No one in their right mind would call San Francisco a meat-and-potatoes kind of city. But there are still a handful of top-notch steakhouses where red meat eaters can get their fix. Some harken back to days gone by with big leather booths and crisp white tablecloths. Others showcase this city’s love for premium ingredients, offering menus chock-full of marbled wagyu, fresh uni, and caviar. Whether your meaty night out marks a special occasion or just an opportunity to satisfy a craving, these 15 San Francisco steakhouses have the goods.Read More
15 Great Steakhouses in San Francisco
These restaurants truly have the meats
Izzy's, open since 1987 in the Marina, proudly serves aged corn-fed American beef, and at reasonably affordable prices. Get the filet mignon for $46, and that includes two sides of your choosing. The restaurant also boasts one of the largest parklets in San Francisco, strung with romantic lights.
This North Beach institution is still bustling with jacketed waiters bringing big plates of steak and pasta to leather booths with white tablecloths. The original location, which dates back to 1937, suffered a fire in 2007, but Joe’s reopened five years later on Washington Square. The Italian-American menu includes flame-grilled New York strip, bone-in ribeye, or filet mignon, which come with a side of spaghetti or house-made ravioli. Or try the prime rib roast, which includes classic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.
The Brazen Head
Brazen Head is absolutely not a flashy downtown steakhouse experience; it’s more like the village pub of Cow Hollow. Regulars have been coming back to this cozy wood-paneled dining room for more than 40 years, and the house special is the prime rib, cooked however you like it, and served simply with a baked potato, green veggies, and caramelized shallot jus.
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At Harris', you'll travel back to a time when steak with a strong martini was the go-to combo. And you'll like it because the throwback quotient at this classic steakhouse is the best thing about it. That and the steaks, which are corn-fed and sourced from the Midwest, dry-aged for three weeks in the restaurant, and then mesquite-fire grilled.
House of Prime Rib
This San Francisco classic is a trip back in time. The restaurant's name says it all: it serves one thing and one thing only, and it does it perfectly. The only choices you need to make are meat temperature, cut thickness, mashed or loaded baked potatoes, and a martini or Manhattan. Each plate comes with a salad spun tableside, creamed spinach, Yorkshire pudding, and potatoes — and of course, a hulking piece of beef cut from roving carts. Take visiting friends and family, celebrate big life occasions, or just satisfy steak cravings.
Open since 1849, Tadich Grill is a San Francisco legend, complete with a wood-fired grill that outputs satisfyingly charred steaks. The most famous dish is the Hangtown Fry, an oyster omelet, but the steaks are of equal mention. Just be prepared to wait, since this is a popular tourist destination, but bartenders will happily ply you with drinks until your table is ready.
The Vault Steakhouse
At the Vault Steakhouse, which has returned to its sexy underground locale, FiDi diners can order steaks with sauces like black truffle bordelaise or bearnaise — as well as luxurious sides like truffled mac n’ cheese and sweet creamed corn. Start your meal with raw bar favorites including a massive shrimp cocktail or caviar service with savory waffles and chives.
Gozu isn’t technically a steakhouse — but it does serve an all-wagyu tasting menu, for those who love their luxuriously marbled beef. Chef Marc Zimmerman worked at Alexander’s for years before opening Gozu in 2019. It’s a dramatic black box of a space, with a horseshoe counter built around a live-fire grill. The chefs pass steak bites across the counter, breaking down how they use all parts of the animal, and the restaurant’s fireside tasting menu starts at $225 per person. Alternately, there is a four-course tasting menu for $125 and some items available a la carte, as well.
The view of the Bay Bridge is the top draw here — perfect for impressing a date or clients — and the steaks and seafood are a close second. Sister restaurant next door Waterbar is seafood-focused, and that overflows onto Epic's menu, with lots of surf and turf options.
Focused on steak and seafood, John’s Grill is a San Francisco institution favored by local politicians and filled with literary romance. Featured in Dashiell Hammett’s detective novel the Maltese Falcon, the restaurant has played up the connection — they’ve got a model Maltese Falcon and some Sam Spade lamb chops on the menu, for instance. But the strongest order might be steak: All cuts are dry-aged Black Angus from the Midwest.
Another Japanese-focused steakhouse, Alexander's dry ages its Omaha prime beef for 28 days and offers imported and domestic wagyu from nine Japan prefectures. Its small plates go much further than Caesar salad, offering wagyu pate or uni toast. If you really want to go all out, you can do the chef’s tasting for $211 per person, or the very meaty A5 Hitachi wagyu tasting for $275.
It’s one thing to order a steak entree for dinner, but it’s a completely different experience when various cuts of meat are paraded past your table and carved at will, as is the case at Espetus Churrascaria. There’s picanha, filet mignon, sausages, and yes, chicken hearts, all ready to be eaten until you’re stuffed. A word to the wise: Don’t skip the grilled pineapple, it’ll be a nice sweet addition to your meal after all the protein.
The Omakase Restaurant Group’s steakhouse specializes in wagyu beef and sets itself apart with its in-house butcher next door. The restaurant serves hard-to-find menu items like a wagyu meatball and huge, dry-aged imperial tomahawk steaks. There are also more than 100 wines available by the bottle or glass.
Miller & Lux Restaurant
If you’re looking for a particularly luxurious steakhouse experience then celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s latest offering is a fit — it’s right there in the name, although technically the “Lux” refers to Charles Lux, half of the duo known as “the Cattle Kings of California.” The 7,000-square-foot waterfront restaurant at Thrive City is just outside of Chase Center, with a stunning leather and brass dining room designed by San Francisco design darling Ken Fulk. The pricey menu tempts with options like dry-aged tomahawk ribeye and filet mignon.
An affordable, very casual, populist steak and burger spot, Bullshead Restaurant has held it down in West Portal since 1979. For a simple ribeye and baked potato dinner, a big chuck burger, or a ground buffalo steak in a place that feels miles away from the bougie San Francisco scene, this is the spot.