San Antonio has a tradition of great steaks and steakhouses—and you might be surprised by the variety of what’s available. My husband and I love going to steakhouses for date nights and to celebrate special occasions as a family. Here is a guide to our favorites around town, and what we like about them.
Having a standard order across many visits gives me confidence when making comparisons. The main event: a filet and a rib-eye, medium or medium rare. For sides, we share an order of mashed potatoes and a steamed vegetable such as broccoli or asparagus. For starters, we look for favorites like caprese salad, wedge salad, fried calamari, or a cheese plate. I usually have a glass of red wine. Sometimes we get dessert—chocolate cake if so—but most of the time we are too stuffed already. When we are eating with the kids, we look for right-size entrées like kabobs or mini sirloin steak, and yummy sides like macaroni ‘n’ cheese and field greens salad.
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood is our all-time favorite. The steaks on the menu are all high-quality prime meats, but the staff is happy to bring out a special platter with giant bone-in cuts and marbled Wagyu beef. The ambience is elegant with a sense of San Antonio’s frontier heritage. The noise level is lively but still comfortable for conversation. When the kids are at grandma’s, a booth at Bohanan’s is a great place to talk and reconnect with your partner, and that special time together is what makes it romantic for us. While you are downtown, you can go for a stroll on Houston street or catch a show.
Peggy’s on the Green is a sister restaurant to Bohanan’s, located in Ye Kendall Inn in Boerne. The steaks are just as amazing, and the side dishes feature Southern classics like biscuits and fried green tomatoes.
Range has a casual atmosphere but the steaks are serious. Chef Jason Dady opened the new restaurant in October 2017 in the Embassy Suites downtown, between Houston Street and the Riverwalk. A leather-bound book of a menu offers detours into seafood (oysters, anyone?) and sides like cauliflower gratin. Your check comes with a cloud of blue cotton candy; tag it #teamcottoncandy on Instagram and you might get re-grammed.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House has outstanding quality and attention to detail at all three locations. The Concord location, near Alamo Heights and the airport, is tucked away in an office center, but inside the ambiance is warm and luxurious. The northwest location has a café feel due to its setting in the Éilan‘s new-Mediterranean cityscape. The River Walk restaurant is in the convention center’s Grand Hyatt—a fun family staycation destination. The New Orleans influence and consistency of the presentation—from the steak temperature on the hot plate to the butter, salt, and pepper all in the right ratios—make Ruth’s Chris a joyful food experience.
Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille, a favorite of Taylor‘s, has a contemporary, sleek style that elevates a happy hour or relaxing dinner. The chefs have fun with the food presentation, playing with size and height, and back it up with tasty food. The restaurant is located on the northwest side in the Shops at La Cantera, so you can extend your date night by going window shopping.
J-Prime Steakhouse combines classic American steakhouse offerings with Latin American influences, which take center stage at sister restaurant Chama Gaúcha (see below—Brazilian steakhouses). Also: brunch. J-Prime and Chama Gaúcha are both located in north central San Antonio along Loop 1604.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House has a traditional clubhouse feel and thoughtful service that lets you focus on your partner, not getting your wineglass refilled. The steak fundamentals are sound. It’s located on the northwest side at the Rim. If the jar of pickles on the table isn’t your thing, just ignore it.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is elegant and quietly romantic, tucked away in the Quarry. The wine list on an iPad—brilliant or gimmicky? Either way, they have a lot to choose from. Yes, order the chocolate lava cake; it’s one of my favorite desserts in town.
Kirby’s Steakhouse serves high-quality food in a business-friendly atmosphere. It’s located in north central San Antonio on Loop 1604.
Myron’s Prime Steakhouse has carefully prepared, tender steaks, but I prefer a more flame-kissed flavor. At the Shavano Park location, the ambiance is calm and neutral; I hear that the original New Braunfels location has more historic character.
More prime steakhouses are located in downtown San Antonio: the Palm on Houston Street, Morton’s at the Shops at Rivercenter, Little Rhein Steakhouse in La Villita, and 1718 Steakhouse & Bar in Alamo Plaza.
If the steak gods would be so kind, please send these our way: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse (closest location: Houston), III Forks Steakhouse (closest: Austin), and Sullivan’s Steakhouse (closest: Austin).
A trip to a Brazilian steakhouse provides your evening’s food, drink, and entertainment, as servers dressed like gauchos walk the aisles carrying swords loaded with hot roasted meats. Not only do these restaurants offer all-you-can-eat steak, lamb, sausage, chicken, and more, but they also have some of the best salad bars in town. These are fun for date night and also for groups and special-occasion family dinners.
