Chicago is right up there with New York City and Washington, DC, as one of the country’s quintessential steakhouse cities. Despite the onslaught of hot new restaurants that continue to broaden Chicago’s dining scene, the steakhouse tradition is alive and well, anchored by a handful of time-worn gems. Here are five old-school steakhouses you need to check out (or revisit) in Chicago.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
What started as a pint-sized crab shack on Miami Beach is now a Chicago institution worth its sea salt. Since partnering with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in 2000, Joe’s has celebrated its humble coastal origins while infusing a bit of Chicago character via steaks and chops. The sophisticated River North locale, with dark woods and white tablecloths, is now one of the city’s most action-packed (read: crowded and clamorous) restaurants, where tuxedo-clad servers wield towering platters of stone crab claws, thick slices of steak and wedges of Joe’s famous Key lime pie.
Must-order: It would be blasphemy to come here and not order a platter of stone crab claws to crack into. These are best followed by a porterhouse or fried chicken (or both) and of course a slice of Joe’s famous Key lime pie. Diets have no business here.
60 E. Grand Ave.; 312-379-5637