Maple & Ash

Where to get proper steak frites in Chicago

By Kat Odell

Though native to France, steak frites has become such a classic pair that it’s not hard to find in restaurants of all stripes. And while the original combination is tried and true, chefs still find myriad ways to get creative with the dish, changing up origin of beef, how long it’s aged, how it’s cooked, and what it’s dressed with. The same holds true for fries—cut large or small, cooked in beef fat or not, dressed with salt and herbs, they can take on a personality of their own. Below, eight of Chicago’s most delicious steak frites, and where to find them.

Maple & Ash
Maple & Ash is the Gold Coast’s sleek, sexy, and scene-y steakhouse, decorated in exaggerated drapery with plush booths. With a strong collection of beef, it would be easy to pick your favorite cut and ask for hand-cut fries on the side. However, the restaurant does has a specific steak frites on its menu. The house choice is a 10-ounce hanger steak grilled over a wood fire, served with those same fries and a rich entrecôte sauce.
Neighborhood: Gold Coast MAP

Boeufhaus

Boeufhaus
Ukranian Village’s meat specialist Boeufhaus—a modern-day steakhouse that functions as a restaurant, a butcher shop, and a deli—specializes in quality grass-fed, grain-finished proteins. Inspired by both French and German culinary traditions, expect to find everything from saurbraten and spätzle to a great steak frites. The traditional steak frites is available on the lunch menu, with an updated version (hanger steak with potato gateau, shallot, and tarragon) taking it's place on the dinner menu, and the piece de résistance is the accompanying beef fat–fried fries.
Neighborhood: Ukranian Village MAP

Café Marie-Jeanne
Beloved industry staple Café Marie-Jeanne, despite its name, isn’t entirely French. However, the cozy European-inspired bistro does plate a handful of French classics, including a well-executed steak frites. Think 21-day dry aged flatiron, pan-roasted with butter (which could be imbued with Roquefort or anchovy) and herbs, splashed with Bordelaise sauce—with hand-cut fries plus aïoli on the side. Pro tip: Should you not be in the mood for beef, get the duck frites topped with seared foie gras.
Neighborhood: Humboldt Park MAP

Pearl's Brasserie

Pearl Brasserie
Late last summer, chef Jason Paskewitz took over at the relaunch of Pearl Tavern, which became Pearl Brasserie, now a Parisian-dressed white table cloth haunt. Expect to find a mostly French menu heavy on bistro classics, including, of course, steak frites. Paskewitz’s version includes hanger steak served with both Bordelaise sauce and butter, and fries alongside.
Neighborhood: The West Loop MAP

Bavette’s
Hitmaker Brendan Sodikoff is behind River North staple Bavette’s, a sleek, dimly lit lounge where each dish is hinged on quality ingredients. The restaurant’s deep menu includes both French and American classics, and here the 10-ounce rib eye steak frites is served beside a mountain of fries and a small side of Béarnaise sauce.
Neighborhood: River North MAP

Bistronomic

Bistronomic
Bistronomic chef and owner Martial Noguier looks to local farms to find seasonal ingredients to build his French fare, which takes shape as a blend of traditional and more innovative renditions of classics. His steak frites for the coming warm weather combines flatiron steak with roasted garlic purée, red wine reduction, and hand-cut fries tossed with Parmesan and black truffle sea salt.
Neighborhood: North Side MAP

Margeaux Brasserie
Celebrity chef Michael Mina picked the Waldorf Astoria as home base for his French eatery, Margeaux Brasserie, nearly a year old now. Here, one will find upscale and refined French classics in a polished, early 20th century Paris–inspired space. For steak frites, guests can pick from three cuts—a 10-ounce coulotte, an 8-ounce filet mignon, or a 12-ounce New York strip—all of which are grilled over the restaurant’s wood-fueled hearth, and served with fries and Béarnaise sauce. To indulge a bit more, top any of the aforementioned with foie gras, or king crab.
Neighborhood: Gold Coast MAP

RPM Steak
Lettuce Entertain You’s modern American steakhouse RPM Steak offers one of Chicago’s most impressive beef selections—from Japanese olive-fed wagyu to 90-day dry aged rib eye. The steak frites is an 8 oz. ribeye cap–which is more marbled than the ribeye filet, creating a buttery texture–wood grilled over white oak, sliced to order and served with shoestring fries and black truffle bearnaise.
Neighborhood: River North MAP

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