While not as conventional of an NYC staple as pizza or bagels, there are certainly authentic, Southern BBQ places in the city that are worthy of pleasing any ‘cue critics. Whether it be for baby back ribs, brisket, or pulled pork, here are some of our favorite BBQ joints in the city:
Fette Sau – Fette Sau, the popular auto-shop turned industrial BBQ eatery in Williamsburg, has some of the best dry-rubbed meats and sides around. They also have an impressive beer and bourbon collection that compliment everything on the menu – Black Angus brisket and potato salad included.
Hometown BBQ – Hometown BBQ, the smoked-meat mecca of Brooklyn, is worth making a pilgrimage for. The brainchild of self-taught BBQ master Billy Durney and restaurateur Christopher Miller is cranking out classic American BBQ specialties such as Texas-style brisket and North Carolina baby back ribs, in addition to ‘cue with international influences like smoked jerk chicken and Vietnamese hot wings.
Blue Smoke – Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s BBQ spot, Blue Smoke, fuses his innovative fast-casual style with pit BBQ from Jean Paul Bourgeois. Must-orders include the 7 pepper beef brisket and chopped pork shoulder. They also offer a BBQ BRUNCH. Yep, you heard that right. Beignets, chopped BBQ sandwiches, smoked chicken wings, and mimosas, too.
Hill Country – Located in Chelsea, Hill Country is a 10,000 square foot, multi-level BBQ joint serving up Blue Bell ice cream, drinks, and a mean ‘cue. Their Moist Brisket is a fatty cut smoked for 15 hours over Texan oak. Every Monday, there’s also an all you can eat special for $32, as well – brisket, market chicken, pork spare ribs, and sides from 5-10pm.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a Harlem BBQ spot founded in 2004, is always packed, and for good reason. Folks from near and far make the journey to this smokehouse, typically hailed as one of the best in the city. Live music and bikers are ever-present in the background but the real star is the food: the fried green tomatoes, smoked pork ribs, and Texas brisket are all delectable. Branches of the popular spot are located in New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maryland, as well.
Mighty Quinn’s – Having started at Smorgasburg, Hugh Mangum’s BBQ spot, Mighty Quinn’s, has made quite a name for itself in the NYC food scene. The brisket is dry-rubbed with paprika and slow-cooked for over 22 hours. The pulled pork is succulent and lathered in a vinegary sauce. Opt for the Flintstonian-sized, incredibly tender “Brontosaurus” beef rib if you really want a treat.
Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue – Matt Fisher and grill master Bill Fletcher utilize a 2,600-pound meat-smoking pit at Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, a Gowanus BBQ spot. The 50-seat restaurant melds traditional wood fired BBQ with sustainable farming and ethnic flavors, serving up dishes like char sui pork, pork ribs, and pit-smoked beans. Catch them also at the Dekalb Market Hall.
Mable’s Smokehouse and Banquet Hall – With cafeteria-style ordering and wood shared tables, Mable’s Smokehouse churns out authentic Oklahoma BBQ that would appease even the most stubborn Southerner. The brisket is juicy, the mac n cheese is, well, cheesy, and the pulled pork is tender. What more could you want? Maybe a slice of peanut butter pie? They’ve got that, too.
John Brown Smokehouse – Josh Bowen, a Hill Country alum, started John Brown Smokehouse in Queens in 2011. Located on an industrial stretch of Long Island City, this ‘cue spot turns out some of the fattiest, most delicate pieces of brisket around. While a humble hole-in-the-wall, it’s a BBQ capital for anyone heading to Queens.
Arrogant Swine – Arrogant Swine, Tyson Ho’s BBQ hall in Bushwick, boasts classic North Carolina-style BBQ. A plump, whole hog is roasted over embers and brought to your table, as in North Carolina, only an entire swine or pork shoulder are to be considered proper barbecue. He does also offer various smoked meats – not to be confused with BBQ – such as pork belly and spare ribs. To wash the charred meat down, there is an extensive beer menu updated weekly.