San Diego: Phil’s BBQ

Located literally across the parking lot from the San Diego Arena (known now as the Valley View Casino Center) is this popular barbecue place called Phil’s.  It is just a seven minute walk from the arena, or a one minute drive.

We came here after the Gulls hockey game, and anticipated a very long line. I was shocked that we passed the sign just says 20 minute wait and kept on walking. On Yelp, reviews say there’s always a long line. Perhaps one of the best day to visit is Halloween, as this so-called line was only about 10 minutes long at 8:25 pm.


Since it was our first time, we were given a pig sticker, and told to place our order with the cashier holding the sign.  We placed our order, then we were given a buzzer to wait for our food. The cashier handed our cups to get drinks at the self-serve station,  and told us to find a table.

They were plenty of tables outside in the patio, but we were lucky to find a recently evacuated table inside that was just being cleaned. It took about 15 minutes and our buzzer lit up, and we went to the counter to claim our food.


Stephen had the sausage sandwich, which came without sides. Karen had the quarter chicken with coleslaw and baked beans, while I had the baby back ribs with macaroni salad and baked beans as my sides.

The meat fell off my pork bones, but the sauce was spicier than I anticipated. It reminded me of the Dinosaur BBQ in Newark, NJ… Tangy sauce, but with a kick!  Fortunately the sweet beans countered the spiciness.  The side dishes were very generous, and thankfully, Stephen was able to help me finish it.


Overall opinion? It was a good meal, and an excellent value. Dinner for 3, with drinks came to less than $40.  I would recommend this place for families or people looking for a cheap date. We left at 9:30, and there was no line… Looks like Halloween is one of the best days to visit if you don’t want to wait very long in line.

No line at 9:30 pm on Halloween!

Phil’s BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato