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13 Barbecue Dishes at Non-Barbecue Spots in San Diego

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While San Diego is home to a bunch of bonafide barbecue joints, in honor of Barbecue Week we rounded up 13 non-barbecue focused restaurants where you can get your fix of finger-lickin’ barbecue-style dishes instead. Here’s where to go...

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fireside by The Patio

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2855 Perry Rd Bldg 8
San Diego, CA 92106
With a menu centered around wood and charcoal-fired fare, two barbecue-style standouts at this Liberty Station hotspot include the smoked brisket flatbread with bleu béchamel, roasted garlic, scallion and herb ($14); and smoked half chicken entrée ($22) with roasted chicken jus, goat cheese grits and collard greens.

2. Cowboy Star

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640 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 450-5880
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Lunchtime options at this chic chophouse and butcher shop include two barbecue style sandwiches. First up is the pulled pork, comprised of slow roasted pork, jalapeño barbecue sauce and frisee on a buttermilk roll. Then there’s the brisket: made with house-smoked brisket it’s served with coleslaw on a toasted buttermilk roll.

3. West Coast Tavern

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2895 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 295-1688
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Chef Abe’s "barbecue style bites" at this former movie theater include a barbecue rib entrée (baby back ribs with garlic-thyme red potatoes, slow-smoked jalapeño barbecue sauce and a cheddar biscuit); and barbecue pork and waffles, which come with lashings of pulled pork, smoked Jalapeno barbecue sauce topped off with a sunny side up egg ($15).

4. Duke's La Jolla

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1216 Prospect St
LA Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-5888
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Filled with Asian and Hawaiian-inspired fare, the menu features an appetizer plate of delicious Korean sticky ribs: crispy Duroc pork ribs, spicy gochujang glaze, chicharrones, lemongrass, and peanuts ($12). Plus, a 24-hour Kalbi short rib entree served with house made kimchee stew, sweet potato, bacon, and long beans ($26).

5. Leña Craft Mexican

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909 Prospect St #290
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 263-4190
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It’s all about wood-fired regional Mexican cuisine here and one suitably slow-cooked dish to keep on your barbecue radar is the carnitas main: slow roasted Stone Valley Ranch pork with a jalapeño/onion escabeche, charro beans, guacamole, and cilantro jalapeño aioli.

6. Urban Solace

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3823 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 295-6464
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Matt Gordon serves up a southern-style barbecue pork belly entrée ($26) complete with creamy grits, a red pepper and jicama slaw and braised pickled greens. And, for Blue Grass Brunch, there’s a braised pork belly Benedict served on biscuits with sautéed spinach, poached Eben Haezer eggs and smoked Ancho Hollandaise ($14.50).

7. China Max

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4698 Convoy St #101
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 650-3333
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While barbecue might not immediately spring to mind when you think of this bustling spot - more famed for its classic Cantonese-style entrees and made-to-order dim sum - China Max’ fluffy baked barbecue pork buns are some seriously oh-so-tasty balls of goodness filled with a slightly sweet honey glazed shredded pork - three of which are just never enough!

8. Waypoint Public

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3794 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 255-8778
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Richy Sweeney’s Beer-B-Q Pork Benny Bear Benedict ($14) comes on a grilled English muffin with wild arugula, smoked tomato Hollandaise, pickled avocado and Serrano relish at North Park's popular beer bar.

9. Bud's Louisiana Cafe

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4320 Viewridge Ave
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 573-2837
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Tucked inside a Kearny business park this no-frills spot serves up a killer pulled pork Po’Boy made with “pulled” house-smoked pork shoulder and topped with house-made coleslaw and a barbecue sauce infused mayonnaise.

10. Luce Bar & Kitchen

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1959 Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 275-0321
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A little further up the street you can savor a quarter rack of baby back ribs with chipotle, honey barbecue sauce and pickled vegetables ($12 at this Bay Park gastro tavern. Or the slow braised pork sandwich, which comes served with sweet and tangy “Carolina” mustard barbecue sauce and house slaw on brioche ($13).

11. High Dive Bar & Grill

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1801 Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 275-0460
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Chef RoseAna Peyron has a trio of barbecue offerings: there’s a smoked pork sandwich made with house pulled pork and pineapple barbecue sauce, served with sweet and spicy cucumbers on a brioche bun and a side of spicy pineapple cabbage slaw ($12). Next, a smoked beef brisket melt ($14), with habañero jack on grilled jalapeño cheddar bread. Finally, every Tiki Tuesday from 5 – 10 p.m., you can get three pulled pork sliders for $2.

12. Firehouse Pacific Beach

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722 Grand Ave
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 274-3100
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The eclectic menu at this lively PB lounge features a generous sized (one pound to be exact) portion of slow-cooked pork ribs slathered with a chipotle barbecue glaze and served alongside bacon fat mac & cheese Texas toast! Costs $18 – come hungry!

13. Rare Form

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793 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-6507
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Stuffed with smoked ham and housemade pulled pork, chef Taylor Martin-Funk’s show-stopping El Cubano bolillo roll sandwich comes complete with (also housemade) bread and butter pickles, Swiss cheese plus a generous serving of whole grain mustard and aioli.

