Best Ribs in San Diego

The 7 Best Places For Ribs In San Diego

All hail the Pitmaster! To be honest, there are many of these in San Diego and all of them know to fire up the ribs. The racks here are so tasty, though, you’ll be salivating, eating and then licking your fingers until the skin squeaks.

You want our advice? Get together a bunch of your best buds, check out our list of the best places to eat those prime San Diego ribs, and loosen your belts!


Best Ribs In San DiegoHow do these rankings work?

1. Phil’s BBQ

There’s no arguing about it…numerous locals, travellers, publications, and food critics all agree. Phil’s BBQ is home to the best ribs in San Diego. They’ve perfected the balance of juicy and dry here, serving up Mesquite-grilled baby back and beef ribs that somehow even manage to overflow with juicy flavour even when ordered dry. And, while they’re certainly delicious dry, we suggest order them slathered in their famous barbecue sauce.

Best Ribs in San Diego

2. Coop’s West Texas BBQ

As the name suggests, the barbecue at Coop’s West Texas BBQ is from, well, Texas. It features a delightfully smoky flavour that balances perfectly with the tenderness of the meat. Really, anything you order is going to blow your mind. From the pork spareribs to the beef brisket and pulled pork, it’s all absolutely irresistible. We’re especially partial to the spare ribs, however, which you can savour one by one.

San Diego Ribs

3. BBQ Boss

The concept behind BBQ Boss is a bit unique. They call themselves a “virtual restaurant,” in part because they offer their BBQ through delivery, a small concession downtown and catering. However, that doesn’t stop them from having some of the best ribs in San Diego. The baby back pork ribs are juicy and flavourful, and pair perfectly with any one of their delicious sides.

Spare Ribs in San Diego

4. Lil Alex BBQ

The specialty here is Mesquite-grilled, juicy ribs. Mouthwatering doesn’t even begin to describe the sensation you’ll feel upon entering this barbecue joint. From beef ribs to pork ribs, it’s all smoked to perfection and served with a sauce you won’t mind getting everywhere. Start off by ordering the No. 2, which comes four pork ribs and a beef bone with two side dishes.

5. Iron Pig Alehouse

What pairs better together than world-class ribs and some of California’s best craft beer? Absolutely nothing. Iron Pig Alehouse made our list of the best craft beer bars in San Diego, so you know they’ve got the brew part covered. So, you can get stuck into some ribs and order a Tangerine IPA, Imperial Cherry Stout or even a cream ale to wash it all down with.

Where to Eat Ribs in San Diego

6. Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ

There’s a lot to love about Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ, and part of it’s due to the sheer variety of styles they offer when it comes to flavour and style. Order your ribs with Bubba’s Secret Dry Rub, stick with a traditional southern, sweeter BBQ sauce, or opt for the vinegar-based North Carolina style ribs. It doesn’t matter which you choose, they’re all equally delicious.

7. Smitty’s Taste of the Bayou

Numerous guests have called Smitty’s “finger-lickin’ good,” so it comes as no surprise that they serve up some of the best ribs in the San Diego area. The ribs are so moist, tender and sweet that there’s no way you’re not going to be licking it all off your fingers by the end of the meal. Everything here is done to a delightfully Southern perfection; even if you’re originally from the South we think you’ll agree.

Planning a foodie trip to San Diego? Check out The 7 Best Brunch Spots In San Diego.

Big 7 Travel Team