As a food writer and personality, I'm constantly asked, “where can I get a good (fill in the blank)?”
By far the “blank” that gets asked the most - and is the hardest to answer - is steak.
And so, like any dedicated, professional, and responsible foodie, I set out to find this “good steak” in neighborhoods, styles of restaurant, and price ranges all over Tucson. While this is surely no exhaustive list, it is my first response to the question, "where can one find a great steak in Tucson?".
One of the true OG's of Tucson's modern culinary fame. There is only one steak preparation to choose from here, but it is one of my favorite ways to eat a steak: Steak Frites. In this case, they serve their premium Angus bistro filet with a generous slab of herb butter and housemade fries.
More info at 47scott.com.
Fancy, fancy, fancy (but not pretentious), Agustin Kitchen features AZ Steak Frites topped with Whiskey del Bac bavaroise sauce.
More info at agustinkitchen.com.
It's a chain prime steakhouse inside Omni Tucson National. This one is gonna cost you. Their motto is "Our Steaks Are Prime, Our Portions Big & Our Drinks Stiff."
The deliciously marbled prime beef is served with glazed carrot and choice of baked potato, smashed potatoes or skillet fried potatoes topped with sautéed onions and peppercorn gravy. Full bar and nice wine list.
More info at omnihotels.com.
This was truly a surprise to me. When looking at potential restaurants to feature, I came across Cattletown, and wondered why I had never really heard of it before. It sits in an unexpected neighborhood of Drexel and Country Club, in all of its old west façade glory, looking really out of place.
Once inside they have a nice bar, and I can only best describe the décor as 70’s chic. Seriously, this might have been the spot to hit before the disco.
In any event, the mesquite grilled choice steaks were prepared nicely, and were tasty. All steaks are served with a salad, rolls with butter, and choice of potato. The bar serves standard full bar drinks.
More info at cattletownsteakhouse.com.
The Flores family of El Charro Café fame opened Charro Steak downtown in 2016. Executive chef Gary Hickey hand trims the steaks with his trusty Butcher Boy and finishes it on the grill, fueled by the piles of mesquite wood from the dining room. Order a steak en Estilo Charro to top it with melted Manchego cheese and roasted chiles.
More info at charrosteak.com.
This eatery opened in 1988 and describes itself as "neither hick-ish nor fashionable." The description fits, as Cody's stays true to their vision of straight forward cowboy food. The owner Mike Ferren worked as a butcher before Cody's, so they're cutting all of the steaks in-house and making their own hamburger meat.
Dinner includes a salad or soup, and a choice of two sides. They have a smattering of beers and wines to select from.
More info codysbeef.com.
Touted as a comfort food restaurant with foodie twists, Commoner delivers. There is only one steak on the menu here, but it's worth the trip.
The cast-iron seared flank steak, served with a beet-parmesan gratin, blue cheese, pickled horseradish salad, and housemade balsamic-raisin steak sauce. Commoner offers a full bar and nice cocktail program, but their wine selection is amazing, without being overwhelming.
More info at commonertucson.com.
Wood paneling? Check. Dollar bills on the wall? Check. Bull skull? Check. They aren’t trying to wow folks with ambiance at Daisy Mae’s, as it looks like a rough dive bar more than a steakhouse, but they sure do mesquite grill their Certified Angus (Choice or Prime) steaks just right.
Couple your juicy steak - served with salad, beans and bread - with a beer from an impressive selection and you have all you need.
More info at daisymaessteakhouse.com.
This Tucson landmark has been a place for fancy britches eatin' for over 75 years in some incarnation. The decor is all cowboy with western murals, cowboy pictures, and wood trim. The select grade steaks are mesquite grilled, letting the meat and fire speak for itself. Your slab of beef is served with a garden salad or soup and choice of one side. They have a full bar for all your libation desires.
More info at elcorraltucson.com.
Flemings is obviously a chain, so I almost did not include it. After I was assured that it was locally owned and has some great Tucsonans as employees, I caved and gave it a shot. The service is spot on. The steaks are prime and dry aged or wagyu. The ambiance is fancy. The menu is typical steakhouse style, meaning you order your steak and all sides a la carte. They have a full bar, and nice varied wine list.
More info at flemingssteakhouse.com.
This newcomer to the Tucson restaurant scene comes from good stock. Garrett’s dad, Michael is the owner and operator of both Bread & Butter café’s. Garrett’s Steakhouse is a friendly, family restaurant offering up standard steakhouse fare and a full bar.
They offer 9 USDA choice steak variations and they all come with a soup or salad and choice of two sides. The teeny tiny saloon, pumps out some delicious and creative cocktails, has a modest but eclectic wine list, and a pretty impressive beer selection. It is a welcomed site to steak seekers.
More info at garrettsfamilysteakhouse.com.
Mesquite is the star for the beautifully grilled steaks at the Horseshoe Grill. This 2016 newcomer also developed a loyal following for their Grilled and Chilled Shrimp Cocktail with its house-made sauce.
For more information, visit thehorseshoetucson.com.
This Tucson treasure could have been placed in any of these categories other than surprises. Chef Landeen’s menu includes four angus beef steaks, prime rib as well as a bison and ostrich steaks, all are served with garlic mashed potatoes or rice blend and house vegetable medley. The ambiance is southwestern upscale, but warm and inviting. There is a full bar, nice cocktails, good wine selection and a few beer options.
