There are plenty of high-end steakhouses in Denver where you can drop a few Benjamins on serious slabs of beef, and there's a time and a place to do just that, but when you're on a budget and in search of a killer steak that won't break the bank, there are options for that too. Here are 10 truly notable steak preparations around Denver, including a strip at a big-name steakhouse, that won't make you sweat the prices. In fact, every steak on our list is $25 or under. Dig in.
Steak and Donuts from Euclid Hall
The $16 steak-and-donut plate at Euclid Hall, Jennifer Jasinski's Larimer Square gastropub, is a whimsical play on coffee and donuts. The otherwise savory donut, stuffed with celery root purée, is slightly sweetened from a light sprinkle of granulated sugar, and the prime grade tri-tip, sliced thick and pooled in a Deschutes Black Butte porter demi, is punctuated with strong coffee notes.
1317 14th St.; 303-595-4255
Steak Frites from Central Bistro and Bar
Chef Matt Selby's grilled shoulder tender, sliced and fanned, is matched with hand-cut golden frites, creamed spinach and beurre rouge, resulting in a rich and decadent steakhouse dinner that's a mere $23, a fraction of the Prada price tag you pay at those powerhouse shrines to steer.
1691 Central St.; 303-477-4582
Flat Iron Steak from Harman’s Eat and Drink
At this Cherry Creek hot spot, chef John Chad Little injects the seasons into just about everything he touches, and his grilled flat iron steak, ringing in at $25, is no exception. The scarlet-hued beef, sauced with red wine, is enriched with blue cheese butter and mingling with smoked potatoes, end-of-spring asparagus and fresh-from-the-earth oyster mushrooms.
2900 E. Second Ave.; 303-388-7428
Carne Asada from Adelitas
Rubbed with a slew of different seasonings, marinated to seal in the juices and requisitely charred, the excellent skirt steak ($14.95) at Adelitas is paired with a cheese enchilada draped with mole, rice, refried beans and a sphere of guacamole. It's a top seller that goes best with one of the joint's potent margaritas.
1294 S. Broadway; 303-778-1294
New York Sugar Steak from Bastien's
Bastien's, a super-retro steak house that's reminiscent of the Rat Pack days, satisfies old-school carnivores with its timeless sugar-crusted rib-eye, a 10-ounce brick of tender beef that's also behind the times when it comes to its price tag: just $24.95 — and that also includes soup or salad and a choice of potato.
3503 E. Colfax Ave.; 303-322-0363
Bistro Steak from To the Wind Bistro
This lovely restaurant overseen by Royce Oliveira and his wife, Leanne Adamson, is as tiny as they come, and the menu is equally compact, but the flavors are big and bold and the prices impossible to resist. To wit: the $20 bistro steak, garnet-hued mid-rare slices fanned across a stark white plate embellished with slices of English cucumber, a mound of quinoa and liberal shavings of Parmesan.
3333 E. Colfax Ave.; 303-316-3333
Baseball Cut Sirloin from Bull & Bush
The kitchen hits the bull's-eye with its $22 top sirloin, a 12-ounce baseball center cut that's salted, peppered and slicked with butter. It tastes of smoke and backyard barbecues, the way a steak should, and it's plated on a sizzling skillet with a loaded baked potato and roll; it also comes with a pub salad or cup of soup.
4700 Cherry Creek Dr. S.; 303-759-0092
Steak Frites from Bistro Vendome
If there's one dish that defines the French bistro, it's steak frites, and at Bistro Vendôme, the pairing of grilled meat and gold-tinged fries takes center stage. There are three preparations — béarnaise, au poivre and Roquefort with a sweet port reduction — all priced at $25, and they're all bolstered by a cone of the bistro's signature hand-cut frites dusted with salt, showered with herbs and drizzled with a champagne-vinegar-and-sugar glaze.
1420 Larimer St.; 303-825-3232
Strip Steak from Guard and Grace
You can easily splurge on an $88 prime grade porterhouse, or a $59 bone-in rib-eye at this superb temple to beef, but the four-ounce Black Angus strip steak is just $17, and while it's light in poundage, the beef is thick, beautifully marbled and packed with flavor. For an additional $8, elevate it with a liberal blot of foie gras butter, or forgo the butter and make it a full meal by pairing the steak with the au gratin potatoes ($8) served in a cast-iron skillet.
1801 California St.; 303-293-8500
Porterhouse from Columbine Steak House
A Denver institution, Columbine Steak House doesn't look like much from the exterior, and the interior is endearingly worn, but don't be fooled: the steaks at this working man's diner are judiciously salted and peppered, fatty in all the right places, dribbling with crimson juices and streaked with grill marks. The $16.95 porterhouse is the overall favorite, and, like all the steaks, it arrives with an iceberg lettuce salad, buttered Texas toast and a hefty baked potato with all the fixings.
300 Federal Blvd.; 303-936-9110