Credit: Matt Furman

15 Steakhouses in San Diego That Are a Cut Above

Make a Reservation and Savor the Sizzle

Did someone say steak night? It’s no secret San Diego is blessed with an ever-evolving landscape of culinary inspiration, and over the past few years, it’s become home to a legendary steakhouse scene. There’s a reason why world-class chefs are migrating to this city to get their foot in the door. From oceanfront bistros that put a spin on America’s classic chophouse to stylish rooftop dining decks that deliver steak under the stars, one thing’s for sure: there’s a cut to satisfy every meat-eater’s palate in this coastal city. Here are 15 of the best steakhouses in San Diego that promise a mouthwatering meal.

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Born & Raised

Must-Try Dish: Beef Wellington for Two 

Best Steakhouses San Diego
Credit: Anne Watson

Born & Raised sets the bar high for San Diego’s steakhouse scene with an elevated spread of premium filets, porterhouses, ribeyes, Japanese wagyu and prime rib cuts. This ravishing Little Italy restaurant is defined by opulence—think silver tableside serving carts, tuxedo-dressed waiters and an open-air, Art Deco-style rooftop that transports diners to what feels like the set of “Mad Men.” Everything about Born & Raised is iconic, a timeless representation of the American steakhouse. Start with the tableside Caesar, then move onto the Napoleon-inspired Beef Wellington for two. There’s no doubt that all of their bovine specialties pair perfectly with a dry martini or bottle of wine from their vast beverage menu.

Location: Little Italy 

 

Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

Must-Try Dish: Hokkaido Wagyu New York 

San Diego’s Best Food
Credit: Cowboy Star San Diego

This upscale, rustic-chic chophouse embraces western flare and really is the star of San Diego’s steakhouse scene. Located in the heart of East Village, there’s a reason the cuts from Cowboy Star have been declared the “Best. Darn. Steak. Ever.” The menu features the finest natural organic products, sourced sustainably from the nation’s leading Certified Humane Angus herd, while their ocean offerings strictly adhere to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch standards. The French onion soup will warm your soul before taking a fork and knife to any of their in-house butchery cuts. Take your pick between the T-Bone for one, Porterhouse for two or Hokkaido Wagyu New York—the latter flown in from Japan.

Location: East Village

 

STK Steakhouse

Must-Try Dish: 14-Ounce, 45-Day Dry-Aged Delmonico

Modern and chic with artistic nuances, STK Steakhouse is the ideal destination for a swanky night out. Sourced from America’s heartland, the cuts at this steakhouse share a menu with seafood and other land options. Maybe you’re in the mood for surf and turf? Consider the 6-ounce filet paired with lobster tail or grilled prawns. Or stay on-theme—order the 14-ounce dry-aged Delmonico for yourself or share the hefty 34-ounce Tomahawk. But don’t forget the maple-rubbed salmon and roasted lamb rack—a couple different options that will have you drooling when they arrive at the table. And we couldn’t forget to mention the 11 steak toppings on offer, including king crab and bone marrow. STK Steakhouse also hosts live DJs Tuesday through Saturday, so you can indulge and get your groove on.

Location: Downtown San Diego

 

Rare Society

Must-Try Dish: 35-Day Dry-Aged Bone-in Ribeye

Credit: Matt Furman

It’s easy to see where Rare Society gets its name—the plates at this bistro will transport you to the gilded age of Vegas. A stylish neighborhood hotspot, Rare Society’s elevated dining space creates the perfect setting to indulge in wood-fired meats, raw bar delicacies and extravagant seafood towers. Australian wagyu beef and dry-aged New York strip tie into the steakhouse theme while an upscale assortment of shared plates showcase an innovative edge. Their bovine specialties range from the 35-day dry-aged bone-in Ribeye to the Snake River Farms wagyu tri-tip. But if you want to sample a bit of everything, their boards (The Associate and The Executive) come with a great selection of chef-determined cuts. Oh, and don’t forget to prime your palate with their umami-rich truffled Parker house rolls.

