The 11 Best Steakhouses in the World

The 11 Best Steakhouses in the World

Serious carnivores will go to the ends of the earth to seek out a perfectly marbled, expertly seared steak. And so, it seems, will we. We've visited the best butchers in France, reacquainted ourselves with the idea that everything (steaks included) is bigger in Texas, eaten at celebrated parrillas of Argentina, and enjoyed the elegant ambiance of metropolitan steakhouses. We've tried dry-aged and wet-aged, beef from corn-fed cattle in the U.S., and grass-fed pure-bred organic cattle raised on small farms in Europe. The cuts may vary from country to country, but these 11 steakhouses — our favorites in the world — all have one thing in common: They are uncommonly superb.

BAVETTE'S, CHICAGO
 

Chicago has no shortage of fine steakhouses, but the candlelit atmosphere of Bavette’s makes it far more appropriate for couples than for businessmen. We had a wonderfully decadent dinner of cognac-infused foie gras with a tart blackberry compote, garlicky shrimp de Jonghe, tender lamb T-bone with rosemary and garlic, and flawless filet mignon with savory roasted tomatoes and spicy watercress. A few other Chicago steakhouses serve comparable or perhaps even better beef, but none is as romantic as Bavette’s.

Bavette's 
218 W. Kinzie Street. Tel. (312) 624-8154

KEENS STEAKHOUSE, NEW YORK CITY
 

Founded in 1885, Keens is one of the most genuinely atmospheric restaurants in Manhattan, with dark paneled walls and a ceiling festooned with rows of clay churchwarden pipes including those that belonged to luminaries such as Teddy Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The menu is a carnivore’s delight, with steaks and chops of all varieties, favorites being the New York sirloin and the famous mutton chop, which is rich and flavorful.

Keens Steakhouse 
72 W. 36th Street. Tel. (212) 947-3636

BODEGA EL CAPRICHO, LEÓN, SPAIN
 

Bodega El Capricho in the village of Jiménez de Jamuz, an hour southwest of León, is one of Europe’s cult destinations for carnivores. Chef José Gordón serves only beef from breeds that are indigenous to the Iberian peninsula, notably the rubia Gallega (Galician blond). He ages the meat himself and prefers meat from older animals because the marbling is more elegant and consistent. Served at bare wooden tables in a candlelit former wine cellar, Gordón’s fire-roasted beef is stunningly good. And there’s a superb supporting list of reasonably priced local reds, like Bierzo, to accompany it.

Bodega El Capricho 
Paraje de le Vega, s/n, 24767, Jiménez de Jamuz. Tel. (+34) 987 66 42 24

THE GOLDEN STEER, LAS VEGAS
 

 

In a city that loves steak, The Golden Steer has been a favorite since it opened in 1958. And it is becoming harder to get in as the neighborhood around it changes for the better. The interior remains as it has been with dark wood paneling, red leather banquettes and Western art. The staff, in full tuxedo, have been here for most of their careers (no doubt some having served Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals) and know how to serve the big steaks and the classic starters and sides.

The Golden Steer 
308 W. Sahara Avenue. Tel. (702) 384-4470

HAWKSMOOR GUILDHALL, LONDON
 

London’s first Hawksmoor steak restaurant, Spitalfields, opened in 2006. The name was derived from the nearby Christ Church Spitalfields, designed by the great English baroque architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. The brainchild of Will Beckett and Huw Gott, Spitalfields served only the finest native beef, chiefly that from British longhorn cattle raised on a remote farm near Wykeham in North Yorkshire. The venture was so successful that 10 years later, there are now Hawksmoor restaurants in Covent Garden, Piccadilly, Knightsbridge and, our favorite, near Guildhall, at the heart of The City financial district. Hawksmoor Guildhall is an atmospheric, masculine, wood-paneled space, with burgundy leather chairs and banquettes. All the streaks are dry-aged for a minimum of 35 days and cooked on a charcoal grill. Opt for the classic porterhouse — a large T-bone — and be sure not to stint on the anchovy hollandaise. At the end of 2017, Hawksmoor New York will open in Tower 3 of the World Trade Center, in a 14,000-foot space designed by the British architect Richard Rogers.

Hawksmoor Guildhall 
10 Basinghall Street. Tel. +(44) 20-7397-8120.

MASTRO'S STEAKHOUSE, LOS ANGELES
 

The options are many at this Beverly Hills mainstay: You might opt for the first-floor dining room, the livelier second floor with its nightly piano bar or the top-level indoor-outdoor penthouse. Regardless, you will enjoy the superb steaks (a particular favorite is the rib-eye chop), starters (including a very good rendition of oysters Rockefeller) and fine sides (the creamed spinach being notably good). The portions are Flintstonian.

