The 23 Best Steaks and Chops in New York City
Plus, where to find great budget steaks, what steakhouses to skip, and notes on the au poivre renaissance
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Where to Eat Steak in New York — The Only Guide You’ll Need!
Mammoth porterhouses sizzling in pools of meted butter. Sugar-laced galbi caramelizing over tabletop grills. Dry-aged sirloins sliced as thick as the September issue of Vogue.
Steaks and chops are a hallmark of New York restaurants, a perennial splurge for diners of all stripes. But there are obstacles. Historic inflation has pushed beef prices further into the stratosphere. And despite the steep costs, steakhouses aren’t really known for their culinary chops. For every great slab of melty wagyu or chile-rubbed ribeye, there are too many other cuts that are oversized, overpriced, and overcooked.
So let’s up our game.
This is a guide to ordering the best steaks. I’ll tell you where to splurge, where to find the best budget cuts, and where to avoid altogether. I’ve been on the Red Meat Beat for nearly two decades, first at Bloomberg and then at Eater, and I’m really stoked to share this all with you!
This isn’t a generic list of steakhouses, per se. There are too many of those on the Internet already. This is a guide to the city’s best steaks and chops, wherever you can find them, with a focus on what to order, how the meat tastes, and how much it costs. Those distinctions are key. New Yorkers have long looked pasted traditional bastions of beef when seeking out steak. And while most guides are reflective of that reality, I dive deeper into the meaty offerings at neobistros, Modern Mexican spots, Colombian diners, Cuban dance halls, Italian fine dining palaces, and Korean barbecue joints.
The State of Steak in 2023
Before I get to my specific recommendations, let me give a few general impressions of the steak-eating world we live in.
Droughts out west keep pushing up beef prices: A proper “steakhouse steak” can command over $100 after a single side (with tax and tip). It’s a reality that makes smaller brasserie steaks, as well as lamb and duck dishes, more attractive alternatives. The “small” mutton chop at Keens is just $29!
Au poivre continues to trend: Chefs at hot new venues are leaning into this preparation more, dousing beef, duck, and even mushrooms in peppery sauces that range from rich and creamy to sticky and gelatinous. In a world of super high beef prices, I’ll take an affordable-ish portion of au poivre over a $75 strip.
Embracing the embers: Wood and charcoal fires tend to provide better flavor than broilers or gas grills, sometimes adding delicate notes of smoke. For a while, Gallaghers was your best bet in this regard, but now, you can find taverns like Lord’s and Corner Bar using good binchotan grills. Cafe Cheslea, in turn, has a great wood fire grill, as does the team at Hawksmoor.
Alright let’s go eat some meat!
New York City’s 23 Best Steaks and Chops
This list is presented in no particular order
The majestic rotisserie lamb at Torrisi
I’ve been eating well at Torrisi 2.0. My move at this Italian American hotspot is is to wait (a while) for bar seats, gaze at all the posh people streaming in, and order a spicy plate of cavatelli with Jamaican beef ragu. You might see a big, pricey steak as a special, but the better red meat option is the lamb saddle ($56), deboned and cooked over the rotisserie like a porchetta. The interior flesh is rosy and tangy. The burnished exterior is as chewy as beefy jerky. And succulent lamb jus coats every bite. Three sauces on the side — a chimichurri of sorts, a sweet pepper blend, and a pile of sweet cream — tame down the gaminess. 275 Mulberry Street, Nolita.
Behind the paywall:
Four amazing au poivres, with detailed tasting notes
Five great budget choices for steak ($40 or less)
The city’s top surf & turf
A short review of a smoky Iberico pork steak
What steakhouses you can totally skip
Where to eat great lamb, mutton, and duck