Steakhouses in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide
Craving a great rib eye or maybe an all-you-can-eat meat feast? Here's our list of the best places for steak in Philadelphia right now.
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Not too long ago, the steakhouse was the only American restaurant that mattered.
In most towns, in most cities, there was the steakhouse — the place where you went for your anniversary, to celebrate that big promotion — and then there was everywhere else. Steakhouses were synonymous with fine dining, class and expense. They were the original destination restaurants.
Nowadays? Not so much.
American cities are full of destination restaurants now, and almost none of them are traditional steakhouses. Our current obsession with technique, unusual ingredients and flashy presentations do no favors to the steakhouse.
There, grilling is the only technique that matters, the ingredient list (meat, potatoes, fire, maybe some creamed spinach) remains largely unchanged from 50 years ago, and the ideal plate is empty — save for one bone-in rib eye, medium-rare.
And yet …
There’s still something admirable about a great steakhouse, something comforting in its white-tablecloth predictability, luxe appointments and dedication to a single style. Something reassuring about a menu that you can read with your eyes closed. And let’s be honest: There are times when you’ve got a hunger that nothing but a thick-cut steak, perfectly cooked, will satisfy.
So, whether you’re craving something from one of Philly’s classic steakhouses, a plate from the new guard, or an adventurous Brazilian/Argentine churrascaria take, this list has everything you need when that hunger hits you.
The Steakhouses in Philadelphia You Must Try First
Alpen Rose, Midtown Village
There’s a door, a bell, a sliding panel. As with many of the Schulson Collective’s other restaurants, there’s drama made of stepping inside, in the passage between the world and the dining room. And inside, Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari have made a small, intimate, expensive experience full of shining wood, comfortable seats and stunningly good steaks. But the best thing about Alpen Rose? It carries itself more like a full restaurant than simply a one-trick steak joint, so be sure to explore the menu a little bit. 116 South 13th Street.
Barclay Prime, Rittenhouse Square
For years, Barclay Prime has been the apex of Philly’s steakhouses. The word “swank” was invented to describe places like this, with their crystal chandeliers, armchair seating and polished wood. Yeah, you can get Petrossian caviar or a $120 Wagyu cheesesteak with foie gras and truffled Cheez Whiz. But no one would care about any of it if not for the fact that the steaks are excellent, the butter-poached lobster an expense account extravagance at $85, and the tater tots some of the best in town. 237 South 18th Street.
Butcher & Singer, Center City
Stephen Starr has a well-known penchant for trading on restaurant nostalgia. But here, in the former home of Striped Bass, he goes all out with a frozen-in-time aria to steakhouses past. An 18-ounce Delmonico is almost 50 bucks before you Oscar it up with lump crab, asparagus, and bearnaise sauce, but if you’re looking for the old-school pomp and slightly faded luxury that a great steakhouse can offer, it’s totally worth it. 1500 Walnut Street.
Urban Farmer, Logan Square
The best trick they pull at this modern reinterpretation of a classic Midwestern steakhouse is to make the menu interesting again by treating their steaks like what they are: American charcuterie. Every piece of meat is listed by cut, sure, but also by point of origin, feed and finish. There’s even a side-by-side tasting of three different six-ounce New York strips that allows you to experience the differences geography and feeding practices can make. 1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Steak 48, Center City
Steak 48 has outposts in several cities across the country and opened the Philadelphia restaurant in the fall of 2020. They do all the steakhouse classics, with a few twists. They’ve got extremely over-the-top seafood towers and a generous selection of seafood mains, in addition to Australian Wagyu beef, Berkshire pork chops and an epic meatloaf. (They’ve also got a controversial dress code, but you can make your own judgements about that.) 260 Broad Street.
The Prime Rib, South Philly
If you can’t make it all the way to Vegas — or even to Atlantic City — consider a night out at The Prime Rib inside the Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. Unsurprisingly, the prime rib is the order, as is a dirty martini with housemade blue cheese olives. 900 Packer Avenue.
