Which US Steakhouse Chains Use The Best Quality Beef?

If you're a meat lover, a night out at a steakhouse is an event to look forward to. Since it is likely to be an expensive meal, you want to make sure you choose somewhere that serves high quality meat. All beef is not created equal, and no matter how modern the decor or bustling the ambience, a steakhouse is always going to be judged on the quality of its steaks.

The top steakhouses in the country are proud to serve the best possible meat to their customers, advertising that USDA Prime beef is the star of the show. Whether your favored cut is a tender filet mignon, a juicy rib-eye, or even a stunning tomahawk, eating at a restaurant that specializes in Prime beef will guarantee a delicious experience.

Join us as we take a closer look at the steak chains across the country that serve the best quality steak that has earned the title of USDA Prime. From legendary household names to up and coming stars, these restaurants will make sure your night out will be anything but a disappointment.

Grading Beef

Most of us know to look for Prime beef if we want the best steak in a restaurant, but what does it actually mean? The USDA rates the quality of beef based on "tenderness, juiciness, and flavor,"  and designates a grade of either Prime, choice, or select.

USDA Prime beef is the pinnacle when it comes to steak. Beef that successfully achieves this grade will have sufficient marbling of fat throughout to create plenty of flavor and a juicy texture. Only the very best meat will be awarded a Prime certification, making it the preferred beef for steakhouses that place the quality of their steaks above all else.

Choice beef is the runner up to Prime, still representing good quality meat but without the generous marbling found in the higher grade of meat. Choice steak represents a good balance of quality versus price, allowing you to enjoy tasty meat without breaking the bank. Many good steakhouses use choice beef in their restaurants.

Select meat is the lowest grade on the USDA scale, though it can still be enjoyed if cooked properly. It has less marbling than the higher grades, meaning less flavor overall. Top steakhouses will not serve select meat, opting for one of the higher grades instead. Each of the steakhouses on our list serves Prime beef as standard, meaning their customers can rest assured that the meat served will be of the highest quality, with tasty fat marbled throughout the meat.


If you're hankering for a top quality steak, then you won't be disappointed at Wolfgang's. With 30 restaurants across the globe, this quality steakhouse has grown into a sizable international chain from their flagship restaurant in New York in 2004.

Having worked at Peter Luger's steakhouse for 40 years, Wolfgang Zwiener knows quality steak, and prides himself on only serving Prime beef to his customers. He selects all of the cuts of Black Angus beef personally, which are then dry-aged and butchered by his own knowledgeable team. Black Angus cattle are related to the famous Aberdeen Angus breed, and are known for their beautiful marbling of fat throughout the meat.

The substantial menu at Wolfgang's features the top cuts of meat you would expect, including filet mignon, sirloin, ribeye, and Porterhouse to share. They also serve classic side dishes that will enhance your steak experience, including fries, broccoli, and mushrooms. With everything you expect from a steakhouse and top quality meat to set it apart, a trip to Wolfgang's will be a great experience for any meat-lover.


The first Morton's restaurant opened in 1978 in Chicago, by owners Arnold Morton and Klaus Fritsch. Though it was initially inspired by what they called the 'Million Dollar Hamburger', Morton's has grown to become an internationally recognized steak chain, with 65 restaurants across the globe. 

Prime beef falls into the top 2% of the steaks eaten in America in terms of quality, and Morton's meat is dry-aged for up to 28 days before being butchered and prepared to serve to their customers. They have used the same suppliers for more than 40 years to ensure the steaks they serve meet their very high standards.

In their Chicago restaurant, you will find filet mignon of various sizes, ribeye and New York strip, as well as more specialized steaks such as wagyu filet and tomahawk. Morton's website recommends eating Prime beef rare, if possible, or medium-rare at the most. The majority of steak aficionados would agree, especially when it comes to the leaner cuts such as filet mignon. Serving these cuts well done causes the muscle fibers to shorten, which results in precious juice being lost from the meat. To enjoy the best possible steak at Morton's, order your steak as rare as you are comfortable doing.

Ruth's Chris

Founded by the 'First Lady of Steak' Ruth Fertel in 1965, and known at the time simply as Chris Steakhouse, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse has become an icon of American beef, spanning 21 countries including China, Mexico, and Canada. The steakhouse chain insists on only US Prime Beef being used in their restaurants, guaranteeing a top-quality steak experience for all customers.

To create the perfect steak, the meat is cooked on special ultra-hot salamander grills that were designed by the founder herself in 1967. The meat is seared at around 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, then transferred to an almost-freezing-in-comparison 500 degree sizzle plate to be served to the customer. Ruth's plan was to keep the steaks "hot to the last bite,"  and to make the sound of sizzling steak synonymous with her top-quality restaurants – "if it doesn't sizzle, send it back!"

In Ruth's Chris New Orleans restaurant, your taste buds can be treated to a variety of Prime steaks, including New York strip, T-bone, and cowboy ribeye. If these huge slabs of meat seem a bit too much, they also offer a petite filet which, at 8 ounces in size will satisfy your steak craving but still leave room for one of their delicious desserts. 

