Best Chicago Steakhouses for Dining During Lent

Lent is a time of self-sacrifice, when if only for a brief time, we forgo the things we like the most. It’s a spiritual exercise, and for this time of year, many people elect to take a break from red meat. That’s an obvious choice, as carnival, which comes from the word “carne,” or meat, takes place in the last days before Lent, when you’re allowed to fill up on all the meat you want in preparation for a period of going without.


Even if you are going without meat until Easter, there are many Chicago steakhouses offering non-meat specials of seafood and vegetarian menu items.


Here are six of the best Chicago steakhouses that are perfect for dining during Lent.



III Forks.  Recognized for outstanding steak and seafood, III Forks will focus on the latter, with Atlantic salmon, Chilean seabass and seared scallops. There are also vegetarian options, including tomato and burrata salad with vegetable ravioli, as well as sautéed spinach, off-the-cob cream corn, roasted mushrooms and fresh asparagus. These exceptional seafood and vegetarian options are available every Friday through April 19.


Morton’s The Steakhouse. During most of the year, you may have come to Morton’s The Steakhouse for steak (we get it!), but during Lent, you can enjoy two steamed lobster tails every Friday for just $39. Even if you’re not observing this season of self-sacrifice, you may want to take advantage of this deal, which may not come again for another year.


Maple & Ash. One of the most luxurious of the downtown steakhouses, Maple & Ash has a wonderful selection of fish and vegetarian items for Lent. From the sea, there’s Hamachi crudo, yellowfin tartare, and a bountiful selection of oysters and caviar. If vegetables are what you’re after, Chef Danny Grant lays out some spectacular and perfectly prepared produce: roasted beet and shaved green salad, Brussels sprouts with pine nuts and lemon, and wood-fired maitake mushrooms.


Taureaux TavernSteakhouses are known to have some of the best seafood you’ll find anywhere. The new Taureaux Tavern is no exception, presenting gifts of the sea with the same panache as they do their delicious beef. Consider Skuna Bay salmon with braised beluga lentils, rigatoni ala vodka with roasted market cherry tomatoes, and black truffle pappardelle and, if you’re feeling extra posh, fresh shaved white truffles. That’s what we’re talking about.


Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. The restaurant’s name – Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – says it all: you can have steak, if you like, but for Lent, there’s a superb selection of seafood, of course. There are also a great many vegetarian options. If you’re going for the all-vegetarian approach to Lent (and it couldn’t hurt, right?), there’s spinach stuffed mushrooms, roasted cauliflower steak, and tagliatelle with seasonal vegetables…all almost too good to be true.


Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House.  The signature dish at Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House is stone crab, and it’s fantastically tasty and perfect for Lent.  Though there’s a lot of USDA prime steak on the menu, Truluck’s has made its mark as a premier seafood location, having won Open Table 2019 Dining Choice Awards for Best Seafood Restaurant and Best Special Occasion Restaurant. Dining at Truluck’s, you will not even notice that you’re not having steak for dinner…but, of course, you can enjoy that big beautiful piece of red meat next time you’re there.



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