Make no mistake about it: Houstonians are all about that beef life. While we definitely enjoy stuffing outside skirt into tortillas and using eggs as an excuse to eat rib eye before noon, the meat here is truly best enjoyed at a steakhouse... which is convenient, considering we have a copious amount of excellent ones dotting the city. Next time you're in need of a brain-melting filet, overly/properly indulgent sides, and an atmosphere befitting an endorsement-laden linebacker, here's where to turn.
Part steakhouse, part bespoke butchery, this cool, classy establishment evokes the old-school charms of New York City. Of course, the in-house dry-aged USDA Prime and fine Gearhart Ranch wagyu served in cuts larger than your head feel 100% Texas. Do yourself a favor and start with the Carpetbaggers, fried oysters dolloped over thick-cut bacon and meltingly tender filet with blue cheese sauce smothered on top, because the kitchen loves you. Then go big with the 40z prime porterhouse for two, beautifully seared and sliced table-side.
Deemed one of the "20 Best Steaks in America" by Esquire, the Churrasco steak put Nicaragua-born chef/restaurateur Michael Cordúa on the culinary map. From South American taquitos to drool-worthy tres leches, there are countless reasons to eat here; but the center-cut beef tenderloin, slightly charred from the smoky grill and glistening with addicting chimichurri sauce, will keep you coming back. A rich, powerful Malbec with that, please.
A fave of the expense-account crowd, this chic double-decker pours on polished service, stout cocktails, and buttery steaks. Bring your appetite and a wad of dough for the Tomahawk rib eye or the Wagyu long bone rib eye, a 32oz monster. You’ll want to grab this bad boy Fred Flintstone-style and start gnawing away. Other hits: shaved Brussels with bacon, lemon cake, and giant stone crabs (when in season).
Okay fine, this craft beer shrine isn't REALLY a steakhouse, but why not throw in a wild card? In the amazing-deals department, check out Steak Night, every Tuesday, from 5pm until they run out. And they always do. Fifteen bucks gets you a juicy 8oz sirloin of locally raised marbled beef anointed with cilantro pesto and a heap of seasonal roasted veggies done right. An ice-cold Real Ale Phoenixx, crafted in Texas, rounds things out nicely.
It’s worth the pilgrimage to Pearland for an impressive USDA steak dinner of wet-aged, dry-aged, or wagyu -- sans stuffiness. Killen’s reminds of us a small-town roadhouse -- but this one has white tablecloths and a killer wine list. Feast your peepers on the grass-fed Akaushi wagyu long bone-in rib eye from Texas. This gorgeous specimen, a house specialty, is pristinely grilled with the right amount of char to coax some caramelization. Throw caution to the curb and order the iceberg wedge showered in bacon and Roquefort dressing, or the jumbo lump crab cake with shrimp. Also, don’t forget to look out for JJ Watt, because he has a private room there, not that we stalk him or anything.
Downtown (& Other Locations)
Since founders Arnie Morton and Klaus Fritsch, alumni of the Playboy Club in Montreal, introduced Morton’s to Chicago, they’ve served USDA prime-aged beef: the top 2% of beef available in the US in terms of juiciness, tenderness, and flavor. No wonder corporate types and athletes clamor for the huge steaks and vast menu at these manly outposts. Vernon Davis, tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, is a big fan of the 48oz porterhouse. Herb-crusted and sliced at the table, it feeds four hungry chaps. Check out the three-course power lunch ($29) deal or the happy hour bites and drink specials in 12.21 Bar.
There’s no better spot for special occassions than this Houston-bred, family-owned steakhouse. That’s because the Pappas crew knows how to pamper guests via gloriously marbled, intensely flavored, in-house beef dry-aged for 28 days or more. There's also a seriously cool whiskey cart, a cherry-picked wine list, and a colossal stack of fried onion rings that you won’t want to share, but should, because it seriously is gigantic.
This newbie by the Pappas family is more casual and family friendly than the upscale landmark. You’ll be greeted at the door by the fresh meat counter, showing off the rosy goods. Expect the classic cuts, from a bone-in rib eye to a petite filet -- plus generous sides and rich starters. If it’s swine you pine, choose the juicy double-cut pork chop. Heck, you can even get pot roast or fried green tomatoes at this Southern diner, the ideal spot for a rowdy bunch who wasn’t invited to Mama’s for Sunday supper.
