The Best Bites of Steak in Altoona

Iowa is famous for serving some of the greatest steak in the country—maybe even in the world.

Here in Altoona, we’re pretty sure that WE have the greatest steak in Iowa. And the proof is on the plate.

In no particular order, here are some of our favorite spots to get the world’s most delicious, juicy, tender steak—right here in Altoona:

AJ’s Steakhouse

Located on the first floor of Prairie Meadows, AJ’s serves up some of the tastiest USDA Prime around. While we love the exquisite marbling and remarkable flavor of their choice cuts, it’s AJ’s atmosphere that keeps us coming back. Sleek, sophisticated and not far from the blackjack tables, it’s the classy choice for a high-stakes night out (no pun intended).

The Big Steer

The supper-club style Big Steer Restaurant & Lounge has some serious chops. In 2016, MSN declared that the local favorite – which has a painted cow the size of a truck out front – serves “the best steak in Iowa.” No argument here.

The reviewer tried the prime rib with garlic butter sauce, and they called it “paradigm-shifting.”

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

The experience at Johnny’s is hard to beat, especially with its sleek atmosphere, amazing Italian sides, and beef that’s been aged for at least 28 days, creating a richer flavor profile.

For an interesting twist on a classic, we recommend the Drunken Steak, marinated in Samuel Adams and accompanied with Johnny’s Drunken Sauce.

Jethro’s ‘n Jakes Smokehouse Steaks

Jethro’s has won countless awards and hosted famous TV food critics, but the thing we love most about their fixins is, of course, the steak. Here, it’s served by the pound, and it’s so tender that you can cut it with your fork. If you somehow have room for dessert, top things off with Wilma’s Fried Apple Pie—served à la mode, of course.

Claxon’s Smokehouse & Grill

It’s hard not to visit a restaurant that promises “taste so good it makes your tongue slap your brains out.” While our brains are still firmly in place, we can attest that Claxon’s is really, really good. In addition to serving some of the best steak around, the attitude and charm of the staff make it clear why Claxon’s has been an Altoona institution for decades.

Burger Shed

What??? But… burgers aren’t STEAKS! We knew this one would be highly controversial, but we just can’t get enough of Burger Shed’s specialty burgers and handcrafted shakes. You may be upset to see a burger on a list of “best steaks,” but, once you take a bite of the big juicy Mac Attack, we think you’ll understand.

Hungry for more? Explore the best places to eat in Altoona here.