The best places to eat steak in London
Gaucho by J W Howard Photography
The best places to eat steak in London
Craving steak and joyous gluttony? When seeking out where to eat steak in London, it is not all about traditional steakhouses, nor expensive cuts served daringly rare. What matters encompasses where the beef was reared and how, its diet and how long it’s been aged, and of course, how it’s cooked. Crucial too are well made, pitch perfect sauces and enticing side orders, the restaurant’s vibe and how the whole steak experience is reflected in the bill. These are the best restaurants to eat steak in London.
Hawksmoor is the world’s first carbon-neutral steak restaurant group and has become a B Corp too. Impressive, and the phenomenally tasty steak offers for budget or blow-out steak enjoyment reinforce their ethos. Their latest London opening floats on a pontoon in Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf and hums with mostly millennial diners. Each branch remains reassuringly individualistic. Oysters grilled with bone marrow and breadcrumbs are outrageously rich and utterly delectable, a new Hawksmoor classic. The 42-day aged, grass-fed ribeye has mineral intense flavour – partner with a good Caesar salad. New for weekday lunch, there are steak frites (with dry-aged rump, bone marrow, onion, and watercress) and the Sunday roast is epic. Giant chocolate/salted caramel Rolos make a great finish even when splendidly satiated. [Various locations].
J W Howard Photography
A pioneer among London steakhouses and still among the best serving up pampas-reared, free-to-roam Argentinian beef. The flagship on Swallow Street, Piccadilly, opened in 1994 and makes for a glamorous night out and is good for larger groups. Cuts are still paraded for inspection. The spiral cut churrascos lomo anointed with garlic, parsley and olive oil cuts like butter and has excellent depth of flavour. A side order of hand cut chips with chimichurri salt is a must. Both beetroot and mango tartare with a kick and whipped ice cream with walnuts and rum are ace. Drink Argentinian merlot. [Various locations].
Since its launch in 2012, the namesake flat-iron steak (known in the UK as feather blade, a smallish cut taken from the shoulder and best served medium rare so it doesn’t toughen up) has been sourced from the restaurants’ own North Yorkshire herd and cooked over wood embers. It remains one of London’s most appealing steak restaurants for those seeking thrifty dining deals. Do note that all sides are extra, from sauces to exemplary chips and excellent nutmeg-imbued creamed spinach as well as, in season, Sicilian lava soil-grown tomatoes. There are specials of more premium cuts chalked up which are also excellent value. [Various locations].
M is not a James Bond reference, though it is easy to imagine the suave fixer at home here. The initial name checks proprietor Martin Williams who now also owns Gaucho (which he used to run) and makes a brilliant double act with culinary director Mike Reid. M is on speed dial for City high flyers who adore their steak and happily pay top prices for superlative cuts displayed in look-at-me Himalayan salt chamber-fitted shiny fridges, as well as precise charcoal grill cooking and svelte surroundings. Yet M is admirably committed to regeneratively farmed, 100% pasture-fed, carbon-neutral beef as well as hydroponically and aeroponically grown salad and vegetables. For the complete experience, plunder the impressive list of top name chateaux vintages.
The Meat and Wine Co.
A Mayfair newcomer, The Meat and Wine Co. steakhouses are renowned in Australia and among London’s best steak restaurants with their distinctive South African braai approach. Steaks are cooked over flame at high temperature with a house ‘secret’ baste. Indisputably high end, besides hard-to-find specialities including Tom Hixon’s Irish wagyu and Australian Jack’s Creek wagyu, they have a prestige ‘Aged’ range of steaks. These are aged longer and wrapped in wagyu butter flavoured with honey and thyme or black garlic with mesmerisingly intense flavour. Adding to the enjoyment, eat with exceptional steak knives with ergonomic handles and blade serration.
Macellaio is Italian for butcher, and steak, priced by the 100g, is butchered to order with a chalkboard of what’s available each day at Macellaio’s three London restaurants. Owner Robert Costa takes his steak seriously yet the ambiance is invariably warm and neighbourly. It’s the place to try Piedmont’s justly famed fassone cattle (served crudo with burrata). Steaks are served simply with Ligurian olive oil and salt and good, chunky chips. Delectable lardo di colonnato drizzled with honey and scattered with walnuts on sourdough makes a divine starter and there’s excellent old-school tiramisu too. [Various locations].
Bricco e Bracco
Flying delightfully under the radar, even though the original Sicilian Bricco e Bacco was founded in the 1930s, this Fitzrovia gem serves one of the widest choices of beef cuts in London, including rarely seen sensational Finnish sashi, besides sakura from Italy, simmental from Poland, black onyx from Australia and more familiar fassane and Hereford beef, all long dry-aged, seared and served at the table on a hot salt plate. Start with the superb house caponata or an unusual, delicate take on steak tartare with orange, lemon, fennel and turnip tops and finish with perfectly aged Italian cheeses. This is definitely in the top tier of the best restaurants for eating steak in London with a sophisticated yet rustic edge.
Lurra, meaning ‘land’ in Basque, is influenced by the traditional charcoal and wood ‘erretegia’ grills found in the Basque country. Lurra’s owner imports txuletón, old dairy Galician blonds, grass fed and left to enjoy a happy life outdoors for between 12 and 16 years with their suppleness and magnificent marbling coming with age. Not only does Lurra have its own butchery and dry-aging chamber, they select beef as good as it can be. Steaks are liberally seasoned with salt and seared very slowly at lowish temperatures over wood, at around 200°C/390°F, and brought pink, glistening and sizzling to the table. The taste is next level extraordinary with the length and depth of a Barolo. No sauce is needed, a side order of feo de tudela tomato salad and fries with smoked paprika and alioli followed by the lightest Basque cheesecake completes the best restaurant for steak in London.
New York-inspired, and decidedly upscale with its dark moody decor, Goodman have their own dry-ageing rooms at each restaurant in Mayfair, the City and Canary Wharf, key to remaining among the best steak restaurants in London. All cuts, mostly from Lake District Farmers, are kept in these optimum-temperature-controlled, dehumidified chambers for a minimum of 30 days. Steaks are cooked at high temperature – around 400°C/750°F over charcoal on Mibrasas, the post-Josper sustainable choice which uses half the charcoal and keeps the meat impressively moist. Upcycled side dishes include mac 'n' cheese with lobster. There’s a beef-friendly wine list with plenty by the glass from the Enomatic and top Californians at more elevated prices. [Various locations].
While all Kobe beef is wagyu, not all wagyu qualifies as Kobe, it has to be from an incredibly rare and sought after breed of cattle called tajima bred according to strict rules in a single prefecture, Hyogo and must be certified by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Glamorous Sushi Samba is one of a handful of restaurants in London for this ultra-luxe steak. It is cooked ishiyaki-style on hot stone for a supreme melt in the mouth finish and served with dipping sauces and pickled plums or robata-grilled ribeye with Japanese kombucha squash and mustard cress. Service, tiradito, steak and views are stratospheric, though for one of the best steak restaurants in London with incomparable views, who’s counting.