Come as you are, but arrive early to this down-home steakhouse because they don’t take reservations. No pretentiousness at this casual family friendly favorite in the ‘burbs -- just solid certified-Angus beef. The 16oz New York strip sirloin is the house specialty, but the massive Tomahawk rib eye is for the serious carnivore: 38oz of bovine hanging off your plate, crowned with a pool of garlic or blue cheese butter. You’ll never forget your first Tomahawk.
We know you think you’re way cool because you live in Midtown, so you would, like, never drive up to The Woodlands. But if you don’t, you’ll be missing out on one of the finest steakhouses around. Named after Texan hero Howard Robard Hughes, this handsome eatery sits on the grounds of an upscale resort and golf course, which is clue number one that your dining experience is going to be first-class. Clue number two is the in-house butchery and dry-aging room, and number three is that sexy seafood tower you saw the couple next to you cracking into.
Just a stone’s throw from Minute Maid Park, this swanky steakhouse is the place for power dinners, legal eagles, celebratory sports fans, and visiting athletes. Ravenous? Order the smoked T-bone or the 16oz prime grass-fed rib eye (grass-fed tastes clean, really). The encyclopedic wine list scores big with oenophiles and sides are hedonistic: think duck fat fries, bacon & bone marrow crostini, or shrimp & crab martini with kimchi. Tip: for a more casual experience, sit at the chef’s counter and watch the kitchen show.
The West side really didn’t have enough steakhouses until restaurateur Tony Vallone’s first steakhouse graced Gateway Memorial City. A sprawling back-lit bar is a big draw for happy hour with large screens and plenty of elbow room to sip or sup. In the handsome glass-paved dining room, there’s a show-and-tell display of raw meats brought to your table before ordering. Beautifully charred and seasoned USDA prime dry-aged strips and rib eyes rock, and the wine list sparkles with an Italian accent.
1. B&B Butchers1814 Washington Ave, Houston
2. Churrascos River Oaks2055 Westheimer Rd, Ste 180, Houston
3. Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse5061 Westheimer Rd, Houston
4. The Hay Merchant / Underbelly1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston
5. Killen's Steakhouse6425 W Broadway St, Pearland
6. Morton's The Steakhouse1001 McKinney St, Houston
7. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse5839 Westheimer Rd, Houston
8. Pappas Meat Co.12010 East Fwy, Houston
9. Taste of Texas10505 Katy Fwy, Houston
10. Robard's Steakhouse2301 N Millbend Dr, The Woodlands
11. Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse1510 Texas St, Houston
12. Vallone's947 Gessner Rd Ste A100, Houston
You can’t get more Texas than in-house dry-aged USDA Prime and Texas Wagyu served in cuts larger than your head. Or a chicken-fried pork chop with sausage. Or a Carpet Bagger on the Half Shell, a filet with bacon, blue cheese, and a fried oyster on top, all housed in an oyster shell. Fill up on all this and a couple of superb cocktails, like the Blood Orange Sky or the French Diplomat at Houston’s B&B Butchers & Restaurants, a butcher shop-steakhouse hybrid in the Sixth Ward. While we suggest hunkering down at a table in the elegant, exposed brick dining room, the antsy among you will head to the deli counter, where you can grab the same delicious meats, either by the pound or stacked in a sandwich.
This upscale South American steakhouse in River Oaks offers prime cuts in a modern, luxe setting. From classic taquitos to drool-worthy tres leches, there are countless reasons to check Churrascos out, but the center-cut beef tenderloin, slightly charred from the smoky grill and glistening with addicting chimichurri sauce, will keep you coming back.
Del Frisco’s is a chain restaurant serving a chef-driven menu of prime steaks and seafood alongside a world-class wine program. Located in the Galleria shopping complex, the elegant, two-story space with sweeping windows offers a romantic, luxurious dining experience. Plus, Del Frisco’s New Orleans-inspired “Lagniappe” menu is something you won’t find in any other Houston steakhouse.
