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. There's an unabashed masculinity that still defines the steakhouse - what with its dark walls, low lighting, and plush seating - such that 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. Well, that and well aged beef. Be it wet or dry aged, these steakhouse take top notch beef, cook it at impossibly high temperatures, and serve it in a way that you just can't replicate at home.
Here are the best steakhouses in Toronto.
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.
Opened by former Harbour Sixty GM Michael Dabic, this lower level Italian steakhouse does both dry and wet aged beef in a hyper-modern setting. Located across the street from Soho House, it's not much of a surprise that Michael's draws a healthy celebrity quotient. The USDA prime dry-aged porterhouse ($64) is a carnivore's dream, spilling its pink juices over the plate. You won't find the widest selection of steaks here, but the quality is undeniable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Scarborough steakhouse does top quality 28-day wet aged steaks at surprisingly good prices. It's not particularly swank or even altogether that old school decor-wise, but the important stuff is done right. Served with your choice of potato (go for the match stick fries or the mashed), the steaks are well salted, juicy as hell and typically under $30 bucks.
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