The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) separates domestic beef into eight grades, based on intramuscular fat or marbling, and other qualities like tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. The two highest grades are Prime and Choice.
USDA Prime is the top grade on the USDA scale and features a moderately abundant amount of marbling. Only 5 to 6% of all U.S. beef grades at this high level.
USDA Choice falls directly below USDA Prime. Choice beef is high quality and has less marbling but offers an excellent value.