As Australians we are no stranger to the humble flame. Our multicultural lineage pays homage to the use of heat in all its glory. From Argentina to Italy and everywhere in between we have adopted techniques and mastered their application to suit our home grown produce.
When it comes to meat, Australia produces some of best beef around. Our world-class cattle farms are renowned the globe over for their high-quality produce and ethical practises. And while meat consumption has been given a rough trot in recent years a loyal following does remain.
Whether your preference is blue, medium-rare, or well done you have come to the right place.
As the name suggests, a steakhouse is a restaurant that specialises in serving steaks. Once the domain of suited executives in muffled conversations, steakhouses have evolved quite a lot. Modern steakhouses offer lively environments, delectable accompaniments, and even vegetarian options too!
So, get those knives ready, we are taking a tour of the best steakhouses that Canberra has to offer.
What makes a great steakhouse?
- Quality produce. The quality of produce is one of the key indicators setting mediocre steakhouses apart from the best. With restaurant grade produce literally sitting at our doorstep there are no excuses for anything but quality. Look for steakhouses that offer a variety of premium cuts with a paddock to plate philosophy. Your server should be well versed on what the animal was fed and where it was sourced. Moreover, any details around the cut and aging time should be easily offered. and how the meat has been aged. And the best steakhouses will feature a selection of cuts to cater to personal preferences.
- Cooked to perfection. There is no hiding when it comes to cooking steak. And the best steakhouses embrace this challenge presenting perfectly cooked morsels every time. Indeed, each restaurant will have its own unique way of preparing and presenting steak. Though many will offer the opportunity for their customers customise this. From rare, to medium, well done, and every iteration in between the kitchen should cook accordingly.
- Perfect pairings. While steak will be the hero dish for many, the finest steakhouses also offer a selection of side dishes and condiments to enhance it flavour. Look for a balanced offering including carbohydrates and greens, along with any condiments to your liking. Great steakhouses also understand the importance of the complete dining experience. As such, they pair each course accordingly creating a culinary journey with the steak front and centre. The same ethos often applies with the beverage selection, which makes light work for diners.
- Sizzling service. Industry leading service is often a hallmark of great steakhouse. From the telephone manner upon booking to the farewell at exit, the best steakhouses have service that sizzles. These establishments should be staffed by the best in the business, with years of experience, and a flair for communication. Not only should your hosts be friendly; they should know steak – and the menu inside out.
- Warm & welcoming. Whilst a great steak can be found in any location, the best steakhouses offer a warm and welcoming environment. Whether it is the notable décor, buzz of other diners, or the music in your ears look for something memorable. A lively atmosphere works wonders on the overall dining experience so find a venue to matches your mood.
The best steakhouses in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
The Alby, spanning close to 1,000 square metres, is Woden’s largest local—for dining on great food, enjoying a drink, and playing fun games.
On the ground floor of the Albemarle Building off Furzer Street, The Alby was designed by Capezio Copeland and developed by DOMA.
The Alby’s Bar Dining space is famous for its Butcher Block premium steaks. The menu includes a Brooklyn Valley Black Angus grass-fed T-bone, 500 grams with a marble score of 3+. Just as succulent is the Jack’s Creek grass fed sirloin, 200 or 300 grams with a marble score of 2+. Last, but not least, is the Purebred Darling Down Gold AA Wagyu rump, 300 grams with an amazing marble score of 8/9+.
An expansive open-air Beer Garden is perfect for sunny afternoons and warm evenings. The Alby also has The Basement space, with three 85-inch tvs showcasing sports, Australia’s first Duckpin Bowling, pool tables and pinball machines. The bar menu features snacks, nachos, tacos and burgers.
Check out the ‘What’s On’ section of The Alby’s website for the latest happenings. Gift cards are available.
On Google, Rohan Fuhrman wrote, “Great to see more decent pubs opening in the Woden area and livening the place up. This has a great outdoor seating area for the warmer weather, but also has a cool downstairs sports bar with pool table, modified bowling alley and pinball machines ... has a great friendly vibe. Will definitely be back.”
