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The Ultimate Guide to Greater Boston’s Tastiest Steak Tips
From old-school classics to newer twists, here are 16 of the top tips in town.
Don’t tell our doctors how many pounds of red meat we consumed while reporting on the mysterious origins of steak tips, the iconic New England dish that typically features flap meat from the bottom sirloin. Below, find some of our favorites, from old-school classics in timeless pubs north of Boston to new-school twists at an intimate Mediterranean spot in Cambridge, a brunch mainstay in Somerville, and beyond. Plus, we’ve included a few recommendations for excellent dishes from international cuisines to try if you like steak tips.
(Looking to grill up some steak tips at home? Check out our guide to shopping for and cooking steak tips, with notes on marinades and wine pairings. Plus, learn about the difference between New England steak tips and California tri-tips.)
This guide was originally published in print in our May 2023 issue and online on May 17, 2023. Watch for periodic updates to the online version, if we ever feel ready to eat another plate of tips.
- The Essential Old-School Steak Tips: Find them in taverns, sports bars, and classic pubs, often (but not always) north of Boston, with sweet marinades (usually) and carb-y sides (always).
- The Essential New-School Tips: Creative and fun spins on the classic dish at newer restaurants.
- Go Global: If you like steak tips, you’ll love these similar dishes from international cuisines.
The Essential Old-School Steak Tips
Bob’s Italian Foods
At it for nearly 90 years, this Tufts-area deli and grocer is probably best known for its enormous sandwiches, but the steak tips are among the area’s tastiest. They come marinated in a mild Italian dressing or the very sweet, very red Ah-So Sauce. While sides in the world of steak tips are not always notable, Bob’s veggies are top-notch; we recommend the broccolini.
324 Main St., Medford, 781-395-0400, bobsfood.com.
This 35-year-old sports pub has a rabid fan base for its tips, selling 3,500 to 4,000 pounds per week. “Every piece of meat is hand-trimmed, hand-needled [for tenderization], and then marinated in our secret marinade,” says Kyle Mutner, who bought the business from his father last year. Champions’ tips come with fries, rice, or onion rings, plus a side salad.
114 Foster St., Peabody, 978-531-7776.
Cronin’s Publick House
While steak-tip fervor tends to skew north of Boston, Cronin’s is holding down the fort south of the city. The charbroiled tips come in several varieties—barbecue, teriyaki, Cajun, or plain—and the giant steak fries are the favorite side. Hot cherry peppers cost extra, but they’re worth it. Don’t forget to play a round of Keno.
23 Des Moines Rd., 617-786-9804, Quincy, croninspublickhouse.com.
Founded in Chelsea in 1984 and now under second-generation ownership, Floramo’s features a barbecue-meets-Italian menu (which means you can get simple pasta with red sauce on the side of your tips). The tips—available in steak, lamb, turkey, chicken, or various combinations thereof—are pleasantly sweet and grilled to perfection. Kid-size and lunch-friendly portions are also available.
229 Centre St., Malden, 781-321-3000, and 1099 Main St., Wakefield, 781-245-0200, floramos.net.
Frank’s Steak House
Founded in 1938, this North Cambridge classic delights its longtime regulars with hearty portions of prime rib and a gigantic tomahawk ribeye, but the steak tips—on the menu since sometime in the 1980s—are also bestsellers, says owner George Ravanis, touting the sweet barbecue-style house marinade.
2310 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge, 617-661-0666, frankssteakhouse.com.
If there’s one restaurant name synonymous with steak tips, it’s this one. Around since 1975 and one of the popularizers of steak tips as we know them today, NewBridge serves tips that are impossibly tender and juicy, marinated in a sweet barbecue sauce. Choose a salad as your side; the house Italian dressing is almost as popular as the tips themselves. And don’t forget the hot cherry peppers.
650 Washington Ave., 617-884-0134, Chelsea, newbridgecafe.com.
This Eastie staple does two things: pizza (get the sausage and garlic) and no-frills skewers of simply grilled meats, including steak tips. Don’t expect a sugary marinade here—just pure, unadulterated beefiness with a side of white bread and hot cherry peppers.
111 Chelsea St., East Boston, 617-567-9871, and 71 Newbury St., Peabody, 978-535-1811, santarpiospizza.com.
You’ve surely seen the distinctive steer’s head signage from the Pike—after all, the tavern has been serving up steaks and more since 1971. The Stockyard’s tips are made with tenderloin, not flap meat, but the deviation from tradition can be overlooked, given the result: The teriyaki-marinated, char-grilled tips are delicious, served with a side of whipped potato.
