San Diego is known for its picturesque beaches, beautiful weather, and, of course, its delicious food. One of the most popular dishes in the city is BBQ chicken, and it's not hard to see why.
The combination of smoky, tangy, and sweet flavors makes it a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike.
If you're a fan of BBQ chicken, you're in luck because San Diego has no shortage of restaurants that serve this mouth-watering dish.
From casual joints to high-end eateries, there's something for everyone. You can find BBQ chicken in almost every neighborhood in the city, so you don't have to travel far to satisfy your cravings.
Whether you prefer your BBQ chicken with a crispy skin, juicy meat, or a spicy kick, you'll find it in San Diego. Some places even offer unique twists on the classic dish, such as adding pineapple or mango salsa or serving it with a side of macaroni and cheese.
With so many options, it can be hard to decide where to go. That's why we've put together a list of the best places for BBQ chicken in San Diego. So, grab a napkin and get ready to drool over the deliciousness that awaits you!
1. Bowlegged B.B.Q
Bowlegged B.B.Q is a local gem for BBQ lovers in San Diego. This colorful joint offers authentic BBQ chicken, ribs, brisket, and hot links cooked to perfection with amazing sauce.
The portions are big, and the service is quick and friendly. The outdoor patio dining is homey, comfortable, and feels like a backyard cookout.
Though a bit pricey, the food is worth it. The baked beans smothered in molasses and the macaroni salad are some of the best in town.
Bowlegged B.B.Q is one of the best BBQ joints in San Diego, and the staff is incredibly friendly. You'll feel welcome here as if you're at somebody's backyard for a neighborhood BBQ.
2. Nanay's Best BBQ
Nanay's Best BBQ is a BBQ-focused eatery that serves delicious Filipino and Asian fare.
The portions are generous and the prices are excellent. The staff is always friendly and helpful, and the food is cooked right in front of you.
The spicy BBQ chicken is a standout dish that will leave you wanting more. The outdoor seating is a great place to enjoy your meal on a sunny day.
This is a great spot for meat lovers and those who miss Filipino food. If you're in the mood for delicious BBQ chicken, Nanay's Best BBQ is the place to go.
3. Del's Hideout
Del's Hideout is a spacious and welcoming restaurant that offers Texas-style BBQ chicken, sides, and craft beers.
The menu features mouth-watering chicken dishes that are cooked to perfection and served with delicious BBQ sauce. The sides are a highlight of the menu, with options like street corn and Mac and cheese being must-tries.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience enjoyable. The restaurant is family-friendly and has a little outside area for kids to play.
The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. Del's Hideout is an excellent spot for anyone looking for great BBQ chicken and a relaxed atmosphere.
ChickenHeadz is a must-visit place for anyone looking for delicious BBQ chicken.
The chicken sandwiches and po boys are particularly noteworthy, with a unique and tasty slaw that adds an extra layer of flavor. The sides, such as the fries and shrooms, are also worth trying.
The service is quick and friendly, making it an ideal spot for a quick bite to eat. The buffalo dipping sauce is a standout, and the chipotle aioli is the perfect accompaniment to the mashed potatoes.
If you're looking for a satisfying meal that won't break the bank, ChickenHeadz is definitely worth checking out.
5. BBQ House Bar & Grill
BBQ House Bar & Grill is a must-visit spot for anyone craving mouthwatering BBQ chicken.
With its cool and hip atmosphere, friendly service, and excellent location, the restaurant offers a great dining experience. The meat is juicy and tender, and the spicy BBQ sauce adds a perfect kick to the dish.
The restaurant also offers a great selection of sides to complement the chicken.
The open front restaurant and bar provide an excellent view of the busy street, making it a perfect place to people-watch while enjoying some delicious BBQ chicken.
6. Corbin's Q
Corbin's Q is a small BBQ restaurant that offers delicious BBQ chicken and other meat dishes. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the owner is often present, making customers feel welcomed.
While the restaurant has limited seating, it is clean and trendy, with a great selection of beers on tap.
The BBQ sauces are particularly noteworthy, and the sides are tasty and well-prepared.
Corbin's Q is a great spot for takeout or a casual dine-in experience, and the prices are reasonable for the quality of food served.
7. Bull's Smokin' BBQ
Bull's Smokin' BBQ is a Western-style saloon that serves up some of the best BBQ chicken in town.
The slow-cooked chicken is juicy and tender, with a perfect smoky flavor. The homemade sweet and spicy BBQ sauce adds an extra kick to the dish.
The sides are also noteworthy, especially the mac and cheese and onion rings. The outdoor seating area is comfortable and dog-friendly, making it a great spot for a casual meal.
Prices are reasonable and the staff is friendly. If you're in the mood for some delicious BBQ chicken, Bull's Smokin' BBQ is definitely worth a visit.
8. Chamorro Grill
Chamorro Grill is a colorful eatery that offers a unique blend of Chamorro, Filipino, and Hawaiian cuisine.
The restaurant is known for its delicious BBQ chicken and spare ribs, which are seasoned with a teriyaki flavor. Customers can also enjoy a variety of dishes, including red rice, chicken kelaguen, and lumpia.
The portions are large, and the prices are reasonable. The staff is friendly and happy to explain the different items on the menu.
Chamorro Grill is a great place to bring the family and experience the flavors of the South Pacific.
9. Abbey's Real Texas BBQ
Abbey's Real Texas BBQ is a must-visit spot for BBQ lovers. Their slow-cooked meats are juicy and tender, and the BBQ sauce just elevates the flavors to a higher level.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the ambiance has an authentic Texan feel. The country-chic digs add to the overall warm and cozy vibe of the place.
They offer a variety of classic sides that complement the meats perfectly. The spot is located in a shopping center and has a counter-serve system.
If you're in the mood for some delicious BBQ chicken or brisket, Abbey's Real Texas BBQ is the place to go.
10. DJK Korean BBQ
DJK Korean BBQ is an authentic Korean restaurant that serves up delicious BBQ chicken.
The restaurant offers a variety of meat cuts and generous portions that are grilled over hot charcoal at the table. The side dishes are abundant in variety and add to the overall experience.
The service is excellent, and the staff is quick to bring whatever you need. Although the prices are slightly higher than other Korean BBQ places, the taste and portion size make it worth it.
If you're looking for a flavorful and authentic Korean BBQ experience, DJK Korean BBQ is a must-visit spot.
11. Wood Ranch
Wood Ranch is a regional chain that serves up delicious BBQ chicken. The restaurant is family-friendly and offers great happy-hour deals at the bar.
The chicken is cooked to perfection and not overpowering. The service is friendly and quick.
The spacious patio and indoor dining room provide ample seating options. The location is accessible and the prices are reasonable.
If you're looking for a casual spot for some tasty BBQ chicken, Wood Ranch is definitely worth checking out.
12. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is a popular fast-food chain that serves traditional Hawaiian plate lunches.
Their BBQ chicken is always cooked to perfection and has a great flavor. Along with the chicken, their BBQ mix plate is also a must-try, featuring beef and short ribs.
The restaurant is known for its quick service and friendly staff.
If you're in the mood for some delicious Hawaiian comfort food, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is definitely worth a visit.