Location: University Heights, Solana Beach

 

Lou & Mickey’s

Must-Try Dish: Barrel-Cut Filet Mignon

Credit: King’s Seafood Company

World famous for a reason, Lou & Mickey’s in the Gaslamp Quarter is always at the top of our list and never disappoints with everything cut, aged and executed on site. Each guest is greeted with steaming slices of sourdough bread, a signature mark of this timeless steakhouse’s family-owned brand. Make a reservation for a fabulous date night and order from the a la carte menu, which features several tasty appetizers like wild Spanish octopus, baked goat cheese and a grilled jumbo artichoke. When it comes to choosing an entrée, ready your steak knives for the main event of the evening: Barrel-Cut Filet Mignon, served at whichever temperature you prefer.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

 

The Butcher’s Cut

Must-Try Dish: Lava Stone Tomahawk

They don’t call it The Butcher’s Cut for nothing! As the largest dry-aged meat cellar in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, this contemporary grill puts a spin on the classic American steakhouse with its rustic yet elegant ambience. White linen tablecloths and a starry, candlelit patio set the mood for an upscale date night or an elevated girl dinner. Sourcing the highest grade beef, their Lava Stone Tomahawk and Prime Porterhouse are free of GMOs, antibiotics and hormones. They also feature a butcher’s selection of wagyu from Japan and Australia. Each of their meat selections is served a la carte with a mix-and-match menu of sizzling escorts, including lobster tail, pan-seared scallops and jumbo shrimp scampi.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

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Moe’s

Must-Try Dish: Wagyu Zabuton 

Living in honor of Moe, the owner’s grandfather, and made for the community of Mission Beach, Moe’s is where you go when you want the timelessness of a classic steakhouse within a local feel. Soft overhead mood lights and elegant tableware add a contemporary edge while old-school vinyl booths and a red-brick fireplace pay homage to the founder’s favorite East Coast steakhouses and Italian bistros. 

Moe’s chose their chefs well, staffing their kitchen with European-trained talent that knows how to execute fine filets and porterhouses. Pasta plates, like their handmade Cacio e Pepe, pair well with the 8-ounce Wagyu Zabuton. Be sure to stick around for the after-dinner rolling cocktail carts that deliver dinner digestifs and dessert wines.   

Location: Mission Beach 

 

Huntress

Must-Try Dish: Japanese A5 Butcher Cut

Between the Japanese whisky and elevated steak offerings, Huntress is easily one of the finest luxury steakhouses in San Diego. Set within a historic Victorian-style building in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, this upscale eatery offers a sleek setting that’s perfect for indulging in their Japanese A5 Butcher Cut. The indoor dining space is designed to host large parties and celebratory events, while their second-floor patio offers a fun and flirtatious spot for a night out on the town. You can always count on a five-star meal from Huntress, whether in-house or at home. Their unique Huntress at Home program offers a collection of select cuts and unctuous wines to be savored from the comfort of your living quarters. 

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

 

Polo Steakhouse

Must-Try Dish: Australian Wagyu Ribeye

Every town deserves its own classic chophouse, and that’s what Polo Steakhouse is to Carlsbad. Taking advantage of its coastal location, this restaurant doubles as a raw bar and seafood space, bringing together American steakhouse favorites and San Diego’s favorite maritime cuisine. You know quality is top priority when the team at Polo Steakhouse makes their flour from scratch and only sources seafood using Japanese Ike Jime and Shinka techniques. We recommend starting with the Caviar Service Osetra  and a bottle of bubbly before moving on to the star of the show—their Australian Wagyu Ribeye. With a curated collection of over 650 wines, not to mention their craft cocktail and mocktail program, you’ll be in good hands when choosing which beverage to pair with this epic meal.

