Health food is very in these days and with good reason. In fact, many of the menus in Richmond feature some combination of the words vegan, sprouted, yeast, and the omnipresent kale. And we love that there’s such a focus on clean eating and nutritious foods, especially since it means that all types of eaters have options. However, sometimes, the carnivores among us want nothing more than a big, juicy steak, preferably from one of Richmond’s many good old-fashioned steakhouses.
There are a lot of restaurants that serve steak, but we wanted to find the five best steakhouses – the kind of throwback joints where the shellfish comes served in a tower, the spinach is creamed, and beef is the star of the show. There’s something comforting and dependable about a great steakhouse, those bastions of traditionalism, impeccable service, and enormous hunks of high-quality meat in a world where food trends come and go at a rapid pace.
So, the next time you’re craving a tender filet or perfectly cooked ribeye, check out one of these five RVA steakhouses.
To select our favorites, here’s what we looked for:
- Excellent critic and diner reviews.
- Traditional steakhouse characteristics.
- Great non-steak options.
While all of our favorite steakhouses feature steak as the main attraction, they all offer great alternatives, as well. So, don’t be afraid to check them out even if red meat isn’t your thing.
Take a look at our favorite local steakhouses and let us know if you have one you think should make the list! If you do, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, happy meat eating!
This spot may be a new kid on the block, but it’s already garnered rave reviews and is quickly earning its spot amongst the Richmond steakhouse heavy hitters. A concept by EAT restaurant partners (whose other properties include Foo Dog, Beijing on Grove, and Osaka), Red Salt features the chophouse touches traditionalists love (think loaded baked potatoes, creamed corn, and a lineup of hand-cut steaks) but with creatives twists and a large portion of its menu dedicated to high-quality sushi.
Why we love it:
This is the steakhouse where both a full-fledged carnivore and a pescatarian can peacefully coexist. The steak lovers can dine on decadent cuts of ribeye, porterhouse, or filet, while the red meat averse can feast on a huge selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as a top-notch seafood menu. It may be situated only a stone’s throw from cows, farms, and the Goochland line, but don’t let the location fool you. There’s a lively bar scene, a city by way of the suburbs atmosphere, and an extensive list of creative cocktails. Head here for a fun date night, but be ready to spend a little cash, because 40oz porterhouses ain’t cheap.
Location: Green Gate, 12221 W. Broad St., Henrico, 23233
From the dark wood paneling to the anchovies on the Caesar salads, this Glen Allen chophouse is about as traditional as it gets. This is a great place for an anniversary, business dinner, or any special occasion when you want a step up from your normal restaurant haunts. And with its suburban Innsbrook location, it offers a welcome reprieve from the parking hassles and crowds of downtown restaurants.
Why we love it:
Whether it’s the martini shrimp cocktail, the iceberg wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing, or the lobster tails with butter sauce, Hondo’s gets all the little details right. This is a steakhouse at its most archetypal, and it won’t disappoint. The service is friendly. The setting is quiet and intimate. And the steaks, from the New York Strip to the Filet Mignon, speak for themselves. There are also plenty of great, non-steak options, from the New Zealand lamb lollipops to the house-smoked baby back ribs. Just make sure to leave room for dessert with un-ironic classics like bananas foster and Crème Brulee.
Location: 4120 Cox Rd B, Glen Allen, 23060
The “Old Original Bookbinder’s” may have opened its doors in Philadelphia in 1865, but this longtime Richmond incarnation is both unique to RVA and family-owned. Bookbinders is steakhouse elegance in an urban, historic setting. All of the non-steak favorites are here, from Oysters Rockefeller and jumbo lobsters (live and straight from the tank!) to creamed spinach and corn. Traditional steak entrées are present, as well, but there are also creative choices like the Kona coffee-crusted filet mignon or the spicy-ancho rubbed cowboy ribeye.
Why we love it:
Bookbinder’s is a double whammy of old-school traditionalism, a classic steakhouse in an iconic Richmond setting on Tobacco Row. The world changes often and quickly. But as you sit at Bookbinder’s, surrounded by exposed brick and warehouse beams, eating the same surf and turf entrée that’s been on the menu for decades, life seems to slow down just a little. It’s a throwback, but a delightful one. There are also plenty of great options for any non-steak eaters, from the herb-grilled swordfish to the cider-glazed double cut pork chops. And oenophiles and novices alike will appreciate the extensive and thoughtful wine menu.
Location: 2306 E Cary St, Richmond, 23223
If you grew up in Richmond, chances are Ruth’s Chris was synonymous with “important dinner out,” the kind of place you went for birthdays or graduations or a really top-notch report card. Everything about it just feels special, from its historic and allegedly haunted Belgrade Plantation location to the rich, oak-paneled dining rooms and elegant table settings. This is where you go for both classic steakhouse favorites and graceful ambiance. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and a Richmond staple for a reason.
Why we love it:
Ruth’s Chris Steak House may be the only national chain on the list, but it’s gorgeous and historic environs make it feel unique to Richmond. It also hit all the notes of the true chophouse experience, from the seafood tower to the béarnaise sauce to the massive, specialty cut steaks. Whether you go for the full dining experience or grab a cocktail at the bar, it just feels like a fancy, adult break from the parenting world of diapers and PB&Js. And here’s a hint, if you really want to feel like a sophisticated grownup, start with one of their excellent Dirty Goose Martinis.
Location: 11500 W Huguenot Rd, Midlothian, 23113
When a restaurant is consistently named #1 steakhouse in Richmond by Style Magazine, Richmond Magazine, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, you know it’s probably excellent. When that same restaurant is called “the perfect meal” by Harry Potter himself, you know it must be (pardon the wizard pun) pretty magical. Buckhead’s may be slightly off the radar, tucked into a nondescript shopping center on Patterson, but for almost 25 years, this place has quietly but consistently held the title of best steakhouse in town.
Why we love it:
Did we mention Daniel Radcliffe described it as one of the two “perfect” meals he’s eaten in his entire life? Okay, the Boy Who Lived aside, Buckhead’s is the gold standard for steakhouse excellence in Richmond. It may not look like much from the outside, but inside you’ll find tender, perfectly seasoned Braveheart Beef, high-quality seafood selections, an award-winning 700-label wine list, and impeccably executed chophouse accents like onion soup gratinée and asparagus with hollandaise. The food is wonderful and the service is flawless. And if you want the full “Radcliffe experience,” order the Steak Fromage, a filet mignon topped with gorgonzola and walnuts.
Location: 8510 Patterson Ave, Richmond, 23229
To see more amazing restaurants, resources, and Richmond area favorites, be sure to check out our entire Best of Richmond series!