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The 9 Best Steaks in NYC, According to Gotham Burger Social Club

Maria Gracia Santillana | March 4, 2021 | Food & Drink

Best Steakhouses in NYC

A red hot center, great seasoning and a nice charr. That’s the key to a good steak, according to Mike Puma of the Gotham Burger Social Club.

What started out as an excuse for 15 friends to meet once a month over burgers catapulted into an Instagram account with more than 183 thousand followers. Pretty soon, the crew expanded into visiting iconic steakhouses, and now, Puma and his friends are experts in both.

Much like burgers, the beauty and flavor of a steak all starts with the beef itself.

“Bad steak is just gonna taste bad,” Puma says, but a good grass-fed beef, handled by a chef who has respect for an animal, is unbeatable.

See also: The 11 Best Burgers in NYC, According to the Gotham Burger Social Club

Fat content, aging and cut is up to personal taste, but what’s always key when cooking a steak is the maillard reaction - the chemical process that creates the browned crust of flavor in all foods. Cooked on a hot flat top with an even sear, Puma seasons his steaks with salt and nothing else.

“Too much seasoning masks the flavor of the beef," Puma says, and for sides? He keeps it simple. “You need some greens ... There’s nothing better than a good, creamed spinach and hash brown potatoes.”

New York City is full of great steakhouses, but Puma narrowed this list into his nine favorites, judging by steak consistency and overall experience. Featuring iconic New York institutions and modern takes, Puma’s list is as much about the steaks as it is the restaurant’s atmosphere. In his words, “a great steak with a great room has a different energy and buzz."

We sat down with the Gotham Burger Social Club’s founder ready to talk about the best steaks in New York City. Whether you’re craving a juicy ribeye, a shareable tomahawk, or American Wagyu at a Korean barbecue, here are Puma’s picks for the best nine steaks in NYC.

See also: Bobby Flay Shares His Easy Evening Cocktail Recipe

Mike Puma of Gotham Burger Social Club

KEEN'S STEAKHOUSE

Keens steakhouse in NYC

72 W. 36th St. / Website

Feeding the who’s who since 1885, Keen’s is the only survivor of the Herald Square Theatre. There's incredible history inside these walls, but the steak takes second stage to no one. The only problem you'll have at this iconic steakhouse is answering this question: “Do you order (while technically not a steak) the legendary Mutton Chop or their King's Cut Prime Rib?” Whatever plate you choose, Puma says you’ll “have an amazing experience in one of NYC’s oldest Steakhouses."

4 CHARLES PRIME RIB

4 Charles St. #3004 / Website

Here, “dining with friends and splitting dishes is key,” Puma says. From roast prime rib beef to lamb chops, slides of a classic creamed spinach and their take on elote-style corn, sharing might be the best way to try a little bit of everything. If you’re lucky enough to get a table at this classic West Village spot, you’ll have to choose between the king or queen cut prime rib. Puma actually prefers the queen, but the prime rib is not the only shining star at 4 Charles.

“Those who know, know they serve one of the best porterhouse steaks from Allen Bros out there," Puma adds. With so many amazing choices for a night out, Puma confirms that it’s perfectly acceptable to order the prime rib with a side of porterhouse. “No one will judge you.”

PORTER HOUSE BAR AND GRILL

10 Columbus Circle / Website

Headed by Chef Michael Lomonaco, Porter House is an upscale steakhouse located in the Time Warner Center. Serving up some “incredible cuts of meat,” Porter House Chef Lomonaco has cooked at some of New York’s hottest restaurants, including Le Cirque and 21 Club. There are a variety of cuts available, but Puma says “you can’t go wrong with the bone-in New York Strip." Porter House prides itself on serving USDA Prime beef, as well as Snake River Farms, Idaho and Gold Grade American Wagyu.

While both Porter House and its sister restaurant Hudson Yards Grill are currently closed, we anticipate that it may it's able to open soon as indoor dining regulations are lifted.

See also: 7 Delicious Margarita Recipes From Celebrity Caterer Andrea Correale

PETER LUGER’S STEAKHOUSE

178 Broadway, Brooklyn / Website

“You can't mention a porterhouse steak without talking about the famous Peter Luger,” Puma says. Since 1887, this Williamsburg establishment has welcomed customers for dinner and tours through its dry-aging facilities, and the steakhouse maintains an old-time feel. While the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted its iconic tour online, Luger’s steaks are still available for dine-in and take-out. For the classic Luger experience, Puma recommends the in-house, dry-aged porterhouse steak. Paired with the iconic Luger experience, which recently partnered with Madame Tussaud’s to feature its wax figurines in house and join diners, your experience will be “second to none.”

BOWERY MEAT COMPANY

9 East 1st St. / Website

Bowery Meat Company says goodbye to the old boys club feel of steakhouses and offers what Puma calls a “swanky, mid-century dining experience." The meat-centric restaurant serves beef from Diamond Creek Ranch, ensuring customers the highest quality beef. As you arrive, you’re greeted with a platter of steaks from Pat LaFrieda and Snake River Farms. According to Puma it’s bound to make your head spin.

From beef, to chicken and even duck, Bowery offers it all. Puma recommends you “indulge in their tomahawk ribeye for two,” served with blistered shishito peppers, garlic confit and grilled shallots. If you’re not in the mood to share, you can never go wrong with the Bowery Rib-Cap steak, served with salsa verde and whipped potatoes

DELMONICO’S

56 Beaver St. / Website

One of the city's oldest fine dining establishment serves Puma's pick for “some of the best dry aged steaks you’ll have in NYC." Puma highly recommends the KOW American Wagyu aged tomahawk if available, or their signature 45-day Dry-Aged Rib Eye. Currently closed due to COVID, Puma “hopes to see them reopen soon," because "NYC needs these historic institutions to survive.”

See also: The 13 Best Pizza Slices in NYC, According to Jaymee Sire

SMITH & WOLLENSKY

797 3rd Ave. / Website

“Look up classic old school Steakhouse and you will find this Midtown gem,” Puma says. Serving USDA Prime grade beef that's dry-aged and hand-butchered in-house, any cut is bound to burst with flavor. While most gravitate to classics like their prime rib or the double sirloin, Puma says “it’s all about their Cajun ribeye.” The Cajun-marinated steak has the “perfect balance of beef and spice [that doesn’t] overpower the beef.”

Smith & Wollensky is currently closed for COVID, but their sister restaurants Quality Bistro and Quality Italian in midtown are open for dining and delivery. Check their website to hear the latest.

COTE KOREAN STEAKHOUSE

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Una publicación compartida por COTE NYC (@cote_nyc)

16 W 22nd St. / Website

This Korean steakhouse offers an immersive twist. Featuring USDA prime American Wagyu, Cote’s menu comes with a guide on the different cows and cuts of beef. Puma’s go to is the American Wagyu, which Cote calls the “Best of Both Worlds.” The dish mixes beef with the muscular meat of American cattle with the rich, yet delicate, marbling of Japanese beef. Sourced from a single producer, these cuts are currently available for both dine-in and delivery. Puma adds that "you can feast on the chef’s favorite cuts while grilling them table-side.” Truly the best of both worlds.

WOLFGANG’S

Multiple Locations / Website

While many have attempted to copy the magic of Luger’s, Puma says no one has done it as well as Wolfgang’s on Park Ave. “You'll get an outstanding porterhouse steak here," Puma says, "with all the same sides and desserts we've come to love.”

Follow Gotham Burger Social Club on Instagram to stay up to date on the hottest steaks throughout NYC.



Photography by: pexels/snapwire / Courtesy MIke Puma