NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Alright, it’s time to get serious New York.

For once and for all, tell us who you think serves up the best steak in New York City. Which steakhouse is chomp-ion?

For your convenience, we’ve narrowed the contenders down to two options: Peter Luger’s vs. Keens.

Before you start yelling “Whuddabout Sparks? The Palm?” and so forth, let’s get one thing straight: they just don’t compare to the two historic places we’ve just mentioned. Nobody else comes close (we said it)! But in case you want some other ideas, check out our list of the 7 Best Steakhouses in NYC.


The amazing chateaubriand at Keens. (credit:

Let’s start with Keens. The storied steakhouse has been around for more than 125 years and is a true New York City institution. Wood paneling, clay pipes along the ceilings, old advertising for vaudeville performances along the walls, the seductive portrait of Miss Keens over the bar – it all screams old-world New York. It’s located right in the heart of Manhattan (take that, Peter Luger). Keens may be best known for their mutton chop, but true foodies know the hidden gem of the menu – the amazing, incomparable chateaubriand. The tender, meaty, juicy cut is served for two in thick slices. The texture is beefy, with some (but not a lot) satisfying chew to it. It comes with a trio of sauces (a shonda for foodies, though some swear by the Bearnaise). There’s a strong salt note, some crisp to the bark around the edges, and the medium-rare preparation offers a beautiful pink slab in the center. Get ready to weep with joy when first tasting this amazing steak. Importantly, Keens boldly goes in its own direction with this steak, not chasing the ideal prized by others, but rather setting their own standard beautifully.



It’s impossible to discuss steak in New York City without discussing Peter Luger. What needs to be said? Not a lot. It’s two years junior to Keens in terms of age. Sure, it’s a schlep to get to it, but nothing whets the appetite like anticipation, and you’re sure to be doing some anticipatin’ as you make your way to the foot of the Williamsburg bridge. The slightly gruff waiters who eye you to see if you’re some kind of knucklehead when they perfunctorily ask you “Would you like to see the menu?” They may as well be asking “Are you a rube?” Have we mentioned the bacon: the incomparable, peerless bacon? The bacon that will ruin you for all other bacon? Look – the place is a legend – their porterhouse is widely regarded as one of the best steaks in the world. While you can get other cuts at Peter Luger, why would you? The porterhouse offers carnivores two types of meat: filet mignon and strip, depending on which side of the bone you choose to eat from. The steak is served pre-cut in bite sized pieces. Eating the steak is a mystical experience: somehow, after just one bite, the hefty piece of steak simply evaporates in your mouth, leaving a buttery, meaty mist that will have you swooning.

Now you know what’s what, New York. Tell us: who is the undisputed king of steaks in the city?

Your turn: Are we way off the mark here? Also, which two establishments would you like to see go head to head in next week’s burger battle food fight?   Sound off in our comments section.

Comments (4)
  1. L says:

    Keens is phenomenal! Food, atmosphere- has it all! I, too, think that Peter Luger’s is overrated!!

  2. discosteak says:

    Sparks is not only comparable but indeed much better than Lugers. I would go as far as saying that Lugers is substantially overrated.

  3. Whitey says:

    Porterhouse! DO IT!

  4. JMS says:

    never been to keens but have been to peter luger’s a whole bunch of times and nothing’s come close. while i do love their steak. for me its the appetizers and deserts that set it apart. the bacon is world class for sure but they have a tomato and onion salad that you put their home made steak sauce in (100x better than the bottled stuff in supermarkets) that is out of this world. you wouldn’t think something as simple as onions, tomatos and steak sauce could be that awesome but it is. Also, the pies (accompanied by a barrell of homemade whip cream) are world class.

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