The fine-dining steakhouse experience is a restaurant-style forged in the last century — and it’s one that transcends the standard service levels of today. True professionals in the art of tableside cooking, wine sommeliers, beef-aging experts, and in-house butchers often create the magic. Here are some steakhouses that put the old-school back into eating out.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
What to order: Lobster Deviled Eggs, Prime Ribeye, Potatoes au Gratin, Housemade Pecan Pie
The 25-year-old Houston spot features wood and antique fixtures from the Pappas family to ensure that old-school feeling. The experience is so popular they have two more locations in Texas. Pappas has a wine cellar holding over 35,000 bottles and sources their corn-fed USDA prime beef from a single packer in the Midwest, dry-aging it for 28 days in-house.
Farmer Browns Steak House
What to order: The Hired Hand Cut, a side order of Spaghetti
Farmer Browns has been serving steak, seafood, chicken, and classic craft cocktails since 1964. The service and quality of this restaurant are always described as "old school" and "iconic" and bring you right back in time, described in detail for their generous portions, quality of food, and professional service.
West Palm Beach, Florida
What to order: Bone-in Ribeye, Porterhouse Steak, Black and White Filet, Pan-Seared Bass
The Okeechobee Steakhouse is Florida’s Oldest Steakhouse, owned by the same family, same location and building since 1947, and known for its classic steakhouse décor and six cuts of steak on the menu, all trimmed the old-fashioned way with a minimal amount of fat and grilled to the customer’s preference.
What to order: Escargots de Bourgogne (House Specialty), Filet Mignon
Golden Steer is the epitome of mid-century Vegas dining. Frank Sinatra put this joint on the map as the food and service kept "the Chairman of the Board" returning with his famous Rat Pack. Ask the server what Ol’ Blue-Eyes used to eat. But based on reviews, everything you order will fly you to the moon.
Wilson, North Carolina
What to order: The Ribeye
Since 1966, this inn has had no menu, ten tables, no reservations — and lines out the door. The ribeye steak starts at 8 ounces and goes up to 26 ounces, and comes with a baked potato and an “all you can eat” salad bar. The inn cooks its bacon bits and meals come with Texas toast and baked onions. Tea also comes with the meal. Tar Heel notables get in the “wait and dine queue” with the hoi polloi, too.
What to order: Extra Thick Veal Chop and Scottish Smoked Salmon
Sparks Steakhouse opened in 1966 but moved its locations in 1977. This current location used to be known as "Steak Row." Financier Tommy Gallagher of Top Mobile Banks is a regular patron and says,"Sparks Steakhouse is most famously or maybe infamously known as being the place where Gambino crime boss Paul Castellano and under-boss Thomas Bilotti gunned down on the orders of notorious mobster John Gotti."
What to order: The New York Strip, Maker’s Mark Whiskey Bread Pudding
Designer Kaitlin Barthold says: "Manny’s Steakhouse is noteworthy among Minnesota natives and known as the state’s best steakhouse. Everyone knows if you go to Manny’s, it’s to celebrate a special occasion and indulge in a serious treat. The chefs take extreme pride in their steaks and make sure you are satisfied."
What to order: Presidential Choice of the T-Bone steak, Lamb Fries
This establishment has been operating for over 100 years. Their specialties are steak, and the T-Bone is the steak President George W. Bush always had to have ordered when visiting Oklahoma City.
What to order: Drunken Prawns, Izzy’s Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, Rib Eye
This Bay Area Marina eatery has operated for over 30 years. Samantha DuVall Bechtel, Izzy’s CEO, is the daughter of the restaurant’s founder. The inspiration for the name of the restaurant was Isadore "Izzy" Gomez, a legendary restaurateur and chef, and his 1900 Barbary Coast saloon. The bar and eatery defied Prohibition and was known for its hearty steaks and celebrity sightings.
What to order: Steak and daily lunch specials
Since 1922, Omaha’s no-nonsense steakhouse has fed billionaires like Warren Buffet as well as average Joes. Johnny’s Café is known as Omaha’s Original SteakHouse and is family-owned and operated. Slow-roasted prime rib, fresh sides, huge salads, hand-cut steaks, chicken, and seafood specialties are the popular picks.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
What to order: Pietro’s Shrimp Lejon, Pietro’s Prime Salad, Cajun Delmonico
For over 80 years, this family-owned and operated steakhouse has served the West Chester community. Pure upscale dining and many different cuts of beef, a variety of tasty seafood selections, and the bar are highly rated and reviewed. Pietro’s offers live entertainment on select nights and the best happy hour in West Chester.
