lil’ piggy’s bar-b-q / coronado – san diego, ca

Our visit to Coronado was an unplanned visit. We had originally tried to go to El Indio for some Mexican food and then ended up over at Ferry Landing in Coronado to try BBQ instead. I mean, really, why not? It was a nice day out when we pulled up to Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q.


When you walk in, there’s a counter with a register and a menu overhead, so we assumed it was a order up front place like all of the other BBQ places we’ve been to in San Diego. Then as we were looking over the menu, someone asked us, “For 3?” I guess it was a sit down place after all. A bit confusing! The register is for take out orders only.


This is the area just inside the entrance, where the register is. “100 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall” is on an engraved sign above the beer. This amused me and of course made me hum a few bars of the song to myself. Does anyone ever sing that song all the way through?! I always got bored after like three rounds.


You can get the meats dry or wet here – they both have the rub, but if you order it “wet” then they put the sauce on it for you. If you decide to sauce it yourself, they have three kinds of barbeque sauce available.

Red Bottle =  Brisket Sauce
Yellow Bottle = Mango Habanero Sauce
Clear Bottle = Sweet BBQ Sauce


Jake, T and I shared two things. This is the Lil’ Market Combo ($18.99). You get your choice of two meats, two sides and white bread.

The meat choices are pulled pork, beef brisket, pulled chicken, whole chicken, ribs or smoked sausage. It costs extra for fresh corn on the cob (why?).

We opted for the ribs (wet) and the brisket. For our sides we got “pig tails” (aka curly fries) and corn fritters.


They only have baby back ribs here – no beef ribs here, folks. They put the sweet sauce on the ribs. It’s a small bone with a fair amount of meat on it. You can see the smoke ring on the meat here. I really didn’t think too much of these ribs, but then again, I don’t really care for baby back ribs. It just seemed like so little meat and the flavor was just “okay”. It wasn’t mind blowing or really tender or anything special in my book.


Jake and T seemed to like the brisket, but brisket just isn’t my thing either. I don’t know why. It seems like it should be. I mean… it’s smoked beefy goodness… but it never seems to really taste that awesome to me.


On the other hand, I totally loved these corn fritters. They were served with a honey cinnamon butter that was so luscious I wanted to rub it all over myself (okay, maybe not that luscious…). I would have maybe preferred the corn to be a bit more fine they the corn kernels they put in, but we’re just nitpicking here. I also can’t decide if I liked these so much because they were a vessel for the butter… hmmm.


The other thing we ordered was a 1lb. Texas Potato with smoked pulled pork ($9.49). I much preferred this over the other meats we got. The pulled pork was a bit more tender.


Top it with cheese, sour cream, chives and stuff it all into a potato and I’m a pretty happy girl. This potato is HUGE by the way and with those two items we had plenty to share between the three of us.


We did quickly run out of the saucy sauce and asked our waitress for more sour cream and chives so we could finish off the rest of the potato. The inside is just like any regular baked potato – needs love and seasonings to make it just a bit more edible. But I loved the addition of the pulled pork on top of the potato.

My overall verdict? I could pass on this place. I don’t really feel the need to revisit or come back again and would happily just leave this place for the other visitors and tourists. It does seem a bit “tourist trappy” to me with the slightly inflated prices and just okay barbeque. I’ll take the honey cinnamon butter to go though, please.

Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q
Coronado Ferry Landing
1201 1st St
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 522-0217

Lil' Piggy's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “lil’ piggy’s bar-b-q / coronado – san diego, ca

  1. Mary… I totally agree! We went here once too, and we were all confused about the counter too. Then, we were led to a table. I was like… we could have ordered it to-go and sat near the water so we can avoid paying gratuity. Haha. I also agree that the food isn’t great here too.

    1. Hi Janice –
      Yeah… they really could have made the area a bit clearer. The tableside service seemed pretty unnecessary. Oh well!

  2. We’ve been here three times (once with friends, the other two with coupons, so it made it worth it). I like the corn fritters too. Their brisket is all right, but everything pales in comparison to Coops! I didn’t know about the mango habanero sauce options (sounds a bit too hot for me). I could also do without the touristy atmosphere. The first time we went, the guys put away quite a few bottles of beers (at least 10) – they do have a good selection.

    1. Hi CC – I’d be more inclined to go again with a coupon, but even then it wasn’t really that impressive to me. Even though I liked the corn fritters and the stuffed potato, I don’t feel it warrants going on our rotation list. It does really have that “touristy” feel to it!

  3. I ate there a few times when I worked on the Island and did not like the BBQ either and seamed pricey for what you get, but it is on the Island what can u expect>

  4. It’s weird b/c I never ever venture to Coronado. I think I used to get annoyed at the long lines to get over the bridge (and remember when you had to pay toll!). So that was awhile ago.

    But I want to re visit and try out a few places to eat. The pics of your bbq look amazing! Too bad it didn’t taste as good as it looks 🙁

    Is there a BBQ you love in the North County? Have you tried Brett’s BBQ? I’m trying to find a bbq place that has really spicy (not too sweet) BBQ sauce – any suggestions?

    1. Hi Faye! Coronado’s pretty nice, but better to go in the off season when there are less tourists. I love taking out of towners on the ferry ride, too!

      Haven’t had a lot if BBQ in north SD. There’s a place called Bubba’s in La Jolla that Jake & I love. They have two bbq sauces – one sweet (that I love) & one spicy that I don’t remember.

      I know there’s a Famous Dave’s in Vista but I’ve never tried it. Have you tried Coop’s in Lemon Grove? They’ve got yummy BBQ, too, though that’s the wrong direction 🙂

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