Chicago Steakhouses
World-Class Cuts

In 1870, five years after its construction, Chicago’s Union Stock Yard processed 3 million cattle and hogs By 1890, the number stretched to 12 million. Until the 1920s, Chicago was the meatpacking epicenter of the country, having gained its foothold during the Civil War by connecting Midwest farmers with demanding markets on the East Coast. Today, this legacy is reflected in Chicago’s steakhouses—where vintage photographs recall the past and a multicultural mélange of preparation techniques speak to the present.
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River North: In-House Dry-Aging

Chicago Tribune-celebrated chef Rick Gresh dry ages his bone-in, USDA prime rib-eyes for 28, 40, 55, or 75 days in a Himalayan salt-tiled room to intensify the flavors. Meals commence with cheese popovers baked in individual copper pots, and the wait staff prepares their signature caesar salads tableside.


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Streeterville: Steaks and Scotch

Though a glance at the chalk-dusted blackboard can acquaint you with up to eight daily seafood dishes such as Dover sole and scallops, servers can also recommend cook levels for prime beef and bone-in filet mignon. A granite-topped bar houses 300 wines and more than 10 types of single malt scotches.


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Near North Side: Piano-Bar Dining

Live piano music leaks out the door every evening to tempt you to try dry-ice martinis and almost 20 craft beers. Steaks and chops ranging from 8 to 48 ounces are served amid high ceilings, retro chandeliers, and chocolate-colored leather booths.


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River North: High-Heat Cooking

This modern steakhouse’s fine-dining experience is reflected in its sharply dressed servers. Lamb chops, porterhouse, and skirt steaks are cooked under 1,800-degree heat inside infrared boilers to complement seared foie gras, king crab legs, and selections from a curated library of 600+ wines.


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Streeterville: Celebrity Spotting

While tackling mountainous portions of grilled lobster tails, two sizes of USDA-prime bone-in filet mignon, or a 26-ounce porterhouse, diners soak in local history spread throughout this gourmet restaurant. Autographed photographs of Chicago athletes and politicians line the same walls that once saw performances by Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra.


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Lake View: Argentine BYOB

This Lake View neighborhood favorite specializes in parrillada, which is Spanish for giant chunks of delicious meat charred to perfection on a grill, and of which the Argentinians are especially fond. Tango Sur’s charm is equal parts intimate ambience, quality Argentine comfort food, and BYOB policy.


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River North: Neighborhood Fixture

Though many of the regulars have dined here for 50 years, newcomers can also taste recipes that originated in 1941 from a menu of broiled filet mignon, lamb and veal chops, and Italian pastas. Ceilings festooned with greenery and holiday lights, leather-backed chairs, and black-and-white photographs call upon the restaurant’s days of yore.


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River North: Generous Portions

The more than 1,400 historic photos of meat-packers, politicians, and gangsters lining the walls of the restored Victorian brownstone can’t distract you from this restaurant’s USDA-prime cuts. A 24-ounce prime rib or a 64-ounce porterhouse each pair with a specific selection from a menu of 650 international wines.


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River North: European Flair

Wood-paneled walls, exposed brick, leather cushioned banquettes, and decorative gold lettering may transport you to early 20th-century Europe. But the chefs draw palates back into the present with in-house dry-aged prime rib eye, beef tongue, fresh oysters, and a giant meatball surrounded by hand-cut pasta.


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River North: Old-School Charm

The sounds of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby crooning 1940s-era tunes and black-and-white photos of WWII soldiers, give this wood-paneled lounge an antique air. Classic manhattans and gimlets complement rare bison steaks rubbed with coffee. Gluten-free pizzas, pastas, and desserts round out the menu.


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River North: Riverside Bistro

Whether dining amid the breeze coming off the Chicago River, or ensconced in a supper-club atmosphere of cedar ceilings, wood-paneled walls, and original oil paintings, you can choose from seven broiled steaks and housemade raviolis. Before leaving, you can pick up a vintage cigar from the family-run steakhouse’s eclectic selection.


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River North: Michelin-Recommended Sports Bar

When you aren’t perusing a museum-quality collection of baseball memorabilia and historic newspaper sports sections, you can catch up on current games at a bar with plasma TVs. The aromas of aged steaks and Italian-influenced dishes waft through the restaurant, named for the iconic announcer of the Cubs and White Sox.


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Magnificent Mile: English Style

You can pass through the entrance flanked by lions without incident before a server brings your prime beef ribs tableside in a silver cart. An 1890s’ mansion’s arched cathedral ceilings and chandeliers preside over plates of prime ribs and Yorkshire pudding and glasses of vintage wines.


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Ukranian Village: Argentinean Parilla

The zesty spice blends that top churrasco-style sirloin steaks waft from atop hot parilla grills to get you to try a twist on the traditional American steakhouse.


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River North: International Meat Tour

If you aren’t ready to surmount Zed’s Experience—a procession of international meats such as Portuguese pork sausage, New Zealand venison, and Asian pork belly—the rooftop lounge serves smaller plates of pad-thai tacos and veggie fondue alongside bourbon lemonade and muddled fruit cocktails.


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