Food & Drink

The Best Steakhouses in Seattle

Published On 11/06/2013 Published On 11/06/2013
girin seattle
Girin | Courtesy of Girin Steakhouse & Ssam Bar (edited)

When you think of Seattle food, the first thing you think of is, obviously, seafood. Or teriyaki. Or maybe even Dick's. But you should probably be thinking of beef, because thanks to a handful of recent arrivals -- in addition to usual suspects -- The Town is becoming a serious steak city. And here are the steakhouses that prove it.

Metropolitan Grill

Metropolitan Grill

Downtown
The seriously old-school Met has got a great location in the historic Marion building Downtown, a gloriously retro dining room with 20ft columns that reach the ceiling (trimmed with crown moldings that date to 1903), and some serious beef cred, thanks to cuts from local Double R Ranch and super-rare 100% Mayura Station Australian wagyu.

John Howie Steaks

John Howie Steak

Bellevue
This mammoth chophouse is made eccentrically classy with a translucent stone-topped bar, a low hallway lined with booths lit by red lanterns, and a vaulted dining room with a wall of woven bamboo. Said chophouse is made stupendous with a menu centered around "four levels of beef," all of which you presumably must conquer in order to attain the Golden Alka-Seltzer.

Joule Restaurant

Joule

Wallingford
This Korean steakhouse, from the couple behind Revel and Quoin, does amazing meat-based items like “that” short rib steak with kalbi & grilled kimchi, plus a “Beef of the Day,” which invariably will be squashed once your powerful appetite gets involved.

Canlis

Canlis

Queen Anne
It's not a steakhouse, but if you want... well, anything, done right, then this iconic eatery -- the first restaurant to serve American-grown, wagyu-style beef -- is the place for you. Just make sure you have a sports jacket, and something that's very rare in Seattle: a reservation.

Geoffrey Smith

Red Cow

Madronna
The signature dish at local super-chef Ethan Stowell's contemporary French brasserie is steak frites, and features one of several cuts from cows on the 70,000-acre Double R Ranch in the Okanagan. It also features potatoes from... um, some other farm, presumably. It'll leave you thinking the French definitely got at least one thing right.
 

El Gaucho

El Gaucho

Belltown
This swanky spot has been serving beef since Belltown's first boom in the late '90s, and is still popular with both Seattle "celebrities" (Sir Mix-a-Lot is a regular) and families out on special occasions. Check it out for signature apps like spicy Wicked Shrimp and Tenderloin Diablo tips with cajun cream sauce, and its impressive protein program featuring 28-day dry-aged Niman Ranch and all-natural Certified Angus beef.

Courtesy of Seven Beef

Seven Beef

Central District
This ambitious 90-seater in an old architect's office is from the crew behind Monsoon and Ba Bar, and takes its name from Bò 7 món, the traditional seven-course Vietnamese beef dinner that it serves alongside more traditional chophouse fare (ribs, sirloin, brisket, etc.). It also has a vegetable-heavy selection of starters/sides with an Asian influence that ranges from negligible (burnt carrot with apricot & hazelnut) to, duh, spring rolls.

Miller's Guild

Downtown
Located in the historic and funky Hotel Max, this rustic restaurant is centered around a nine-foot-long custom wood-fired grill where prime cuts of meat are butchered and prepared daily. The menu’s shining star is 75-day dry-aged beef... which just so happens to be served by James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson.

Courtesy of Girin Steakouse & Ssam Bar

Girin Steakhouse & Ssam Bar

Pioneer Square
This Korean-inspired restaurant (a quick stroll from CenturyLink Field) masterfully merges contemporary cooking with traditional flavors of ssam-style meats and seafood, which basically means you'll get to use beautiful leafy greens and chilies to wrap up perfectly seared steak (instead of forks). Oh, and don’t forget the banchan -- amazing accompanying dishes of noodles, dumplings, and house-made kimchi.

Bateau

Bateau

Capitol Hill
One of three new-ish Cap Hill projects from the lady behind what might be Seattle's favorite restaurant (The Walrus & The Carpenter), this contemporary steak spot is the result of her desire to own her own farm. It's on Whidbey Island and, in addition to veggies and stuff, it's where they raise the heritage cattle breeds served at the restaurant. As befits a place with its own farm, the menu changes daily, but expect things like veal sweetbreads with elderberry capers, pickled elderflowers, and buerre blanc to start, a house burger with onion jam & aioli, and steaks butchered in-house -- sold by weight -- and served á la carte with your choice of butter. That’s right, amigo. Your choice of butter.