Butcher Bar, Center City
Butcher Bar is a little more modern than most of the steakhouses on this menu. The menu is meatcentric, sure, with three different steaks, but they also do grilled Korean short ribs, a rotisserie game hen and lots of meaty but shareable appetizers. 2034 Chestnut Street.
Classic Steakhouses in Philadelphia
Library II, Voorhees
So often, the difference between a high-end steakhouse and a neighborhood steakhouse is the presence of a salad bar. And at Library II, the salad bar is included with every steak dinner.
306 Route 73.
The Pub, Pennsauken
Speaking of salad bars, let’s take a minute to talk fondly of the Pub. This place has been an institution in South Jersey for more than 50 years. It’s a throwback to those days when every town had its own place for reasonably priced steaks and powerful cocktails, and it’s never tried to be anything else. The service is friendly, and every dinner comes with a salad, a potato and bread. And the menu is huge, with everything from snapper soup and potato skins to chicken parm, fried shrimp, vegetable kabobs, and steaks (natch) priced in the $30 to $40 range. 7600 Kaighns Avenue.
Saloon, Queen Village
Okay, so it’s not really a steakhouse so much as an Italian restaurant with a solid menu of steaks. But we’re counting it because the Saloon is undeniably a classic, because the steaks are good, and because we don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some story of a family celebration at this storied address. 750 South 7th Street.
Seven Stars Inn, Phoenixville
When a place has been around since 1736, you gotta assume that they know how to grill a steak. Or prepare a lobster tail, for that matter. Or stuff some Kennett Square mushrooms with crabmeat and assemble a shrimp cocktail. It honestly does not get much more classic than the Seven Stars — a steakhouse that predates all notions of American steakhouses but has existed to serve white-tablecloth steaks, seafood and sides to the people of Chester County for nearly 300 years. 263 Hoffecker Road.
Ocean Prime, Center City
Ocean Prime is popular for its exceptional wine list, which features more than 20 glasses of red wine by the glass (not counting white and sparkling). The food menu includes everything from sushi to rib eye, with salads, French onion soup and plenty of seafood to round out the menu. 124 South 15th Street.
Chubby’s 1 1/2 Hearths, Gloucester City
There are a lot of steakhouses on this list that have some history. But Chubby’s? It has the best kind of history. They’re not claiming that George Washington ate there or that Sinatra passed out in the men’s room — simply that the American steakhouse was at its best in the late ’50s and early ’60s (which it was). So that’s where Chubby’s basically froze time. A polished bar, airline chicken, oysters Rockefeller and thick, dry-aged steaks topped with bearnaise sauce — what else do you need? Oh, how ’bout the 22-ounce porterhouse topping out the menu at $42? 239 Monmouth Street.
The ChopHouse, Gibbsboro
If there is any such thing as a Philly/Jersey-style steakhouse, then the ChopHouse is trying hard to be the defining spot. Nice steaks, sure. A bit of old-fashioned glamour. Meatballs, crudo and cheesesteak eggrolls on the apps list. An undying loyalty to those de rigueur steak accessories (Oscar, demi, gorgonzola, etc.). The menu here is traditional, substantial and varied. There’s deck seating on the water for those who want dinner with a view. And notably, those classically dressed steaks: They’ve got four different ones that do a 28-day dry age in house, which is a nice sense of dedication to red-meat perfection from the kitchen. 4 Lakeview Drive South.
Old-School Steakhouses in Philadelphia
Del Frisco’s, Center City
This is probably Philly’s most-luxe steakhouse. Housed in the old Packard Building, with its towering columns and big windows covered in flowing drapes, Del Frisco’s is the archetypal power steakhouse — a place to see and be seen over big plates of meat. 1426 Chestnut Street.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Radnor
Part of a massive chain with locations all over the country, Fleming’s still manages to be unique in two ways. First, it isn’t right in the middle of Center City. And second, it bridges a gap between the classic, intimidating, monolithic, high-dollar steakhouse and our more modern restaurant moment. It’s a less serious place with an interesting spread of appetizers (tuna poke, housemade burrata) and sides, with a more casual vibe in the dining room. But the steaks are still excellent, which is really why Fleming’s makes this list. 555 Lancaster Avenue.
