Tampa's Best Restaurants for Steak Lovers
By Skye Rodgers
Tampa Local Expert
Trying to find the best steakhouses in Tampa? 10Best has you covered. With Florida ranking 11th nationally in the production of beef cattle, there is no shortage of good steakhouses anywhere in the state, and Tampa definitely has its fair share. Choose from Tampa's local landmarks, upscale chains, or a couple of fun departures from the usual. As can be expected, many of these options are budget-busters, but there are a couple of more affordable options as well.
Most of Tampa's steakhouse jewels, like Charley's Steak House and Market Fresh Fish, are located in the Airport/Westshore area, near to hotels and shopping, catering to travelers and business people.
We have also founds greats, such as the venerable, old-world Bern's Steak House, in the fashionable SoHo neighborhood. Bern's is Tampa's most popular steakhouse and is where the locals go to celebrate those oh-so-special occasions.
A favorite of Tampa's movers and shakers is Malio's Prime Steakhouse. Located downtown, Malio's has been a Tampa institution for many years.
The Cuban-inspired Carne ChopHouse in Ybor City is the new kid on the block, but is getting a lot of attention for its unique flavors. Whatever your choice, you can be assured of high-quality, well-aged cuts of prime beef to satisfy your inner carnivore.
10 Texas de Brazil
Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian-American churrascaria, which is the Portuguese word for "barbecue," and has its origins in the campfire cooking of the gauchos of Southern Brazil. Be prepared for a different dining experience. You start your meal with a trip to the 50-60 item salad bar area that includes appetizers, soups, salads and other traditional side items. Once you return to your seat, the real fun begins. Each diner is provider with a two-sided card; green on one side, red on the other. You use the green side of the card to summon waiters, known as Passadores, to your table. The Passadores will then arrive with knives and a skewer speared various kinds of meat such as pork, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, or sausage. This is called "rodizio" service. This is an all-you-can-eat dinner, so make sure you come with a big appetite. ((813) 871-1400)
9 Carne Chop House
The Carne ChopHouse is located in the heart of historic Ybor City and offers steakhouse fare with a Cuban twist. Situated in the historic El Centro Espanol Building that originally served as a social center for Spanish immigrants working in the cigar industry, the ambiance and decor are nostalgic reminders of Ybor's golden age. The menu features an surprisingly affordable selections of steaks, chops, and seafood with house specialties including the Pork Shoulder Pot Pie, Pork Chop and Lamb Shank. Full meals are served here with soup or salad to start, bread, and a side, all traditionally prepared using the best ingredients. There is live entertainment and outdoor seating is available. ((813) 341-9555)
8 Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
A rich, welcoming environment of wood, leather, and subdued lighting greets visitors to this upscale establishment. Along with great ambience, they come for impeccable steaks and chops, cooked to perfection. Each steak is seasoned only with kosher salt and black pepper before being broiled at 1600 degrees. The New York strip is fantastic (try it with béarnaise sauce!), but Australian lamb chops and veal or pork chops also elicit raves. Main courses are served a la carte. Fleming's is also well known for their by-the-glass "Flemings 100" awarding-winning wine list. If you're not sure which wine to choose, try a Wine Flight -- a trio of 2-ounce servings. (813-874-9463)
7 Malio's Prime Steakhouse
Malio's has been a Tampa landmark since it opened in 1969. Reinvented in 2007 as Malio's Prime Steakhouse, the restaurant moved downtown and picked up where it left off as a Tampa favorite, but with updated décor and menu offerings. Malio's is frequented by Tampa's movers and shakers, from mayors to professional athletes, and was the favorite of late New York Yankee's owner, George Steinbrenner. As befitting the clientele, the dress code here is business casual. The décor is modern classic and the ambiance is romantic featuring dim lighting and intimate seating. Take advantage of the views offered by Malio's location on the Hillsborough River by requesting to sit on the upper tier of the restaurant, or outside on their cigar-friendly patio. ((813) 223-7746)
6 Capital Grille
