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“Who Knew San Diego was the place for BBQ?” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Phil's BBQ

Phil's BBQ
3750 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110
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Ranked #15 of 3,915 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Sandwiches, Barbecue, Delicatessen
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: For the past 17 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).
Level Contributor
134 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Who Knew San Diego was the place for BBQ?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Last stop on the way to the Airport to fly back to Chicago. This place is highly recommended on TA and we endorse that recommendation.

Order at the register and get one of those high falutin' pager with colors to let you know your meal is ready. I had the chicken breast and my wife had the ribs. I got a sample of hers and she was allowed one bite of mine.

No complaints. Some might even say Texas style. Good sauce and well prepared "fall off the bone" meat. Cole slaw was okay. Onion rings are highly regarded, but they are greasy. Coke products like God intended.

I would go back in a heartbeat. A little pricey for what it is, but the service is outstanding and they food is very good. Whole staff was friendly and accommodating to our needs. More napkins on request.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Thank Samiamiu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,241 reviews from our community

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English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Tender meat, sauce sweet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Went to Phil's twice based on the reviews on TripAdvisor and other websites. Had the pork ribs the first time, they just fell off the bone. Personally I find the sauce a little too sweet for my tastes. My wife had the quarter chicken with vegetables. The chicken was tender and juicy with a large serving of vegetables. My second visit was for lunch, had the 3 beef rib dinner. I have to say it was one of the best beef ribs that I have ever had. The meat fell off the bone and for a change, there was meat on both sides of the bone, which I don't see a lot of here in Canada. The meat was tender enough to pull apart with a fork.

The lines can be long. We got there around 530 on a Wednesday and by 545 a line was starting to form. It was along the side of the building when we left around 630. There was also a line-up when we went there for lunch around 1245 but it was moving at a reasonable pace. We were invited into the bar while standing in line so I don't know how long it took to move through. Drove by on a Saturday night and the line was out the door and around the corner. It was near the back of the restaurant and that was around 615.

Would definitely eat here again, but would ask for the sauce on the side so I can control the amount.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Thank Travelling_Homer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Delicious BBQ food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We arrived at Phil's BBQ to find a long dinner line. We decided to come back the next evening when we had more time to wait (figuring a long line meant amazing food)! We were right! The meat were so tender and soft...melts in your mouth! We will be returning next time we visit San Diego!

Visited May 2013
Thank Jdks0618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great BBQ”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

I'm a huge fan of bbq ribs, and this place really blew me away!!! love going here! good Prices for l a lot of food!!! =)

Visited April 2013
Thank Nggnzlz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
239 reviews
142 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Outstanding onion rings; good BBQ”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

The quality of BBQ is very dependent on the perceived quality of the sauce. If you like a sweet glaze, you will love their sauce. Personally, I like a thicker, less sweet sauce. Both the chicken and the pork ribs were good, though the sauce on the ribs had charred which made them taste burned.
The onions rings are giant, hot, fresh and tasty.
We sat in the bar and ordered beer and wine.
We might return if we vacation again in SD, but with so many places to eat, we most likely would not make this a must-do.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Thank tucsonteeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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