A joint venture, The Hay Merchant and Underbelly operate separately but are attached via a butchering room that’s fit to hold a whole hog, a cow, and other large, meat-bearing animals. Hay Merchant, a craft beer bar, boasts 75 draft beers that range in style from cask-conditioned American porters to sour and funky wild ales. Underbelly, the more upscale of the two, is a restaurant and wine bar serving up juicy burgers and meats, like roasted pig’s head and smoked brisket. No matter how adventurous your palate, consider pairing your dish with one of the aged barleywines on tap.
Chef Ronnie Killen's Houston steakhouse pairs so-tender-it-falls-off-the-bone Allen Brothers USDA prime beef with sides like corn risotto and jalapeno fontina cheese. If you feel like going slightly lighter on the arteries (in preparation for dessert), opt for the crisp greens salad with walnuts, blue cheese, red onion, and apples or the delicate grilled branzino. Killen’s will end your meal off sweetly with a chocolate tart made with caramelized gingerbread crème, raspberry jelly, and toasted meringue or a caramel half-apple with mousse and maple cinnamon sponge cake. The interior of Killen’s offers, in typical steakhouse fashion, an open layout with plenty of room for white tablecloth-wreathed four-tops, which will certainly not stay white for long as you devour your dishes.
Located in the heart of downtown Houston, Morton’s is an 8,000 square foot restaurant with a main dining room, private boardrooms, and Bar 12.21. The upscale chain serves prime-aged beef (the top 2% of beef available in the US in terms of juiciness, tenderness, and flavor), seafood, and other traditional steakhouse fare. The crowd is mostly young professionals, and it’s no wonder corporate types and athletes clamor for the huge steaks and vast menu at these outposts.
The Pappas are local legends, and at the top of their bona fide empire is this quintessential Texas steakhouse. Its steaks can’t be rivaled, thanks to superior cuts of beef, in-house butchery, and an intense 28-day dry-aging process (also completed in-house). The result is finely marbled, nutty, and rich USDA prime steaks that you can slice like butter. The retro-posh décor, private booths, and pampering service feel old-school cool and romantic.
This Pappas-family-run joint is more casual and family friendly than the upscale landmark (Pappas Bros. Steakhouse). You’ll be greeted at the door by the fresh meat counter showing off rosy goods. Expect the classic cuts, from a bone-in rib eye to a petite filet -- plus generous sides and rich starters. If it’s swine you pine, choose the juicy double-cut pork chop. Heck, you can even get pot roast or fried green tomatoes at this Southern diner, the ideal spot for a rowdy bunch who wasn’t invited to Mama’s for Sunday supper.
There’s no pretentiousness at this casual, family-friendly favorite in the Memorial ‘burbs -- just solid certified-Angus beef. The 16oz New York strip sirloin is the house specialty, but the massive Tomahawk rib eye is for the serious carnivore: 38oz of bovine hanging off your plate, crowned with a pool of garlic or blue cheese butter. Arrive early to this down-home steakhouse because it doesn’t take reservations.
This upscale Prohibition-era steakhouse boasts an in-house butchery and dry-aging room alongside an impressive wine and cocktail program. Start with candied bacon and blue cheese toasts and a chilled seafood tower before going wild on a beefy dry-aged steak. Robert’s in The Woodlands is one of the finest steakhouses around— the handsome eatery sits on the grounds of a resort and golf course, which is clue number one that your dining experience is going to be first-class.
Just across from Minute Maid Park, this swanky steakhouse is the place for power dinners, legal eagles, celebratory sports fans, and visiting athletes. The encyclopedic wine list scores big with oenophiles, professionals and average Joes, alike. For sides, think duck fat fries and bacon and bone marrow crostini. For a more casual experience, sit at the chef’s counter and watch the kitchen show.
Vallone’s sprawling back-lit bar is a big draw for happy hour, especially with its large screens and plenty of elbow room to sip or sup. In the handsome glass-paved dining room, there’s a show-and-tell display of raw meats brought to your table before ordering. Beautifully charred and seasoned USDA prime dry-aged strips and rib eyes rock, and the wine list wins with an Italian accent.