The Old Place
Agoura Hills, California
What to order: Old Place Cut Sirloin, any new seasonal game, "MAN-mosa," and their loaded baked potato
The Old Place debuted in the heart of the Santa Monica mountains in 1970 with a swath of stars and old Californian families mixing it up in the small space, and they still do. Creator Tom Runyon’s vision was to create a place where time was "a bit wound backward." The menu changes seasonally, and the seating appointments are strict; times and days for reservations must be made well in advance. Steaks and fresh game are always incredible, as are inventive side dishes, a solid wine list, and an eclectic decor that features a stunning bar salvaged from a Virginia City saloon.
What to order: Fried Mushrooms, Frog Legs, The House Rib Eye
Established in 1947 and still going strong, Town Club is a family-owned restaurant and bar with steaks that come with a salad plus a relish tray. Thanks to an Indiana Smoked Duck and lots of cuts of beef, the mid-century vibe is still intact.
What to order: Melrose Cut Filet Mignon, Spinach Salad
This cozy traditional steakhouse set in a historic 1901 building that still has its original bar is a steak lovers’ magnet in the heart of Renton. The full menu boasts made-from-scratch desserts such as an apple torte topped with vanilla ice cream.
Chandlers Prime Steaks & Fine Seafood
What to order: Tower of Tuna, Chocolate Souffle, Tomahawk Ribeye
To many people, this is Boise’s best old school steakhouse. With over a dozen selections of hand-cut and trimmed steaks ranging from corn-fed, Midwest prime and Japanese A5 Wagyu to organic grass-fed beef and seafood flown to the restaurant daily, anyone including a bonafide potato baron can be seen here dining in style.
Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse
What to order: Little Neck Clams, Lobster Bisque, and Rib Eye Steak
Former “Today” co-stars Hoda and Kathie Lee dine here frequently, and it’s easy to understand the appeal. This classic steakhouse boasts cozy booths and a classic vibe. Since 1926 the steakhouse has served New York the best cuts of steak. Sides like steamed and creamed spinach and salads earn rave reviews.
What to order: Maine Lobster Cocktail, Chateaubriand, Brasstown Cowboy Ribeye for Two
Described by one reviewer as a "bucket list" destination that attracts visiting celebrities, Berns’ Steakhouse is a stylish throwback to the last century. Serving Tampa since 1956, this old-school gem features dry-aged steaks, a vast wine cellar, and authentic mid-century decor. All of the steak entrees come with French onion soup, onion rings, a choice of various salads, vegetables of the day, and a loaded baked potato.
What to order: Chatham Oysters With Red Wine Mignonette, Soy Lacquered Lamb Ribs, Surf & Turf with Lobster Ravioli and Lobster Meat in a Truffle Cream Sauce
This Cape Cod gem opened in 1957. Chef-Owner Anthony Silvestri. He keeps it old school and relaxed with wood-paneled fixtures with a classic bar featuring hand-cut aged steaks, local seafood, and imported wines.
What to order: Trail Boss Prime Rib
The Drover has served special steak dinners for over 40 years. The whiskey-marinated steaks are made with a house secret special marinade, soaked for fifteen minutes before the sizzle. Their dinner entrees and steak all come with warm wheat bread, soup or salad, and a choice of baked potato, French fries, rice, broccoli, or asparagus.
What to order: Porterhouse Steak, Chocolate Truffon
The historic Rainbow Lodge has served the famous politicians and very wealthy Texans in Houston for 40 years and specializes in wild game and seafood. It serves beef steaks from 44 local farms, too. The setting is a rustic log cabin described as charming and well-appointed along the edge of the White Oak Bayou in Houston. The eclectic and seasonally changing menu also features chicken and seafood.
Chuck’s of Hawaii
Santa Barbara, California
What to order: Happy Hour Steak Bites, 11 oz Teriyaki Ribeye
This restaurant has been serving award-winning steaks, wines, and seafood since 1967 with a Tiki “off the mainland” vibe and cooking up incredible cuts of steak and seafood. Their daily happy hour is renowned and well worth checking out.
