More cows live in Australia than humans. Let that sink in as you salivate over the top steakhouses, bistros and gastropubs littered throughout this sunburnt country. From the Top End to the Apple Isle, Out West, to Over East – here are the 20 top spots to dine out on superb cuts of Australian beef.
Best steakhouses in Queensland
At top Brisbane steak restaurant Black Hide you’ll find more than a dozen cuts of world-class Queensland beef. This two-time winner of Australia’s Best Steak Restaurant drops Stanbroke Australian Wagyu and Angus cuts onto its fast-cooking Montague Broiler Grill.
Billionaire Elon Musk and actor Amber Heard revealed their relationship over a dinner date at Moo Moo when they visited the Gold Coast in 2017. Maybe it was chosen over every place in this world and outer space for its variety in steak. There are more than 20 cuts on the menu – from a short rib or tomahawk through to its signature spice-rubbed waygu rump cap to share.
Swipe open the menu to reveal the profile of every steak at this riverfront Brisbane CBD steakhouse. Once you’ve soaked in the sweeping waterfront views you’ll see that every cut is listed with details of its origin, age, whether it was grass or grain fed plus tasting notes. Then you have to pick the wine. Tough.
For more than 50 years this historic Brisbane pub has been serving up steaks and pints of XXXX. Line up, select your cut from the glass cabinet and have char-grilled to order. It’s a no-fuss pub-style affair where each comes with a potato, coleslaw and a bread roll.
This beachside Gold Coast beef-house is known for its steak frites. For the famous French dish 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.
Best steak restaurants in New South Wales
Life in the kitchen at Firedoor centres around the flame. With no gas or electricity, Lennox Hastie and his chefs use two wood-fired ovens, three grills and wood-burning hearth to cook seasonal produce over flavoursome woods such as orangewood. There’s no greater pairing than beef and fire so despite the menu changing daily you’ll always find steak. Here’s hoping its a 203-day dry-aged rib on the bone.
Flavours of Argentina influence the kitchen at this Sydney diner. Meats are prepared in plain sight on its traditional Parilla (barbecue) and Asado (pit of fire) to an unapologetically loud rockabilly soundtrack. Order the grilled Kobe Wagyu to share – cooked medium rare and cut in thick strips with the house chimichurri – and pair it with a South American red wine.
Steak is the only meal here. Bistecca alla Fiorentina, to be exact. That’s the famous three-finger-thick t-bone from Tuscany. At Bistecca in Sydney it’s cooked over coals, ironbark and olive branches, sliced and served medium rare (rather than more traditional rare), and the whole process is very theatrical. Order the steak in weight ($13 per 100g), have the waiter present the cut to your table, and if you’re happy it goes to spend time in the central flaming hearth.
Hanging candles, low lighting, leather seating and an underground location give this New York inspired steakhouse a warm and cosy vibe. The menu features premium cuts of all-Australian beef along with an award-winning selection of wines. Don’t skip the signature slow-roasted Queensland prime rib.
Steak is serious business here – from the all-meat seven-course degustation, to the Australian or wagyu fillet tasting plates. Prime has had the doors open since 1999 and was the first to introduce dry-aged beef, the first to offer Wagyu, and the first to offer over 18 cuts.
Best steakhouses in Victoria
A chapel to all things meat – enter the underground space, worship the glass alter of dry-aging beef and bow down to the custom-made wood-burning smoker. On the unsurprisingly meat-heavy menu choose from 20-hour smoked 5+ score brisket, dry-aged sirloin, or a huge tomahawk bone-in rib eye. Pair your steak with a big red, but finish with a smoked old fashioned or other cocktail.
A bespoke 2.5 metre-long Parrilla charcoal grill, made by a man who has made the grills for former Argentine presidents, is the centrepiece of this Melbourne CBD restaurant. The Argentinian-inspired steakhouse celebrates memories of Buenos Aires with food and wine designed to share at the table. Choose from around five different steak cuts to be cooked over the kitchen’s Parrilla charcoal grill.
In a charming spot across from the Melbourne Botanic Gardens this Parisian steakhouse plates up its signature steak frites. The porterhouse cit is chargrilled and doused in ‘sauce au beurre et aux herbes’ with bottomless frites and a tiny salad. Please explain how are the French so slim?
This Melbourne diner sets the bar for gastropub dining Australia-wide. The main dining room has a hunting lodge vibe, complete with a fireplace, perfect to chow down on one of the five cuts that chef Sean Donovan grills over a Red Gum woodfired barbecue.
Just when you thought the other cities in Australia had a chance at being cool, Melbourne reasserts itself. Angus & Bon is more than a steakhouse – it’s a tribute to Prahan’s punk-rock history and AC/DCs guitarist Angus Young and late lead singer Bon Scott. Cool. Here in the old 1928 Prahran Post Office building chefs flame grill nine cuts over wood.
Best steakhouses Western Australia & Northern Territory
Quality and quantity are key to Rockpool. There are more than 1300 wines on offer, plus 3 types of beef and 12 cuts. Celebrity chef Neil Perry’s Rockpool concept uncompromisingly combines the best of food and wine at his Rockpool locations in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Over in the west the Perth Rockpool dry-ages in-house and grills plenty of wagyu with a marble score of 9+.
Steak is great, no doubt. Whisky is also great. So what about steak and whisky pairing? This Perth bistro pairs its sirloin tasting board with matching whisky menus. Choose from a Scottish set, ‘old and rare’ menu, smokey, easy or paddock to plate whisky quartet. You’ll get four half nips to sip and savour with your steaks.
Set in an old weatherboard home between the trees, this Darwin steakhouse is owned by national beef judge John Kilroy. Each of the eight cuts on the menu is listed with its breed, location, whether it is grass or grain fed, marble score and tasting notes.
Best steak restaurants in South Australia & Tasmania
Choosing a steak is easy, choosing wine is not – especially when there’s a 3000-bottle cellar. At Coal opt for the signature tomahawk (with Béarnaise sauce and red wine jus) and perhaps ask for help pairing wine from the long list. Here they cook cuts over a charcoal grill and hero the best South Australian produce.
There’s no doubt steak is the star at this historic art deco old butcher’s shop in Launceston. Entrees are called “before the Black Cow” and dessert is “After the Black Cow”. There are two “Black Cow” wagyu cuts on offer, plus five other steaks from the Apple Isle.