14 US Steakhouse Chains And What To Order From Them

Steak in restaurant
Steak in restaurant - Gregory_lee/Getty Images

Chains have been a huge part of the United States' restaurant industry for decades. Regardless of what food they serve, chains all boast the same appeal: they offer familiarity. Eat at an Olive Garden in both New York and San Francisco and the experience will hardly vary. The same can be said of steakhouse chains, which thrive by offering the same quality steaks, entrées, and sides across the nation.

Steakhouse chains such as Texas Roadhouse are among the most popular in the entire country. However, creating a hit steakhouse chain is by no means easy. Not only do proprietors have to battle a huge amount of competition, they also have to live up to the high standards Americans associate with steakhouses. Robert Byrne, a director of consumer insights highlighted this to Nation's Restaurant News: "At a steakhouse, you're opening your wallet wider, so your sliding scale of value changes because you're going for a steak for a special occasion."

In order to meet these expectations, every successful steakhouse chain has a number of specialty dishes that have been designed to impress. From a customer's perspective these dishes promise the best experience. For that reason, we've identified the best dishes at 14 different steakhouse chains, selecting them based on the opinions of both professional and amateur critics. You can find more information concerning our methodology at the end of the article. Until then, let's learn what to order at 14 of America's steakhouse chains.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

1. Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky prime rib
Smith & Wollensky prime rib - Eater/YouTube

Founded in 1977, Smith & Wollensky has become one of the most respected steakhouse chains in the US, with locations in many of the country's urban centers including Las Vegas, Boston, and New York. While each of these establishments has its own character, all serve classic, reliable steakhouse dishes. Of these, the chain's 26-ounce, Classic Prime Rib is thought to be the best.

Like all steaks at Smith & Wollensky, the Classic Prime Rib is dry-aged. This 18-day aging process ensures the steak boasts an impressively complex flavor. The beef's texture is also exemplary; it's incredibly tender thanks to both the aging process and the fact that each 26-ounce portion is hand cut from a 24-pound prime rib. During cooking, this huge piece of meat excretes a great deal of liquid, which is collected and subsequently transformed into a rich jus that's poured over the beef prior to serving. Given this attention to detail, it's little wonder that food critics such as Nick Solares at Eater have deemed Smith & Wollensky's prime rib their favorite dish of all time.

Smith & Wollensky also offers a range of other renowned dishes including a filet mignon. This dish appeals to those who desire a little bit more versatility in their steak with a variety of serving options being available. These include the addition of peppercorn sauce or a beautiful lobster tail. Reviews suggest the steak is exceptional even when served by itself.

2. Texas Roadhouse

Ft. Worth Ribeye on plate
Ft. Worth Ribeye on plate - Just4BeerLovers/X, formerly known as Twitter

Texas Roadhouse is a steakhouse chain celebrated for its affordability. This is most readily demonstrated in its steaks, which are noticeably more affordable than many other chains; Texas Roadhouse sells 11-ounce steaks for as little as $20. The chain's focus on low prices clearly endears it to the American public and by the end of 2023 there were 686 locations in the States.

Each of the Texas Roadhouse restaurants is known for serving classic, American steaks. Among the most popular of these is the Ft. Worth Ribeye. This steak, which is available at 12-, 14-, and 16-ounce cuts, is a favorite thanks to the balance of flavorful fat and lean, well-cooked meat it presents. In true Texas Roadhouse style, the Ft. Worth Ribeye is a steal, costing $22.99 for the 12-ounce option. Although most opt for this menu item, many other great steaks abound on the menu. One of these is Texas Roadhouse's Road Kill, a chop steak that's served with onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Other, oddly named dishes abound at Texas Roadhouse including Chicken Critters, although these are not as highly regarded.

In terms of beverages, Texas Roadhouse has gained acclaim for the selection of margaritas it offers. The 18-ounce House Margarita is perhaps the best of these, presenting a clean, simple taste that's not short on booze.

3. LongHorn Steakhouse

Baby Back Ribs on plate
Baby Back Ribs on plate - LongHorn Steakhouse/Facebook

LongHorn Steakhouse is another chain that prioritizes affordability. Thankfully, the quality of the food doesn't suffer as a result. Great steaks can be enjoyed at this chain but Longhorn Steakhouse's best entrée is actually the Baby Back Ribs. Slow-cooked and well-seasoned by experienced kitchen staff, these pork ribs are flavorful and tender without being overly sweet. Even ex-employees, such as Emilee Unterkoefler, like the dish, with some stating they're just as delicious when ordered without BBQ sauce, as she noted in a Tasting Table essay.

