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“Get those ribs” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Phil's BBQ

Phil's BBQ
3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110-5129
619-226-6333
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Ranked #6 of 4,093 Restaurants in San Diego
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, Reservations, 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).
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Get those ribs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013 via mobile

Best ribs in California. The bbq sauce is unreal. They make a great burger that comes with an onion ring. Even the veggie burgers are good. The line can run out the door and wrap around the building. Go to their website to look at the webcam that shows the line. If you're willing to sit at the bar you can often skip the line. Take out also recommended on busy nights.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Corvallis, OR
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Bland”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

I have never been more disappointed in a restaurant in my life. The coleslaw and onion rings were very bland and fair quality. The ribs were tender, but the sauce was most certainly NOT the best we had ever had - by far. Unsure what all the hype is about this place.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhilsBBQSD, VP of Operations at Phil's BBQ, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Sorry about your experience at Phil's. When were you in? What can we do to get you back for another try? fred@philsbbq.net
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
234 reviews 234 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“BBQ”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

It has been awhile since I was last here so I went the other night to have some ribs. I forgot how busy it can get here. I arrived about an hour before closing and it was still busy. I had to wait in line for about 40 minutes. Once your in, it is quick to order. The staff is fast and friendly. After you order, it is open seating so find a spot where you can. They have signs all over the place on do's and don't. I am not sure about them but it does lay down some ground rules for everyone to follow. The beef ribs were well worth the wait. Very meaty and tasty. The sides were okay, nothing I would wait for. A lot of it is self serve from the soda to the left over containers. I like the fact everything is laid out for you to take. You take what you need and don't have to look for a staff member. There busy taking orders and clearing tables which makes for a fast turn around.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Olympia, Washington
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“RIBS!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

The food was great. The ribs were meaty and their special sauce made them perfect. There is a good selection of side dishes to go with your order. The staff removes the empty dishes pretty promptly. This place is so good that there isn't a supply of napkins on the table - there is a big roll of paper towels. This place is popular, so at peak times the line goes out the door and down the front of the building. An off-peak time is good. To really avoid the crowds, use take out. Call or web in your order. You have a separate, usually short, line to pick up and take out your order. Be advised - they are closed on Mondays.

Visited May 2013
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Rancho Cucamonga, California
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“worth the wait? you be the judge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

Yes, the food was delicious . . . but I don't know if it's because I waited in line for 2 hours! ! ! Big beefy ribs is what they are known for. I ordered the 5 bones full dinner. I figured the bones would be small because it was under $20.00. 3 bones cost $13.00 and the tickler 1 bone was around $6. When I first got in line I thought about ordered the tickler . . . after about an hour of waiting, I upped the anti and decided on the 3 bone dinner . . . but after waiting over 2 hours . . . I was super hungry and ordered the 5 bone dinner. I ate 2 ribs and the corn on the cob and I was done! Hated to see so much food go to waste but we were staying at a hotel and had no place to store my left overs.
We got in line at 7pm and were seated at 9pm. The line was still wrapped around the building even at 10pm.

I can now say I had the famous Phil's BBQ. I would love to have it again, but don't know if it is worth the wait.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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