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Bradley Foster is a former Thrillist editor who met Sonics benchwarmer Aaron Williams at El Gaucho in 1998... and dude totally hit on his girlfriend.

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1. Metropolitan Grill 820 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 (Downtown)

A steakhouse with a meat-laden menu, Metropolitan Grill serves up 100% Mayura Station Australian Wagyu in their historic downtown location. The 60 ft marble bar boasts an extensive array of top shelf liquors from around the world, which pair well with Metropolitan Grill's award winning Manhattans and Martinis.

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2. John Howie Steak 11111 NE 8th St, Ste 125, Bellevue, WA 98004 (Bellevue)

Grab lunch at John Howie Steak and let your taste buds score one of the best prime beef bacon cheeseburgers in the country. For dinner, this restaurant is the go-to for dry-aged steaks. Also try the foie gras with caramelized honeycrisp apples and, for dessert, the Grand Marnier crème brulee.

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3. Joule 3506 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103 (Fremont)

Joule is the brainchild of married Iron Chef cooking duo Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi. Like Revel, Yang and Chirchi's more recently-opened establishment, Joule's menu features Korean-inspired dishes with an emphasis on beef. Joule's cocktails, beer and wine lists are also worth noting.

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4. Canlis 2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 (Queen Anne)

The finest of Seattle's relatively few fine dining destinations, Canlis is worth it alone for its gorgeous views of Lake Union and unusual setting inside a refurbished mid century modern home. But Canlis also brings the heat with an unbeatable version of Seattle's signature Dungeness crab cakes, and possibly the city's best steak.

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5. Red Cow 1423 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Madrona)

This upscale brasserie is offering steak frites & other French classics along with classic cocktails and wine in their contemporary, neighborhood-y space in Madronna. The house made charcuterie with foie gras, lamb terrine and chicken liver mousse is a great way to start your meal, and the happy hour offerings aren't bad, either (plenty of entrees are available for under $10, and drinks will only run you about $5 a pop).

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6. El Gaucho 2505 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (Belltown)

This old-time-y steakhouse in Belltown is serving up serious cuts of beef and fresh seafood, with impressive service to boot. The menu offers upscale takes on Cajun fare (its well known for its spicy Wicked Shrimp and Tenderloin Diablo tips in cream sauce) including a solid array of steak featuring 28-day dry-aged Niman Ranch and all-natural Certified Angus beef.

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7. Seven Beef 1305 E Jefferson St, Seattle, WA 98122 (Central District)

Named after the seven course Vietnamese dinner it serves, Seven Beef offers refined Viet-French fusion in a chic Central District warehouse space. Steak is definitely the star of the menu here (every cut is grass-fed and locally sourced within Washington state), but Seven Beef's creative and tasty appetizers (goat cheese and sardine spring rolls) are also worth checking out.

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8. Miller's Guild 620 Stewart St, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

Located in the historic and funky Hotel Max, this rustic eatery is centered around a 9ft-long custom wood-fired grill where prime cuts of meat are butchered and prepared daily. The menu’s star is 75-day dry-aged beef and is crafted by a James Beard Award-winning chef. The entire menu -- meats, vegetables and seafood -- gets to spend time in the inferno, giving everything a deep smoky and roasted flavor.

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9. Girin Steakhouse & Ssam Bar 501 Stadium Pl S, Seattle, WA 98104 (Pioneer Square)

This hip neighborhood spot in Pioneer Square is a solid go-to for modernized Korean specialties featuring handmade noodles and ssam-style (lettuce wrapped) pork and beef. The pagoda like interior is a comfortable setting for sipping from the extensive makgeolli (a niche Korean liquor made from rice and wheat), soju and sake menu and tucking into spicy, satisfying dishes like Gochujang Chicken Wings, kimchi sausage, and apple grilled pork belly.

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10. Bateau 1060 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

A prim and proper French eatery in First Hill, Bateau is the airy, preppy answer to overtly dark and masculine steakhouses. You'd expect the vintage floral dishware to host small portions designed for tasting, but the delicate appearance of the interior does not translate to the food, and that's a good thing. After starters of paté and sweetbreads, prime beef is what's on the menu, in the form aioli-laden burgers and buttered-up steaks butchered in house.

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