For millions of Americans, there is simply no better meal than a perfectly cooked, juicy steak. From the smell to the sizzle to the salivation, few foods can satisfy our senses the way steak can. And while chain restaurants aren’t typically thought of as the ideal spot for fine dining, many steakhouses turn that stereotype on its head. There are so many fantastic steakhouse chains to choose from across the nation, so which are the consensus best of the best?
For some, choosing the right steakhouse is as important as choosing the right way to cook the steak. In fact, a new survey finds that Americans are very particular about how they like their meat cooked — and even more judgmental about how others like their steak. Similarly, watch what you order. One in three Americans say they’d judge a date if they order their steak well-done. Nearly the same number of men (37%) and women (32%) feel this is a dating faux pas. Hopefully your Valentine won’t judge you based on how you like your steak. So much for unconditional love.
More food for thought: check the weather before planning your date. A study by researchers at The Ohio State University confirmed that crummy weather can influence bad moods, which, in effect is linked to diners viewing their dining experience in a more negative light. Those bad moods can also extend to restaurant employees, who may be less friendly or empathic to diners. We don’t mean to rain on your parade, but if it’s raining this V-Day, it is even more important that you choose a top-notch steakhouse to set the mood.
No matter the weather, there’s really no bad time to enjoy a meal at any of the best steakhouse chains that made our list. For our findings, we visited seven expert reviews to come away with the most frequently recommended restaurants across their reviews. Of course, we want to know which steakhouse you prefer, so comment below to let us know where you reserve a table for special occasions.
The List: Best Steakhouse Chains, Per Experts
1. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
If you live in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico you can visit one of Ruth’s Chris’s 100 plus locations, but you’ll likely need to travel to the nearest big city to find one. Though this is no small-town steakhouse, the quality and taste may be worth a trip.
“Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is an iconic chain known for serving some of the juiciest cuts of meats, particularly for those of us who like their meat tender and rare. I think what sets this steakhouse chain apart from many others is that they serve their meat on a hot plate in a pool of sizzling butter, which enhances the flavor profile of the beef,” writes Restaurant Clicks.
And if you are planning a date for Valentine’s Day, this just may be the place to wow your special someone: “Ruth’s Chris Steak House has a reputation for having spectacular food — and that reputation is absolutely deserved. It has the art of serving gloriously flavorful steaks down to a science. If you’re looking to impress, Ruth’s Chris Steak House will always get the job done,” writes Mashed.
Eat This, Not That adds, “From filets and bone-in rib eyes to T-bones and porterhouses, meat comes from cows that start on grass-fed diets before switching to corn-fed, to achieve a specific flavor and quality, all while adhering to USDA’s guidelines for grading, quality, testing, and not to mention ethical sourcing. It’s a standard that founder Ruth Fertel would be proud of.”
2. Morton’s The Steakhouse
Morton’s claims to have “the best steak anywhere,” and one look at their website may make you a believer – also hungry. You can reserve a seat at one of their many locations, both inside and outside of the U.S., so there’s likely one relatively close by.
If you do book a table here, remember to bring your checkbook: “With high class comes with a high price tag. Morton’s steakhouse is definitely on the more expensive end when it comes to steakhouse chains in America, but it’s possibly for good reason. Not only has it been recorded to have tremendous service staff, but the quality of meat used in every dish is one of the best you can buy,” writes Eat This, Not That!
Wondering what’s on the menu? Daily Meal has you covered: “USDA Prime offerings include three rib-eye varieties (including one that’s Cajun-seasoned), a porterhouse, a New York strip, a filet, and pork, lamb and veal chops. Other menu items include mixed grills, braised short rib, two varieties of king crab legs, lobster tails, escargot, iceberg wedge and all the other classics that you’d expect from a great steakhouse.”
Restaurant Clicks adds, “With its succulent steaks, bright, contemporary interior, and sophisticated decor, it is safe to say that Morton’s makes for a classic dining experience.”
3. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
With just 64 locations in the U.S. and a lone location outside our borders in Brazil, this chain may be harder to come by depending on your location. But if you can find one, this chain showed up near the top of every list we reviewed.
“A relative newcomer to an upscale steakhouse world dominated by old-schoolers, Fleming’s launched in Newport Beach during the heyday of the California cuisine movement. But you wouldn’t really know it looking at its roster of prime steaks, which don’t exactly scream ‘beach bod,’” writes Thrillist.
And if you’re heading out with a group, this upscale steakhouse may be a good choice. 12 Tomatoes notes that “while it is a classical fine dining steakhouse, the extensive menu and family style sides help Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Bar deliver a more communal space.” Of course, you can always share a side or two with your date even if group outings aren’t your thing.
For a taste of what’s on the menu, Daily Meal paints a picture of their mouth-watering steak toppings: “Your choice of bearnaise, smoked chili butter or herbed horseradish butter and optional add-ons including truffle-poached lobster, spicy shrimp and Oscar-style. The rest of the menu blends the creative with the traditional and includes a seafood tower, seared pork belly with goat cheese grits, French onion soup, king crab legs and chipotle cheddar mac and cheese.”
4. Fogo de Chao
Prefer an all-out meat fest? Well, here it is. This is a Brazilian-style steakhouse chain, which means that Gauchos roam around with meat-packed skewers looking to load your plate to no end. Did someone say meat sweats?
“It’s no surprise Fogo de Chão reigns as one of America’s go-to spots for carnivorous excess, thanks in part to how meat is served up within its walls. The chophouse has all the makings of a top-tier joint: superb atmosphere, ingenious layout, and food that truly lives up to its reputation. Diners use tokens (green for yes, red for no) to communicate their cravings to trawling staff members, who are equipped with gigantic spits of sizzling meats that they carve tableside,” writes Mashed.
And don’t worry, this isn’t some cheap buffet; you’ll be served high-quality food from this establishment: “The Fogo de Chão menu features a variety of meats, including steak, chicken, pork, lamb, and seafood, all of which are grilled over an open flame. Fogo de Chão offers eleven different Brazilian and Western cuts of steak, including picanha, filet mignon, beef ancho, fraldinha, and wagyu New York strip,” writes Shopfood.com.
Additionally, there’s more than meets the eye. “At the core of its meat-sourcing philosophy is the ethos of “Respeito Pela Comida,” a Portuguese phrase that speaks to the Brazilian gaucho way of nurturing, harvesting, and sourcing food with respect—for farmers, for animals, and for customers who appreciate quality meat,” mentions Eat This, Not That!
5. The Capital Grille
What started in Providence, RI has grown to over 60 locations; and if you’re looking for a steak dinner that’s carefully prepared, this may be your place: “Long before our steaks meet the grill, they are meticulously dry aged on premises for 18 – 24 days to achieve incomparable flavor and texture,” notes The Capital Grille website.
“Think of mouthwatering, buttery 14-ounce New York strip and steak au poivre, dry-aged for around 20 days—sounds like a dream for every steak lover. Luckily, The Capital Grille turns this dream into a reality. Perhaps this is why The Capital Grille has expanded across 25 states in the last decade,” writes Restaurant Clicks.
And if you happen to want something other than, or in addition to your steak: “Appetizers include a shellfish platter that boasts a whole 1-pound lobster, steak tartare, cast iron garlic shrimp and pan-fried calamari with hot cherry peppers. Other specialties include a veal tomahawk pork chop with gorgonzola butter, double-cut lamb chops with mint gremolata and a broiled lobster,” writes Daily Meal.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.