Nestled within QT Canberra is Capitol Bar and Grill. This stylish Italianesque steakhouse features modern cuisine with wood fired theatrics. This dining spot was conceptualised by renowned Australian restaurateur and Creative Food Director of QT Hotel, Robert Marchetti.
Combining the best fresh Italian cuisine with prime cut steaks, Capitol Bar and Grill offers something for everyone. Add to this an impressive wine list and an assortment of cocktails this swanky spot is a must for steak lovers.
Claire Walters shared her lovely experience on Google, “What a wonderful dining experience. The food is great, but above that, the service is just phenomenal.”
Set I the charming 1920’s Melbourne building, Charcoal is a Canberran institution. Since first opening its doors in 1962 Charcoal is known for its steak speciality. Showcasing the best in local produce Charcoal is one of a handful of local establishments to offer an extensive selection of world-class Oakley-Angus reserve, Australia’s leader in premium beef.
The classic menu serves modern cuts with a selection of sides and sauces. This old-style eatery serves up old school charm in spades along with some of the finest beef in town. If you consider yourself a steak aficionado, make sure you pay Charcoal Restaurant a visit.
Ashmita Dhungel shared this review on Google, “Best steak restaurant in town. The food, the atmosphere, and the service are absolutely amazing. Highly recommended.”
Affectionately known as ‘The Kingo’ by locals, this iconic pub is a well-known favourite just minutes from the CBD. Full to the brim with rustic charm this casual social spot features a quintessential pub experience, boutique beer on tap, and glorious steaks.
With over ten succulent steaks, fresh frites, and more sauces than you can poke a stick at diners are most certainly spoilt for choice. If you fancy a relaxed vibe that the whole family can enjoy look no further than the Kingston Hotel.
Hal Croxon had this to say about the Kingston Hotel on Google, “Great steak. Fillet mignon was superb.”
The wonderfully warm and inviting Manuka Steakhouse is renowned for its casual vibe. This modern Australian gem specialises in steak in all shapes and sizes. Featuring a broad selection of cut along classics like surf and turf and a mixed grill Manuka Steakhouse is sure to appease.
Pair your meal with a cheap and cheerful selection from the beverage list, offering sparkling, red and whites, beers and spirits. And should the little ones be dining with you, they are in for a treat with a kid-friendly selection and desserts to boot.
Sydney Daniel shared this wonderful feedback on Google, “What a great steak and cooking perfection. Such a good customer service. We are definitely going back.”
For more dining options you might like our articles on the best gastropubs, the best fine dining, and the best restaurants in Canberra. Should you fancy a tipple perhaps the best cocktail bars, the best wine bars, or the best pubs may also be of interest.
Your experience with steakhouses in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the steakhouses listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can a steak be cooked to order?
Generally, there are five standard temperatures that chefs offer to diners when ordering steak. These include rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done. That said, some steakhouses may also offer super rare or blue as an option, which can be regarded as the minimum safe temperature to cook and serve.
What is the best way to order a steak?
Some would suggest any way you like it! Others would suggest that it depends on the cut. As a general rule of thumb, leaner cuts of steak should be cooked rarer while fattier cuts more thoroughly. If your cut sits in the middle, a good option is medium rare as it allows for external charring and a tender interior.
What is the most tender cut of steak?
Many chefs would agree that the most tender cut of met is filet mignon. Otherwise know as eye fillet, this cut is extracted from the tip of the tenderloin. As this muscle isn’t worked a great deal it tends to be the most tender.
What is a steak marble score?
A marble score is a component of the overall beef grading system in Australia. It assesses the amount of intramuscular fat and scores accordingly. A higher marble score suggests a softer, silkier texture as the marbled fat breaks down and permeates the meat as it is cooked. Scores generally range from 0 (no fat) to 9 (abundant) with Wagyu cattle sitting at a grade of around 4 to 6.
What is dry aging?
Dry aging is the process by which large cuts of beef are aged before being trimmed. Dry aging indicates that the beef has been hung whilst refrigerated, from anywhere between 30 to 50 days. It is believed that the process improves two major characteristics – taste and tenderness. Dry aging differs to wet aging, whereby beef is trimmed and cut then vacuum sealed.