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Restaurants / Lists

Texas’ Most Expensive Restaurant of All is a Surprise Houston Favorite

But It’s Still Relatively Reasonable Compared to New York and California’s Crazy-High No. 1s

BY // 12.21.18
photography Kimberly Park

When it comes to offering up the priciest night out, one award-winning Texas institution is definitely killin’ it. Killen’s Steakhouse in Pearland has been deemed the No. 1 most expensive restaurant in the entire state.

In a sea of swanky restaurants and ultra upscale steakhouses, Killen’s took the top spot. Though it’s debatable if this is a distinction you truly want to win. Ronnie Killen, the down-t0-earth creator of Killen’s Steakhouse and a barbecue empire, did not return PaperCity’s request for comment.

Daily Meal calls out the carnivore’s Pearland paradise for the fact that even Killen’s least expensive meat offering — the eight-ounce wet-aged filet — costs $42. The food site behind these rankings also cites the $175 48-ounce domestic Wagyu long-bone ribeye at Killen’s.

Meats in the middle at Killen’s? A $62 dry-aged ribeye, a $125 Australian Wagyu strip, a $125 six-ounce Japanese A5 Wagyu New York Strip and a mouth-watering sounding Wagyu New York Strip flight that comes in at $150.

It all comes courtesy of the meat maestro behind Killen’s STQ, Killen’s Barbecue and the upcoming Killen’s TMX.

This ranking is new, but it looks like Killen’s might even have taken home the gold back in 2012 — when Ronnie Killen himself tweeted a photo of a Killen’s guest’s tab of $12,559.35. There are meals that break the bank. And then there are meals that clear out the bank.

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Killen’s is a Pearland native with Le Cordon Bleu training and a penchant for state-of-the-art infrared broiling systems. His melt-in-your-mouth meats and Gulf Coast seafood have earned Killen’s a four star rating on even the frequently contentious Yelp out of 276 reviews.

One Yelper wrote, “Sure the food is pricey, but it’s more than worth it.” Then, there’s this relatable review: “It’s just pricey and so I have only been here when my office has a dinner.”

A second Killen’s is opening, coming to The Woodlands at 1700 Research Forest Drive, so the demand is clearly there.

While Killen’s Steakhouse may be the unofficial most expensive restaurant in Texas, it hardly seems pricey compared to some other states’ most expensive hotspots. New York City’s famed Masa, known for its flat fee of $595 per person (tip included), wins Empire State honors. In California, two Michelin Star Urasawa — with its $400 30-course omakase menu and average dinner check of more than $1,000 — takes the top spot.

Louisiana’s an interesting one, with Doris Metropolitan as the most expensive restaurant. The French Quarter steak haven has a Houston counterpart that didn’t make the list. At Doris Metropolitan, steaks start at $30 and go on up to $185.

What’s that – you’ve got a reservation at Killen’s tonight? Well hey, big spender.

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