Food & Drink

The Best Steakhouses in San Diego

Published On 04/25/2016 Published On 04/25/2016
steak, steakhouse
Stake Chophouse & Bar I Courtesy of Valerie Kon

Stake Chophouse & Bar

Coronado

Stake is the newest (and priciest) steakhouse, but it's a modern dining experience that puts the old boy’s club of steakhouses past to shame. Not only do you get to choose the cut (rib eye, NY strip, tenderloin, etc.), you also get to choose what to cut it with. When the meat is served, you’re presented with a box of knives to choose from. It's another place with the elusive wagyu available, but the Brooklyn bacon steak is among the best bacon in San Diego. It’s not a great place to go for a public breakup, although what steakhouse is?

Greystone

Gaslamp Quarter

Greystone specializes in exotic meats, like buffalo tenderloin, elk chop, and wild boar sausage. It's one of the few restaurants in San Diego that serves Japanese wagyu beef, the world’s priciest meat, renowned for its luscious texture produced by loads of natural fat. Consult Greystone's in-house master mixologist and sommelier for the perfect drink pairing with those hard-to-find cuts.

Courtesy of Donovan's

Donovan's Steakhouse

La Jolla (& others)

The prime USDA steaks (you're getting the cut-it-with-a-butter-knife tender filet mignon) at Donovan’s are flash-fried at 1,600 degrees, sealing in all the juices. While the steakhouse made a name for itself at a mall, it's far, far beyond food court fare, and is now known as one of the most elegant restaurants in the city, bronze statues and mahogany paneling included. Head to the La Jolla location for an insane view of the shores.

Courtesy of Island Prime

Island Prime

Harbor Island

Sitting on stilts overlooking Downtown San Diego, Island Prime has breathtaking views with a side of steak. The California-inspired menu competes for attention with the stunning bay views on Harbor Island. It specializes in seafood, and any steak, like the filet mignon (pictured), can be accompanied by a cold-water lobster tail. For an upscale twist on fried food, try the dill pilsner onion rings.

Courtesy of Cowboy Star

Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

East Village

The cowboy-chic decor at Cowboy Star, with its exposed beams, cowboy boot stockings over the fireplace, and cowskin upholstery, make for an old-timey Western bar feel. Watch from the open kitchen as new chef de cuisine Chris Osborne whips up locally sourced ingredients into delectable plates. The hand-cut steak is delicious on its own, and the sides (smashed fingerling potatoes, and wilted spinach with beef jus) are never over-sauced. Instead, they perfectly complement the meat, direct from Cowboy Star's attached butcher shop. Stop by on the second Sunday of every month for Fried Chicken Supper Sunday.

West Steak & Seafood

Carlsbad

West Steak & Seafood chefs take the whole farm-to-table movement seriously. The three-acre farm where restaurant staff source produce for its seasonally changing sides and herbs is just miles away from the restaurant. The long list of steaks includes beef tenderloin and USDA-certified Angus beef, cut from any part of the cow you feel like.

Courtesy of Argyle Steakhouse

Argyle Steakhouse

Carlsbad

Argyle Steakhouse overlooks the 18th hole at the Aviara Golf Club at the Park Hyatt, making it one of the classiest places for aprés golf. The steaks are antibiotic- and hormone-free, and seared to perfection. Pair the 18oz rib eye steak, cut from the center of the prime rib, with one of the 150 wines on the list.

Red Tracton's

Del Mar

Red Tracton’s steakhouse has been a local favorite for decades. The East Coast-style supper club dishes up premium rib eyes, filet mignon, and lamb chops; add two jumbo blackened shrimp for a classic surf-and-turf meal after a day at the racetracks. It’s great people-watching during race season, but it’s good meat-eatin' year round.

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1. Stake Chophouse & Bar 1309 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118 (Coronado)

Stake Chophouse in Coronado is one of the priciest steakhouses in the area, but it's a modern dining experience that puts the old boy’s club of steakhouses past to shame. Not only do you get to choose the cut (rib eye, NY strip, tenderloin, etc.), you also get to choose what to cut it with: when the meat is served, you’re presented with a box of knives to choose from. The elusive wagyu is available, but the Brooklyn bacon steak is among the best bacon in San Diego.

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2. Greystone Steakhouse 658 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Gaslamp Quarter)

This classy steakhouse in the Gaslamp Quarter is a great place to go all out. Specializing in exotic meats (elk chop, wild boar, and Japanese and Australian Waygu beef), the extensive menu also features a nice array of sides and add ons like lobster tail and shaved black Umbrian truffles. Order a premium seasonal cocktail for the cherry on top to a meal to remember.

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3. Donovan's Steak & Chop House 1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037 (La Jolla)

The La Jolla offshoot of this West Coast mini chain boasts incredible ocean views and the great steak that's made Donovan's famous. Premium cuts of USDA prime beef and massive seafood towers are the main attractions here, and Donovan's extensive, sommelier-driven wine list lauded by Wine Spectator Magazine offers approachable, quality pairings that'll appeal to vino novices and wine snobs alike.

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4. Island Prime 880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 (Little Italy)

This local favorite offers breathtaking views with a side of filet mignon. The Harbor Island restaurant specializes in upscale surf 'n turf fare (all steak dishes can be accompanied by a fresh poached lobster tail) and also features a great cocktail list. Chill out with an Isle Of Zen with hanger 1 buddah's hand vodka, triple sec, ginger, lime, basil & mint, and feel the Island Prime vibes.

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5. Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop 640 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (East Village)

Thoughtfully sourced meat from the nation’s leading Certified Humane Angus herd, an exhibition-style kitchen, cowboy-chic decor, and excellent hospitality are just a few ways this independently owned steak restaurant differentiates itself from traditional chophouse competitors. Cowboy Star opened in the East Village in 2008 with a distinctive menu featuring bold items like pan-roasted veal sweetbreads, glazed Maine lobster, and rabbit sausage. The neighborhood has grown up around the restaurant, all while cementing its place in the Downtown dining scene.

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6. West Steak and Seafood 4980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008 (Carlsbad)

Surf 'n turf fare gets the farm to table treatment at this Carlsbad/Del Mar steakhouse and fine dining spot. The restaurant owns and operates their own farm, located just miles away, where they source the bulk of their produce for seasonally changing sides and salads. A wide variety of steak options include beef tenderloin, USDA-certified Angus beef, Waygu, among others.

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7. The Argyle Steakhouse 7447 Batiquitos Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92011 (Carlsbad)

Located on the green of Aviara Golf Club at the Park Hyatt Resort in Carlbad, Argyle is a classy New American eatery and steakhouse. Offering up antibiotic-free cuts of prime aged beef, Argyle's perfectly prepared sirloin, tenderloin, and porterhouse hit the spot after a long day on the links.

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8. Red Tracton's 550 Via de La Valle, Solana Beach, CA 92075 (Carlsbad)

This Del Mar New American eatery and steakhouse offers East Coast style cuts of prime aged beef, sirloin and strip steak. Other solid options include blackened shrimp for a classic surf-and-turf meal, or jumbo Alaskan king crab legs. Live entertainment and a piano bar add to Red Tracton's jazzy, supper club vibe.

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