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Phil's BBQ

BBQ Joint, American Restaurant, and Bar$$$$
Midway District, San Diego
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9.3/10
1,555
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456 Tips and reviews
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  • ribs
  • lively
  • onion rings
  • good for groups
  • family-friendly
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  • The Most Interesting Man in the World
    The BBQ here knocked my socks off. Figuratively, of course. Now, during a 1983 trip to Salvador, Brazil, I tasted BBQ that literally knocked my socks off. But there were also voodoo doctors present.
  • Danley H.
    Danley HuJanuary 4, 2015
    Love this place so much. I'm from the east coast and the ribs here on another level! I waited quite a while though but it was so worth it! Get the beef ribs and the sides! All the sides were amazing!
  • Moh.
    Moh.1 week ago
    One of the best BBQ restaurants i have ever tasted in California, beef ribs are huge and delicious.
    Upvoted 2 days ago
  • Mike C.
    Mike CApril 28, 2014
    I got the naming rights! 'Phil's Hill' - if the line is long call the takeout number and order what you want. You can take your to go meal and eat picnic style on the little grassy hill, as pictured.
  • Barry B.
    Barry BloomAugust 11, 2015
    For my money the best ribs in the country and I've had 'em all. Run the gamut in KC, Dallas, Nashville, Memphis and NYC. Love Phil's. Bona petit ribs. And this is just the half rack.
  • Alanoud A.
    Alanoud AlsuhibaniJune 1, 2015
    Their bbq sauce is AMAZING not like any bbq sauce.. And if you want to taste their beef order it with bbq sauce on the side.. Come here if you are STARVING cause the meals are very big
  • Daniel A.
    Daniel AssisiApril 13, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Must order the baby back ribs, which is really enough for two. Add fries and slaw or a corn on the cob for maximum enjoyment. Oh, and call ahead for pickup if taking home (ribs reheat well)
  • Fernando S.
    Fernando SolApril 30, 2016
    The food was great! Ordered the Best of Both which contained Baby Back Ribs and boneless chicken tenders. BBQ Sauce tasted equally sweet and sour. Come early though as the waiting line piles up fast!
  • cat p.
    cat phamJuly 15, 2013
    baby back ribs! the line here is pretty long for the main part but it's absolutely worth it! tip: call in your order to-go & you can have it in about 5-12 min. with no waiting in line!
  • David M.
    David MatusiakSeptember 29, 2016
    Phil's has the best pork barbecue I've found in San Diego. Sweet tea is also a nice treat. The line is often long because it's popular and the food is great. Reasonable prices and good service.
  • Mohammed
    MohammedMarch 28, 2016
    Delicious ribs, but to get it you need to wait in line for at least 1 and a half hours! Well it's a good experience but I'm not going to waste this time waiting again.
  • Stephanie C.
    Stephanie ChuJanuary 2, 2013
    The Broham, ribs, onion rings... It's all amazing! Be prepared to wait though since the line is always out the door. So either call ahead for pick up or check the line cam on their website.
  • Johnathan N.
    Johnathan NguyenAugust 23, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Long wait no matter what time or day you're going really. If you don't wanna wait, call ahead and go for pick up. Corn on a cob is delicious and they give you a ton of fries! Onion rings to die for.
  • Todd W.
    Todd WhiteOctober 25, 2014
    I'm a KCBS certified judge of BBQ and travel the country is search of BBQ. The chicken here was amazing and so was my beef rub. Pork ribs really good too! Left super happy
  • David S.
    David SternlightAugust 7, 2014
    Some of the best beef BBQ and sandwiches on the West Coast. Worth a trip from Los Angeles. To avoid long lines, call ahead for take-out and make a picnic.
  • Cory C.
    Cory CallahanMarch 20, 2013
    Here from Ohio. This is the best BBQ I've ever had. The line was wrapped around the building and we almost didn't stay. I'm so glad we did. I hear the owner is from Cleveland!!! Bring Phil's to Ohio!