On entering the Capital Grille you encounter a refined and gracious space with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired decor. This is followed with top-notch service and spectacular steaks. These are the trademarks of The Capital Grille making it a perpetual Tampa favorite. Beef is dry-aged on the premises, so its quality is well-controlled. And while the Kona-crusted sirloin and Delmonico are sublimely done, the Steak au Poivre with Courvoisier Cream is a true show-stealer. Other choices include broiled lobster, grilled swordfish, and seared salmon with mustard sauce. As with many high-end steakhouses, entrees are served a la carte. The wine list ups the ante with more than 350 choices from Europe, South America and the US picked by Master Sommelier George Miliotes. (813-830-9433)
5 Ruth's Chris Steak House
Billed as the "Home of Serious Steaks," Ruth's Chris is a perennial favorite in meat-loving cities all across the US. One visit to the well-appointed, comfortable Tampa edition will tell you all you need to know ... Their steaks' signature sizzle is achieved by a dollop of butter dropped on the hot-from-the-oven cuts, and your choice will still be sputtering on 500 degree plates when it's placed in front of you. Entrees are served a la carte with side items ordered family-style separately. If you prefer, you can choose to order a "Ruth's Classic" which includes limited choices of appetizer, entrée, side and dessert for a fixed price. (813-282-1118, 888-722-4319)
4 Shula's Steak House - Tampa
Owned by football legend Don Shula, this restaurant is a tribute to the 1972 Miami Dolphins and their perfect season. One of 32 locations, Shula's has garnered accolades nationwide that reflect the owner's penchant for perfection. As you enter, you realize that this is no sports bar. The ambiance is light and airy with crisp white walls and tablecloths. Football memorabilia is relegated to understated black and white photos. It's clear that the star of this show is the food. Featuring custom center cuts of aged Premium Black Angus steaks "The Shula Cut" is the steak of choice; popular cuts include filet mignon, New York strip and top sirloin. The servings are substantial so you may not need anything else, but if you do opt for a side dish, realize that everything is priced individually, including salads and potatoes. (813-286-4366)
3 Charley's Steak House and Market Fresh Fish
From the moment you step into this esteemed steakhouse, you know you're in for something great. Aromas from the wood-fired grill seduce the senses, and as you sink back amid polished woods, you run through the selection of cuts, deciding which to choose. Sirloins, filets, porterhouses, and ribeyes all come out sizzling hot and indescribably juicy. Charley's uses only the best U.S. Choice and Prime three-year-old, grain-fed beef which is aged on-site for at least 4 - 6 weeks. Choose the perfect bottle from their wine list consisting of over 800 selections to accompany your meal. Finish with a rich dessert, and you'll find heaven on a plate. Fresh, grilled fish and seasonal shellfish also make a terrific choice. (813-353-9706)
2 Council Oak
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood is located in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, the 6th largest casino in world, and is a popular destination for prime steaks, fresh seafood and selections from the award winning wine list. The atmosphere is contemporary and upscale and the service is great. The steaks at Council Oak are 100% U.S.D.A. prime, dry aged 21 to 28 days, and cut on-site in their butcher shop. Seafood options include fresh and local fish, Alaskan King Crab legs and custom saltwater tanks are filled with live Maine lobsters. Live entertainment is provided nightly Sunday - Thursday in the lounge. Reservations are recommended. ((813) 627-7628)
1 Bern's Steak House
Bern's Steak House is one of Tampa's best-known restaurants. Family-owned since opening in 1956, this venerable steak house is legendary for its impeccable service, top-quality food, and incredible attention to detail. Guests rave about the aged, charcoal-grilled steaks, which are ordered according to weight and thickness. Each comes with a salad, onion soup, baked potato, garlic toast, onion rings, and organic vegetables, so bring your appetite. Many of the restaurant's vegetables are locally grown on the Bern's farm. In addition to steak, chicken, seafood and even vegetarian options are available. The wine list is astounding, consisting of one of the largest wine collections in the world featuring over 7000 vintages. After dinner, head to the Henry Waugh room for decadent desserts, after-dinner drinks and dancing. Jacket, tie and reservations are required. (813-251-2421)
About Skye Rodgers
Skye has lived in Tampa for over 16 years and spends much of her time exploring the region and discovering its hidden treasures. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no cold, no snow climate and enjoys basking on the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and navigating the waters of Tampa Bay. When not out exploring Tampa, Skye is a freelance writer and public relations professional. She currently provides public relations counsel on a freelance basis to non-profits, social enterprises and small business.
Read more about Skye Rodgers here.