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Here Are 10 Iconic San Diego Steakhouses To Try

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Calling all carnivores! We're nearing the end of The Five Days of Meat but there we couldn't let it pass without an ode to the ultimate temple of meat, the steakhouse.

But not just any steakhouses; these are San Diego icons, local institutions, and treasured traditions. Some new, some old, some very old, and all a (prime) cut above the rest. And don't think this is just for your average steak and potato lover. From cowboy cool to strip club chic to farmhand friendly, there are enough dining options here to fill anyone's meat-tastic desires. Take this carnal knowledge and use it as a guide to good eating.

-Text by Mackenzie Maher

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Turf Supper Club

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1116 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 234-6363
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Steeped in history, the Turf Supper Club is San Diego original DIY steakhouse with its self-service communal grill that'll help you up your BBQ game. The place oozes old school charm and serves potently classic drinks alongside food specials like a $14.75 marinated garlic New York Strip steak, top sirloin for $8.75, and Surf and Turf for $13.25. With grilling suggestions that ask you to liken your meat to the temperature of your own body parts (A rare steak will feel like your cheek, medium rare like your chin), this place really allows you to take matters into your own hands for a truly interactive foodie experience.

2. Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

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640 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 450-5880
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Contemporary cool meets the Wild Wild West to create a unique space and ultimate dining experience for those who want to be transported back to a rugged frontier era while still enjoying a polished first class meal. Many Eater readers say this is their steakhouse of choice in San Diego. Get inspired to rustle up your own down home cookout? Pop in to the adjoining retail space where you’ll find Cowboy Star’s full-service butcher shop.

3. Albie's Beef Inn

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1201 Hotel Cir S
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 291-1103
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It may not look like much from the outside, but don’t be fooled; Albie's Beef Inn is a sworn favorite of locals and tourists alike who’ve stumbled through the doors of this kitschy old-fashioned hotel bar and restaurant. The décor helps to set the scene with dim lighting, pin-up paintings and naugahyde booths which serve to enhance the ambiance along with the live piano music and retro dishes. Those in the know order the prime rib, which comes with the signature whole braised carrot, and few can dine here without indulging in a martini or two, or three.

4. The Tractor Room

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3687 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 543-1007
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This Hillcrest haunt is named appropriately, since there's almost every farm animal you can think of on the menu. Inside, the bar serves up craft cocktails that were hip before craft cocktails were even a thing, and outside an open air patio gives you room to breathe in between bites of the famous venison meatloaf or the filet mignon skewer. Expect to leave full or bring something home because the dishes are huge. Bottom line: the Tractor Room is a cool-without-trying-to-be twist on the traditional steakhouse.

5. Red Fox Room

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2223 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 297-1313
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When you head to this classic piano bar, the old-timey lounge ambience that greets you isn’t a part of some shtick to keep up with vintage-themed restaurant trends. You’re looking at the real deal. As far as iconic steak joints go, this dimly lit gem is as authentic as you’ll get, with a San Diego history dating back to the 1950s (and English roots that go back centuries further, with an interior decor to match). Despite being voted one of the ‘Best Bars in America’ by Esquire, this place remains as unpretentious as can be, with generous portions, stiff drinks, great live jazz music, and killer steaks—all at a reasonable price.

6. Morton's The Steakhouse

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285 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 696-3369
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This Marina district location of the national steakhouse chain has long been a favorite with the expense account set, but the rest of us can get a taste of the good life during their twice a night "Power Hour", when drinks are discounted and the bar bites includes a quartet of filet mignon sandwiches or a trio of mini prime cheeseburgers.

7. Bully's East Restaurant

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2401 Camino del Rio S
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 291-2665
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Few places in San Diego have earned the title of a true institution as rightfully as Bully’s. In an industry as tough as the restaurant business, nothing stands as a truer testament to the excellence of this local tradition than its ability to withstand the test of time—it’s been around since 1967. The interior is mix of cocktail lounge and sports bar and the extensive menu offers a great variety of meat dishes, like the filet mignon, sizzling top sirloin, prime rib, rib eye steaks, and huge porterhouse steaks, in cuts ranging from 8 oz. to 38 oz.

8. Island Prime/C Level

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880 Harbor Island Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 298-6802
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With tables that look across to the downtown skyline, this bayfront spot wins best steakhouse with a view by a mile. Bonus feature: Their “Dock & Dine” program allows guests to conveniently dock their boats at the adjacent Sunroad Marina and head over to the restaurant to eat.

9. Rei Do Gado

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939 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-8464
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Brazilian culture has always had a contagious zest for life and a celebrated love for tradition—dance, music, family—and especially food. San Diego's oldest Brazilian steakhouse specializes in churrasco, a traditional BBQ feast. With fifteen varieties of grilled meat served to your table on three-foot long skewers—filet mignon, top sirloin, ribs, chicken, lamb and ham among them—you can indulge in as meat as you want until you cry uncle.