- Chama Gaúcha has a loyal following for its outstanding food and lively atmosphere. It’s located on the north side along Loop 1604.
- Galpao Gaucho is more intimate; also located on Loop 1604.
- Texas de Brazil, located downtown on Houston Street, has a team of aerialists—wine angels—to bring bottles from the wine tower.
- Fogo de Chão, also downtown, welcomes Rivercenter visitors with a fire pit.
Had a great day at work and want to take the family out to celebrate? Or, just glad that you made it to Wednesday? These steakhouses offer hearty meals at a good price and are family-friendly.
- Texas Land & Cattle does a good job on the classics at an affordable price. Kabobs and baked sweet potatoes are favorites. The atmosphere is casual, and they usually have crayons and activity placemats for kids. Three locations in San Antonio: River Walk, northwest, and by the airport.
- Saltgrass Steakhouse is the steakhouse format from Landry’s, offering a crowd-pleasing menu in restaurants decked with rural memorabilia. Five locations in San Antonio, including River Walk, north central, and three on the northwest side.
- The Little Red Barn is a south side tradition. Hint: it’s not little.
- The Barn Door is a neighborhood restaurant in Alamo Heights.
Since this is Texas, no appreciation of steak can be complete without a discussion of chicken-fried steak. Drawing on the wisdom of my fellow contributors, here are our recommendations: LuLu’s Bakery and Cafe (near downtown, with legendary cinnamon rolls), Good Time Charlie’s (near the DoSeum), De Wese’s Tip Top Cafe (on Fredericksburg Road), Alamo Cafe, and Josephine Street (near the Pearl). For a chicken-fried steak road trip, drive to Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls—and save room for pie.
Best Steakhouse Hamburgers
A good steakhouse hamburger is a thing of beauty: a thick, juicy, hand-made patty on a fresh-baked roll, dressed with extra goodies like grilled onions or sautéed mushrooms. Especially at happy hour, the burgers at Ruth’s Chris and Fleming’s are incredibly satisfying and a good value. However, my favorite steakhouse burger in town comes from Zinc, a bar downtown near La Villita. Then again, no burgers can compare to the ones my husband makes in our backyard, using ingredients from Whole Foods.
Did you know you can get a great steak at…?
Cappy’s is an all-around classic neighborhood restaurant on Broadway in Alamo Heights; it’s our family’s go-to multi-generational hangout. Their steaks are excellent, and they have a deep wine list to go with them.
Jazz, TX, located in the basement of the Bottling Department building at the Pearl, can feed your body with a hearty rib-eye while feeding your soul with the sounds of live jazz. The ambiance is outlaw elegance.
Located on the north side along Loop 1604, Wildfish Seafood Grille is known for fish, but the steaks are top quality, too.
18 Oaks, in the clubhouse at TPC San Antonio at the JW Marriott, serves juicy steaks with a nice char. The kids can join you at dinner or stay at the Range Riders Kids Club, as described in this post. Or, if you and your kids are all wiped out from riding the water slides in the River Bluff Experience, order a fantastic steak from the room service menu.
Grey Moss Inn, in Grey Forest on the northwest side, is a classic dinner-for-two romance spot. The winding country drive builds anticipation.
Plan Your Date Night
Here are some more tips to make your steakhouse date night a success:
- Call our partners Time Out Sitters to take care of your kids while you enjoy date night at one of these great steakhouses.
- Stay safe, y’all! Choose a designated driver or hire Uber or Lyft.
- Concerned about the environmental impact of eating beef? To find ways to offset the impact, here are some local sustainability resources: Build SA Green, Green Spaces Alliance, City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability.
- Branch out with Lindsay‘s guide to top date night restaurants.
- Go beyond dinner and a movie with Kristin‘s guide to date night 2.0.
- How late can you stay out? Here are more nightlife ideas from Amanda‘s New Year’s Eve post.
- But remember that your kids probably won’t let you sleep in. Here is Elizabeth‘s cautionary tale.
- Can’t get out for date night? Try Natalie‘s suggestions for fun day dates.
- Take Shana’s advice that date night is doable.
Finally, some thank you notes. Thank you to my fellow contributors for brainstorming restaurant ideas for this post. Thank you to my husband for planning so many fun steakhouse date nights over the years; I hope we have many more together. Thank you to the grandparents for providing so much babysitting. As you can see, the money we save gets immediately handed over to the restaurants. Great job, steak chefs! Keep up the good work.