Editor’s note: Call ahead to see whether the restaurant you’d like to visit for BBQ is currently offering indoor dining, patio dining, take-out or delivery––and plan accordingly.

Got a craving for a messy BBQ meal with all the amazing sides like gooey mac ‘n’ cheese and creamy cole slaw? We know where you can get the best BBQ at the best BBQ restaurants in San Diego. From fall-off-the-bone deliciousness and the most tender brisket to kids meals and secret sauce, we’ve found a BBQ joint that’s right for you. Scroll down and check out our round-up of 7 BBQ hot spots in San Diego to enjoy with your family.

Phil’s BBQ

A trip to Phil's BBQ is an iconic San Diego family tradition. Messy but worth it, try the mesquite grilled baby back ribs, beef ribs, or chicken made with Phil’s secret sauce. There are plenty of sides to choose from: fresh-cut fries and potato salad to corn on the cob and steamed veggies. For littles, the "Ticklers" menu offers a smaller portion of BBQ chicken or ribs.

Many San Diego locations
Online: philsbbq.net

Park 101

Whether it’s the pulled pork sandwich, tri-tip or pork ribs, you’ll find tasty BBQ at Park 101. Kids can roam around or plop down on the astroturf, play the giant Connect Four game or bean bag toss, plus dogs are allowed too! There's open-air seating, cozy fire pits and a kids menu with choices like BBQ pork sliders. Bonus: kids get free cotton candy once they finish their meal.

3040 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad, CA
760-434-2217
Online: park101carlsbad.com

Kaminskis Sports Bar & BBQ

If you enjoy hickory-smoked BBQ, then this is your spot. Meats are smoked up to 13 hours, and the BBQ is served piping hot, tender, and delicious. From Iowa baby back ribs to the mouth-watering pulled pork sandwiches, you’ll have plenty of sweet-tasting options. Further, add-in house-made sides like the signature coleslaw, potato salad or ranch beans for a finishing touch. Even more, there's a menu for half-pints from which littles can order BBQ ribs, a grilled cheese sandwich and more. Kid entrees come with french fries or fresh fruit.

12735 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
Online: kaminskisbbq.com

The Pioneer

This cute neighborhood spot serves up local faves like BBQ burnt pork belly ends with mac n’ cheese or perfectly cooked brisket. Also, from the kids menu, the mini porker with waffle fries is a winner. You’ll find great service and family fun.

8622 Lake Murray Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92119
Online: thepioneerbbq.com

Iron Pig Alehouse

Craft brew and BBQ? Grab a seat at Iron Pig Alehouse. We recommend the pulled pork sammie served on a brioche bun with slaw––or the baby back ribs entree comes with two sides like seasoned fries and southern greens and Texas toast. Even more, littles have their own menu with choices like buttered noodles or 1/2 BBQ sandwich.

1520 Garnet Ave.
San Diego, CA 92109
Online: ironpigalehouse.com

Del’s Hideout

This Cohn Restaurant serves up baby back ribs with a choice of two sides. We love the onion rings, collard greens, creamed corn, and, who can resist the mac n' cheese? There's a cool kid play area (for ages 10 and younger) that keeps the littles busy. Also, you can sit and have your pick of over 36 beers on tap while your sidekick plays nearby. Plus, free soft serve anyone?

5351 Adobe Falls Rd.
San Diego, CA 92129
Online: cohnrestaurants.com/delshideout

Felix’s BBQ With Soul

Hankering for a basket of warm cornbread? Then, head over to Felix’s BBQ. Whether it’s the baby back ribs, brisket, tri-tip or pulled pork, it all tastes good. Also, it’s sides options galore with braised cabbage, black-eyed peas, mac n’ cheese, and more. The meat is tender and the sauce is sweet and smoky. What’s more, the kids menu has a range of choices from spare ribs and catfish nuggets to peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese. Fries included, dig in!

3613 Ocean Ranch Blvd.
Oceanside, CA
Online: felixsbbq.com

––Nikki Walsh

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