  • Rose
    RoseJuly 16, 2012
    The slaw cuts the heaviness of the sauce nicely. Baby back ribs are the best thing on the menu. Onion rings are a must try.
  • The Fluff Ice™ Truck
    The Fluff Ice™ TruckNovember 26, 2011
    The line here is insane but they are efficient with their orders. Try the Baby Back Ribs & ask for extra BBQ sauce. It's delicious! Also the French Fries are a great side here!
  • Danny L.
    Danny LigeraldeNovember 11, 2011
    Food here is awesome. Everyone knows that. But they've also got the coolest hand-dryers in the bathrooms. They dry your hands up in a jiffy after washing all the BBQ sauce off 'em.
  • Ahmed K.
    Ahmed KamakazyApril 8, 2016
    You came for the ribs you might as well go for it... Warning the 5 ribs is massive and the two small sides comes with big portions
  • Travel Channel M.
    The El Toto is a char-grilled deli sliced tri-tip topped with their special BBQ sauce on a bun. It's featured as 1 of 30 contenders on Travel Channel's Best Sandwich in America.
  • Jim K.
    Jim KaminskyMay 9, 2016
    I lived in Texas, so here goies.... You can see what I don't like about Phil's in the photos. The sauce is ON TOP of the meat, not in it. I like my barbeque cooked in the barbeque sauce.
  • Jeffrey-Ryan B.
    Jeffrey-Ryan B.September 22, 2011
    Amazing food and worth the wait (Wednesday at 1p there is not a wait, so good time to go)! Try it and I bet you can say you LOVE it too! :-D
  • Natasha S.
    Natasha SantosoAugust 20, 2015
    Huge beef ribs I've ever eaten. I love it! Perfect for two; 5 ribs and 2 sides order.
  • AAM
    AAMMay 6, 2016
    Very Delicious beef rips and amazing service. All the servers who work here are very nice 😍👌🏻
  • Diamond L.
    Diamond LouFebruary 11, 2014
    When you get here expect to wait in a long line but it's worth it! This is the best barbeque spot in San Diego hands down!
  • Jo P.
    Jo PackerAugust 2, 2015
    Best ribs I ever tasted. If your just two try eating I the bar to avoid the queue.
  • Deimos
    DeimosJune 6, 2016
    Take it from a life long Texan who has religiously been devouring BBQ for many years. All of the food here is outrageously delicious!
  • Lyndsi W.
    Lyndsi WinerSeptember 10, 2014
    I'm not gonna say I'm dissapointed with Phil's but, I'm not happy w them either. I have gone three times, their BBQ Broham is dry, Their El Toro is tough and their Baby Back Ribs are great.
  • J. Michael D.
    J. Michael DouglasAugust 16, 2014
    Everything that the sauce is on is delicious. I'd go for the Chickless dinner to avoid being too full and getting the "itis".
  • Edward A.
    Edward AguilarMay 14, 2014
    Must try the Best of Both - Pork Ribs & Chick-Less. I ordered mine with the sauce on the side. But the sauce is awesome, too!
  • Chris C.
    Chris CarriagaApril 27, 2013
    Don't let the line scare you! It moves quickly and is there every night! Great food and Orange Witt on tap! Closed on Mondays.
  • Rebecca J.
    Rebecca JohnsonJune 10, 2013
    They have the best ribs in San Diego! Bomb pulled pork sandwiches as well, and all the sides are good too. Two thumbs up!
  • Travel Channel
    Travel ChannelAugust 4, 2011
    Get the Dinosaur Sized Ribs -- mesquite-grilled to a smoky perfection and slathered in their secret BBQ sauce. - Adam Richman, Man v Food Nation
  • Dominic R.
    Dominic RiosMarch 1, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Make sure to get here early or call in and order your food to-go! The line for dining in typically wraps around the building.
  • Timothy M.
    Timothy MabreySeptember 10, 2011
    I grew up in the South and had all kinds of BBQ. I did not think you could have such flavourful beef ribs in San Diego. Service is fast but go during off hours to avoid waiting in a long line.
