The statistics prove what we already knew in our hearts – Queensland is the beef state of Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 report counted 10.50 million head of cattle in Queensland, which is more than twice as many as in the next biggest state. Phwoar.
It’s a given that the beef-breeding capital of Australia should have great steak restaurants dotted in cities and towns throughout the tropical state. Below you’ll find a curated list of the best steakhouse and steak restaurants in Queensland.
Best steak restaurants in Brisbane
1. Black Hide
This top tier steak restaurant from the Gambaro family offers more than a dozen world-class steak cuts of 100% Queensland beef. The two-time winner of Australia’s Best Steak Restaurant, and four-time winner of Queensland’s Best Steak Restaurant uses Stanbroke Australian Wagyu and Angus cooked fast on an authentic Montague Broiler Grill.
A suburban gem, Vaquero takes influence from Spanish cuisine with a share-style menu. Chef Damon Porter dry ages his beef in house and even makes the salamis for the charcuterie boards. Steak is more the hero here than the focus, so don’t skip ordering the aged beef with mushroom and black garlic parfait.
3. Cha Cha Char
If you want a date with a steak, dance on into Cha Cha Char. Every cut is listed with a full profile detailing its origin, age, whether it was grass or grain fed plus tasting notes. There are more than 10 cuts to choose from, a tough decision to make if you get distracted by the sweeping riverfront views.
4. Walter’s Steakhouse
The 270-day grain-fed, in-house dry-aged, bone-in porterhouse is Walter’s signature dish. Order it to feed two, three or four and kick back in a red leather booth with a martini or three. Add a dozen rockerfller oysters and a prawn cocktail and your long lunch is now an afternoon off.
5. Vintaged Bar + Grill
It’s worth dropping by Vintaged just to view the 1000-bottle cellar. Pick out a hearty red to pair with the theatrical 2kg tomahawk. It’s designed to be shared between two, but if you’d rather your own plate choose from five cuts. All are served with lemon, watercress and red wine jus.
6. Les Bubbles
This place serves just one dish. Steak frites. It’s served medium rare with a soft leaf salad, bottomless fries (heaven) and your choice of sauce (bearnaise, cafe de Paris or peppercorn and cognac). If you didn’t eat too many fries, you might have space for dessert, martinis and a boogie in the hot tub downstairs.
7. Breakfast Creek Hotel
The Brekky Creek, as the locals like to call it, has been serving steaks for more than 50 years. Line up, select your cut of steak from the glass cabinet and have char-grilled to order. It’s a no-fuss pub-style affair where each comes with a potato, bacon, coleslaw, slices of tomato and a bread roll. You beaut.
8. The Norman
At the self-claimed “Brisbane’s worst vegetarian restaurant” there’s a dozen cuts from various, mostly Queensland, beef suppliers. If that’s not enough choice, check out the meat cabinet to see what specials are rolling through too. Then you have to pick your sauce, sides, and – if you’re feeling fancy – steak topper. Lobster tail it is!
9. Six Acres
Right next to the Brisbane Showgrounds, the famous spot where cowboys flock to the city once a year for the 10-day EKKA, Six Acres is a year-round celebration of all things Queensland. This paddock-to-plate diner champions top local produce with five steak cuts on offer.
Best steak restaurants on the Gold Coast
10. The Glenelg
At the Gold Coast’s first gastropub beef is the hero. Live large with the reverse-seared 1kg T-bone, 500g sirloin or 500g flat iron – all are designed to share at the table. Or if sharing ain’t your style, there are eight steak cuts plus wagyu meatballs, a beef tartare and roasted bone marrow to round out a beef-heavy meal. Pro tip: order the wagyu fat roasted kipfler potatoes.
11. Harry’s Steak Bistro
Another spot known for its Parisian steak frites, Harry’s heroes the famous French dish. Here you have the choice of four cuts – rump, eye, scotch or wagyu rump cap – which will be served with endless fries, salad and herbed butter. Beef and booze by the beach at Burleigh – a winning combination.
12. Nineteen at the Star
It’s the sort of place you can drop $600 on caviar, follow it up with the rock lobster pasta, and finish with the signature, super-marbled wagyu sirloin “Kiwami” for two. That steak will set you back $240, but cuts like this and views like that come with a price. Oh, a collared shirt must be worn and dress shorts are only allowed on Sundays.
13. Moo Moo
Billionaire Elon Musk and actor Amber Heard gave it the tick of approval when they visited the Gold Coast in 2017. Moo Moo may have Queensland’s longest steak menu, with more than 20 cuts on offer – from a short rib or tomahawk through to its signature spice-rubbed wagyu rump cap to share. Each is cooked over coal and wood on the restaurant’s series 600 charbroiler.
The chefs at high-end Japanese diner Kiyomi treat the wagyu steak in a different, delicate way. Cooked over a binchotan grill, the white charcoal gives a unique taste to the Jack’s Creek wagyu 6+ tenderloin or David Blackmore full-blood wagyu inside skirt.
Best Sunshine Coast steakhouses
Keen to slice into a Master Kobe Wagyu sirloin with a marble score of 9+? Aren’t we all. Char offers the best in steak and seafood at Mooloolaba, with seven cuts ranging from pub price to top tier. All are served with the house slaw and trio of mustards.
16. Wood Fire Grill
There’s no guessing how this steak restaurant chooses to cook its cuts. Set by the Noosa River, the modern, fire-based menu has been designed to share with the table. There are five steaks available, including a big 1kg prime rib. The riverside views? Priceless. Order another bottle and take the ferry back to downtown Noosa.
Best steak restaurants in Central Queensland
17. Great Western Hotel
Life centres around beef in Rockhampton, the town with not one but six giant bull statues. Established in 1862, the Great Western is a pub with great steak, live music and bull riding every Wednesday and Friday. Drop in to try one of six cuts, where prices are a fair bit cheaper than in the big smoke.
18. The Criterion
Built in 1889, even Queen Lizzie has popped by this heritage pub in the Beef Capital of Australia (presumably for a steak). Follow her royal footsteps into the Bush Inn Grill within. Here the bistro offers five cuts (plus char-grilled ribs) with classic pub sides and sauces.
Best steak restaurants in North Queensland
19. IMC Steak House
It’s a good sign when the menu is split into ‘steaks’ and ‘not steaks’. This Townsville beef bistro sources its meat from Central Queensland to Tasmania. There are nine cuts on the menu, including a 500g T-bone for just $33. Surely that’s one of the cheapest, decent steaks in the state.
20. Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse
This Cairns favourite draws inspiration from around the globe for its steaks that are sourced locally from the Atherton Tablelands. Order the Espatada and you’ll receive a hanging skewer threaded with 350g of grilled rump, dripping with a red wine and chilli sauce. For the less adventurous there are eight classic cuts on offer.