Seafood towers can be as pricey as they are opulent, but diners at Maple & Ash can order seafood a la carte at reasonable prices. For example, six roasted oysters are $18, 10 Manila clams are $15, and scallops are $22. Additionally, if you’re on a budget, but still looking for steak, the restaurant offers a 10oz butcher-cut steak and house-made frites for $28. The bar menu at Eight Bar (formerly known as The Downstairs) is also wallet-friendly.
Enjoy David Burke's highly touted dry-aged beef in burger form during lunch hours or at the bar. The $16 40-day dry-aged prime steak Burker is one of the best cheap burgers in Chicago, and uses ground chuck that has been aged in Primehouse’s dry-aging room. The burger comes topped with spinach, caramelized onion, bacon, black pepper aioli, and your choice of cheese, and is served with a generous portion of fries.
Carnivores looking for a meat fix can enjoy one of Bavette's signature entrees for a fraction of the cost of the a la carte steaks. Hyped options include short rib stroganoff with handmade egg pasta with sherry jus ($19.50), black label meatloaf with a blend of pork and beef, or a giant dry-aged meatball served with pasta and finely shaved cheese ribbons (both $18.50). Another worthy option is the fried chicken served with creamy mashed potatoes, and a sweet pea & cippolini gravy ($21.50).
The lunch menu at Gibsons is much more affordable than the dinner offerings, with several sandwich options that won’t break the bank. The lobster roll ($21) includes a sizable portion of lobster meat atop a bed of crisp Bibb lettuce, while the prime rib French dip ($17.25), and blackened salmon sandwiches ($15.75) are both reasonable options. You can also head to sister restaurant Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House next door, which serves the same steaks as Gibsons. It offers filet mignon medallions served with sautéed vegetables for $22.75, about half the price of the 10oz filet mignon on the menu, as well as $1 oysters every day from 3-6pm.
The Mag Mile steakhouse offers a separate bar menu that includes stone oven-roasted wagyu meatballs ($10), a braised beef flatbread ($14), and, at lunch, a $20 wagyu beef burger topped with special sauce and aged cheddar on a sesame bun. The $23 steak sandwich is large enough to satisfy His Airness himself, and features a pretzel roll stuffed with steak, provolone, pickled onions, and giardiniera aioli. While steaks range from $44 to $99 apiece, more affordable non-steak options include a Slagel Family Farm pork chop with sweet & sour onions for $36.
Recently renovated Kinzie Chophouse is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and one reason it's stood the test of time is its affordable menu options. It offers a wide variety of bar menu bites and drinks, most priced $12 and under, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, bar menu items are buy one get one free. The marinated skirt steak sandwich with a chimichurri remoulade, Monterey Jack cheese, and crispy onion rings on garlic buttered ciabatta bread is a great option at $25, as is the pan-seared salmon with mustard cream sauce for $22, and the crab cake sandwich for $13, served with roasted red pepper aioli and sesame field greens.
A meal at this stylish River North steakhouse, which often includes a celebrity sighting, can be pretty pricey. However, Chicago Cut does have reasonable meat options, including a $26 skirt steak served with sautéed onions and fries, and a $25 rack of BBQ ribs. You can also make a meal of the $14 prime beef sliders, or $19 crab cake paired with a soup, salad, or family-sized side dish.
Pretty much everything is over the top here, in a good way, but that doesn’t mean you need to feel like you’re spending more than you can afford. Lunch at RPM Steak is much more cost-effective than dinner, especially when considering some of the steak options. A 6oz petite filet is only offered at lunch, and for $29, it’s more affordable than many competitors’ same-sized filets. The black truffle burger with foie gras butter and red onion jam not only tastes rich, but checks in at a reasonable $17. Another suitable option is the $18 King Crab Louie seafood salad, or the lobster roll with lemon butter on brioche, for the same price.
Another spot that offers a more affordable price point at lunch, as well as different items than those served at dinner, is Humboldt Park’s Boeufhaus. The haus burger is a perfect, albeit filling, lunch option featuring a custom blend of strip, hanger, and tenderloin cuts, topped with frisee, onion, pickle, and a side of the decadent boeuf fat fries for $14. The 8oz hanger steak frites are served with a side of béarnaise for $24 at lunch, a discount from the $28 price tag during dinner hours.
Community Tavern, the French-inspired boutique steakhouse in Portage Park, has some great value options for diners still looking for a steakhouse vibe. The $23 steak & frites combo served with homemade steak sauce is one of the most affordable we’ve seen. Non-steak options that won’t leave you penniless include a healthy portion of steamed Maine mussels prepared with brie, Champagne, thyme, crawfish butter, fresh jalapeño, and grilled bread for only $12. Other lower-priced entrees include the pan-seared gnudi with English peas, charred tomatoes, swiss chard, pecorino, red chili oil, brown butter, and pickled mushrooms for $17, and the half roasted Millers Farm chicken with wild mushroom ragu, preserved lemon sofrito, and egg noodles for $18.