  • Natasha B.
    Natasha BaucasAugust 24, 2011
    Ribs are fabulous and the onion rings are the best I've ever had. Line is long, but worth it, however, you can call in your order for pickup.
  • Kris A.
    Kris A.November 17, 2014
    Love this place! Go straight to the bar and order a beer and some ribs. Don't forget a few extra napkins!
  • Fahad A. A.
    Fahad A. AlMulhemApril 28, 2014
    Definitely, a fan of this place. The best BBQ in town. Plz be remind that you will have to wait in line, but it's WOTH IT.
  • Christian F.
    Christian FengFebruary 3, 2016
    Pork ribs are easier and more tender. But you get more most on beef ribs. Long lines generally. 🐷 out
  • Muhannad F.
    Muhannad FarrashNovember 28, 2016
    This place is a must visit if you're coming to SD, the ribs are AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS, best Ribs I've had in my life
  • Sydney L.
    Sydney LampeOctober 24, 2014
    The line is always long, and takes a while. If you don't mind take out, I suggest calling ahead and taking it home
  • Travel Channel
    Travel ChannelJuly 26, 2012
    Get the El Toto. It's a char-grilled deli sliced tri-tip topped with special BBQ sauce on a bun. As seen on Travel Channel's Best Sandwich in America.
  • Fabio L.
    Fabio LaranjeirasMay 21, 2014
    The best grilled chicken ever. Everything here is great. A good ribs on barbie, the employee's education, even the price!
  • Karina L.
    Karina LopesDecember 4, 2014
    Yummy! They put a lot of bbq sauce, so it's nice to order it on the side
  • Louis M.
    Louis MoralesMay 31, 2015
    If you make it to the front of the line and still waiting for the rest of your party, you can wait in the bar and get seated as soon as they arrive.
  • Kat S.
    Kat S.June 2, 2013
    Awesome BBQ spot in San Diego! They're pretty serious about the "clear cup = water, red cup = soda" policy so beware.
  • Chris C.
    Chris CegielskiJuly 27, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    If the line is outrageous and you only have a small party (2-4), squeeze by the line to the left and grab a seat in the bar area,
  • Alanoud .
    Alanoud 🌸August 9, 2015
    Trust me you won't eat more delicious than their beef rips anywhere else 😋 حاقه ما حصلتش
  • Markus N.
    Markus NeuertFebruary 5, 2011
    For groups of 4 or less, skip the line and head straight for the bar area for quicker seating at the bar. Get the Rib Tickler for the best value!
  • Don T.
    Don TolentinoOctober 11, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Although you can't go wrong with anything here, I personally recommend the baby back ribs or the broham with coleslaw on the side!
  • . ..
    . .July 3, 2014
    If you can handle the long line, your taste buds will have the time of their lives! Amazing BBQ sauce flavor❤!!
  • Stephanie
    StephanieMay 29, 2010
    Best BBQ I've ever had! Order via phone before arriving, so you can spend your time there waiting for a table. Also, don't forget to wear your bib. You'll need it and they're fun.
  • Vidhya G.
    Vidhya GholkarAugust 24, 2014
    Expect to wait for an hour or so! Scrumptious. Ask for the BBQ sauce on the side: taste with and without and decide which you prefer.
  • Joseph A.
    Joseph AlvaradoJuly 22, 2012
    Great BBQ! Better than Lucille's and Famous Dave's....order the full rack of ribs ONLY if you're starving, it's a lot food!
  • Lael L.
    Lael LloydJuly 6, 2013
    If you can handle the long line, your taste buds will have the time of their lives! Amazing BBQ sauce flavor.
  • Cynthia R.
    Cynthia RodriguezMay 27, 2013
    Eat in the bar area and avoid the long lines around the building. Entrance is on the side of the building. So much easier.
  • Colin L.