LongHorn Steakhouse offers its fair share of indulgent appetizers as well. Chief amongst these is the White Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms. Despite the name, the mushrooms are actually smothered in a variety of cheeses including Parmesan and cheddar, a cheese crust, and a four-cheese sauce. Such indulgence ensures this dish is a favorite of many food critics, including Julia Smith, host of hit YouTube series "Julia Tries Everything."

Smith also rates LongHorn Steakhouse's desserts, picking out Chocolate Stampede as her favorite. This dessert includes six different types of chocolate, is served alongside a double scoop of vanilla ice cream, and is considered by many to be one of the best dishes at LongHorn Steakhouse.

4. Black Angus Steakhouse

Prime rib from Black Angus
Prime rib from Black Angus - YipCoyote/X, formerly known as Twitter

Black Angus Steakhouse has been operating since 1964 and has gained a reputation for serving solid, well-aged steaks. These include the usual cuts such as ribeye and prime rib. However, it is seafood where the chain really shines, especially lobster. This is because Black Angus Steakhouse takes care when cooking this crustacean, choosing to steam the lobster tails instead of baking them. This simple step ensures the lobster meat remains both moist and tender.

Diners do not have to pick between steaks or lobster when dining at Black Angus Steakhouse, they can have both by upgrading their steak to surf and turf. For an additional $28, two lobster tails are added to any steak, instantly transforming a good meal in to an excellent one.

The steakhouse chain is also celebrated for its prime rib, which comes in a variety of sizes. These include the so-called Diamond Cut, a 24-ounce steak that's seasoned with a dry rub and served with a homemade jus. Two lobster tails can, of course, be added.

5. Saltgrass Steak House

Saltgrass' cheesecake on a plate
Saltgrass' cheesecake on a plate - SCampozano/X, formerly known as Twitter

Saltgrass Steak House is a mid-range steakhouse chain. This gives it many advantages as senior management member Terry Turney explained to Forbes: "Because we're placed in the middle, we attract from both sides. We're a bit more everyday than Ruth's Chris. And for the others, we may be more special occasion, and the price point sits closer than Outback, Roadhouse, and LongHorn."

While beneficial from a commercial sense, being a mid-range steakhouse chain poses significant challenges. The most prevalent of these is managing to serve high quality food while keeping costs -- and subsequent prices -- low. Somehow Saltgrass Steak House manages to do this, as proved by the popular Urban Cowboy, a 12-ounce New York strip that's served alongside grilled shrimp is priced much lower than other surf and turf options at $40.99.

Guests should also order from the chain's selection of house-made desserts. As befits a steakhouse, the standout dessert item is the Two-Fork Cheesecake that's made with a graham cracker crust and topped with a white chocolate sauce.

6. Outback Steakhouse

Outback's Bloomin' Onion
Outback's Bloomin' Onion - Chansak Joe/Shutterstock

Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed chain with nearly 700 restaurants located in the United States, and over 1,000 globally. The famously tech-savvy restaurant chain welcomes thousands of guests every week, suggesting it was only a matter of time until a menu item became famous. Surprisingly, it wasn't a steak that went viral but the Bloomin' Onion, a breaded, deep-fried onion appetizer. This item has been on the menu since 1988 and spotlights a 1-pound onion that's been sliced into 200 petals. Over 8 million Bloomin' Onions are ordered per year and countless copycat recipes have been developed thanks to its incredibly moreish nature. As such, ordering such an iconic dish should be a no brainer when visiting Outback Steakhouse.

Guests visiting Outback should also consider ordering the restaurant's filet mignon. This steak is a barrel cut, meaning it is thicker than filet mignons served by other steakhouse chains. This has made it a firm favorite of many food writers and critics, along with Alice Springs Chicken, which features grilled chicken topped with mushrooms and two types of cheese.

7. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Ruth's Chris New York strip
Ruth's Chris New York strip - Ruth/Instagram

With over 150 restaurants worldwide, Ruth's Chris is one of the biggest luxury steakhouse chains in the world. Ruth's Chris was bought by the parent company of both Olive Garden and The Capital Grille in 2023, and the parent company's business acumen is on show in all aspects of the chain, including its menu.