What to order: Charcuterie Plate, Vichyssoise, Steak Tartare
France came to Texas and stayed awhile. This old-school steakhouse offers dining into the wee hours of the night for those lucky enough to live in Austin. Customers will find a true continental steak-centric menu with French flair. Steaks and snails are served up with a wide selection of wine and cocktails “in a little bungalow with a light-strung patio,” according to the Justine’s website.
What to order: Dungeness Crab Cocktail, Surf and Turf, Jack LaLanne’s Famous Salad for Two
John’s Grill is an old-timey hot spot with salads, steak, seafood, pasta, and sandwiches. Sam Spade’s Lamb Chops are named for author Dashiell Hammett’s famed private eye, as Hammett was a frequent customer. Fitness guru Jack LaLanne even had a salad named for him.
What to order: Jumbo Prawns and Prime Rib
Willie Schrier purchased the property and began to build his dream restaurant in the late ’50s, transforming the spot into a true mid-century steakhouse room that has lines to get inside weekly. Jumbo Prawns became Willie’s calling card locally, along with fine steaks, lobster, and prime rib.
What to order: Baked French Onion Soup, Onion Rings, Steak Dianne, Coconut Cake
Al’s Steak House is one of the oldest established upscale dining restaurants in Joliet, established in 1959. Al’s many specialties are the Grecian-style steaks served with Al’s double-baked potato. The original building has a celebrity history and was a nightspot in Joliet, with many bands appearing nightly in the lounge.
What to order: Shrimp Stuffed Avocado, Texas-style Prime Rib
The most common description in reviews is that it’s a nostalgic experience eating at The Tartan Room. From the house salad made with beets, cucumber, onions, tomato, and croutons to the variety of steaks, there’s something for everyone. The classic bacon-wrapped filet mignon with a baked potato is a top seller.
H. D. Gibbes & Sons
What to order: Potato Casserole, Ribeye, Buttermilk Pie
Built back in the late 1800s, H. D. Gibbes & Sons began as a general merchandise store and is in continuous operation and still owned by the Gibbes family today. In 2009, H. D. Gibbes & Sons created a restaurant offering steak, lamb chops, and seafood served with homemade potato and vegetable casseroles on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Lock Stock & Barrel
What to order: Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops and Prime Rib
Since 1977, the entrées at this steakhouse have included a choice of salad bar, garden salad, Caesar, tomato, and sweet onion salad or a cup of soup and a selection of potato, rice, or seasonal vegetables. Specialties are always their sold out nightly prime rib; plus hand-carved steaks, seafood, lamb, and Sundays boast two Prime rib dinner specials. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday until 6 pm.
What to order: Scotch Rarebit, A Wee Green Salad, English Cut Prime Rib
Southern California diners have dined here for over 90 years. The Tam O’Shanter is Los Angeles’ oldest restaurant operated by the same family despite the fact it is now part of the Lawry’s restaurant chain. Plaid is everywhere and the inviting lighting, warm hospitality, and exceptional food are all served in a cozy, old-world atmosphere. If you have some Scottish ancestry, this place will be a do-over. The bar is loaded with Scotches imported from every part of the old country.
What to order: Carpaccio, Giant Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, Bone-in Ribeye, Brownie Al Capone
Nick’s Ristorante’s Italian roots come from the Delmonte Family, who hail from a small town just outside of Naples, Italy. The family serves classic steakhouse entrees with loads of authentic Italian flair in their sides and appetizers.
What to order: Artichoke, Scallops, 22-Ounce T-Bone
Since 1952, the Ostini Family has served California-style, live-oak fire-cooked meats to perfection, bringing choice aged beef to hungry clientele inside the walls of their 100-year-old building filled with Western nostalgia. Many famous cowpokes have sauntered through here on location shooting a film.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
What to order: McIlhenny Oysters, USDA Prime Strip, Dick Brennan, Sr.’s favorite cut, Creole seasoned, seared in a cast-iron skillet
Since 1998, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse has attracted celebrities and regular people alike with their straightforward steak entrees served with a New Orleans touch. Fresh seafood and sides always compliment the excellent steak selections, as the Brennan family’s 60 years of expertise in the art of beef preparation is a NOLA bucket list stop.
What to order: Steamed Clams Mariniére, The Harris Steak, Crème Brulee
In 1984, Ann Lee Harris opened what has become San Francisco’s classic American steakhouse with a plush atmosphere, dark wood, high ceilings with brass chandeliers, with large leather booths. They serve corn-fed Angus beef aged on the premises for three weeks.