1. Maple & Ash8 W Maple Street, Chicago
2. David Burke's Primehouse616 N Rush St, Chicago
3. Bavette's Bar & Boeuf218 W Kinzie St, Chicago
4. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse1028 N Rush St, Chicago
5. Michael Jordan's Steakhouse505 N Michigan Ave,
6. Kinzie Chophouse400 N Wells St, Chicago
7. Chicago Cut Steakhouse300 N LaSalle, Chicago
8. RPM Steak66 W Kinzie St, Chicago
9. Boeufhaus1012 N Western Ave, Chicago
10. Community Tavern4038 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
Glitz and glamour come in equal measure at this Gold Coast steakhouse, where heavy fabric is draped from the wooden ceiling and candles rest atop dark tablecloths. The menu here centers around items grilled on a wood-burning hearth, such as a 40oz porterhouse and a 28-day dry-aged strip. Not sure which cut to choose? Tell the waitstaff, "I don't give a f*@ck" -- an actual menu item that results in the chef's choice. And when you're finished, be sure to have Pastry Chef Aya Fukai present you with table-side sundae service.
Located within the James Hotel, this upscale River North steakhouse serves reputable dry-aged ribeyes, porterhouses, and strip steaks. Aside from the classics, the menu features creative carnivore dishes like Wagyu beef sashimi and kobe corn dogs, as well as pasta and a host of vegetable sides for those who aren't meat inclined.
More a promise than a clever name, Bavette's Bar & Boeuf unapologetically delivers an abundance of whiskey and slab-after-slab of expertly prepared meat. Bavette's 24 oz. bone-in ribeye may be the best piece of meat your money can buy in Chi-town, but, if steak's not your thing, they also offer fresh oysters, Southern-style fried chicken, and double-cut Berkshire pork chops. And because nothing goes together better than a rare steak and a fine whiskey, Bavette's offers more than 50 whiskeys to stir into classic cocktails like mint julips, rye Old Fashioneds, and modern alternatives like spicy picklebacks.
This upscale Gold Coast steakhouse is known for three things: its celebrity clientele, mammoth steaks (especially the Tomahawk 42 chop), and macadamia turtle pie. Gibsons is where you go to eat an over-the-top meal in the company of high-rollers.
What better place than River North's opulent InterContinental Hotel for His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, to stick an equally lavish steakhouse, complete with red leather (fit for a Chicago Bull) and gold trim motif, a fully loaded wine stash, and a menu fit for a king (uh, the king, if you're from these parts). As expected, you'll find filet mignon and prime ribeye as rare or as charred as you wants it, but you can also switch it up with Jordan's riff on chicken 'n waffles or go the healthy route with white soy seared tuna.
A jazz-fueled steak joint just underneath the Merchandise Mart station, Kinzie Chophouse oozes traditional elegance with crisp white walls and tablecloths, chandelier lighting, and contemporary art. Although the high-grade steaks that are delivered daily to Kinzie, the rotating fish selection like almond-crusted ahi tuna and pasta dishes rife with succulent duck breast and wild mushroom among other things could blow away the stingiest of gourmets.
A steakhouse hit among the power meal set, Chicago Cut attributes its quality cuts to the Colorado cattle it raises 1,300ft above sea level. The beef is dry-aged for 35 days then butchered on-site, and no matter what you order (the bone-in prime rib is knockout good), expect dense muscle and an intense flavor. The 225-seat space, outfitted with red velvet booths, overlooks the river.
Located in River North, this sophisticated steakhouse collaboration between the Melmans, Rancics, and Chef Doug Psaltis effortlessly bridges the gap between old and new school. The black truffle burger topped with rich foie gras butter is one of the most luxurious power lunch options in town, while the expertly crafted cocktails, vegetable sides, steaks, and table-side baked Alaska share the spotlight at dinner.
This beef-driven brasserie in Humboldt Park pulls influences from French and German cuisines, creating an unlikely fusion fare that’s comforting, protein-packed, and appropriately indulgent. A towering Rueben with house corned boeuf and sauerkraut on a potato loaf stuns on the lunch menu, while pillowy beignets stuffed with braised short rib, rye spaetzle, and a dry aged ribeye makes for the most satisfyingly carnivorous dinner in the 'hood.
In both its atmosphere and its fare, Community Tavern on the North Side is a funky fusion of rustic and refined, sporting a mix of bare brick walls and Victorian patterned wallpaper with glass chandeliers contrasted by low Edison-bulb lighting. The menu's no different, featuring several simple but diverse offerings of prime steaks, seafood, and mains ranging from high-end pork chops, to simple herb roasted chickens, to down-right devious cheeseburgers.