Can You Wear Shorts to a Nice Restaurant? (Fogo De Chao, Benihana, Morton’s, and More)

Maybe you only packed jeans or shorts on your vacation, and now you’re going to a nice restaurant. Or maybe you spilled on your only lovely dress, and you only have high-waisted shorts left in your suitcase. Either way, if you’re on your way to a fancy restaurant and are unsure of whether or not your outfit will cut it, this guide has you covered.

Typically nicer restaurants won’t allow shorts or athletic wear. If they have a resort casual dress code, you may get away with dress shorts. Usually, you can call a restaurant’s office to learn more about what their dress code allows.

In the following sections, I’ll dive into whether you can wear shorts when dining on some of the most popular restaurants throughout the country. At the end of the article, I’ll take you through some additional guidelines for specific dress codes. 

Can You Wear Shorts to a Fancy Restaurant?

There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting to a restaurant and being turned away by the host or hostess. If you have reservations or are attending a big event, you might be left scrambling to find a suitable garment in your car or driving to the nearest store to purchase something that works. Those wanting to avoid an uncomfortable situation might be wondering if they’re allowed to wear shorts to a nice restaurant. 

Typically you can’t wear shorts to a fancy restaurant. Although dress codes vary from one place to another, they usually won’t allow any type of shorts or jeans. Fancy restaurants like Sushi Samba, Nobu, or Mastro’s ask that you wear business casual attire when dining in their restaurants. 

If you wouldn’t wear the shorts you’re wearing to work (they’re very short, have ripped holes in them, or don’t seem like they can fit into “business casual”), you shouldn’t wear them at these restaurants. 

I’ve checked out the dress codes to the following fancy restaurants to find a definitive answer on whether or not they allow shorts in their dining area:

  • Sushi Samba 
  • Steak 48
  • Nobu 
  • Morton’s
  • Mastro’s
  • Peter Luger’s 
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Hickory’s
  • Benihana
  • Hell’s Kitchen-Las Vegas 
  • Gibson’s Steakhouse
  • Olive Garden
  • Fleming’s
  • Mccormick and Schmick’s 
  • Texas de Brazil
  • Capital Grille
  • Fogo De Chao 

And, surprisingly, very few of them had the same answer. Of course, the answer was either “yes” or “no,” but the dress code varied even then. Some restaurants requested resort casual wear, including shorts if they are a specific type, while some said jeans were okay, but fancy dresses were a no-go. 

I’ve studied the dress code of seventeen of your favorite fancy restaurants in the order stated above. If you’d like to skip to a particular restaurant, scroll below or use Ctrl+F on your computer to search. Also, remember that none of these are hard and fast rules. These are answers I found from their websites or calling their host stands. Different employees might enforce the rules differently, so calling beforehand is always a good idea. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Sushi Samba?

You cannot wear shorts to Sushi Samba. Sushi Samba has a smart casual dress code, which typically means chinos, dress pants, or slacks. You can call the host or hostess stand for more information on what you can or cannot wear.

To find the dress code information, I visited to the Sushi Samba website and began to make a reservation for their Las Vegas location. On the bottom, it states they operate on a “smart casual” dress code. 

Smart casual means staying away from business attire clothing, like ties or pinstripe skirts, and leaning more towards casual wear, like nice pants and blouses. In his Masterclass on smart casual clothing, Tan France says it’s somewhere between dressy casual and business casual. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Steak 48?

You can wear shorts to Steak 48 as long as they fall under the “resort category” attire and aren’t too revealing. Anyone wearing daisy dukes, athletic shorts, and ripped jean shorts will be turned away. 

You can double-check by calling the office at your location to see if the shorts you’re planning on wearing will work. 

Steak 48 has a resort casual dress code, sometimes allowing shorts and sometimes not. Typically, resort casual shorts will be your dressier shorts, not board or jean alternatives. Their website states that workout clothing and excessively revealing clothes will be turned away, so keep this in mind when picking out your bottoms. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Nobu?

You cannot wear shorts to Nobu. The Nobu website states that they “respectfully request” gentlemen to avoid shorts, sandals, and sleeveless shirts at the restaurant. Otherwise, Nobu does not have a formal dress code.

Women should also be cautious about wearing shorts, no matter how dressy. Though they say there is no dress code, and the website only highlights shorts for men, it will probably be a good idea to avoid any beach-wear at Nobu. The Milan Nobu and London Nobu specifically call shorts a “no.” 

Can You Wear Shorts to Morton’s?

You cannot wear shorts to Morton’s Steakhouse. Morton’s Steakhouse requires “proper attire” regardless of reservation status. They describe their dress code as business attire or smart casual.

As discussed above, smart casual is somewhere between dressy casual (which would be something like jeans, heels, and a blouse) and business casual (which might mean a pinstripe skirt with a blouse). Business attire, of course, is what you’d wear in your office. By this description, I’d think that a smart casual dress code would be the bare minimum, meaning no shorts allowed.

Morton’s will turn away any athletic shorts (or athletic attire in general) and revealing clothing, so keep this in mind before going in.  

Can You Wear Shorts to Mastro’s?

You cannot wear shorts to Mastro’s. Mastro’s enforces an upscale attire dress code, which does not include jean shorts, athletic shorts, or dress shorts. 

Though they leave this up to the discretion of their managers, and some may be more lenient than others, it’s best to avoid shorts. Upscale attire is similar to cocktail attire, so think dresses and dress pants. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Peter Luger’s?

You can wear shorts at Peter Luger’s. This restaurant doesn’t have a dress code, but you should still keep the place’s vibe in mind when choosing your outfit.

