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.

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

Phil's BBQ
3750 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110
619-226-6333
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #17 of 4,369 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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).
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 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
Helpful?
1 Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,356 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Corvallis, OR
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bland”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank bglindsey
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
309 reviews
152 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 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
Helpful?
Thank Joe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
53 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 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
Helpful?
Thank steelbender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 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
Helpful?
Thank missmargoann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Phil's BBQ also viewed

 

Been to Phil's BBQ? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing