America’s most populous city is such a vibrant maelstrom of everything humanity has to offer that New York holidays can be all things to all people. It is famous for so much; Broadway, the subway, Wall Street, yellow taxis and of course fabulous food. On the streets, the hot dog reigns supreme, but New York is also famous for serving sizzling, prime, beef steak, done to perfection. Join us on a tour of the best New York Steakhouses to suit every budget and let’s get those taste buds tingling in anticipation.
High-End New York Steakhouses
When you’re on holiday it’s time to push the boat out. You may have tickets for the latest must-see show or maybe you’re just soaking up the atmosphere of New York City at night. What better way to satisfy a healthy appetite than with the finest steakhouse experience money can buy. The choice is seemingly endless, indeed on a two-week stay you would not run out of top quality New York steakhouses if you visited a different one for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so to single out just a few are very difficult but here are our top 3 high-end New York steakhouses.
Keens, 72 West 36th Street
Keens has a long and interesting history in which clay pipes (of the smoking variety) figure greatly. Founded way back in 1885, it was often frequented by actors, being close to the Herald Square theatre district and was once sued by the great Lilly Langtree for refusing her entry. She won! The décor is “olde worlde” dominated by the clay pipes. They are in fact most renowned for their mutton chop $60, but you can also order steaks, Chateaubriand for two $126 or select a lobster from the tank.
Capital Grille, Three central NYC locations; 155 East 42nd St. - 120 West 51st St. - 120 Broadway
As a high-end national chain, you can expect consistently top-quality food and service at any of their three Manhattan steakhouses, as well as those at Garden City, Long Island, Stamford and across the Hudson in New Jersey. With the ambience of a gentleman’s club, all dark wood, red leather, soft warm lighting and a menu to match. 24oz porterhouse is $54 or sea scallops with asparagus and parsnip purée $45.
Ocean Prime, 123 West 52nd Street
A thoroughly modern restaurant, the antithesis of Keens in style, but every bit as good. Ocean Prime is another national chain with around a dozen restaurants across the US. As the name suggests, it offers at least as much focus on seafood as it does on steaks, so for fans of surf-and-turf, this should offer the perfect compromise. A 16oz rib-eye is $60 and sea scallops with parmesan risotto $42.
Great value steakhouses
Although holidays are a time to splurge, sometimes you may need to hold on to the purse strings a bit. Finding a New York steakhouse that offers you the maximum bang-for-buck, as the American idiom goes, is maybe not so easy as it might seem. In most cases, you will need to venture beyond Manhattan, to Brooklyn for example. But there are good steaks to be had for under thirty dollars and here are a few of them.
Tad’s, 701 7th Avenue
Originally founded in 1957 by Donald Townsend and named after his business partner Alan Tadeus Kay, there were once as many as eight of these cheap and gaudy steakhouses in NYC. Today there is just the one. The décor resembles a fast food joint and while the steaks may not be melt-in-the-mouth perfection you get from Keens, you would be hard-pressed to find a better, cheaper steak anywhere in Manhattan and it still gets great ratings from diners. Tad's ‘special cut’ served with baked potato, green salad and garlic bread is $13.79
Almond, 12 East 22nd St.
Located in New York City’s bustling Flatiron District, Almond offers a selection of dry-aged steaks variously priced on either side of thirty dollars, such as the marinated hanger steak with sauce bordelaise as well as a menu of classic rustic French cuisine such as steamed black mussels with shallots and white wine. You can enjoy a bistro-style ambience and top-quality food at affordable prices. Marinated hanger steak is $28.75 and a 13oz dry-aged NY strip $39.25.
St Anselm, 355 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn,
A relative newcomer on the scene, having opened in 2011. St Anselm has an unusual décor featuring old handsaws on bare brick walls. Food is cooked on an open flame grill and there are steaks for under thirty dollars here, although if you are in a group and you have time to wait, you might want to share the ‘axe-handle’ rib-eye 45-65 oz at $2.95 per oz. They also offer bourbon brined pork porterhouse $24 and a variety of fish. If you order the sweet tea brined chicken at $24 you should be aware, this is a whole poussin, including the head and feet!
Unique Dining Experiences
As a visitor on your New York holiday, you will want to savour the best the city has to offer. While the steakhouse is a classic experience, you may want to venture away from the traditional. By their nature, novelty or niche restaurants are unlikely to focus only on steaks, but here are a few way-out places where you can still enjoy some seared steaks in an unusual setting.
Famous Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse, 157 Chrystie Street, New York
Opened in 1975 and almost unchanged since then, described by the New York Times as the most wonderful terrible restaurant in New York. Sammy’s is not just self-styled famous, it is an institution. There is entertainment from Dani Luv which includes dancing and singing along. Expect to be well stuffed by the time you leave. Chopped Liver Sammy' style with grated radish, chopped onions & gribenes is $12 and there’s a 28oz prime rib steak for a reasonable $40.
Jekyll and Hyde Club, 91 7th Avenue South
“Something unusual happens every ten minutes at the Jekyll and Hyde club… our guests are warned!” the website proudly proclaims and with creatures which come to life and interact with you during your meal, the warning seems apt. At some very posh restaurants, you might wonder if you can bring children, at this one you might be missing out if you don’t have them. The food is simple, good and not too pricey, a N.Y Strip 12oz with veg is $27.95.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner, 1650 Broadway
A glitzy, kitschy, chrome plated, red leather, theatrical daahling of an American diner in the heart of New York’s theatreland, where the waiters and waitresses leap upon the backs of the seating and serenade you as you dine. This is where many wannabes and indeed future, stars of the stage get their first big break on Broadway. The food is more about burgers than steaks, with a considerable menu, but you can order a 10oz skirt steak with diablo sauce for $24.50 or a 12oz sirloin with vegetables and choice of sauce for $28.50.
As with everything else, there are so many other restaurants worth checking out, your New York holidays will not be spoiled for lack of choice about where to go. It’s been estimated that it would take over 22 years to eat at every New York City restaurant.