Mastro's Steakhouse 
246 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. Tel. (310) 888-8782

PAPPAS BROS., HOUSTON
 

No list of the best steakhouses in the world would be complete without including a steakhouse in Texas. And as any true Texan would tell you, the gold standard for steak in the Lone Star State — and possibly the nation — is Pappas Bros. Since opening in 1995, this family-owned establishment has become a landmark, and for good reason. Buying from a single supplier in the Midwest, Pappas Bros. dry-ages corn-fed USDA prime in-house for at least 28 days, making it sweet and nutty. Each restaurant (along with the original, there is another in Houston and one in Dallas) employs two full-time butchers on-site, which allows them to offer a cut that not all steakhouses can: a mouthwatering bone-in filet. Take a seat at the chef’s counter and experience it for yourself.

Pappas Bros. 
2839 Westheimer Road, Houston (713) 780-7352

LA CABRERA, BUENOS AIRES
 

The people of Buenos Aires love this typical parrilla. Tucked away in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood, it has a comfortable, low-key atmosphere with dark wood, exposed brick and a congenial (if noisy) bar. Start with the arugula salad, then go for the bone-in sirloin. Try it well done, which in Argentina means slightly charred on the outside, pink in the center. And if you want to stick with tradition, order an indulgent flan for dessert. The wine list is extensive and the service friendly and unhurried.

La Cabrera 
Cabrera 5099, Palermo. Tel. +(54) 11-4832-5754

ARAGAWA, TOKYO
 

I’m not going to tell you this is the most beautiful or visually arresting steakhouse on the list. It’s not. The interior is remarkably plain. But that’s not the point. The meat is everything here. The beef is raised for 28 months and cooked in a special oven in what is said to be a 10-step process. The end result is one of the most compelling, flavorful pieces of steak you will ever enjoy.

Aragawa 
3-23-11 Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Tel. +(81) 3-3438-1867

LA TABLE DE HUGO DESNOYER, PARIS
 

With five shops in the French capital, including his main store in a leafy corner of the plush 16th Arrondissement, Paris butcher Hugo Desnoyer supplies many of the best restaurants in Paris with their meat; among his clients are L’Astrance (Pascal Barbot), Epicure at the Hotel Le Bristol (Éric Fréchon) and L’Ami Louis. Desnoyer opened an eat-in-shop butcher-block table d’hotes in his flagship space, and it quickly became the most sought-after address in Paris for serious meat lovers. Desnoyer’s specialty is grass-fed French beef raised in the central Limousin region of the country. The cut he specifically recommends to connoisseurs is the faux-filet, which is roughly the equivalent of an American sirloin, because it is “wonderfully juicy and has a superb herbaceous flavor that’s also mineral rich.” Desnoyer has opened a much larger restaurant in the 19th Arrondissement, the neighborhood where the abattoirs of Paris were once located.

La Table De Hugo Desnoyer 
28 Rue du Docteur Blanche, 16th Arrondissement. Tel. +(33) 01-46-47-83-00 
33 Avenue Secrétan, 19th Arrondissement. Tel. +(33) 01-40-05-08-63

RISTORANTE SOLOCICCIA, CHIANTI
 

Butcher Dario Cecchini may be located in the pretty Tuscan village of Panzano in the heart of the Chianti wine region, but he’s won an international reputation for the spectacular quality of the bistecca (steaks) he serves at this hugely popular restaurant, one of three he runs in the same village next to his butcher shop. Cecchini, the eighth generation of his family to practice the trade of butcher, is best-known for his bone-in rib-eye steaks and Florentine-style T-bone steaks, which are carefully aged from both Italian Chianina beef and organic beef that Cecchini imports from a farm in Catalonia, Spain. Of all of Cecchini’s restaurants (Dario DOC and Officina della Bistecca), the surprisingly good-value 50 Euro prix-menu at Solociccia offers the best way of sampling his wares. Not only does it include a superb bistecca Fiorentina T-bone, but it begins with beef muzzle in broth and continues with spicy meat ragu on toast, garbanzo and white beans, boiled-beef-and-vegetable salad and a variety of other dishes before a dessert of olive oil cake and a final tot of pleasantly potent grappa. This meal includes wine, but you’re also allowed to bring your own bottle with no corkage fee, which means that you can consume one of the great bottles of Chianti you may have bought while wine tasting on a local estate.

Ristorante Solociccia 
Via Chiantigiana 5, Panzano, Chianti. Tel. +(39) 055-852-727

Traveling incognito, Mr. Harper uncovers the best luxury hotels around the world. Get free access to his 1,000+ candid hotel reviews, travel guides and benefits here.

Andrew Harper
Travel
Twitter Email

Andrew Harper, the pseudonym of our editors, travels incognito at the company’s expense in search of the world’s most singular travel experiences. Reviews from our editors ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge


Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising


The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor


Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client


How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?


According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources


I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps


Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation


Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?


The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?


Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals


Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
Twitter Email

IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio