The Best Steakhouses in Toronto
The best steakhouses in Toronto are a throwback to a more indulgent time, when a juicy hunk of red meat was guilt-free proposition (and that's not to mention the six cocktails served on the side). There's an unabashed masculinity that still defines the steakhouse, what with its dark walls, low lighting, and plush seating. Even the most modern of restaurants on this list can be fitted within their generic confines about two seconds after one passes through the front door. To a great extent, this almost anachronistic element is their very charm. Creamed spinach, Caesar salads made table-side, butter-soaked green beans, over-sized portions, bartenders who don't flinch when you order an Old Fashioned — these are the little delights one luxuriates in at a quality steakhouse.
And don't forget the wine. The mark-up is typically outrageous, but most high-end steakhouses boast wine lists that would make even the most timid oenophile drool. Dominated by big, age-worthy reds from Bordeaux, Napa and the Rhone (north or south, take your pick), decadent types who don't mind splurging on a meal will surely find something memorable with which to wash down their beef.
Although cheaper options like the Tulip didn't make the cut this time around, there's quite a bit of subtle variety among the restaurants here. Whether it be aging methods or the temperature at which the steaks are cooked, there's plenty of incentive to try a number of the city's beef-first institutions. And, for those who would argue that it's easy enough to cook a great steak at home, let's just say these guys still do it better.
Here are the best steakhouses in Toronto.
Photo from Morton's
Dry-aged beef. That's what the folks at Jacobs & Co. will tell you sets them apart from most other Toronto steakhouses. And, for the most part, it's true. By reducing the moisture in the meat, the beef flavour is intensified to a point that verges on the magical. I'd say skip the Wagyu offerings and go for the 14 oz. Rib Eye ($50), a steak that's so powerful you'll make strange, socially awkward noises as you consume it. Bonus points for an interior that gestures to the steakhouses of the past without looking like a relic. More »
This is the room you go to when you want to soak up old school Toronto. Barberians has been a fixture on Elm Street for over 50 years. The warmth-exuding decor is dated, to be sure - but everything just feels perfect, right down to the red carpeting. Throw in well-prepared classic cuts of steak, a jaw-droppingly well-stocked wine cellar, and the theatrics of table-side service, and you've got the recipe for your own personal Mad Men night. More »
Bestellen is the only restaurant on the list that doesn't neatly fall into the steakhouse category, though it is every bit of one when you get right down to it. If there's a dish that was made to foster the primal feeling that's often associated with grilled hunks of meat, it's the 32 oz. Cote de Boeuf ($98), which could feed three comfortably and makes for all-out indulgence when a pair go at it. Like Jacobs & Co. the beef here is dry-aged and oozing with salty deliciousness. More »
Located in the stately Harbour Commission Building, Harbour 60 is packed with suits on nights that the Leafs are in town, but the appeal of the place goes beyond the degree of importance one gets when dining here. This is just a very good steakhouse that does the classics as well as any other place on the list. With a menu that also places emphasis on a variety of seafood offerings, this might just be the premiere destination for surf and turf in Toronto. More »
While the restaurant does feel altogether too corporate, the USDA Prime steaks on offer here are consistently top notch. They arrive at the table unfathomably hot (courtesy of the super high temperatures at which they're cooked) and virtually bubbling in butter. So they'll take a few years off your life, but who cares? It's worth it. The dimly lit wood-paneled room gets the mood right, even if it's a bit predictable. Try the cowboy rib steak ($62.95). It's absolutely enormous. More »
Impeccable service, understated decor, and steaks thick enough to sink a small ship, Morton's will please those looking to luxuriate in meat and potatoes. I'm serious, with no less than seven potato preparations, this humble starch reaches new heights in the hands of these chefs. That's not to diminish the quality of the steaks - they're damn good too - but to point out that this is a place where you'll want to nix dessert plans and order as many sides as you can stomach. More »
Another Toronto throwback (though you'll also find locations in other cities), Hy's has been catering to the Financial District since the 1960s. Not much has changed about the place since then, including menu items like creamed corn and wedge salad. The steak cuts are classic, ranging from New York Strips to Filet Mignon, Rib Eye and Porterhouse, all of which come from 28-day aged Canadian beef. Seafood options abound for those not taken with steak. More »
An elevator with an operator and one of the nicest patios in the city, the Fifth has the whole exclusivity thing down pat. But how's the food? In a word, refined. You won't find any massive Porterhouse steaks here, but you can partake in one of the best flat iron steaks in the city (an underrated cut of beef if there ever was one). The menu shows more range than is typical of a steak-first establishment, but that's not a bad thing when venison is also on the table. More »
Dare I say the seafood is better than the steak? It's debatable, but suffice to say that you needn't feel obligated to go the beef route here. Should you choose to do so, however, you're not likely to be disappointed. Classic cuts of steaks come with salty crust and juices galore, and the selection of sides is as wide as it is good. A must-order item is the salt and vinegar shoestring fries. They're phenomenal. More »