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Phil's BBQ

3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110-5129
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Ranked #5 of 3,977 restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night
Description: For the past thirteen years, BBQ lovers across San Diego County have turned to restaurateur Phil Pace to satisfy a singular craving: mesquite-grilled baby back ribs, beef ribs, chicken and sandwiches. Serving thousands of customers a day from a diverse clientele of skateboarders to Bentleys, Phil has built his foundation on consistency, quality, freshness, and friendly service. "We thrive on providing each guest with the 'Phil's Experience', which basically comes down to organized chaos," laughs owner Phil Pace. "The biggest reason behind our success is our loyal customers who have supported us and waited in line for a taste of BBQ for the past fifteen years. "Since opening its doors in San Diego in 1998, Phil's BBQ has served over one million pounds of BBQ sauce (enough to fill Shamu's tank).
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1,146 reviews from our community

89% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

To be fair the service and courtesy of the staff is something to write about. Meat wise, they are known for the beef ribs, the pork ribs and the bbq chicken. I have tasted all of them and last night, my third visit the beef ribs had more fat than usual, half of the full rack of pork ribs was... More

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Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

Ordered the beef ribs (3 pcs) and baby back ribs (pork) (10-11 pcs) fall off the bone, tender meats! finger lickling good! the line was long so we ordered to go and it was still a 20minute wait! it is that good!

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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

First time at Phil's. Arrived around 6pm on a Friday. They have a webcam so you can see how long the line is, and they have checkpoints to tell you the approximate wait time. As first timers, they gave us a sticker. You pay for the food at a counter, and then you pick it up with a buzzer. Ordered... More

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New York
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

Took the trolley/bus from the Waterfront and was well worth the 40 minute trip. Event at 2:30 p.m. the line to order at the counter was nearly out the door, so I sat at the bar and ordered there. The portion sizes are huge; for the rib "sampler", I received three giant ribtips that would have easily been passed off... More

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16 reviews 16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014 NEW

20 minute wait but the BBQ was tasty for all but one of our party of 6. The lone dissenter felt the meat was too artificially smokey. I could taste the smoke but the sauce masked/hid it (and was so tasty itself it overpowered the smokey flavor to me). If you can get in without a line by all means... More

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11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014 NEW

Wish they had one where I live. I got the Tickler, 3 ribs, coleslaw, fries and onion rings ummm ummm good!!!! The price is right. The staff was very friendly.

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17 reviews 17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014 NEW

Great BBQ go hungry we had the 5 bones beef ribs 2 drinks 2 sides extra corn on the cob and onion rings great food lots of it if you love BBQ then you will love this place the total inc tax was $60.64 so about £37 a good deal for what you got it was quite busy but we... More

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Kapaa, Hawaii
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

Phil's is a must stop for me when I'm vacationing in San Diego. Its so worth the trolley and bus ride it takes to get me there from the Gas-Lamp area. Phil's ribs, chicken and sides are the best I've had outside the great state of Texas. Be careful when ordering 'cause their advertised "Small" portions are enough to feed... More

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Bullhead City, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

The lines are long but well worth the wait.Everything on the menu was great.I had the baby back ribs with onion rings that were out of this world,big and all so crunchy.We were there on a Friday night and waited about 40 mintues in line. I'll eat here again when I'm in town.Very very good.

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Las Vegas, Nevada
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

I've never seen so many people line up for food until I've been to Phil's bbq. My husband and I waited about an hour and half just to order. It's funny how the wait took longer than actually eating the AMAZING food! I ordered one of their award winning ribs which is called the "Beefy Ribs Dinner", and my husband... More

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