More info at jonathanscork.billfoldbrochures.com.
This place is a true staple. It has been around for 68 plus years, although the land it sits upon is up for sale, placing the steakhouse and bar in jeopardy.
The decor is what you might come to expect in Tucson's staple steakhouses, accumulated knick knacks such as Kokopelli dolls and license plates, overall western and cowboy themed and still rough and worn around the edges. The center piece is the big mesquite pit that is situated outside, flaming and smoking, filled with USDA Choice beef.
Steaks are served with Texas toast, all you can eat ranch beans, salsa and a salad. They have a full bar and a cool little beer selection.
More info on Lil' Abners Facebook page.
Not to be confused with Little Mexico Restaurant owned by the same family, and located on Irvington, Little Mexico Steakhouse was certainly a surprise. It's a Mexican restaurant-meets-steakhouse, which is perfect when dining with others who do not share your commitment to eating every steak in the city.
They have select or choice beef (depending on the cut) which is cooked crusty on the outside and perfectly rare in the middle, something you don’t find at most carne asada shops. Steak is served with choice of refried beans or ranch beans, salad or soup, and bread or tortilla.
More info at littlemexico-tucson.com.
What can be said about Maynards that hasn't been said? Everybody knows and loves this eatery and market by the train tracks. Maynards features three steaks on the menu, including an in-house dry aged ribeye, a filet, and a sirloin. The atmosphere is full-on hip-upscale with enough elegance and peace for a romantic meal. They have a full bar with enough wine and beer selections to please any palate.
More info at maynardstucson.com.
Opened in 1982 when Houghton was just a portal to ranches, it first served as a place for cowpokes to rustle up some suds. McGraw's has some standard western decor, but feels cozy and inviting all the while hosting great views of the Santa Rita Mountains. They serve up Certified Angus Beef, and do all the butchery in-house.
Steaks are served with a vegetable, salad, biscuit and choice of side - which include the usual suspects of beans, fries, baked potato, etc.
More info at tucsonmcgraws.com.
A fun and family friendly, steakhouse and saloon, that has been serving Tucson since 1962. No frills, they cook their choice or select (depending on the cut) beef over mesquite and serve it with ranch beans, a salad, and basket of white bread. Pinnacle Peak has a full bar and a few creative and tasty “house margaritas,” as well as other cocktails.
Bonus: The old west atmosphere and shops at Trail Dust Town make it an event as well as dinner.
More info at pinnaclepeaktucson.com.
This is a crème de la crème type joint. Prime beef, gorgeous ambiance, full bar, cool cocktail program, stellar service, the whole nine! It’s in the casino, so if you can take a break from the kino machine or hit a hot streak in blackjack, this is a must try!
More info at casinodelsolresort.com.
Wednesday Night is steak night at this little cowboy themed dive bar located on the outskirts of ol’ restaurant row. Wednesday night only for $10 you get a 12oz sirloin, ranch beans, bread salad, and a baked potato. This fully stocked bar has a fun, no nonsense atmosphere and family friendly until 8pm.
More info on Saddlehorn Yelp Page.
This little gem of a bar is located at the end of Country Club on Prince. It looks like a palace out of Aladdin due to it’s Middle Eastern restaurant past. The décor is nothing new or exciting, and the menu is typical bar fare, with the exception of the mesquite grilled steaks. They are cooked to order, perfectly and served up with a salad and some ranch beans, with the option to order sides.
It’s definitely a full bar, but are not breaking any new ground as far as drinks are concerned, but there will usually have regulars imbibing at all open hours.
More info on Shooters Yelp Page.
Quite possibly a personal favorite of mine on this list (and Adam Sandler’s too, apparently) It’s another open pit mesquite grill set in the center of the restaurant, you get to watch them as they lower and raise the grate, with the flames ever so slightly licking their USDA Choice beef.
They serve up steaks or prime rib with a tasty french roll, bowl of soup or trip to the salad bar, cowboy beans and choice of french fries or baked potato. There is a beautiful full bar with a decent wine list.
More info at thesilversaddlesteakhouse.com.
The Grill is a fantastic restaurant located at Hacienda Del Sol resort. The restaurant and its chefs are highly decorated with both local and national awards. It is not, however, a steak house. They do have two steaks on the menu, a filet and New York strip as well as a tartare appetizer. They have a unique cocktail program and full bar, but the real star of the show is the extensive, magnificent if not imposing wine list, boasting over 900 labels. If you enjoy a good glass of vino with your steak, this is the place.
More info at haciendadelsol.com.
This saloon and steakhouse located on Ajo and Kinney will remind you of the wild west, if not for the wagon wheels on the wall and super old furniture, but for the outlaws you are sure to see if you spend anytime here. That being said, I found it a fun crowd, friendly service and a decent steak. They offer four cuts of beef (grade unknown) and serve it with dinner salad, baked potato, roll and beans. They have a full bar, with your standard beer and cocktail offerings, and they also have a few wines to choose from.
More info on Tiny's Facebook page.
The food and atmosphere are awesome, with it's modern gastropub vibe and foodie menu. However, I am just here for the steak. They only have one to choose from, a New York strip served with grilled asparagus, Chipperbec fries, compound butter.
More info at uniontucson.com.