10. Butcher Shop Steak House

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5255 Kearny Villa Rd
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 565-2272
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When you walk through these doors of this old-school restaurant, serenaded by 1950’s hits and enveloped into the dark interior, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time; you half expect to see the Rat Pack sitting at a table nearby. Some prefer this spot for a warm-hearted family dinner, others suggest it as a romantic dinner spot, but regardless of the occasion, you’re here for the prime beef steak, cooked just the way you like it. If you are in search of the classic, old-fashioned Chicago-style steakhouse, look no further.

1. Turf Supper Club

1116 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102
Steeped in history, the Turf Supper Club is San Diego original DIY steakhouse with its self-service communal grill that'll help you up your BBQ game. The place oozes old school charm and serves potently classic drinks alongside food specials like a $14.75 marinated garlic New York Strip steak, top sirloin for $8.75, and Surf and Turf for $13.25. With grilling suggestions that ask you to liken your meat to the temperature of your own body parts (A rare steak will feel like your cheek, medium rare like your chin), this place really allows you to take matters into your own hands for a truly interactive foodie experience.
1116 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102

2. Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

640 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Contemporary cool meets the Wild Wild West to create a unique space and ultimate dining experience for those who want to be transported back to a rugged frontier era while still enjoying a polished first class meal. Many Eater readers say this is their steakhouse of choice in San Diego. Get inspired to rustle up your own down home cookout? Pop in to the adjoining retail space where you’ll find Cowboy Star’s full-service butcher shop.
640 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Albie's Beef Inn

1201 Hotel Cir S, San Diego, CA 92108
It may not look like much from the outside, but don’t be fooled; Albie's Beef Inn is a sworn favorite of locals and tourists alike who’ve stumbled through the doors of this kitschy old-fashioned hotel bar and restaurant. The décor helps to set the scene with dim lighting, pin-up paintings and naugahyde booths which serve to enhance the ambiance along with the live piano music and retro dishes. Those in the know order the prime rib, which comes with the signature whole braised carrot, and few can dine here without indulging in a martini or two, or three.
1201 Hotel Cir S
San Diego, CA 92108

4. The Tractor Room

3687 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
This Hillcrest haunt is named appropriately, since there's almost every farm animal you can think of on the menu. Inside, the bar serves up craft cocktails that were hip before craft cocktails were even a thing, and outside an open air patio gives you room to breathe in between bites of the famous venison meatloaf or the filet mignon skewer. Expect to leave full or bring something home because the dishes are huge. Bottom line: the Tractor Room is a cool-without-trying-to-be twist on the traditional steakhouse.
3687 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

5. Red Fox Room

2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
When you head to this classic piano bar, the old-timey lounge ambience that greets you isn’t a part of some shtick to keep up with vintage-themed restaurant trends. You’re looking at the real deal. As far as iconic steak joints go, this dimly lit gem is as authentic as you’ll get, with a San Diego history dating back to the 1950s (and English roots that go back centuries further, with an interior decor to match). Despite being voted one of the ‘Best Bars in America’ by Esquire, this place remains as unpretentious as can be, with generous portions, stiff drinks, great live jazz music, and killer steaks—all at a reasonable price.
2223 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104

6. Morton's The Steakhouse

285 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
This Marina district location of the national steakhouse chain has long been a favorite with the expense account set, but the rest of us can get a taste of the good life during their twice a night "Power Hour", when drinks are discounted and the bar bites includes a quartet of filet mignon sandwiches or a trio of mini prime cheeseburgers.
285 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

7. Bully's East Restaurant

2401 Camino del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108
Few places in San Diego have earned the title of a true institution as rightfully as Bully’s. In an industry as tough as the restaurant business, nothing stands as a truer testament to the excellence of this local tradition than its ability to withstand the test of time—it’s been around since 1967. The interior is mix of cocktail lounge and sports bar and the extensive menu offers a great variety of meat dishes, like the filet mignon, sizzling top sirloin, prime rib, rib eye steaks, and huge porterhouse steaks, in cuts ranging from 8 oz. to 38 oz.
2401 Camino del Rio S
San Diego, CA 92108

8. Island Prime/C Level

880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
With tables that look across to the downtown skyline, this bayfront spot wins best steakhouse with a view by a mile. Bonus feature: Their “Dock & Dine” program allows guests to conveniently dock their boats at the adjacent Sunroad Marina and head over to the restaurant to eat.
880 Harbor Island Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

9. Rei Do Gado

939 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Brazilian culture has always had a contagious zest for life and a celebrated love for tradition—dance, music, family—and especially food. San Diego's oldest Brazilian steakhouse specializes in churrasco, a traditional BBQ feast. With fifteen varieties of grilled meat served to your table on three-foot long skewers—filet mignon, top sirloin, ribs, chicken, lamb and ham among them—you can indulge in as meat as you want until you cry uncle.
939 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

10. Butcher Shop Steak House

5255 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123
When you walk through these doors of this old-school restaurant, serenaded by 1950’s hits and enveloped into the dark interior, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time; you half expect to see the Rat Pack sitting at a table nearby. Some prefer this spot for a warm-hearted family dinner, others suggest it as a romantic dinner spot, but regardless of the occasion, you’re here for the prime beef steak, cooked just the way you like it. If you are in search of the classic, old-fashioned Chicago-style steakhouse, look no further.
5255 Kearny Villa Rd
San Diego, CA 92123

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