16 of the World’s Most Expensive Steaks
Fire, smoke, and mouth-wateringly tender bites of beef have long been the hallmark of an immaculately cooked steak. As any steak enthusiast knows, the price of admission varies greatly depending on the cut of the meat, the quality of the ranching, and the pedigree of the cattle.
High quality cattle are found all over the globe, with Europe having a particularly rich history of producing the best cattle breeds. However, some of the priciest steaks originate from breeds from other regions – Japan, United States, South Africa, Canada, or Australia.
Steak cuts and pricing
Beginning with the cheapest cut, a sirloin steak is from the rear of the cow and is leaner than other cuts. In the same price range is the striploin, sometimes also called the New York strip, which comes from the middle of the cow and is thicker than most other cuts.
Ribeye steaks are a step up in quality and price. Cut from the rib section, ribeye steaks are sometimes cut bone-in and have a delicious rich and beefy flavor.
The final jump in cost comes with tenderloin and filet mignon steaks. Both cuts are revered and will almost always be the most expensive cuts available at any restaurant.
The tenderloin is the bigger cut of meat, but filet mignon takes the crown for price and taste as it is the most tender part of the tenderloin, famous for its sweetness and buttery texture.
Without further ado, let’s round up the most expensive steaks out there.
Japanese Wagyu Steak
Wagyu is not just a cut of beef. This comes from very specific Japanese cattle breeds and is by far the most expensive cut of beef in the world.
Japanese farmers and ranchers are famous world-wide for their pursuit of perfection, and wagyu steak is the culmination of thousands of years of labor to produce the best possible cattle.
High levels of marbling and a distinct flavor profile make it well worth the hefty price tag. The steaks are rated depending on their quality, with grades ranging from A to C (A being the best) and 1 to 5 (5 being the best), which makes A5 wagyu the rarest and most expensive steak in the world.
Read on to find out about all the best, and most expensive, cuts of meat from various cattle breeds!
16. Montbéliarde (up to $29 per pound)
Though perhaps most famous for their dairy production, Montbéliarde cows are nevertheless a delicious first entry in the world of high-end steaks.
Originating in the French region of Franche-Comté, the cows have a distinctive reddish-brown and white coat, produce milk perfect for gruyère, and most importantly have a lean and nutty flavor to their steaks!
This breed is so popular, it’s the second most kept breed in France and has been exported all over the world.
15. Aubrac (up to $33 per pound)
Another shining example of French cattle are the Aubrac cows, named after the Plateau de l’Aubrac in the Massif Central where they originated.
The high elevation grazing, rich in wild plants and grasses, creates a rich, mauve meat with a slightly milky taste. Aubrac cows are primarily a beef breed nowadays and famous for their taste, reflecting the mountainous meadows that they call home.
14. Piemontese (up to $34 per pound)
Staying in Europe for the moment, Piemontese cows come from the Piedmont region of Italy. They are renowned for their exceptional bone-to-meat ratio that is due to a unique genetic trait called double-muscling.
The physical qualities of Piemontese steaks make them comparable to Japanese wagyu, earning it the moniker Italian wagyu.
With a lower fat and calorie count than comparable breeds, Piemontese steaks are lean yet incredibly loaded with flavor. Despite having lower marbling due to their unusual genetics, Piemontese cows carve out a truly unique niche for their steaks.
13. Murray Grey ($37 per pound)
The only Australian entry on the list, Murray Grey cows were first bred in 1905 in the Murray River valley.
Their size, solid marbling, and low seam fat has made them a popular export to both Korea and Japan. In the world of steaks, having Japan, the premier country of expensive steaks, desire your products is the highest badge of honor.
12. Holstein (up to $37 per pound)
Holstein cows have a long and storied history of over two-thousand years. They were cross-bred in the Netherlands from Batavian (now Germany) and Friesian (now Holland) breeds. By mixing cows of pure colors, the iconic black-and-white Holstein look was created, and is now synonymous with dairy cows around the world.
Despite being famous as the most common dairy cow in existence, Holstein steaks more than live up to the dairy reputation of their breed. The high milk yields of Holsteins physically impact the flavor of their beef. With a milk fat content that is 4% higher than the average cow, Holstein beef has a rich and extra creamy flavor.
11. Simmental (up to $38 per pound)
Named directly after the Simmen Valley of Switzerland, Simmental cows are amongst the oldest breeds in the world, with a recorded history dating back to the Middle Ages.
Their incredible flexibility, being both dairy and beef producers, has meant the breed has spread to all six continents. As a breed with one of the highest populations in the world, Simmental beef is widely available – it’s simply the exceptional quality that drives up the price.
10. Canadienne ($39 per pound)
Small in stature but large in taste, Canadienne cows are a rare breed that was developed in the 17th century in Canada.
Their high price comes from their rarity and the fact that they are raised mainly in the Quebec region. This is because the Holstein breed (see above) outperformed Canadienne cows in dairy production, limiting their livestock appeal.