    Colin LeeApril 24, 2016
    Macaroni salad, baked potatoes and sweet tea and onion rings for vegetarians! There is also a vegetarian burger
  • Stephanie Y.
    The chicken is super yummy and the sauce is sweet yet a little spicy very yummy. The best BBQ ever
  • Curt R.
    Curt RollisonApril 1, 2012
    The line is long, but the meat is worth it! If you're in a jam or staving call ahead and pick up your food to go.
  • Slo
    SloMarch 11, 2012
    If the line's long (it probably is), call in a phone order and hop in the to-go line. Boom! Ribs in your belly in 15 minutes or less.
  • Janis l.
    I love the El Toro sandwich, onion rings and corn on the cob. I try to get 2 or three meals out of it.
  • Chris Tina B.
    Chris Tina BruceDecember 17, 2011
    After 20 years in Dallas, TX I know BBQ and Phil's is fantastic. Do not miss the beef ribs.
  • Jenn
    JennDecember 27, 2014
    Most people don't know about the separate to-go/phone-in line on the left (not the long, long line you see when walking up to Phil's).
  • Wilson C.
    Wilson ChauAugust 7, 2013
    This place is amazing! The ribs are amazing. Much better than any NYC ribs place I've been too.
  • Ece B.
    Ece BolatNovember 17, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Best barbeque place in San Diego! Even kids menu has a big size to make an adult damn full :)
  • Alysa
    AlysaJanuary 28, 2013
    Dress warm during winter time because the standing in line can get chilly!..(definatey worth the wait!!)
  • Coco
    CocoJune 17, 2013
    Get ready to wait in line! Food is bomb but the line is long might as well order to go & eat at the beach it's down street
  • Oscar G.
    Oscar GomezAugust 10, 2014
    The best sandwich here is the Broham! Try it with a side of your favorite BBQ sauce.
  • Dena
    DenaFebruary 18, 2015
    Avoid the wicked crazy 2 hour long lines for dinner and try and come for lunch instead - totally worth it.
  • Jenny S.
    Jenny SoxxMarch 13, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    best BBQ in San Diego! dine around 3pm on a weekday if you want to avoid the line
  • Michael W.
    Michael WangAugust 1, 2013
    Get the beef ribs and baby back ribs. All sides are alright, but the ribs are a must!
  • Sean M.
    Sean MillerOctober 23, 2014
    Great bbq. Eat here during off hours to avoid the crazy insane line that builds up outside.
    Upvoted May 31
  • Alfa S.
    Alfa SantosFebruary 25, 2016
    The veggie burger is a little weird. You get a free whoopie pie on your birthday.
  • Evan L.
    Evan LeckliderFebruary 23
    Everything is good here. The rib-less is my favorite but you really can't go wrong.
  • Joseph L.
    Joseph LeJune 13
    One of San Diego's most popular joints. Good ribs and they also have beef ribs.
  • Ande C.
    Ande CogsdillApril 21, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Order the Broham at the bar. Food comes faster and you can slam a beer while you wait..win win
  • Patrick C.
    Patrick CutticaNovember 7, 2012
    Baby back rib and chicken dinner!! Cole slaw and potato salad is delish as well.
  • Leeanne
    LeeanneSeptember 23, 2011
    Order ahead or sit at the bar because the line is bananas. BBQ Broham sandwich or a rib tickler are a great value.
  • Jeff
    JeffMarch 27, 2013
    Baby ribs? AWESOME. Also, if you're looking for tritip, it's only gonna be on the El Toro sandwich...but totally worth it.
  • Danyela D.
    Danyela DaNyelaNovember 1, 2016
    Was my first time...was amazing!!i never had tasted the best ribs from San Diego!!.. Now are my favorite!
  • Andrew Z.
    Get there right when they open. Much better than waiting on line.
  • Richard R.
    Richard RevillaAugust 17, 2012
    Come hungry and sit outside on a nice. Great place to indulge.
  • Tasteful Traveler
    Tasteful TravelerOctober 9, 2016
    Pulled pork sandwich is great. Beans not so good, very hard and grainy. Huge onion rings.
