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When you’re seeking a memorable meal—perhaps even a celebratory one—visiting a steakhouse is one way to satisfy that hankering. Beyond the obvious steak options, these restaurants are famous for their luxurious menu items ranging from potato side dishes to over-the-top desserts and creative cocktails.
Although there’s often quite a bit of menu overlap across steakhouses, every restaurant has qualities that make it unique. While Outback offers a casual, Australian-themed atmosphere, the Capital Grille presents something more upscale. Then, there are chains like Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn Steakhouse, which serve up Texas-inspired dining experiences.
Operating as two of the country’s most popular steakhouse chains, Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn share several similarities. However, the chains still have distinctive elements that set them apart from one another. Here are some key differences between two of America’s leading steakhouse chains.
Despite sharing a similar theme, each restaurant has its own unique vibe. Step inside a Texas Roadhouse and you’ll likely be greeted with wood-paneled walls decked out with cowboy artwork, neon signs, and mounted animal heads. Country music blasts throughout the restaurant, where employees line dance during their shifts.
Meanwhile, at LongHorn, the energy is a bit calmer. Although the Texas theme shines through in the display of horse paintings, cowboy sculptures, and longhorn taxidermy, the interior design is sleeker and less busy than Texas Roadhouse. Insider previously described the steakhouse’s design as “cowboy-chic.”
Customers don’t just order their steak of choice at Texas Roadhouse. The southwestern-inspired chain allows guests to hand-select meats from a display case featuring various cuts of steak. So, you can assess the marbling of your meat before it gets served on the plate. LongHorn offers no such display.
Complimentary bread is a restaurant staple, and Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn each offer different varieties. At Texas Roadhouse, guests receive a basket of fresh rolls with honey cinnamon butter. According to the chain’s website, these rolls are baked fresh every five minutes. While waiting for a meal at LongHorn, guests are served a loaf of honey wheat bread and butter. Whichever you prefer, it’s evident that both options have their superfans, as indicated by the numerous copycat recipes online.
While Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn offer many of the same steakhouse staples, each chain serves dishes that the other one doesn’t. Look at Texas Roadhouse’s appetizer selection, and you’ll find fried pickles, tater skins, and the chain’s popular Rattlesnake Bites (deep-fried jalapeño and jack cheese balls). Over at LongHorn, customers can order parmesan crusted spinach dip with tortilla chips, white cheddar-stuffed mushrooms, and Firecracker Chicken Wraps.
If you’re dining with kids, both chains have got you covered, though Texas Roadhouse has a few more options. In addition to the usual hot dog, mac and cheese, and chicken tenders, the steakhouse chain serves three “Ranger Meals,” which feature a choice of Chicken Critters, hand-cut sirloin steak, or ribs, as well as one side and a drink. At LongHorn, kids can choose between a cheeseburger, grilled or fried chicken tenders, sirloin steak, or Kraft mac and cheese. Like Texas Roadhouse, each entrée comes with a choice of a side.
Although Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn are praised for prices that fall below those of a traditional steakhouse, there are some differences in the cost of their menu items. While it’s important to note that pricing varies depending on location, a six-ounce sirloin and two sides from a Texas Roadhouse in New Jersey costs $13.99. Meanwhile, the same offering at LongHorn in New Jersey will run you $15.49. If ribeye is your go-to, the same Texas Roadhouse location offers a 20-ounce option with two sides for $22.49. At LongHorn, this costs $25.99.
If you’re craving a steak lunch, Texas Roadhouse maybe not be the option for you. The restaurant chain is a “dinner-only concept” during the week, only serving lunch on the weekends, though some locations will offer it on Fridays.
LongHorn, on the other hand, serves lunch every day and has multiple lunch specials available Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Steakhouse Lunch Plates come with a “lunch favorite” like the Crispy Buttermilk Sandwich or Half-Pound Steakhouse Cheeseburger, along with a choice of a side, soup, or salad.