New York might not have the same native barbecue chops as, say, Dallas or Kansas City, but that doesn't mean we don't take our smoked meats seriously. There are plenty of places around town that work their pulled pork, ribs, brisket and other meats to perfection, and though we know those of you from the land of hardcore barbecue might turn your noses up, whatever, we're going to eat it anyway. Here are our favorite BBQ joints in the city; leave yours in the comments.
Platter from Fette Sau (Courtesy Eva Deht's flickr)
FETTE SAU: This is an obvious one, but can you really do a best barbecue round-up and leave Fette Sau out? This Williamsburg joint's been lauded as the king of New York's barbecue scene, and for good reason: housed in a converted garage, Fette Sau serves spectacular smoked meats by the pound, like pulled pork shoulder ($16/lb), loin chops ($20/lb) and boneless beef ribs ($4.75-$19). For sides, get the baked beans ($5.25 for a small, $8 for a large), but they're pretty meaty themselves, so consider yourself forewarned. There's no sitdown service at Fette Sau—food is consumed at communal tables, and you wait on a typically loooong line to place your order, so bring some friends or a good book, and be prepared to feast.
Fette Sau is located at 354 Metropolitan Ave between North 4th and Roebling Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-3404, fettesaubbq.com).
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Via Yelp)
DINOSAUR BAR-B-QUE: Yes, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is sort of like the Dwight Howard of smoked meats and sides these days, but whatever, the food's still delicious, and we're going to talk about it forever. The heavyweight BBQ company got its roots in Albany as a food truck of sorts in the 1980s; now, they serve up spectacular, sauce-slathered dishes like slow pit-smoked pork ribs ($16.95-$26.95) and apple-brined smoked half-chicken ($13.95). Do not, under any circumstances, skip out on the jumbo chicken wings ($3.95-$13.95), which range in spice from mild to hellishly hot; be sure to pair your meal with a side of homemade mac and cheese and baked beans. They are the best, and we're counting down until Dinosaur Bar-B-Que blesses us with our long-awaited Brooklyn location at last.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is located at 700 West 125th Street between Twelfth Avenue and Riverside Drive in Harlem (212-694-1777, dinosaurbarbque.com). Follow them on Facebook.
Brisket "moist" at Hill Country Barbecue Market (Courtesy wallyg's flickr)
HILL COUNTRY BARBECUE MARKET: Hill Country's been smoking up Central Texas-style BBQ since 2007, and we're still blown away by their tender slices of brisket and sides. Portions here are immense, and wonderfully so; Hill Country is dedicated to feeding you as much food as you can possibly stuff in your gullet, and that's the way a meal here is meant to be enjoyed. Try the aforementioned brisket, which comes "moist" (a.k.a., fatty) for $23.50/pound, or lean for two bucks less—but get the moist, because if you're going to do it, then goddamn do it, amirite? For sides, opt for the stellar, creamy mac 'n cheese ($5.75-$21) and sweet cornbread with ancho honey butter ($3.50), and wash your meal down with a glass of Sweet Tea served in a 16 ounce Mason Jar ($3.50). Hill Country also hosts an all-you-can-eat night on Mondays for carnivores who think they can handle epic amounts of grub; $27 will get you five hours of feasting, heart monitor not included.
Hill Country Barbecue Market is located at 30 West 26th Street between Sixth Ave and Broadway in Flatiron (212-255-4544, hillcountryny.com).
Mighty Quinn's (Via Facebook)
MIGHTY QUINN'S: Mighty Quinn's has made quite a splash since it hit the city's BBQ scene via Smorgasburg last year. Now, the 'cue spot's got a brick-and-mortar location in the East Village, where you can sample chef Hugh Magnum's juicy meats without standing in a food stand line on a hot summer Saturday. Mighty Quinn's' menu is simple: they've got basic meats like pulled pork ($7.50, $18.75 by the pound) and Berkshire brisket ($8.85, $22 by the pound), and sides like sweet potato casserole, baked beans and slaw ($3 for a small, $5.75 for a medium, $11.25 for a large), but the meat is so tender it'll melt in your mouth, and the joint's laid-back, funky atmosphere just adds to the experience. Plus, they've got a solid selection of beers on tap, like Sixpoint Sweet Action, Lagunitas and Allagash White ($7), to add a kick to your dishes.
Mighty Quinn's is located at 103 Second Ave between 6th and 7th Street in the East Village (212-677-3733, mightyquinnsbbq.com). You can also catch them at Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea.
