Peter Luger is a classic for a reason. Sure, there are plenty of cheaper dining options in the city to satiate your steak hankering, but you know the adage, FOMA. People have it on their New York City bucket-list for a reason. This Brooklyn establishment has been around since 1887. It has remained starkly authentic to its old school roots, German beer hall décor and all, while situated in a sea of Williamsburg Tinder date spots.
The joint is a family business and has been run by the same family since 1950. Peter Luger likes to tout they are still the best game in town because they offer the best cuts. Family members hand-pick the USDA prime beef from the finest meat purveyors. The only downsides are that the: dining is pricey, you will need a reservation, and its cash only. (There’s an ATM across the street.) Also, it’s probably haunted by cows (Moooo).
However, you won’t care once you quench your teeth into their porterhouse. Your only thought will be: food good. Because you will have reverted to your paleolithic Homer Simpson-self. Ignore the internet trolls who don’t believe the hype.
Also, don’t go to a steakhouse and order a shrimp cocktail. We see you New York Times food critic, Peter Wells. As Peter Luger rebuts, “We know who we are and have always been. The best steak you can eat. Not the latest kale salad.” You heard them, check your hipster at the door.
Just remember, if you are going to fork over the money, make it an occasion. Don’t have a cow, just order the dang cow and have a cocktail or three. The lines to be seated can be long, but the refills are supposedly Bacchanalian.
See our 9 reasons why Peter Luger will have you by the meat hook!
9. It’s a Legendary New York City Steakhouse
The title of the oldest steakhouse in New York City belongs to the Old Homestead around (1868). This Michelin Star steak house was once a bowling ring café called “Carl Luger’s Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley,” which opened in 1887. The small German neighborhood was up and coming with the installation of the Williamsburg bridge in 1907.
The restaurant changed ownership in the 1950s to the Foreman family who still operates the restaurant day. The story goes that Sol Foreman worked for a silver manufacture across the street. When Peter Lugar died, Sol was down a lunch spot, so he decided to bid for the restaurant in an auction where he won unopposed.
The restaurant was awarded a James Beard American Classic. The exposed wood, mahogany seat cushions, brass chandelier, and long beer-hall style tables are a part of the experience.
8. The Old School Service
The service is good, but it is old school. The wait staff are career waiters and their pithy manner is often enjoyable. If you have ever been to a highway diner frequented by truckers, then you can appreciate an element of dinner and entertainment. The staff is friendly and attentive. And remember just because city rent is high doesn’t mean you can skim on the tip.
7. It’s a Steakhouse but You Can Wear Jeans
If you have been to the opera or a Broadway show in the city, then you know times have changed when it comes to clothing being lax. This upscale restaurant informs that they have no dress code. No doubt, Brooklynites will roll-up in thrift store denim and dirty white sneakers with mismatching socks.
Since you are spending easily a hundred bucks on your meal, maybe wear a blazer or idk comb your hair. Be comfortable, but maybe kick the wardrobe up a notch is all that I’m saying.
See our article for some style inspo that would be great to wear to enjoy a nice dinner.
6. The Smaller the Menu, the Bigger the Portions
Their menu makes no bones, and we are here for it. No need to get overwhelmed in entrée options that you cannot pronounce. You came for meat, and Peter Luger is here to give you just that. However, you get your money’s worth. The portions are huge like in true New York form. Most likely, you will have leftovers, but be prepared for some mad meat sweats.
5. Their Burger is King
This burger almost upstages the porterhouse. Although, it is only served during their lunch special which ends at 3:45 PM. The special includes a potato and a vegetable. They advertise that all of their meat is prepared like their nice cuts juicy, tender, and dry-aged. Real talk, I have read a plethora of reviews applauding this burger.
4. Steakhouse Sauce on Everything Please
An experience at Peter Luger is incomplete without a gravy boat of their famous steak sauce sold in their restaurant’s store. We recommend dipping your steak fries into it. Their onion bread rolls also pair well in the magic sauce.
3. Meat Après More Meat
So good that it almost seems wrong. You MUST order an appetizer of their sliced, charred bacon. It comes sliced in Peter Luger fashion. Your body might not thank you for it, but your conscience will.
2. Sclag is German for Dessert Heaven.
Unzip one pants button, the show is not over until you order dessert. Their special is their Holy Cow hot fudge Sunday. They also have pies, tarts, and cheesecake. And, of course, strudel. The Schlag (whipped cream) is the desert’s lovable sidekick. Your waiters will send you home with their chocolate coins (super fun).
1. All Hail the Kahuna: The Porter House
The porterhouse is unarguably the star. The lamb chops and rib-eye are honorable mentions. This porterhouse lives a double life, half sirloin, and half fillet. The meat is tender enough to cut with a fork, and the juices and the artisanal level of care to the aromas will remind you of why you came. Prepare to spend $40 a person on the porterhouse for one and about $80 for two.
The sides range from about $4-$7, so plan on spending $50 bucks a head. Next to your plate of red meat, don’t forget the German fries or creamy spinach. In the words of Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” Your body will thank you if you send it off into hibernation with a hardy meal from Peter Luger’s Steakhouse.