Location: Carlsbad    

 

Greystone

Must-Try Dish: Japanese Miyazaki Prefecture A5

We could give you a list of accolades that this Italian steakhouse has earned, but we’re pretty sure one bite of their wagyu is all it will take for you to believe the headlines. Declared the Best Wagyu Steakhouse in San Diego, Greystone likes to keep things simple in their dining space in order to let their exotic protein plates shine. King salmon and elk chop share the stage with their international and domestic wagyu beef—all hand cut to order. Brandy cognac or bearnaise are diamond touches to top their Japanese Miyazaki Prefecture A5.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

 

Bob’s Steak & Chop House 

Must-Try Dish: Prime Bone-In Kansas City Strip 

Most locals will agree that TexMex has no place in San Diego, but Texas-born steakhouses most definitely do! Luxurious yet never pretentious, Bob’s Steak & Chop House ensures that every plate to leave their kitchen is served with a side of Texan love. Located at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, this steakhouse has no need to placate guests with an opulent interior, opting instead for an authentic, no-frills ambiance and always stellar food. They deliver oversized portions of prime bovine cuts accompanied by every style of potato you can imagine—baked, smashed and skillet-fried. The Kansas City Strip is a surefire favorite, as is their post-dinner brownie sundae.

Location: Carlsbad

 

Animae

Must-Try Dish: Pork Tomahawk Tocino

Credit: Dustin Bailey

When opulence is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with Animae. This steakhouse in San Diego presents an elegant, intricately designed dining space, ornamented with white marble table tops and velvet olive-green curtains. Every dish at this Asian fusion steakhouse is an Insta-worthy work of craftsmanship. Their menu reveals a mishmash of Asian-inspired fare centered around the coal-fired oven and Japanese robata grill. If you come for the meat, the Miyazaki Tenderloin is a great choice, or opt for the Pork Tomahawk Tocino, marked by a sweet beet glaze and mango sawsawan. Rumor has it that Executive Chef Tara Monsod is the first-ever San Diego chef to be named a James Beard Award finalist.

Location: Embarcadero

 

Island Prime 

Must-Try Dish: Island Prime Filet Trio

Extending out over the water’s edge, your eyes will be feasting on more than just Island Prime’s enviable steakhouse fare. With dreamy views of downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge, Island Prime offers a destination dining experience—make sure to ask for a seat by the floor-to-ceiling windows. Better yet, take in the salt air and sunshine on their over-the-water dining deck. Their surf-and-turf menu brings out the best of San Diego’s land and sea elements, showcasing maritime favorites like seafood platters and charred octopus. Carnivorous consumers won’t be disappointed with their signature bovine special, the Island Prime Filet Trio—a savory confection of three 3-ounce filets mignon with king crab, mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

Location: Harbor Island

 

Stake Chophouse & Bar

Must-Try Dish: American Wagyu Skirt Steak

Credit: Stake Chophouse & Bar

Perched on the sun-soaked shores of Coronado Island, Stake Chophouse & Bar is taking San Diego’s coastal steakhouse scene to a new level. The seasons set the trends in this contemporary kitchen, with market-fresh finds sourced every week. Boasting a balanced blend of maritime and terrestrial plates, the perfect meal here starts with the woodfired oysters Rockefeller and ends with the American wagyu skirt steak—pure bliss, if you ask us! The Stake beef tartare and jumbo asparagus in hollandaise speak to the restaurant’s refined French-style concepts. We’re still not entirely sure what each of the seven steak knives are for, but it certainly reinforces the notion that this place is the real deal.

Location: Coronado

 

The Remy

Must-Try Dish: Bone-In Wagyu Ribeye

Embodying the spirit of the West, this rustic ranch-style steakhouse tethers the coastal community to America’s Great Plains. Step into the heart of Montana’s cattle country at The Remy, a vintage, cowboy-themed dining concept marked by reclaimed wooden accents, white leather seating and exposed beam ceilings. The Remy’s western flair is evident in their curated collection of steakhouse chops (we’re looking at the Wagyu Ribeye), accompanied by cozy comforts like bacon mac cheese and potato au gratin. The plates here are anything but basic, with appetizers like the tuna tostada offering a satisfying side of ASMR. Pair it with the Remy Dirty—a martini with four options as your base spirit—and you’re in for a choice dinner duo!

Location: Mission Valley

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