Capital Grille, Center City
Capital Grille is another power steakhouse, a heavy and serious place where just being there makes you feel important. But Capital Grille is also an excellent steakhouse, where every little detail — from the weight of the steak knives to the padding on the tables — has been calculated to make for a flawless dining experience. The steaks run in the $50 range, making it less pricey than some of the other powerhouse names. This tends to attract a slightly younger crowd of movers and shakers, particularly at the bar. 1338 Chestnut Street.
Brazilian or Argentine Steakhouses in Philadelphia
Fogo De Chao, Center City
This is probably the most recognizable of the upscale Brazilian-style steakhouse. It’s an all-you-can-eat kind of deal here, and they’ll keep bringing meat (presented on giant swords) to the table until you cry uncle. There’s also a massive salad bar for those of you who feel weird about making a meal out of nothing but nine different kinds of protein. 1337 Chestnut Street.
Malbec Argentine Steakhouse, Society Hill
Argentine cuisine is something that Philly hasn’t really embraced yet. And I understand why: It’s a mishmash of a lot of different other cuisines, all mixed up with a whole lot of grilled meats and potatoes. But really, shouldn’t we love that kind of thing here? Malbec is a good place to get a taste of Argentina with all the Philadelphia steakhouse trappings — including a pasta menu, charcuterie plate and shrimp cocktail. 400 South 2nd Street.
Chima, Center City
It’s another big Brazilian-style steakhouse offering 15 different cuts of meat, a salad bar and sides, all for one price (which is less than you’d pay at most other traditional steakhouses on this list). 1901 JFK Boulevard.
Na’Brasa Steakhouse, Horsham
Brazilian churrasco for the ‘burbs, Na’Brasa offers the standard setup of a big salad bar and hand-carved meat on sticks in a cozy dining room that’s amply staffed with meat runners. Sixteen cuts of meat (including at least one fish) just keep coming and cost one set price, so don’t waste too much digestive real estate on the sides. 680 Easton Road.
Picanha Brazilian Grill, Northeast Philly
Tucked away in a residential neighborhood off Castor Avenue, this big, bright Brazilian joint is a bit of an oddity. Here, you pay by weight, getting your meat carved straight off the grill and walking it back to your table. Yes, there’s a buffet of sides (you have to walk past it to get your meat), plus desserts available if you’ve got room. But the meat, as always, is the main event here. It’s a popular spot that seems to go through occasional changes in decor and management, but it’s worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood and really, really hungry for some meat. 6501 Castor Avenue.
Broncos Brazilian Steakhouse, Northeast Philly
It’s a nice modern spot for Brazilian spit-cooked meats: The service is friendly, the room is bright and full of wood, and the sides are all served family-style from a hot table next to the salad bar, which is a really nice touch. 7634 Castor Avenue.
O Rei Da Picanha, Northeast Philly
Right down the street from Broncos, O Rei Da Picanha is a neighborhood Brazilian steakhouse that also does sandwiches, pizza, fresh juices, Brazilian sausages, lots of seafood, fish cakes, barbecue — and just about everything else you can imagine. 7534 Castor Avenue.
Taste of Brazil, Northeast Philly
Taste of Brazil is part of a small three-location chain that’s trying to bring authentic Brazilian cuisine to the Northeast. They do the traditional array of meats, but they also serve vegetarian dishes and plenty of seafood. The sides and salad offer everything from hearts of palm and salpicao to fresh fruits, greens and an avocado salad that sounds perfect for a hot night. 6222 Bustleton Avenue.