While the flavor of Canadienne beef is never, its extreme scarcity puts these steaks near the top of our list!
9. Bonsmara ($40 per pound)
Created by Professor Jan Bonsma in the 1930s specifically to thrive in the subtropical climate of South Africa, Bonsmara cows have a distinct rich red color. Over the last century the breed has continued to excel and grow in popularity as the quality of the beef rivals some European options.
The incredible success of the breed has made it the dominant choice of South African ranchers, with over 80% of all cattle in the country being Bonsmara. Recent exports to other continents will hopefully have this awesome beef more readily available at your local butcher!
8. Friesian ($42 per pound)
As one of the genetic ancestors of Holsteins, Friesian cows are unsurprisingly renowned for their dairy production. Since most of the breed is reserved for dairy purposes, surplus males are highly desirable as they produce a very high quality, lean steak.
The dairy cows also produce great beef as they take well to fattening after a lifetime of a high nutrient grass diet.
7. Beefalo ($45 per pound)
Topping the list of breeds is a unique American entry that is the perfect for steak purveyors looking for something decidedly different. The Beefalo is a crossbreed that is 3/8 bison and 5/8 bovine, which combine the best of both worlds: the fantastic flavor of domestic cattle with the health benefits of bison –it has lower fat and cholesterol counts.
Moving on from breed variations, no list of expensive steaks is complete without diving into the world of Japanese wagyu. While some of these options will certainly break the bank, there is a reason wagyu is revered by ranchers, chefs, and lovers of a good steak dinner!
6. Black Angus (Up to $100 per pound)
Black Angus is a breed of cattle known for its superior meat quality, marbling, and tenderness and it’s arguably the top choice for premium steaks in the US.
Angus beef is highly regarded in the culinary world due to its desirable characteristics, such as exceptional flavor, tenderness, and juiciness. The best Black Angus steak is typically sourced from cattle that have been raised in specific conditions, such as being pasture-raised and grass-fed for a significant portion of their lives.
The most expensive cut is the filet mignon.
5. Hokkaido A5 Wagyu (up to $208 per pound)
Different types of wagyu are produced in various regions of Japan and one of the more affordable options is found in Hokkaido. Like most wagyu cuts, the marbling found in a Hokkaido steak is unlike any other beef in the world and it is this that create the tender, juicy beef.
The Hokkaido Prefecture is famous for its cold climate, which is said to impart a “snowy” marbling to wagyu, resulting in a more delicate profile than other Japanese wagyu options. A Hokkaido A5 wagyu ribeye will clear 200 dollars, more than four times our previous steak entry, showing the stark difference in pricing for these revered Japanese breeds.
4. Takamori Drunken A5 Wagyu ($233 to $251 per pound)
If you enjoy trying things reserved for very few people, Takamori Drunken A5 wagyu should jump to the top of your bucket list! Sourced only from the Yamaguchi Prefecture, the cows are raised on rice mash, a byproduct of the Dassai Sake Brewery.
The special diet makes for a sweet, intensely buttery steak that will set you back $233 for ribeye or $251 for striploin.
3. Miyazakigyu A5 Wagyu ($189 to $268 per pound)
In classic wagyu style, Miyazakigyu wagyu comes from the distinct Japanese region of the same name. The cows are a variety of Japanese Kuroge (black) cattle, one of only four official breeds used for raising wagyu.
The region has been heavily awarded for its quality of beef, with multiple wins at the Wagyu Olympics. Ribeye starts at $189, sirloin costs $200, and the heavily desired filet mignon is a whopping $268.
2. Olive A5 Wagyu ($284 to $542 per pound)
Like the Takamori Drunken wagyu, Olive A5 wagyu is one of the rarest steaks in the world due to the limited number of cattle produced in any given year. Raised exclusively on Shodoshima Island in the Kagawa Prefecture, the cows are fed a mulch of olives that have been dehydrated and then roasted.
The one-of-a-kind diet creates elevated levels of oleic acids in the cows, which results in delicate notes of olive oil in the beef. If you’re lucky enough to try this absurdly rare steak, be prepared to pay $284 for striploin, $300 for ribeye, or a jaw dropping $542 for filet mignon.
1. A5 Kobe Wagyu ($480 to $691 per pound)
A5 Kobe Wagyu is the clear winner as the world’s most expensive steak. Certified Kobe beef is required to be raised and processed in the Hyogo Prefecture and has to be from the Tajima bloodline.
The origin of this incredible beef can be traced to a single bull by the name of Tajiri who lived from 1939 until 1958. Considered to have superior genetics, the Tajima bloodline produces the most expensive and famous wagyu in all of Japan.
The pricing of A5 Kobe wagyu reflects its notoriety. For a cheaper cut such as a striploin you will spend around $480, but from there the prices skyrocket, with ribeye costing $528 and filet mignon $691.
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