[ Dining & Nightlife ]

Why Phil’s BBQ is the Best in San Diego

When you think of San Diego food, barbeque might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Get ready to change your thinking, though, as there are some finger-licking, lip-smacking good restaurants serving BBQ in San Diego. One of the best is Phil’s BBQ. The raved-about, slathered-with-sauce selections Phil’s BBQ menu entices locals and visitors alike. So much so, that people happily wait in line to get a taste of this award-winning barbeque.

When you visit Phil’s BBQ San Diego, there will most likely be a wait. Luckily, Phil’s is used to the crowds and handles them fairly efficiently. Several menus are posted outside, including a large, hanging menu. Use these to help you choose your order before you get to the counter. Once you’re at the order area, you should be ready to do just that – order. Deciding might not be easy, but the menu is focused and doesn’t bother with items that aren’t barbeque-focused.

IMG_6521What should you order? Everyone has a favorite at this highly rated restaurant. My two picks: The fall-off-the-bone Babyback Ribs and BBQ Broham sandwich. The ribs are just the right amount if smoky, and are slathered in a don’t-want-to-waste-a-drop sauce. The BBQ Broham sandwich has pork that is seasoned and char-grilled, then topped with a bed of cole slaw and BBQ sauce on chewy bun. Speaking of the sauce, it’s a real standout blending sweet and spicy flavors. It’s no wonder the recipe is a secret. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

IMG_6530Portion sizes are huge, and when you add sides like potato salad and baked beans you have a picnic fit for a king. Of course, crispy fries are available as a side but skip those. Order the Colossal Onion Rings instead. A small order (small being relative) easily feeds two people. The onions these rings are made from must be huge, as I’ve never see bigger. The coating is lightly crispy too, and not too deep fried to take away the onion flavor. Then, there’s the ranch dressing on the side. Delicious! The farm-fresh flavor made me dunk my rings again and again. And again. It was that good.

IMG_6531As this is San Diego, a good selection of craft beer like Ballast Point and Lagunitas is on tap, too. A smaller bar area is first come, first serve. Usually you can snag a seat here pretty easily. Plus, you can order off the full menu. If you just want to eat, you can still add a beer to your meal. Phil’s knows nothing chases BBQ down better than a cold beer.

Keep in mind seating at Phil’s BBQ is bit run amok. You are seated by a hostess, but rather find an open table after ordering. As the restaurant is rather large, finding a seat is generally not a problem. Keep the atrium seats in mind, as they fill up the slowest. Even though Phil’s is a bit of a self-service joint – you get your own drinks and pick up your own food – the service was still good. Wait staff checked on my meal continually, and brought anything I needed to make my meal better.

If you don’t have time to wait in line at Phil’s BBQ, opt for the take out line. This line moves very fast and makes it easy for you to enjoy the deliciousness of this San Diego BBQ restaurant.

Make sure you visit Phils BBQ San Diego to see what West Coast barbeque is all about!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting San Diego to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
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