Steak 48

Steak 48 may only have opened in 2016, but it has already made a name for itself in the quality steak industry. Their menu features USDA Prime beef, including wagyu, as well as delicious shellfish, to create a luxurious dining experience. They fly in produce on a daily basis to make sure ingredients are as fresh as possible.

Steak 48 serves wet and dry-aged beef, meaning customers can choose their preferred option. Dry-aged beef has a more intense, meaty flavor, and drier texture, having been dried in the open air. Wet-aged meat is allowed to age in its own juices, giving it a moist and tender texture, but a milder flavor. 

Their wide and varied menu includes favorites such as New York strip and filet mignon, with grass-fed and bone-in options to keep everyone happy. They also have Australian wagyu for those looking for something extra special. If you're looking for a modern steakhouse that delivers quality meat with a drinks menu to match, Steak 48 is a standout option.

Shula's Steak House

Opened by legendary NFL coach Don Shula in 1989, Shula's set out to be an upscale steakhouse serving the best quality beef, and more than three decades later, they have multiple restaurants across the country that are testament to his vision.

Shula's serves Prime steaks, both wet-aged and dry-aged, in a variety of cuts, from striploin to cowboy ribeye, and the luxurious filet and lobster surf and turf if you are feeling particularly indulgent. Their steaks are specially selected for each restaurant, with a focus on taste and texture, then grilled to perfection to create a steak with a juicy middle and delectable crust on the outside.

The high quality beef certainly seems to hit the mark with their customers, as Shula's in Orlando has an average Trip Advisor rating of 4.5, with more than 1500 5 star reviews. Whether you're a football fan, a steak lover, or just enjoy an elegant night out with a friendly ambiance, a trip to Shula's will be a memorable and tasty experience.

Smith and Wollensky

If you're looking for classic elegance and top notch steak, Smith and Wollensky is the place to be. Established in 1977, it is the epitome of American steakhouses, building from the first restaurant in New York city to a chain of 10 across America, one in London and one in Taiwan. This iconic institution has been serving top quality beef for more than 40 years, so the only difficult part will be choosing which cut to order.

In their flagship New York restaurant, they serve the favorite cuts you would expect, including sirloin, filet mignon, and the enormous 26 ounce prime rib. If you can't decide between a striploin and a filet, they have a Porterhouse to share which will allow you to sample both.

The beef served at Smith and Wollensky is USDA Prime beef that has been dry aged for superior flavor. They have their own ranch in Idaho where the cattle are raised with high welfare standards, resulting in meat with a better flavor and texture. Their attention to detail goes beyond the meat, as each customer can eat their steak with a custom-made steak knife that is the perfect weight for slicing into that beautiful plate of beef. It is little touches like this that make your experience at Smith and Wollensky a meal to remember.


If formal steakhouses are not really your thing, but you are in the mood for a really good plate of beef, head over to Saltgrass. This famous Texas steakhouse now has restaurants across the country from Nevada to Florida, each serving certified Angus beef, known for its delicious marbling of fat throughout the meat. 

The name Saltgrass comes from the 1800s, when Texas longhorn cattle would feed each winter on the salt grass of the Gulf coast. The Saltgrass brand was designed to honor the ranchers of the time while providing top quality steak to their customers.

Their relaxed menu serves classic cuts such as T-bone, filet, and New York strip, alongside extravagant options like porterhouse and wagyu beef from Snake River farms. There are plenty of other options if you are dining with non steak-lovers, and a wide range of appetizers, sides, and desserts to make sure no one leaves feeling hungry. Saltgrass has won numerous awards, including most recently the TripAdvisor traveler's choice award in 2020. If you are looking for a laid back dining experience that will still hit the spot with quality steak, Saltgrass should be on your list.

Peter Luger

If you are searching for a true legend in the world of steakhouses, Peter Luger has to be near the top of the list. Originally a cafe and bowling alley opened in 1887, the restaurant was bought by Sol Foreman in 1950 after the founder, P.L. himself, passed, and was restored to the high-quality restaurant that it remains today. With two restaurants in Long Island and Brooklyn, Peter Luger is a New York institution that continues to serve top quality steak to its customers.

Peter Luger is proud of the fact that they only ever use USDA Prime beef, which is selected by family members who are trained in spotting the highest quality meat. The meat that makes the cut is then dry-aged on site before being expertly butchered to be served to customers.

The steak menu at Peter Luger is simple – you can order porterhouse steak for one, two, three, or four people, or rib steak for one or two. The top quality beef speaks for itself, meaning you can spend less time agonizing over what cut to order, and more time enjoying the classic ambience and good company. You can order classic sides such as fries and onion rings to create the ultimate steakhouse meal.

If you are in New York and craving a steak, there is no need to look beyond Peter Luger. With its classic decor and top-notch beef, your taste buds are in for an unforgettable experience.