In this modern age of forward-thinking cuisine few things are more viscerally tantalizing (for many) than the prospect of slicing into a high quality cut of beef that has been prepared by an experienced hand.
Though really, really good steaks are increasingly rare these days (no pun intended), we do our best to keep abreast of the menus that do them right. Here are our baker’s dozen picks for your ranking consideration (see poll at bottom)…
Nightingale’s hanger steak is one of those things that every meat eater needs to try in order to taste the happiness that ensues when you marry one of the most intensely flavourful cuts to a butter that’s been flavoured and textured with gorgonzola. So good!
This classic, reliable, well-served and especially cozy steakhouse offers just under a dozen options for those red in tooth and claw, including bone-in ribeyes and giant porterhouse T-bones.
For a couple of decades Hy’s was my special occasion venue of choice but ever since they opened the second floor lounge I take every opportunity to sneak in a meeting here just to feel enveloped in the old school hospitality. I still prefer the main floor dining room, however, where I’m forever betrothed to Steak Diane, which is flambéed by a white-jacketed server tableside with brandy, Dijon and shrooms.
Wildebeest changes its meaty menu so often that sometimes – like now – it doesn’t even look like there’s a proper steak available (the kitchen is currently playing with lamb shanks and loins, bison tongue, wagyu pie and carpaccio, bone marrow). Don’t be fooled. Just ask. They’ll sort you out.
Though this Italian award-winner might be miles away from being a steakhouse, I’m pretty sure they’ve been laying big red slabs of awesome on the wood-fired grill since day one. (At the time of writing they offer a 12 oz dry-aged New York with nduja butter and roasted cippolini onions.)
Hawksworth always has an elegantly balanced dinner menu that has a little something for everyone, and that includes a fine steak. Right now it’s a sirloin with onion roasted in beef fat and a bordelaise sauce enriched with smoked bone marrow. Drool-worthy.
Not a big eater? Looking for something simple, small and less expensive than pretty much everything else on this list but don’t want to skimp on taste or expertise? You can’t do wrong with Pourhouse’s 6oz Alberta ‘AAA’ flat iron cut. Very straight-forward. Of the many sauces to pair it with, go for the basic chimichurri.
The steak menu at this high-end Yaletown looker from the Toptable Group is comically long and unnecessarily varied with almost two dozen wood-fired options and sizes available (everything from Wisconsin Holstein strips to Double “R” Ranch tomahawks), but I’ll never say no to being so extravagantly spoiled for choice.
This West Side legend is probably most celebrated for its handmade pastas but there’s always a steak on the menu, too. If you go tonight you’ll find a Florentine-style hanger with pine nuts and balsamic. Mmm.
The side starch and vegetable accoutrements may have changed over the years but there’s been a killer take on Steak Diane at this Gastown icon since the day it opened in 2010 (currently served with smoked potato, marrow and onion). If it ain’t broke, cut it into small pieces and eat it.
This Robson St. institution has been alive longer than a lot of our readers have (I think it turns 30 next year). For as long as I can remember it’s been a reliable place to get a well-executed steak. It became even more carnivorously attractive when they installed their massive Grillworks Infierno wood-fired grill in 2014. Go with a friend or two and dig into the 28oz Florentine-style bone-in rib-eye.
Chef Pino Posteraro’s current menu offers two steak dishes, a Tuscan-style AAA Alberta rib-eye (sliced and topped with arugula and parmesan) and a tenderloin with peppercorn sauce. The attention to detail in the kitchen here is second to none, so anticipate exacting plating and next-level flavours.
There’s always a steak on the menu at this Mediterranean mainstay off the Granville Strip. Right now it’s a deeply flavourful 30 day dry-aged rib-eye served with green beans and garlic.