Ruth's Chris boasts a versatile menu that's built around a selection of USDA Prime steaks. Of these, professional reviewers often favor the New York strip. This 16-ounce steak was known to be the favorite of the chain's founder Ruth Fertel and is celebrated for its well-developed flavor. Aside from the quality of the steak itself, Ruth's Chris also offers a range of accompaniments to further develop the dish's flavor. These include a blue cheese crust made with panko breadcrumbs and the option to serve it "Oscar Style," which involves the steak being topped with crabmeat, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce. While some critics have found the latter option to be overwhelming, the blue cheese crust is generally viewed as a delicious accompaniment to any Ruth's Chris steak.

High-end steakhouse chains like Ruth's Chris flex their culinary muscles across the entire menu. This is evidenced through appetizers like the Veal Osso Buco Ravioli. Made with saffron-infused pasta, and served with a white wine demi-glace, this dish is an incredibly luxurious appetizer that all diners should consider ordering.

8. The Capital Grille

Surf and turf on plate
Surf and turf on plate - The Capital Grille/Facebook

The Capital Grille markets itself as a comfortably elegant steakhouse chain. This approach is demonstrated in both the dining room's classy decor and the quality of food that's served in it. Most noticeable are the steaks, which demonstrate a complex flavor thanks to an 18- to 24-day, in-house, dry aging process. After being trimmed, the steaks are hand-cut before being cooked and served.

These time-consuming processes result in some decadent entrées including The Capital Grille's take on surf and turf, which features a seared tenderloin served with poached lobster tails. The daily specials often include other surf and turf options including a filet mignon and lobster tail surf and turf that has been celebrated by critics as an exceptional demonstration of high quality ingredients and skillful cooking.

Another much-celebrated dish at The Capital Grille is a 14-ounce New York strip steak au poivre. This dish has been lauded by professional critics from numerous publications thanks to its well-balanced flavor that's complemented by a topping of Courvoisier cognac cream. This steak is best paired alongside Sam's Mashed Potatoes, the chain's iconic, creamy side.

9. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

steak on fork
steak on fork - Flemings/Instagram

With more than 65 locations across the United States, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is a well-established, luxury steakhouse chain. It is best known for its 21-day wet-aged, USDA Prime, bone-in ribeye. Cooked in a state of the art broiler that reaches 1,600 degrees F, the bone-in ribeye develops a perfectly charred crust. This gives the steak a crisp exterior that gives way to an incredibly juicy interior. Critics also highlight how the cooking process imbues the meat with a slightly smoky flavor. The steak is served on a 350 degree F plate and finished with compound butter.

As the chain's name suggests, Fleming's is known for its extensive wine selection. Many of the bottles on offer are priced under $100, making for affordable drinking. Products from many notable American vineyards and wineries are on offer, including Duckhorn Vineyards, Stag's Leap, and Caymus Vineyards. In other words, every guest at Fleming's can order an exceptional wine to accompany their meal.

10. The Palm

Chicken parmigiana at The Palm
Chicken parmigiana at The Palm - The Palm/X, formerly known as Twitter

The Palm was founded in 1926 as a single steakhouse in New York. Steady growth saw several Palm restaurants open across the United States during the 20th century, with many of these locations becoming hubs for writers, artists, and other celebrities. Like everyone else, these individuals came to The Palm for a traditional steakhouse experience, one the chain still offers.

This experience is defined by the menu; The Palm offers all the dishes associated with a classic steakhouse including a wedge salad, crab cakes, and oysters. The cuts of beef also lean classic with the most highly-touted option being a center cut filet, which is available in both 8- and 12-ounce portions. That being said, the Chicken Parmigiana, another longstanding menu item, is also a standout. Many have even called it the greatest chicken parmigiana on Earth. As such, it's a dish all customers should consider ordering.

11. Morton's The Steakhouse

Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake
Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake - Sorlo/Tripadvisor

Morton's The Steakhouse boasts over 60 establishments, some located as far afield as Hong Kong. All of these serve an array of steakhouse dishes including lobster bisque and wedge salad. USDA Prime steaks dominate the menu, with the restaurant serving an impressive array of cuts including filet mignon, a variety of ribeyes, and even a wagyu filet. That being said, it's the 16-ounce New York strip that gets the most attention from reviewers. This large steak contains over 1,000 calories making it a delicious, but formidable entrée for any diner.

