Best Steakhouses in San Diego, CA – Prime Steakhouses

Best Steakhouses in San Diego, CA – Prime Steakhouses

San Diego is renowned for its 70 miles of pristine beaches and world-class family attractions. When it comes to food, you are spoilt for choice with an array of Mexican cuisine, seafood, and California-style wood-fire pizzas dominating the landscape.

While all of these foods are great, they just don’t cut the mustard for us carnivore. If you have a craving for a big, juicy red steak, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore and score some of the best steakhouses in San Diego to see what sets them apart from the herd.

Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop

San Diego’s Cowboy Star Restaurant is located in the East Village of San Diego. It is one of the few steakhouses in the area that offers a cowboy-chic, western flair.

The Steak
Ethically Sourced – Sourced in USA from the Certified Humane Angus herd.
– The Hokkaido Wagyu NY is flown in from Japan.
Beef Grades Featuring Prime steak on the menu.
– All prime steak is dry-aged for 21 days.
– Hokkaido Wagyu NY is dry aged for 23 days.
Butcher All steaks are hand-cut by their in-house butcher.
The Steakhouse
Menu The menu offers a healthy balance of steak and seafood. To transform your dish into “surf and turf,” try the signature side dish, the “Oscar” Style, Dungeness Crab, asparagus, and topped with béarnaise.
Service A la carte and private dining.
Beverages – Handcrafted cocktails and extensive wine list.
– Majority of wine is sourced from vineyards in Washington and California.
Price Range Expensive. ($$$$)
Atmosphere The Cowboy Star delivers old West charm in a laid-back yet elegant dining experience.
Online Reputation After assessing 5300+ online ratings across four platforms, Greystone Prime Steakhouse ranked as A.

Cowboy Star Restaurant website 640 Tenth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-450-5880

Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood

The Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood restaurant opened in 1999. This steakhouse is located in the vibrant and electric Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. This restaurant has a variety of fresh meats and seafood to suit every palette. Let’s assess the key criteria that contribute to a top-notch steakhouse experience.

The Steak
Ethically Sourced Sources Wagyu Beef from the United States, Japan, and Australia.  

It is unclear where all other steak cuts are sourced, but it is noted that all cattle are hormone and antibiotic-free.

Featuring Prime and Choice steak cuts on the menu.  
USDA prime steak is dry-aged on-premises for 21 days.
Butcher All Wagyu steak is hand-cut to order. 
The Steakhouse
Menu This is a traditional steakhouse menu with items such as BLT wedge salads, shrimp cocktails, lobster tails, macaroni cheese, and caramelized onions on offer.
Service – A la carte and private dining available.
– No valet. Patrons can validate parking tickets at Horizon Plaza.
Beverages There is an excellent selection of wines available to pair with steaks and seafood. A notable mention is the Napa Valley Bond Collection. These bottles start at $1400USD.
Price Range Mid-Range to Expensive. ($$$-$$$$)
Atmosphere Modern, contemporary dining experience.
Online Reputation After assessing 7300+ online ratings across four platforms, Greystone Prime Steakhouse ranked as A-.

Greystone Prime Steakhouse website, 658 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-232-0225

Born and Raised

Born and Raised is located in Little Italy in San Diego. This steakhouse opened in 2017 and brings with it the “wow” factor. The design is lux, and those arched ceilings remind me of a modern twist on the “Catalan vaulting” ceilings at New York’s Grand Central Oyster Bar. No expense was spared in the design and execution of this steakhouse.

Let’s weigh up all the key criteria that make a true steakhouse experience and see if Born and Raised have hit the mark.

The Steak
Ethically Sourced Born and Raised sources their meats from Creekstone Farms out of Kansas and 100% grass-fed ranches in California and Colorado.

Born and Raised also has American and Japanese Wagyu beef on their menu.

Although not clearly labelled on their menu, Born and Raised stock Creekstone Farms USDA standard beef. It is unclear if Born and Raised stock choice beef as well.
The dry-aging room on premises holds 750 pounds of beef from 28 to 31 days.
Butcher Nothing indicates a butcher is selling to the public. There is no doubt that the chefs have exceptional butchery skills.
The Steakhouse
Menu Born and Raised has a menu that offers unique, high quality cuisine. Ranging from champagne, private-label caviar, truffles, and blue cheese crust.
Service – White jacket la carte and private dining available
– Some menu items are prepared at the table in front of guests, such as steak Diane, Caesar salad, and bananas Foster.
– Desserts wheeled around on a cart.Private dining available.
Beverages – Bar cart for martinis, Manhattans, and Rob Roys.
– One of the largest scotch selections in San Diego.
– Their 370-selection wine list earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence in 2019.
– Twenty-six international wines are available by the glass.
Price Range Expensive. ($$$$)
Atmosphere Born and Raised has a luxe ambiance. Dressy casual attire would be acceptable at this venue.
Online Reputation After assessing 5200+ online ratings across four platforms, Born and Raised ranked as A-.

Born and Raised website, 1909 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-202-4577

Lou & Mickey’s

Lou & Mickey’s steakhouse is an established institution in the Gaslight District. This restaurant reminds me of a classic Chicago steakhouse and Paris brasserie. Let’s take a look at how this steakhouse stacks up in our scorecard.