I called Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn, New York, to see what their dress code looks like. 

The host stated that there is no dress code and that shorts are okay. Remember that those wearing athletic attire or clothing that emits body odor are usually turned away. 

Can You Wear Shorts at Texas Roadhouse?

You can wear shorts at Texas Roadhouse. Texas Roadhouse doesn’t have a dress code. Since there is no dress code, you can assume that Texas Roadhouse allows casual attire. 

Just keep in mind that if you are wearing short shorts or athletic shorts, your legs may be directly exposed to the booths or seats.

Can You Wear Shorts to Hickory’s?

You can wear shorts to Hickory’s. They don’t have a general dress code, instead, they have a list of specific items you can’t wear. Shorts are not on this list.

What is on the do-not-wear list are high visibility work clothes (think construction vests), tracksuit bottoms, sportswear, vests, and fancy dress. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Benihanas?

You can wear shorts to Benihanas, as long as they cover your entire bottom and aren’t made of an athletic material. Benihanas has a particular dress code, which not only ensures the safety of guests but helps create their signature atmosphere. 

Benihana also doesn’t allow any type of athletic wear, revealing clothing, or torn jeans. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas?

You cannot wear shorts to Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas. Hell’s Kitchen is a business casual restaurant, meaning you should wear clothing that would fit into an office setting. This means dress pants, nice jeans, or skirts and dresses. 

Business casual attire doesn’t allow shorts, even if they are made from a luxurious material. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Gibson’s Steakhouse?

You can wear shorts to Gibson’s Steakhouse. This restaurant permits the wear of only men’s sleeveless shirts. Their website states that they have no formal dress code, and you will see a mix of different attire when dining in the restaurant.  

Can You Wear Shorts to Olive’s Garden?

You can wear shorts to Olive Garden. There is no formal dress code for the restaurant, so you can assume it’s business casual. For this reason, you’ll be able to wear whatever you feel most comfortable in.

This means that if during hot summer months wearing shorts can help you feel more at ease and comfortably enjoy your meal, there’s no dress code stopping you from doing so.

Can You Wear Shorts to Fleming’s?

You can wear shorts to Fleming’s, as they don’t have an official dress code policy, but most guests wear business casual attire. A business casual code means no shorts, no athletic wear, and no ripped jeans. 

Given that this answer doesn’t come from any official sources, you might want to call ahead and make sure you can wear what you had planned on.

I called the Fleming’s in St. Louis to confirm whether or not there was a dress code and if shorts were acceptable in the restaurant. The host let me know no dress code was in place, but most restaurant patrons tended to wear business casual attire. 

Can You Wear Shorts to McCormick and Schmick’s?

You cannot wear shorts to McCormick & Schmick’s. Their attire is business casual. You should opt for dress pants, nice jeans, or skirts and dresses when dining at this restaurant.

The restaurant’s official website doesn’t have this information, but I found the dress code on their Groupon description and called the restaurant in Kansas City to confirm. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Texas De Brazil?

You cannot wear shorts to Texas De Brazil. Texas De Brazil has a smart or business casual dress code. Wearing shorts goes against these dress codes, and you should also avoid jeans and athletic wear. 

Though they have a smart or business casual dress code, they specifically state on the website that jeans are okay. Keep in mind that you should wear clean, dressy jeans rather than jeans with lots of holes in them. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Capital Grille?

You can wear shorts to Capital Grille, but proceed with caution. Though they don’t have a specific dress code–nothing leaning towards smart casual versus business professional–they state that proper attire is required. No athleisure, tanks, or generally offensive clothing will be allowed. 

Their FAQ page states that refined clothing is required. When you make a reservation, their website also states: “thank you for not wearing: gym attire, sweatpants, tank tops, hats, clothing with offensive language or images, exposed undergarments.” Though shorts aren’t explicitly called out, you might consider wearing dressier shorts and avoid options with rips. 

Can You Wear Shorts to Fogo De Chao?

You can wear shorts to Fogo De Chao. They do not have a specific dress code and allow any kind of attire into the restaurant. You can always call if you are unsure what you are wearing is inappropriate.

Fogo De Chao doesn’t have an official dress code policy, but a customer service representative answered that business casual is typical for patrons on a Yelp thread

Finding the Dress Code at Restaurant

If the restaurant you are looking for isn’t on this list, finding a dress code isn’t too complicated of an endeavor. You can try:

  • Doing a google search of the restaurant plus the words “dress code.”
  • Calling the host stand and seeing if the specific location has a dress code.
  • Visiting a website like Tripadvisor to see if anyone else has asked the same question.

Usually, dress codes will fall under a societally known category, so you can quickly look up what this dress code looks like. Pinterest has boards with outfit inspiration, Master Class has guests write articles, and even videos of the dos and don’ts of most dress codes. 

Common Dress-Codes

The most common dress codes are:

  • Casual (meaning what you would wear on any typical day, including athletic wear).
  • Business Casual (what would be appropriate in an office).
  • Resort Wear (things you’d wear at a resort, somewhere between casual and dressy).
  • Smart Casual (between business casual and dressy casual).
  • Dressy Casual (wearing things like skirts and jeans but with a dressy element like heels or a blouse).
  • Formal & Black Tie (a restaurant that requires a super fancy dress, like gowns and ties or bow-ties). 

Conclusion

Can you wear shorts to a nice restaurant? Firstly, it’ll depend on your definition of a nice restaurant. Places like Benihana and Fogo De Chao allow shorts, but fancier restaurants like Nobu and Steak 48 do not allow shorts. Before going out to eat, it’s always a good idea to call the host stand if you are unsure.