Those counting calories should probably steer clear of Morton's altogether thanks to the chain's impressive array of desserts. As attested to by the huge number of copycat recipes online, Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake is a clear favorite thanks to its rich, indulgent flavor and gooey texture. For further decadence, guests should consider upgrading it to a sundae.

12. Fogo De Chão

Fogo de Chão picanha
Fogo de Chão picanha - Fogo de Chão/X, formerly known as Twitter

Unlike all the other chains on this list, Fogo de Chão is not a typical steakhouse. Instead of customers dining a la carte, most pay a set fee for the Churrasco Experience, which sees them enjoy an array of meat that's paraded around the tables by waitstaff. This way of serving meat -- called rodízio -- is the de facto method employed by Brazilian steakhouses like Fogo de Chão and is a style that's rapidly gaining popularity in the United States.

Although there is no need to order meat, guests can still tailor their experience by turning down the offer of certain foods in favor of others. One piece of meat that definitely shouldn't be overlooked is Fogo de Chão's picanha. This is a traditional Brazilian cut and is Fogo de Chão's signature steak. Critics celebrate it for its succulent texture and intense, beefy flavor.

Although most people dining at Fogo de Chão are satisfied with the Churrasco Experience, there are some special dishes that can be ordered as additions. The best of these is the Wagyu New York Strip Steak. This 20-ounce, 21-aged premium steak is absolutely divine and has even been named by some professional critics' as their favorite ever steak.

13. Logan's Roadhouse

Logan's Roadhouse yeast rolls
Logan's Roadhouse yeast rolls - Logan's Roadhouse/X, formerly known as Twitter

Logan's Roadhouse is a steakhouse chain that grills its steaks over mesquite wood, with traditional cuts of steak dominating the menu, such as sirloin and filet mignon. All the steaks can be served with an array of the chain's optional toppings. Customers can select from the likes of sautéed mushrooms, beer-braised 'brewski' onions, and garlic butter. Critics point out that the addition of these ingredients truly elevates all of Logan's Roadhouse's steaks.

Where Logan's Roadhouse really excels, though, is baked goods. Anyone who has visited the chain will remember the brand's complimentary yeast rolls, which practically melt in your mouth. In fact, it's hard to stop eating them to leave room for the rest of the meal. Happily, the restaurant's baked cinnamon rolls are just as good, boasting a light, fluffy texture and a moreish, sweet flavor. The rolls are the perfect dessert to round out a meal and can even be ordered raw, allowing customers to bake them at home whenever suits them.

14. Del Frisco's Double Eagle

Del Frisco's crab cake
Del Frisco's crab cake - crazydallasfoodie/Instagram

There are 17 Del Frisco's Double Eagle restaurants in the United States, making it one of the smallest chains on this list. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in style, offering a high-end dining experience complete with luxury ingredients like caviar.

Although the chain boasts a variety of dishes, it's the steakhouse classics that are most highly regarded.; these include a blue cheese smothered wedge salad that's completed with crisp bacon and cherry tomatoes. Elsewhere, the lump meat crab cakes shine thanks to the use of high quality crabmeat. The use of quality ingredients is also on show for the chain's entrées with the Double Bone Lamb Chops standing out for critics thanks to the chop's great meat to fat ratio.

As with any steakhouse chain, the food is why so many people visit Del Frisco's Double Eagle. However, a large proportion of these customers return thanks to the chain's impressive wine list. Del Frisco's Double Eagle locations often receive Wine Spectator's prestigious Award of Excellence and its trained sommeliers are more than adept at finding the perfect wine to accompany any meal.


Steak on cutting board
Steak on cutting board - Zoranm/Getty Images

We included the recommended dishes only if they'd been celebrated by food critics and writers. These individuals wrote for an array of leading publications such as The Infatuation, Eater, and Delish. Professional reviews that mentioned specific dishes were cross-referenced against amateur reviews posted to personal blogs, ensuring these dishes appealed to both food professionals and amateur eaters alike.

Static Media owns and operates Daily Meal and Tasting Table.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.