John Brown Smokehouse (Via Yelp)
JOHN BROWN SMOKEHOUSE: This laid-back Long Island City barbecue joint makes a killer slab of Kansas City-style meat, serving everything from simple beef brisket sandwiches ($10) to massive, juicy pork ribs ($9-$26). Their real specialty, though, are "Burnt Ends," which are far tastier than they sound: crispy, sweet pieces of meat you can dip in housemade barbecue sauce. They come in sandwich form ($13) and by the pound ($24) and taste best when coupled with sweet coleslaw ($3-$9) and draft of Saratoga Lager or Speakeasy Prohibition Ale ($7-8) in the beer garden out back.
John Brown Smokehouse is located at 10-43 44th Drive in Long Island City, Queens (347-617-1120, johnbrownseriousbbq.com).
ALCHEMY, TEXAS AT LEGENDS BAR & GRILL: This Jackson Heights bar/barbecue spot's a neighborhood favorite, but it belongs in everyone's BBQ rolodex. The bar's out front, but there's a BBQ pit out back, doling out deliciousness in the form of baby-back ribs ($28/lb), pulled pork, short ribs ($28/lb), brisket sandwiches ($23/lb) and other down-home dishes you can slather in North Carolina-style barbecue sauce. For sides, go for the creamed spinach ($3) and coleslaw ($3); have a beer and hang out with the diverse, local crowd.
Legends Bar & Grill is located at 7104 35th Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens (718-899-9553).
FORT RENO: We first got hip to this Park Slope meat mecca with their surprisingly delicious bbq smoked fish sandwich, which they brought to Tasting Brooklyn. It's still not on the menu—come on, guys!!!—but we're still fans of the restaurant's other smoked meat options, like custom-sized plates of succulent St. Louis-Style Ribs ($9-$32), BBQ Chicken ($7-$24) and Fatty Brisket ($8-$26). Toss in a few of their side dishes—think creamy mac & cheese and smokey burnt end beans—served up in mason jars ($4 small, $6 large) and you have big picture barbecue at its best. (Nell Casey)
Fort Reno is located at 669 Union Street in Park Slope (347-227-7777; fort-reno.us).
DELANEY BBQ: Before opening his first brick-and-mortar restaurant Briskettown last year, Dan Delaney was one of the most buzzed about pit masters in town, and with good reason. His incredibly popular Brisketlab series sold 2,500 pounds of meat in just 48 hours, so clearly the man knows what he's doing. At Briskettown, Delaney offers two or three smoked proteins each night starting at 6:30 p.m. until he sells out of the meat. This could mean anything from beef short ribs, pork ribs and of course Delaney's signature beef brisket.
Earlier this year Delaney expanded his growing meat-pire into Manhattan with Smokeline, a satellite operation at the High Line. The outpost offers a few sandwiches, including the Deckle ($8), with smoked brisket, pickles and raw onion, plus a beef short rib ($28) and pork ribs ($36 for a rack). (Nell Casey)
Briskettown is located at 359 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg; Smokeline is located in the Chelsea Market Passage on the High Line on West 15th Street (delaneybbq.com).
SHILLA: American BBQ isn't the only player in town. K-Town's bustling barbecue scene boasts dozens of great grills to find yourself some tasty meats. We dig Shilla, a tri-level joint cooking up addictive meats and other Korean treats on 32nd Street. While you can't go wrong with any of their offerings, we dig on the specially marinated Kalbi ($27.95) and the classic Bulgogi ($21.95). A minimum of two barbecue selections is necessary for the tabletop presentation, but it's worth it to watch the skilled staff slip and flip your meat until it's ready to be inhaled.
Meanwhile, munch on a very respectable banchan selection, which includes plenty of kimchi, bean sprouts, marinated vegetables and sometimes a whole fried fish for you to pick at. Once the meat is ready, grab a lettuce leaf, slather on some ssamjang and go to town. (Nell Casey)
Shilla is located at 37 West 32nd Street (212-967-1880, Shilla).
DAISY MAY'S BBQ: We've been fans of this far West Side joint since it opened in 2003. While it's certainly a hike from most of civilization—it's surrounded by car dealerships, The Daily Show's studio and the West Side Highway—diners are rewarded with a choice of dry and sticky ribs, as well as huge beef ribs and numerous sides (try the rustic corn with NY State cheddar!). Prices for their eat-in plate specials depend on the kind of meat: For $17.90, you can get four ribs plus two sides; Tennessee Whisky Beer Can Style Half Chicken is $14.90 (with two sides); and the Flintstones-sized Oklahoma Jumbo Beef rib is $36.90 (with two sides).
One highlight is the Big Pig Gig: For $479.99, you and 11 of your hungry friends can feast on a 30-pound pig, complete with Creamy Cole Slaw, Texas Toast, and two more sides of your choice. There's also a Half Pig, $239.90 for six, and a Whole Pork Butt, 149.90 for six. These are also available for delivery! (Jen Chung)
Daisy May's BBQ is located at 623 11th Avenue, at the corner of West 46th Street (212-977-1500, daisymaysbbq.com).