Save Room for Dessert at San Diego's Top Steakhouses
Steakhouses are temples to comfort foods, so when dining in any of San Diego’s mightiest and meatiest restaurants, there’s no sense in depriving yourself of dessert. Fortunately, San Diego’s steakhouses boast some of the city’s best sweets, which are well worth saving an appetite for. From old-school classics to new-school creations, here are some of San Diego’s best steakhouse desserts.
The Butcher Shop Steakhouse: Come for the steaks, the chops and the abundant seafood, stay for the sweets. Although best regarded for its old-school, Chicago-inspired steakhouse vibes, this people-pleasing gem is full of surprises. Most notably, its desserts are exemplary. They skew fairly classic, so while they won’t blow you away with ingenuity, they’re sure to impress from a comfort food standpoint. This includes key lime pie, cookies, ice cream, creme brulee and the crowd favorite: chocolate lava cake. The latter is a warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, Godiva chocolate liquor and a Heath Bar crunch topping.
Stake Chophouse & Bar: Considering this is one of San Diego’s best modern steakhouses, it’s really not a surprise that Stake Chophouse & Bar is also home to some of the city’s most exciting desserts. An apt grand finale to a dinner filled with wood-fired shareable plates, confections here offer an updated and upgraded take on traditional flavors. Try the blueberry muffin bread pudding, for example. The breakfast staple lays the framework for an ooey gooey pudding topped with white chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Apple strudel goes contemporary as well, adorned with apple jus and vanilla bean schlag (aka whipped cream), and carrot cake gets added crunch from walnut Florentine, plus salted butterscotch.
Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop: When modern American flavors collide with Western, frontier-inspired traditions, delicious things happen. With a serious penchant for indulgence, Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop in San Diego’s East Village is an ideal place to throw caution (and diets) to the wind, and feast all the way from appetizers through dessert. A great way to punctuate a meal here is with Cowboy’s banana hazelnut cake, made with malted chocolate buttercream, milk chocolate cremeux, bruleed bananas and roasted banana ice cream. The Ants on a Log is a fun riff on that childhood celery-peanut butter-raisin classic, here modernized with celery-apple sorbet, peanut butter mousse, peanut brittle, raisin-Armagnac jam and candied apples.
Island Prime: If you’re not too awe-struck and distracted by the view (this restaurant is literally built on piers atop the bay, overlooking the city and Coronado), you’ll become equally as awe-struck by the nostalgia-inspired desserts. After you’re done gorging yourself on steak and seafood, you’re gonna need to try the “retro island mud pie,” a chocoholic smattering of coffee ice cream, chocolate ganache and housemade fudge. For something on the fruitier side, Island Prime excels with its key lime pie, which goes to the next level with meringue and pomegranate coulis. The pineapple upside-down cake is another winner, glazed with rum-caramel sauce and sun-dried cherry sauce, finished with cardamom ice cream.
Argyle Steakhouse: From New York-style cheesecake to bananas Foster, this golf club-adjacent property in Carlsbad runs the gamut of all-American dessert essentials. With a range of old-school classics accounted for, Argyle will leave you feeling nourished, satisfied and comforted. One of the best dishes is the s’mores, a composed plate made with rich chocolate cake, creamy chocolate ganache, graham cracker cookies, crispy marshmallows and salted caramel gelato.