1. Fireside by The Patio

2855 Perry Rd Bldg 8, San Diego, CA 92106
With a menu centered around wood and charcoal-fired fare, two barbecue-style standouts at this Liberty Station hotspot include the smoked brisket flatbread with bleu béchamel, roasted garlic, scallion and herb ($14); and smoked half chicken entrée ($22) with roasted chicken jus, goat cheese grits and collard greens.
2855 Perry Rd Bldg 8
San Diego, CA 92106

2. Cowboy Star

640 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Lunchtime options at this chic chophouse and butcher shop include two barbecue style sandwiches. First up is the pulled pork, comprised of slow roasted pork, jalapeño barbecue sauce and frisee on a buttermilk roll. Then there’s the brisket: made with house-smoked brisket it’s served with coleslaw on a toasted buttermilk roll.
640 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

3. West Coast Tavern

2895 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Chef Abe’s "barbecue style bites" at this former movie theater include a barbecue rib entrée (baby back ribs with garlic-thyme red potatoes, slow-smoked jalapeño barbecue sauce and a cheddar biscuit); and barbecue pork and waffles, which come with lashings of pulled pork, smoked Jalapeno barbecue sauce topped off with a sunny side up egg ($15).
2895 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

4. Duke's La Jolla

1216 Prospect St, LA Jolla, CA 92037
Filled with Asian and Hawaiian-inspired fare, the menu features an appetizer plate of delicious Korean sticky ribs: crispy Duroc pork ribs, spicy gochujang glaze, chicharrones, lemongrass, and peanuts ($12). Plus, a 24-hour Kalbi short rib entree served with house made kimchee stew, sweet potato, bacon, and long beans ($26).
1216 Prospect St
LA Jolla, CA 92037

5. Leña Craft Mexican

909 Prospect St #290, La Jolla, CA 92037
It’s all about wood-fired regional Mexican cuisine here and one suitably slow-cooked dish to keep on your barbecue radar is the carnitas main: slow roasted Stone Valley Ranch pork with a jalapeño/onion escabeche, charro beans, guacamole, and cilantro jalapeño aioli.
909 Prospect St #290
La Jolla, CA 92037

6. Urban Solace

3823 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
Matt Gordon serves up a southern-style barbecue pork belly entrée ($26) complete with creamy grits, a red pepper and jicama slaw and braised pickled greens. And, for Blue Grass Brunch, there’s a braised pork belly Benedict served on biscuits with sautéed spinach, poached Eben Haezer eggs and smoked Ancho Hollandaise ($14.50).
3823 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

7. China Max

4698 Convoy St #101, San Diego, CA 92111
While barbecue might not immediately spring to mind when you think of this bustling spot - more famed for its classic Cantonese-style entrees and made-to-order dim sum - China Max’ fluffy baked barbecue pork buns are some seriously oh-so-tasty balls of goodness filled with a slightly sweet honey glazed shredded pork - three of which are just never enough!
4698 Convoy St #101
San Diego, CA 92111

8. Waypoint Public

3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
Richy Sweeney’s Beer-B-Q Pork Benny Bear Benedict ($14) comes on a grilled English muffin with wild arugula, smoked tomato Hollandaise, pickled avocado and Serrano relish at North Park's popular beer bar.
3794 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

9. Bud's Louisiana Cafe

4320 Viewridge Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
Tucked inside a Kearny business park this no-frills spot serves up a killer pulled pork Po’Boy made with “pulled” house-smoked pork shoulder and topped with house-made coleslaw and a barbecue sauce infused mayonnaise.
4320 Viewridge Ave
San Diego, CA 92123

10. Luce Bar & Kitchen

1959 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
A little further up the street you can savor a quarter rack of baby back ribs with chipotle, honey barbecue sauce and pickled vegetables ($12 at this Bay Park gastro tavern. Or the slow braised pork sandwich, which comes served with sweet and tangy “Carolina” mustard barbecue sauce and house slaw on brioche ($13).
1959 Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110

11. High Dive Bar & Grill

1801 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
Chef RoseAna Peyron has a trio of barbecue offerings: there’s a smoked pork sandwich made with house pulled pork and pineapple barbecue sauce, served with sweet and spicy cucumbers on a brioche bun and a side of spicy pineapple cabbage slaw ($12). Next, a smoked beef brisket melt ($14), with habañero jack on grilled jalapeño cheddar bread. Finally, every Tiki Tuesday from 5 – 10 p.m., you can get three pulled pork sliders for $2.
1801 Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110

12. Firehouse Pacific Beach

722 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
The eclectic menu at this lively PB lounge features a generous sized (one pound to be exact) portion of slow-cooked pork ribs slathered with a chipotle barbecue glaze and served alongside bacon fat mac & cheese Texas toast! Costs $18 – come hungry!
722 Grand Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

13. Rare Form

793 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
Stuffed with smoked ham and housemade pulled pork, chef Taylor Martin-Funk’s show-stopping El Cubano bolillo roll sandwich comes complete with (also housemade) bread and butter pickles, Swiss cheese plus a generous serving of whole grain mustard and aioli.
793 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

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