It's an all-too-familiar scenario: you're at a fancy steakhouse in a state of post-carnal euphoria...until the check arrives.
But quality beef doesn't have to come with a beefed-up bill.
Instead, order up Chicago's top five steaks under $30 and walk away with a little extra cash in your pocket. After all, the night is still young.
5. Bar Toma
The whole Tuscan-style sliced Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak will run you about $130, but this tender piece of meat is so in-demand they carve it up for individual servings, too. Served with ash-baked rosemary potatoes and Chianti butter, it’s a carnivore’s dream.
$29. 110 E. Pearson St., Mag Mile (312-266-3110)
4. Grass Fed
When Grass Fed opened a year ago, they only had one thing on the menu: steak dinner. Their steak dinner deal (with beef sourced from Wisconsin grass-fed farms) remains the standout dish, served with baby green salad, fresh focaccia bread, and hand-cut fries.
$25. 1721 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown (773-342-6000)
3. Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Sure, you could order the $114 porterhouse. But if you really want to impress someone, order the skirt steak slathered in sautéed onions. And then proceed to use the extra cash to buy a round of Macallan shots for the table.
$22. 300 N. LaSalle St., River North (312-329-1800)
2. Stetson’s Modern Steak + Sushi
Have your steak and eat some sushi, too. That’s not quite how the saying goes, but you'll have some cash left over for a few designer rolls after ordering the prime Chicago250 angus skirt steak, sourced from cows sustainably raised on grass pastures within 250 miles of Chicago.
$21. 151 E. Wacker Dr., Lakeshore East (312-565-1234)
1. Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf (pictured)
Between the dim lighting, leather booths and vintage light fixtures, carving into this tender filet with roasted tomato, herb butter, and cracked pepper is pretty much all you need to take this date to the next level.
$29. 218 W. Kinzie St., River North (312-624-8154)