The Steak
Ethically Sourced Beef is sourced from the Okanagan, Washington region. The name of the farm/ranch where beef is stored is unclear.

Wagyu beef is sourced from:
– Snake River Farms, Idaho.
– Kagoshima, Kyushu Japan.

Featuring Prime steak cuts on the menu.
Dry-aged on-premises.
Butcher Butcher in-house (not selling to the public) and beef hand-cut daily. 
The Steakhouse
Menu The “surf and turf” concept has been incorporated well into the menu. Patrons can add lobster tails, crabs, and jumbo shrimp to their steak. 

The raw bar menu offers various seafood options including oysters from the US, New Zealand, and Mexico.

Service – A la carte and private dining available.
– Outdoor and indoor dining options.
– Valet parking available.
Beverages – A variety of shaken, stirred, and tropical cocktails.
– Local and international beers.
– Californian wines dominate the menu. Great to see Lou & Mickey’s supporting local vineyards.
Price Range Expensive. ($$$$)
Atmosphere This steakhouse is vibrant and lively in the heart of the historic Gaslamp district. Inside, it offers a traditional warmth with wood panelling, dim lighting, and leather chairs.  Outside, it looks like a setting similar to what you would see in Champs Elysees, Paris.
Online Reputation After assessing 5500+ online ratings across four platforms, Lou & Mickey’s ranked as A-.

Lou & Mickey’s website, 224 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-237-4900

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouses are a well-established chain of Brazilian steakhouse restaurants founded in 1979 in Brazil. Today, Fogo de Chao has 26 steakhouses across the United States and offers various beef options cooked in the traditional churrasco way.

Although not a traditional steakhouse, we’ve scored Fogo de Chao to see how they stack up.

The Steak
Ethically Sourced 100% sourced from the United States. Meats are procured from suppliers who adhere to the globally recognized Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare gold standards. It is unclear which farms Fogo source their beef.
Unclear of the beef grading. No reference was made to USDA standards.
Dry-aged meat is available on the menu.
Butcher Fogo has a “to-go” menu and butcher shop. 
The Steakhouse
Menu A point of difference at Fogo de Chao is the Market Table and Feijoada Bar. This all you can eat food bar stocks seasonal salads, soups, imported cheese, smoked salmon, cured meats, and more.
Service – All you can eat market table, meat carved at the table.
– A la carte dining.
– Valet parking is available at an extra cost.Private and semi-private dining available.
Beverages Fogo offers Brazilian inspired cocktails, beers, and a combination of South American and California wines – accessible in their onsite wine cellar.
Price Range Mid-Range to Expensive. ($$$-$$$$)
Atmosphere This Brazilian steakhouse restaurant is a contemporary dining experience. Business-casual attire applies. The Brazilian concept is subtle and applies primarily to the menu.
Online Reputation After assessing 6500+ online ratings across four platforms, Fogo ranked as A-.

Fogo de Chao website, 668 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101-7012 Phone: 619-339-0500

The Butcher Shop Steakhouse

The Butcher Shop Steakhouse is a classic Chicago-style steakhouse that was established in 1986. This steakhouse is popular with locals and a great venue for parties, corporate events, banquets, and weddings.

The Steak
Ethically Sourced Beef is sourced from the mid-west. There is limited information available about the farms/ranches.
Featuring Prime and Choice steak cuts on the menu.
Not specified.
Butcher Not specified.    
The Steakhouse
Menu This is a classic steakhouse menu with items such as shrimp cocktail, French onion soup, onion rings, and brussels sprouts.
Service – A la carte and private dining available
– Outdoor seating
Beverages Beverages on offer include the standard cocktails, wines, and beers – no special callouts.
Price Range Mid-Range ($$$)
Atmosphere The ambiance is warm and intimate with dark wood panelling, leather booths, brass fixtures, and a cozy fireplace.
Online Reputation After assessing 4300+ online ratings across four platforms, Lou & Mickey’s ranked as A-.

The Butcher Shop Steakhouse website, 5255 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123 Phone: 858-565-2272

The Verdict

When it comes to steakhouses by the seaside, San Diego sizzles! To help make sense of the best of the best restaurants, we’ve tallied up the scorecards and ranked steakhouse in order.

Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher ranked in top place, hitting the mark with all the steak ratings and topping the board with an A-grade online rating. The Butcher’s Shop Steakhouse dipped out because there was a lack of transparency about steak’s beef grading and the aging process.

San Diego Steakhouse Scorecard Ranking

Ranking Steakhouse Ethically Sourced Beef Grades Aging Process Butcher Online Reputation Overall Rating
1 Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher  ✔  ✔ ✔  A   / 5300 critics 4.5/5
2 Greystone Steakhouse & Seafood  ✔  ✔  ✔   A – / 7326 critics 3.5/5
3 Born & Raised  ✔  ✔  ✔   A – / 5200 critics 3.5/5
4 Lou & Mickey’s  ✔  ✔  ✔ A – / 5504 critics 3.5/5
5 Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse  ✔    ✔   A – / 6667 critics 3/5
6 The Butcher’s Shop Steakhouse  ✔       A – / 4300 critics 2.5/5

Personally, Born and Raised is our San Diego steakhouse of choice. The modern Gatsby vibe piqued our interest and the drinks trolley – we love a good dirty martini. What can we say?

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