact, their steaks are much better than you might expect considering their fairly low prices. The tenderness of the Dallas Filet will cause you to drool with delight. If you want something unique, try the Road Kill. While the name isn’t the most appetizing, this steak is covered with jack cheese in addition to mushrooms and onions that have been roasted to perfection,” writes Mashed.

Aside from having great steaks, “the sides are fun – everyone knows about the Cactus Bloom and Texas Roadhouse’s amazing free dinner rolls! If you’re looking for an unpretentious steakhouse that won’t break the budget, then Texas Roadhouse is the way to go,” writes 12 Tomatoes.

3. Outback Steakhouse

With over 1000 locations in 23 countries, Outback is well-known for its Australian theme. And considering its theme, you may be surprised to know that this chain started in Tampa Bay.

“Steaks on offer include filet mignon, New York strip, center-cut sirloin, porterhouse, prime rib, rib-eye, and bone-in rib-eye, and they’re hit with a proprietary seasoning blend before being seared or grilled (depending on the cut) over oak. You can top your steak with everything from a bacon-bourbon glaze to a steamed lobster tail,” writes Yahoo!.

Fast Food Menu Prices appreciates this chain’s atmosphere and its ribeye: “Outback is a great place. It’s fun, it’s loud, and the drinks are strong. What more could you ask for in a chain steakhouse? My pick on the menu is usually the Bone-in Natural Cut Ribeye. According to the menu, this guy is ‘extra marbled for maximum tenderness.’ For us regular people, it’s just the (*delicious*) fat that’s in the muscle, which makes the steak super juicy and flavorful. If you’re not a bone-in kind of guy/gal, they also have an excellent (and boneless) ribeye on the menu.”

“There’s also a wide variety of appetizers including Outback’s famed Bloomin’ Onion and Aussie cheese fries,” says Daily Meal. “Signature non-steak items include baby back ribs, a burger topped with Bloomin’ Onion petals and chicken and shrimp pasta.”

4. Logan’s Roadhouse

This chain, like so many others, struggled during the pandemic, but they are back up and running under new ownership.

“The Nashville-based steakhouse temporarily closed all of its locations in March 2020 when parent company CraftWorks filed for bankruptcy, but they reopened after getting acquired by a new investor,” writes Moneywise. They also note, “fun fact: Logan’s makes more than 98 million rolls a year — and you can add to that number when you order a dozen to go.”

“Logan’s Roadhouse features a variety of butcher-selected, grain-fed steaks grilled over an open flame on real mesquite wood,” writes Shopfood.com. “Steaks include a center-cut top sirloin, filet mignon, and a 22 oz. porterhouse, a signature ribeye, a New York strip, and Maui steak skewers. Each steak is served with two sides, including cinnamon apples, loaded mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, a loaded baked potato, a loaded sweet potato, roadhouse chili, fried okra, loaded potato soup, and French onion soup.”

Yahoo! writes, “All guests receive a bucket of free peanuts and a basket of yeast rolls when they sit down, and the menu boasts more than 50 entrées. All the steaks at Logan’s are USDA Choice, wet-aged, and hand-cut on premises before being grilled over hickory wood.”

5. Saltgrass Steak House

The smallest chain on this list, Saltgrass is based in Houston, TX, and has over 80 locations in the U.S. You may have heard of this chain’s owner, billionaire Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Houston Rockets.

“Saltgrass Steak House is named after the Salt Grass Trail, a trail traveled by Texan ranchers and Longhorn cattle in the 1800s. The original Saltgrass Steak House location is located along the path of the Salt Grass Trail,” says Shopfood.com. “The Saltgrass Steak House menu features a variety of sandwiches, salads, chicken, ribs, seafood, and of course, steaks.”

“The vast majority of Saltgrass’ locations are in Texas, with other locations scattered throughout the South and Southwest. This chain is worth seeking out, thanks to its Certified Angus USDA Choice steaks, which are seasoned with a blend of seven spices and topped with garlic butter. There’s top sirloin, prime rib, rib-eye, New York strip, porterhouse, and a filet, with additions like BBQ shrimp, mushrooms and onions, and Oscar topping which is a steakhouse standby combo of crab, lemon butter and asparagus,” writes The Virginian Pilot. They also note that “this place is great for celebrations; banquet rooms are available for private parties and happy hour includes $2.75 draft and bottled beer.”

“It’s a cult favorite in many towns, despite being a national chain,” says FSR Magazine. “The location inside Golden Nugget Lake Charles earned a 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and the Focus Daily News named the restaurant its Reader’s Choice Best Steak House.”

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