If steak is what you want on your plate, you've come to the right city. There are dozens different steak temples to choose from, most of them right in the downtown area.
CLASSIC CHICAGO STEAKHOUSES
Chicago's oldest steak mecca is Gene & Georgetti. Serving legends like Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope since 1941, along with today's Russell Crowe, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, Gene & Georgetti is a comfort zone like no other. Wander off the steak menu and discover Robert Duvall's favorite garbage salad.
Another local favorite good for catching local celebs along with their hearty appetites is Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. This is truly a "meat and greet" kind of place, with eight classic cuts and their own USDA Prime Black Angus beef. A Chicago institution that celebrated its 25 year anniversary in 2015, they will treat you like family.
Part restaurant, part journey through Chicago's colorful past, Chicago Chop House takes the phrase, "eat, drink and be merry" seriously. With more than 30 wines by the glass, the Chop House is the perfect place to sip a different grape with each mouthwatering course.
An understated classic, Kinzie Chophouse, will greet you with warm decor, photographs of old Chicago and a menu carrying everything from a 12-ounce New York Strip to a 48-ounce porterhouse.
MODERN — AND STYLISH — NEWCOMERS
RPM Steak made a splash when it joined Chicago's beef-filled landscape in early 2015. A modern stunner with celebrity ties (tv powerhouse couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic are behind it), it has the culinary cred to back it up.
An option that is just as much style as it is substance, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in the Gold Coast is another must try. Housed in the former Esquire Theater, the dazzling marquee makes for a perfect backdrop if you can snag a coveted outdoor seat.
At another luxe locale, Mastro's Steakhouse, you're likely to see just as many pricey seafood towers as steak dinners. Don't skimp on dessert either: the Signature Warm Butter Cake is a requirement.
Chicago Cut Steakhouse, with a commanding view of the river, was recently voted one of America's Best New Restaurants by Esquire Magazine. Come for the Certified USDA Prime beef that has been dry aged for 35 days and butchered on site — or make it over for the ultimate power breakfast: Prime New York Strip & Two Poached Eggs.
Also of the contemporary design, David Burke's Primehouse serves up dry-aged beef in a sophisticated setting from within the James Hotel Chicago. Be sure to ask about tours of the Himalayan salt-tiled aging room on premise.
STEAK — AND SPORTS — REIGN SUPREME
Keep it casual, but make out like a champ when you stop by Ditka's. Yes, famed Bears legend "Da Coach" knows how to cook up a mean piece of meat. He also has pretty sophisticated tastes in wine and cigars. Try his Kick Ass Red.
Then there is Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse, which was named "Best Steakhouse in Chicago" by the Chicago Tribune Dining Poll. Named after the late Hall of Fame baseball announcer, their signature steaks are selected from the finest USDA Prime beef and are aged 3 to 4 weeks to ensure maximum tenderness.
Chicago sports history and steak continue to go hand in hand with this other prime example: Michael Jordan's Steakhouse. Voted in the Top 10 of the Best Steak Houses by Chicago Magazine, this Magnificent Mile restaurant keeps the exclusive corner booth just for "His Airness." Naturally, it's Table No. 23.
AND THE LIST CONTINUES...
If you have a favorite national steak house chain, they're all here: The Capital Grille, Sullivan's, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Lawry's, and Smith & Wollensky. Specialty steak restaurants add their own flare: Texas de Brazil serves up endless carvings as a Brazilian-American "Churrascaria." Roka Akor Steak & Sushi features Robatayaki-style cuisine, while Ron of Japan is Chicago's Japanese steakhouse and the premier Teppanyaki experience.
Red and juicy or medium-rare, no matter how you like your steak prepared, Chicago could easily become your favorite city for cutting into it.