10 of America's Most Celebrated Restaurants for Prime Rib
By Suzanne Raga
Although there are tons of delicious beef dishes to choose from, it’s hard to beat the flavor, tenderness, and juiciness of prime rib. Also called standing rib roast, prime rib can taste differently based on factors like the quality of the beef, how long it’s been aged, whether it’s bone-in or boneless, how well it’s seasoned, and how long it’s roasted. Below are 10 of America’s most celebrated restaurants when it comes to that prime cut.
1. HOUSE OF PRIME RIB // SAN FRANCISCO
If you’re craving prime rib in the Bay Area, look no further than House of Prime Rib in Nob Hill. The beef, which is aged for three weeks and seasoned with coarse salt, comes from corn-fed cows in the Midwest. The restaurant offers options such as the City Cut (a smaller portion), the English Cut (thinner slices), the King Henry VIII Cut (extra-thick cut), and a kids’ portion (which comes with milk and ice cream).
House of Prime Rib also serves traditional prime rib side dishes, including baked potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach. No matter how you order your meal, the waiter will bring it to your table via a stainless steel serving cart and carve the meat in front of you.
2. PETER LUGER // NEW YORK CITY
Peter Luger is really, really old—the steakhouse was established in Brooklyn in 1887, and it’s stuck around for over a century because the meat and attention to detail are excellent. At Peter Luger, the meat is all USDA prime, the restaurant dry-ages and butchers the meat on-site, and the waiters abide by classic dress codes in their old-school aprons and bow ties. As one of New York City’s top rated steakhouses, Peter Luger serves daily prime rib lunch specials at both its Brooklyn and Great Neck, Long Island locations. But be sure to stop at the ATM before you come for the Roast Prime Ribs of Beef special—the restaurant is cash or debit only.
3. THE PRIME RIB // BALTIMORE
In 1965, The Prime Rib restaurant opened in Baltimore, with additional locations in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia opening in 1976 and 1997, respectively. Complementing its top-notch menu, the Prime Rib keeps it classy with the waiters wearing tuxedos and an everybody-knows-your-name atmosphere. Celebrities from Muhammad Ali to Liberace to Maya Angelou to Desmond Tutu have dined there over the years. Although you can order steak, seafood, lamb, and chicken, roast prime rib (on the bone) is the restaurant’s signature entrée. Back in the 1960s, the prime rib cost $4.95. Today, it has the same great taste, but will put your back roughly $42.
4. THE HARRIS RANCH RESTAURANT // COALINGA, CALIFORNIA
About halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the family owned and operated Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant in Coalinga, California has been serving beef since 1977. All the meat on the menu, whether it’s pot roast, beef Wellington, or prime rib, comes from cattle raised at Harris Ranch, so it’s truly a “ranch to table” restaurant. The Harris Ranch Restaurant serves a prime rib sandwich (USDA choice meat with mushroom and onions) as well as oak smoked, slow-roasted prime rib, seasoned with garlic and rosemary. And luckily, you can choose what portion size of prime rib you want—petite cut (8 ounces), Jack’s cut (14 ounces), or bone-in (30 ounces).
5. SMITH & WOLLENSKY // MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
With locations in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Columbus, Miami Beach, and London, Smith & Wollensky is all over the map. Besides the filet mignon, one of the restaurant’s signature items is the classic 26-ounce prime rib ($49 at lunch, $55 at dinner). The restaurant is such a staple, it appeared in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, when Meryl Streep’s demanding character Miranda Priestly requires her lunchtime steak from Smith & Wollensky’s midtown Manhattan location.
6. TAYLOR’S STEAK HOUSE // LOS ANGELES
Since the 1950s, Taylor’s Steak House has offered corn-fed, aged prime and certified Angus beef, and it has been called one of the top steakhouses in Los Angeles (there are locations in downtown Los Angeles as well as La Canada-Flintridge, California). Taylor’s serves their prime rib au jus with just enough creamed horseradish to add some bite.
7. DICKIE BRENNAN’S STEAKHOUSE // NEW ORLEANS
At Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse in New Orleans’ French Quarter, you can feast upon an oven roasted prime rib, rubbed with honey and Creole seasoning blend. Featured on Travel + Leisure’s list of best steakhouses in the U.S., Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse combines USDA prime beef with the types of Louisiana flavors you'd expect to spice up a classic dish. The prime rib, available in 12 ounces and 16 ounces, also comes with horseradish cream.
8. KEENS STEAKHOUSE // NEW YORK CITY
On 36th Street in Manhattan, Keens Steakhouse serves a killer Prime Rib of Beef, King’s Cut (meaning that it’s bone-in) for $59. The huge piece of prime rib is served with au jus. Established in 1885, Keens Steakhouse is also known for its famous mutton chops and huge collection of smoking pipes. Hundreds of pipes hang from the restaurant’s ceiling, and some have been autographed by celebrities over the years.
9. LAWRY'S THE PRIME RIB // MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
Lawry's The Prime Rib has served roasted prime ribs of beef since it opened in Beverly Hills in 1938. Diners can choose between the California cut (a smaller portion), English cut (thinly sliced), Diamond Jim Brady Cut (an extra thick portion with bone-in), and the Beef Bowl cut, a double portion that Lawry’s has historically served to college football teams. Lawry’s now has locations in Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, and throughout Asia.
10. PORTER HOUSE NEW YORK // NEW YORK CITY
Located by Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, Porter House New York has only been serving steaks since 2006, but it’s already a highly celebrated restaurant. According to Eater NY, the “most luxurious prime rib in the history of prime rib” can be found there. It’s not on the menu, so you have to be in-the-know to special order it—and make sure to bring friends for the occasion. The excessively large meal serves four people minimum at $155 per person, but the dry-aged prime rib has been aged for four months (rather than the more typical one month), and it’s served via a silver cart. Sounds like a worthy night on the town.