Chicago's Ultimate Modern Steakhouse Guide

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    Chicago's Trendiest Steakhouses For Meat Lovers

    ••• Eric Kleinberg

    People take notice when you mention Michelin-starred restaurants, so when the famed tire company and Harris Poll queried more than 2,000 U.S. adults on the type of restaurants they prefer to splurge, we paid attention as well. The survey occurred summer 2015 and a quarter of participants said that steakhouse cuisine is their favorite choice for dining.

    That's great news for Chicago's dining scene, where the majority of higher-end eateries fit the bill. From the historic stockyards on the South Side to sceney Gold Coast restaurants doubling as "meet markets," Chicago boasts an obsession with steakhouses. Iconic establishments like Gene & Georgetti, Gibsons and Morton's of Chicago set the status quo for what to expect in a classic steakhouse, but there's a whole new crop of spots re-defining the concept in modern terms.

    Our favorites range from a farm-to-table-focused eatery in River North to an Argentine-styled steakhouse by an "Iron Chef" champion.

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  • 02 of 12

    III Forks

    ••• III Forks

    The Concept: The Texas-based chain boasts only two outposts outside of the South (including one at LAX airport), with the Chicago location offering its famed, larger-than-life portions of supreme steaks and chops. III Forks' glass-encased wine room showcases more than 3,000 bottles, which includes many rare finds. Situated in Lakeshore East's upscale cul-de-sac, the restaurant attracts a like-minded clientele who comes for dinner, after-work drinks or settles upon the sprawling rooftop lounge. It's one of a few steakhouses in the city with a rooftop lounge.

    Choice Cuts: The 18-ounce Durham Ranch Wagyu New York strip, filet mignon and USDA prime boneless ribeye are very popular cuts. Guests may top their selections Oscar style or with lobster Béarnaise. Before the main event arrives, guests get to choose from an array of steak knives.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Wild yellow tail hamachi, lobster risotto and roast chicken topped with roasted red pepper sauce are some of the best bets on the...MORE dinner menu. Guests may also order lamb meatballs and lobster rolls from the rooftop menu.

    Behind the Bar: The restaurant features more than 3,000 bottles of wine, more than 30 by the glass, and a number of original and classic cocktails.

    Private Dining Room(s): 3

    Additional Info: 180 N. Field Blvd., 312-938-4303

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  • 03 of 12

    Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

    ••• Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

    The Concept: This French-inspired steakhouse based in River North is certainly a special place. From its intriguing basement lounge to the very date-friendly vibe of the main dining room, Bavette's is in a class by itself. While the upstairs setting can be a bit intense at times, the lower level feels like a funky den where music varies from Parisian-focused house and acid jazz to old-school hip-hop.

    Choice Cuts: Menu favorites include a 22-ounce, bone-in, dry-aged ribeye and a 16-ounce classic ribeye. Diners may enhance their steaks with accompaniments such as wild mushrooms or roasted bone marrow.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Other highlights include shellfish towers of oysters, jumbo shrimp and lobster; buttermilk fried chicken; and shortrib Stroganoff with hand-cut fettuccine and cremini mushroom.

    Behind the Bar: The menu is comprised of French cocktails (including sparkling classics French 75 and Kir Royale), classic cocktails, an extensive whiskey menu and a nice selection of craft beers.

    Pr...MOREivate Dining Room(s): No

    Additional Info: 218 W. Kinzie St., 312-624-8154

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  • 04 of 12

    Chicago Cut

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    ••• Chicago Cut Steakhouse

    The Concept: The swanky riverside steakhouse is open daily for breakfast and it's not even located in a hotel. That's because it's on the ground floor of a contemporary office building filled with attorneys and CPAs. Guests may nosh on steak and eggs every day accompanied by one of the best views in the city. It's also a celebrity magnet that has attracted the likes of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Mark Wahlberg and Kate Upton.

    Choice Cuts: The bone-in prime rib, a.k.a. "The Holy Grail," is a best seller as well as the double cuts for two (Châteaubriand, Porterhouse, bone-in ribeye) and marinated Cajun ribeye. The steaks are aged for 35 days and butchered on premises. Unconventional additions include truffle salt and foie gras.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Oven-roasted citrus chicken, sun-dried tomato jalapeno fettuccine and sake-glazed Chilean sea bass are some of the top options.