135 Market St., Brighton, Boston, 617-782-4700, stockyardrestaurant.com.
The Essential New-School Steak Tips
This neighborhood hit is all about comfort food, and what are steak tips but pure comfort? Try them at dinner with huancaína, an ají-pepper-spiked Peruvian cheese sauce, with sides of fries and mixed greens, or put them atop any salad. Tips are also available at weekend brunch as part of a classic steak-and-eggs plate. Add a spiked iced coffee, and you’re in for a good day.
421 Cambridge St., Allston, Boston, 617-787-1117, lulusallston.com.
This intimate Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in Inman Square serves an extraordinarily delicious take on the classic: super-tender date-molasses tips with a flavor quite reminiscent of the traditional sweet marinade, plated with pickled turnips and eggplant. You’ll also want to order some of Moona’s stunning small plates, particularly the msakhan duck rolls.
243 Hampshire St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-945-7448, moonarestaurant.com.
The Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery
Tips make their way into a variety of dishes at this Portuguese-American breakfast/brunch mainstay in Union Square, but if you’re looking for an innovative (and filling) spin, order the absolutely massive barbecue trio breakfast: steak tips, chicken, and shrimp, with two eggs, rice, beans, home fries, and a choice of breakfast side (go for the cream of wheat.)
25 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9710, theneighborhoodrestaurant.com.
The Publick House
Don’t miss the steak tips at this popular Brookline beer bar, which can be ordered atop any salad or a comforting roasted-mushroom farro risotto. Ideally, someone else at the table will order a Publick House classic like the moules frites so you can have a taste.
1648 Beacon St., Washington Square, Brookline, 617-277-2880, publickhousebrookline.com.
Savin Bar & Kitchen
Classic tips often come with bread and other carb-laden sides, so why not smash it all together and serve a steak-tip flatbread? That’s what this neighborhood favorite does, combining marinated tips with mashed potatoes, bacon, mozzarella, and truffle oil atop naan. (You can also add tips to the salads if you prefer something a little lighter.)
116 Savin Hill Ave., Dorchester, Boston, 617-288-7500, savinbarandkitchen.com.
Silvertone Bar & Grill
How can you make steak tips even tastier? Serve them atop mac ’n’ cheese, naturally. Luckily, the longtime downtown haunt Silvertone, a beloved cocktail spot, does exactly that—and both dish components are excellent.
69 Bromfield St., Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-338-7887, silvertonedowntown.com.
Okay, so these aren’t exactly new-school; they’re an homage to a classic, but the restaurant opened within the decade, so we’ll allow it. The tips at 16C are the same recipe—minus the charcoal grill—as those at the Quiet Man Pub, a now-closed South Boston watering hole that was co-owned by Paul Lynch, the father of 16C owner Kerri Lynch-Delaney. “When I put them on the menu, I did it just to be cute,” says Lynch-Delaney, “but they’ve really taken on a life of their own.”
16 Cottage Ave., Quincy, 617-481-2170, 16crestaurant.com.
The Tip Tap Room
You know the tips are good when they’re in the restaurant’s name. Chef-owner Brian Poe has a special love of game meat, so you’ll sometimes find specials such as antelope or kangaroo tips, but on any given day, there’ll be at least half a dozen tips such as swordfish, tofu, or turkey, each with a unique marinade and accompaniments. The long-running steak-tip preparation includes bordelaise sauce, horseradish potatoes, and cherry peppers.
138 Cambridge St., Beacon Hill, Boston, 857-350-3344, thetiptaproom.com.
Steak tips may be unique to New England, but many international cuisines offer something similar. Here are some of the best.
From the tender meat to the double-starch side, we can’t help but get steak-tip vibes from this popular Peruvian stir-fry (with Chinese roots), which mixes soy-sauce-marinated pieces of beef (often sirloin) with tomatoes, onions, ají amarillo peppers, and fries, served with rice.
Try it at: Celeste in Somerville, Tambo 22 in Chelsea, or Peruvian Taste in Charlestown.
Bò lúc lắc (“shaking beef”)
This Vietnamese dish features small cubes of beef in a soy-based marinade, pan-seared (often with onions and butter) and typically served with rice, watercress, and a lime-and-black-pepper dipping sauce. A recipe for it from Boston-based Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street suggests flap meat as a good cut.
Try it at: Pho Hoa, Pho Le, or Huong Que, all in Dorchester.
Flap meat is one of several cuts commonly used for this Mexican grilled beef dish, which is often marinated in an herby lime-juice mixture and grilled over high heat. It’s served as an entrée or sliced thinly to be used as a filling for tacos, burritos, and more.
Try it at: Angela’s or Taqueria Jalisco, both in East Boston, or Taqueria el Amigo in Waltham.
First published as part of a feature in the print edition of the May 2023 issue with the headline “Long Live Steak Tips!” Find the essay here and a steak tip shopping and cooking guide here.
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