  • Mike M.
    Mike McMahonJanuary 25, 2011
    Check the web came to see how long the line is because the line might be long but it moves fast and it worth every minute.
  • Wes
    WesAugust 25, 2014
    Nice baby back pork ribs! Sauce is sweet and tasty, and quality is consistent!
  • Jamie G.
    Jamie GallantJune 20, 2015
    Check the queue online, phone ahead squeeze in at the bar or brave the wait. It is totally worth it
  • Tolga
    TolgaJanuary 26, 2016
    Good meat but overrated ; come around 15:00 to avoid lines. I can come here again but never wait long lines . portions and fries is really really huge ! 7,8/10
  • Roger M.
    Roger MaApril 9, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Sit at the bar to bypass the ridiculous line (shhh, don't let the secret spread too much)
  • Rita L.
    Rita LOctober 24, 2014
    Ribs are great! Pulled pork sandwich is a bit dry and onion rings are huge.
  • Tara M.
    Tara MunikarJanuary 16
    Ribs are the best!! Coleslaw a little too creamy for my liking but still pretty good!
  • Maria P.
    Maria PerezApril 27, 2010
    Best San Diego BBQ... again, the line is worth the wait. Try the pulled pork sandwich and baked beans. Pork and beef ribs are also pretty great. Read more
  • Rishi C.
    Rishi ChadhaJuly 12, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Get the BabyBack Ribs and Chickless. You can't go wrong!
  • Carlos T.
    Carlos TaitanoJanuary 3, 2015
    I like the pulled pork sandwich, baby back ribs, and the onion rings.
  • Liam M.
    Liam MayMarch 30, 2016
    This place is crazy busy! The food was rather greasy though and really this place is all hype. Can't hold a flame to Memphis BBQ. That's not to say it was bad, although I wouldn't say award winning!
  • Mike C.
    Mike ChauFebruary 17, 2014
    Try the Chick Tickler - Chunks of BBQ chicken, cole slaw, fried and onion rings.
  • Candice
    CandiceApril 16, 2016
    I had the chick less ribs and chicken, corn on the cobb, and macaroni salad
  • christian v.
    christian vantvlieAugust 29, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Best time to come is between 200pm-300pm. No lines and the bar is much calmer.
  • Thuong Love T.
    Thuong Love TranNovember 9, 2012
    Absolutely the best ribs in san diego ! Always melts in your mouth.... Will never get tired of this place !
  • Jennifer D.
    Jennifer DameOctober 22, 2016
    If you are more into the smokey types of sauce, you might want to get theirs on the side.
  • Alfredo G.
    A pesar de la larga espera de 21 minutos y 21 segundos déjenme decirles que desearía ser un animal coprófago para poder defecar esta delicia y volvérmela a comer, FELICIDADES A EL DUEÑO!!
  • Lau U.
    Lau U3 weeks ago
    Uff! Realmente buenas. Haces fila para entrar pero vale la pena. Delicioso sabor y de slides pide papas y el elote.
  • Alejandro N.
    Alejandro NaranjoMarch 11, 2016
    es un excelente lugar para ir a pasar un buen rato, la atención del personal es muy bueno y la comida es maravillosa, pidan costillas de res
  • Alejandro H.
    Muy buenas las costillas y la salsa BBQ y la cerveza de naranja, lo impresionante la fila de 30 min, aunque si son menos de 4 personas ahorren la fila y vayan a la barra.
  • Guillermo T.
    Guillermo TostadoNovember 15, 2014
    Lo que les cuente es poco ! Es una maravilla este lugar , recomiendo las babyback con un elote y ensalada de col
  • Glow C.
    ¡Las costillas son las mejores del mundo! La cerveza de naranja... deliciosa, ni suave no fuerte. Es excelente.
  • Alo G.
    Son una delicia, hay una fila enorme, si son menos de 4 pidan pasar a la barra, se ahorran la fila
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