    Behind the Bar: The wine list's so extensive that it's on iPads that servers carry around with them. The cocktail list is...MORE comprised of classic and contemporary sippers.

    Private Dining Room(s): 1

    Additional Info: 300 N. LaSalle St., 312-329-1800

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  • 05 of 12

    Primehouse

    ••• David Burke's Primehouse

    The Concept: Steakhouses are just so serious, which is why we appreciate Primehouse's creation on the first floor of the James Hotel. While you'll find classic preparations of steak tartare and oysters on the half shell, there are also quirky accents like Kobe corn dogs, surf and turf dumplings as well as a steak accompaniment of lobster scrambled eggs.

    Choice Cuts: The restaurant dry ages its meats in a Himalayan salt tiled aging room on premise (Tours of the facility may be arranged at the time of reservation). The ribeyes are aged from 28 days to 75 days.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Best menu bets are the English pea risotto, wild salmon with lobster broth and a lunchtime lobster roll.

    Behind the Bar: An extensive wine list and signature cocktails in the Prime Bar are the focus.

    Private Dining Room(s): 2

    Additional Info: 616 N. Rush St., 312-660-6000

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  • 06 of 12

    Fig & Olive

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    ••• Fig & Olive

    The Concept: Rooted in the rich and elegant cuisine from the Riviera and coastal regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain, Fig & Olive incorporates the best olives oils from those places as well. The chef-driven restaurant aims for seasonality throughout the year and works with a number of local farmers and purveyors for premium ingredients.

    Choice Cuts: Steaks and chops are just as popular as the house-made pastas and risottos, and enhanced, of course, with signature olive oils. One of the best is cote de boeuf, a 36-ounce, bone-in ribeye in short rib jus reduction bearnaise and served with roasted potatoes. It serves two.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Seasonal pastas, risottos and the roasted whole branzino for two

    Behind the Bar: Classic and original cocktails, plus more than 30 wine varietals from the South of France, Italy and Spain that are offered by the glass.

    Private Dining Room(s): 1

    Additional Info: 104 E. Oak St., 312-445-0060

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  • 07 of 12

    Prime & Provisions

    ••• Nathan Michael

    The Concept: Leave it to the guys behind the glamorous, celebrity magnet Siena Tavern to open this sprawling, showy steakhouse in a 100-year-old building. Prime & Provisions feels extremely modern, yet at the same time you get the impression that it's been modeled after one of those vintage, luxurious dining railroad cars. The 12,000-square-foot venue accommodates 300. It's directly across from the Chicago River where you may experience the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. It's also a quick stroll to the Chicago Riverwalk.

    Choice Cuts: Prime & Provisions is the first Chicago steakhouse to source only U.S.D.A. all natural prime heritage black Angus beef. The artisanal Kansas beef product is known to be humanely raised and never exposed to hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. Diners may indulge in a number of possibilities, but the hand-cut, barrel-cut filet and an impressive center-cut Porterhouse for four are some of the highlights.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Crispy fried chicken...MORE that's paired with chili bourbon maple drizzle, the classic chicken Vesuvio and chilled Alaskan king crab legs that come with meyer lemon mustard sauce

    Behind the Bar: A host of classic drinks, plus a champagne and wine list catering to the one percent

    Private Dining Room(s): 1

    Additional Info: 222 N. LaSalle St., 312-726-7777

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  • 08 of 12

    Revolucion Mexican Steakhouse

    ••• Revolucion Mexican Steakhouse

    The Concept: This Mexican-inspired steakhouse takes its concept seriously and is more than a colorful atmosphere and classic Latin fare. It introduces diners to a new way of enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine. You won't find any other steakhouse in the city with such crave-worthy sides like grilled cactus salad, caramelized fried plantains or guajillo-cotija fries.

    Choice Cuts: All the steaks and chops, including the 18-ounce t-bone and full rack of lamb, are topped with a signature ancho-garlic butter. For an extra $2, diners may order the steak crusted with cotija-gorgonzola, Mexican-style Cajun rub or epazote ancho bread crumbs.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Grilled salmon in mango chimichurri, oven-roasted chicken in a tamarind-chipotle BBQ sauce or ancho-coconut fried shrimp

    Behind the Bar: Premium margaritas

    Private Dining Room(s): 3

    Additional Info: 3443 North Broadway, 773-661-9893

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  • 09 of 12

    Rural Society

    ••• Rural Society

    The Concept: At Rural Society, diners may indulge in a menu of wood-fired meats and fish prepared on a massive wood and charcoal-burning parrilla grill. The Argentine steakhouse concept is from "Iron Chef" champion Jose Garces and located on the lobby level of Loews Chicago Hotel.

