We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Phil's BBQ

3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110-5129
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 4,044 restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
More restaurant details
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).
Write a Review

1,282 reviews from our community

89% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
205 helpful votes 205 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014 NEW

This is a mandatory stop on your San Diego vacation. The ribs here are absolutely delicious! It's dry and wet rub. The meat is so tender that no utensils are needed. The sauce is tangy and lip-smacking good. Come early on a weekday (opens at 11AM, closed Mon) to avoid the 1-2 hour lines. Order the full rack of baby... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014 NEW

Great meal portions Very tasty ribs and sides can also buy the sauce and rub for friends back home also had to get a Phils t shirt Only bad point be prepared to wait in a long line. We ate in the pub side so we got a table quickly but if you have a large party and kids be... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014 NEW

A friend recommended Phil's after they visited the restaurant on a previous trip to the States. Well, what a recommendation it was!! After queuing for about 20 minutes, salivating the whole time, we were greeted by a very friendly staff member who proceeded to explain the ordering process and the food available. My advice is to not let your eyes... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Corona, CA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

The food at Phil's is very delicious and the portions are share-able. It is just a lot of food but darn tasty. I had the pork ribs and chicken chickets (no bones) with the cole slaw and baked potato. I didn't like that my baked potato came with only the cheese and I had to add everything else myself. Made... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW via mobile

Phil's lives up to the billing. Long line great eating. Chicken and ribs is what this place is all about. I did a chicken rib combo and it was great. The sauce is sloppy and my companion thought it might be nice without the sauce, sauce is a must I think. Great mega onion rings. Servings nice and big. This... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

We have been away from San Diego for six month & our first stop for a great B-B-Q dinner was Phil's. We were NOT disappointed. Great service, great FOOD & great pricing. We will endeavor to frequent Phil's more often.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Twickenham,United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

Thought I'd see why this is rated #1 in San Diego. The line moved very quickly & the menu is extensive so be prepared to make a quick decision! I ordered the full rack off babyback ribs & my partner ordered the ribs & chicken combo. No sooner had we sat down, than our order was ready. We both agreed... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

I greatly enjoyed the Phils BBQ in terminal two of the San Diego airport. All of the sides were delicious--home made fries, great macaroni salad, wonderful beans, fabulous coleslaw, and so on. I don't eat meat, but my father said the BBQ riblets were outstanding. The prices were LOW for an airport restaurant, the environment was nice, and the employees... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Vacaville, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Intrigued by the consistent line day in and day out, my family and friends walked across the street from our hotel and stood in line for 1 1/2 hours to try out Phil's BBQ. We had a great time in line, met some interesting people and enjoyed the concept of the restaurant, but the food was not worth the wait.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

I had head about this place from the travel channel and from some of my co-workers, well it was well worth it. The line to eat at Phil's was out the door, even though it was 10 minutes to closing. We ordered to go, it was walk in and walk out. Phil's is was really tasty, I would recommend it... More

Was this review helpful? Yes

Been to Phil's BBQ? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Phil's BBQ, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing