People are always trying to find the best of everything. The best products, the best movies, the best services, the best insurance, and so on down the line. It’s only natural to be curious about the best of something, even if you can’t realistically afford it. The most expensive, however, isn’t always the best. For example, if you want the most expensive car in the world right now, you might buy a McLaren P1 LM, with a price tag over three million dollars. But is that really a practical and high-value car that you’re going to want to put miles on, drive through the winter, and kick snow off the tires? Probably not. If you’re attending a glamorous opera in Rome, you might take it out for a spin. Other than that, you’ll probably leave it in the garage and occasionally uncover it to show friends.

What about the best steakhouse in the world?

This is one area where you’re going to find a lot of different opinions. There was a recent article in Bloomberg about the best steakhouses around the world, with several of the top choices on North American soil. Tokyo is another prime place for great steak, with its supply of Wagyu beef and its great attention to detail.

But when we drill down into what makes these steakhouses great, the quality of the beef only takes us so far. Yes, it’s necessary to have the finest quality cuts of beef on the menu if you want to be considered among the best steakhouses around — there’s no doubt about this. Even if you have an expert chef and the best kitchen facilities in the world, a mediocre cut of meet is still not going to make for an excellent experience. You need that high quality product.

However, if we look at it from the “flip” side, having a high quality cut of beef prepared by a clueless chef with a substandard kitchen is not going to get you on the list of best steakhouses either. It’s really necessary to have all of these ingredients in order to make a steakhouse the best it can possibly be.

Atmosphere and service are also very important. In all of the steakhouses listed as the best in the world, you’ll see comments about the comfortable design and atmosphere of the place. Great steakhouses pay attention to detail — not only in terms of the food and drinks, but in terms of the overall experience. If your waiters don’t seem to know much about steak and seem unable to answer your questions (or simply don’t provide a very good level of service), that’s going to affect the experience even if your plate is expertly prepared.

The best steakhouse in the world is certainly a subjective opinion. For many people, it’s a steakhouse not far from where they live, where the quality of the meat, the friendliness of the atmosphere, and the overall cost-value ratio is excellent. Whatever your personal list of best steakhouses may be, consider all the different aspects of the experience before deciding which steakhouse is really your personal best.