    Choice Cuts: A great way to sample through the menu is to order the chef's tasting, which features a number of seasonal small plates as well as grilled meats like bone-in short rib, stuffed pork tenderloin and New York strip.

    Non-Steak Standouts: The hand-made pastas (such as crab-stuffed cannelloni and seafood pasta) and Argentine-style pizzas with roasted corn and crab, melted onion and mozzarella or grilled artichokes, fontina and black olive

    Behind the Bar: Cocktails are mostly wine-based and feature the likes of amaro, Malbec and sherry mixed with house-made ingredients like vanilla-chili sugar. The cocktail menu features new regions every three months.  

    Private Dining Room(s): 4

    Additional Info: 455 N. Park...MORE Dr., 312-840-6605

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  • 10 of 12

    Roka Akor

    ••• Roka Akor Chicago

    The Concept: The Japanese-inspired restaurant serves up steak and sushi in an ultra-chic setting. While the Chicago outpost is one of four locations in the country (there is another in the Chicago suburb of Old Orchard), the Arizona-based company manages to make each one feel completely original. One of the highlights is the robata grill, where meats, seafood and vegetables are grilled for optimum flavor.

    Choice Cuts: Japanese wagyu, which is complemented by artisanal sauces and dressings, including tableside shaved truffles, wafu dressing (savory soy vinaigrette), chili ginger and black truffle-infused aioli. Of course it is prepared on the robata grill.

    Non-Steak Standouts: The extensive sushi menu, plus roasted king crab and Madagascan jumbo tiger prawn, which are also cooked on the robata grill

    Behind the Bar: You'll find one of the most comprehensive sake menus in town at Roka Akor, plus Japanese beer and whiskey. The seasonal cocktails are Japanese influenced.

    Private Dining Room(s):...MORE 1

    Additional Info: 456 N. Clark St., 312-477-7652

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  • 11 of 12

    RPM Steak

    ••• RPM Steak

    The Concept: Another celebrity magnet, RPM Steak showcases a dazzling, glamorous dining room where you can see what's going on in every corner of the room. Its claim to fame are the juicy, grass-fed steaks and bison--plus table service harking back to the golden age.

    Choice Cuts: The eight-ounce bison filet, plus old-fashioned, butcher's cuts of 16-ounce of prime boot steak and short rib steak. Both cut like butter. There's also the 60-day, prime dry-aged, 38-ounce ribeye.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Broiled black cod, coal-roasted chicken and spicy miso-roasted Maine lobster

    Behind the Bar: The wine list goes deep and is comprehensive, plus there is a cocktail menu full of the classics.

    Private Dining Room(s): 1

    Additional Info: 66 W. Kinzie St., 312-284-4990

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  • 12 of 12

    Swift & Sons

    ••• Eric Kleinberg

    The Concept: Boka Restaurant Group teams up once again with B. Hospitality Co. for a project, this time it's the biggest for both to date. Swift & Sons, located in the Fulton Market Meatpacking District, pays homage to the area's heritage, which dates back to the 1920s. Cold Storage, Swift & Sons' "restaurant within a restaurant," is a 60-seat seafood eatery specializing in oysters, mussels and other raw bar favorites. Swift & Sons also offers an in-house concierge desk. During hours of operation, the concierge will be on hand to provide memorable and personalized experiences, such as restaurant and hotel reservations, floral arrangements, auto detailing, premium theater and concert tickets and gift purchasing.

    Choice Cuts: Get ready for a number of high quality cuts of “boutique beef,” including a 38-ounce, dry-aged cote de boeuf, 36-ounce Porterhouse, 24-ounce bone-in ribeye, 14-ounce bone-in fillet and A5 Japanese Wagyu.

    Non-Steak Standouts: Highlights include roast chicken "grand...MORE mere" and lobster a la nage.

    Behind the Bar: The menu spotlights craft beer, specialty cocktails and a 600-plus bottle wine list and 30 wines by the glass.

    Private Dining Room(s): 1

    Additional Info: 1000 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-9420