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A Guide to Chicago’s Best BBQ Restaurants

Embark on a gastronomic journey through the vibrant city of Chicago! Prepare to indulge in some of the best BBQ restaurants around. From tasty smoked meats to tantalizing sauces, Chicago’s BBQ scene is not to be missed. Grab your appetite and get ready to savor every bite!

Discover a myriad of options catering to every palate. Search for traditional Southern-style BBQ or try something new. Enjoy succulent ribs that fall off the bone. Savor flavorful pulled pork sandwiches with tangy slaw. Taste tender brisket that melts in your mouth. Every bite is a flavor-filled symphony!

But what makes Chicago’s BBQ unique? It’s not only about the food; it’s about the stories behind these beloved places. Take Smoque BBQ, for instance. This cozy joint started as a small backyard operation. Now it captures hearts and taste buds alike with its slow-smoked meats and signature sauces.

Chicago has something for everyone. From long-standing family-run spots like Uncle John’s Barbecue, to innovative newcomers like Green Street Smoked Meats unleash the smoky secrets and hidden gems of the city’s BBQ restaurants! A gastronomic adventure awaits. Get ready to savor the flavors and aromas of the best BBQ in town.

History of BBQ in Chicago

Chicago’s BBQ scene has been renowned for its flavor and diversity for many years. African American migrants from the South brought their signature cooking style to the Windy City in the early 1900s.

The table below highlights the milestones and key figures of the BBQ history in Chicago:

Year Event
1930s George Stephen invents Weber grill
1983 ‘Chicago Ribfest’ is born
2009 ‘Smokin on the River’ competition

Chicago offers BBQ styles of all kinds, not just one. Some restaurants feature Texas-style brisket or Kansas City sauce. Others have their own methods.

Green Street Smoked Meats in West Loop, and Blackwood BBQ are amazing. Enjoy smoked ribs and brisket at Green Street, or pulled pork sandwiches at Blackwood. Try out coleslaw and mac and cheese!

Discover new flavors and creative twists at each place. This reflects the diversity of Chicago. There’s something for everyone, from classic favorites to innovative creations. Savor every bite and explore the BBQ culture of Chicago!

Criteria for selecting the best BBQ restaurants

To pick the best BBQ joints, many factors need to be assessed. These include:

  • The quality of meat
  • Menu selection
  • Pitmaster prowess
  • Ambiance

Here’s a table to illustrate:

Criteria Relevance
Quality of Meat High
Menu Variety Medium
Pitmaster Expertise High
Ambiance Medium

Also, note the seasoning and smoking techniques which can dramatically improve the flavor. Plus, knowledgeable staff who can advise on meat types make for a fabulous outing. Pro Tip: Before visiting, see what reviews say or ask locals for their thoughts. Doing this helps make sure you find something great to satisfy your BBQ cravings.

Top BBQ restaurants in Chicago

Ready to explore Chicago’s BBQ scene? Dive into these esteemed establishments for a finger-licking journey!

  • 1. Smoke Daddy: Wicker Park’s Smoke Daddy offers up succulent meats kissed by hickory wood smoke. Their tangy sauces and delightful sides will have you wanting more.
  • 2. Green Street Smoked Meats: Stop by this West Loop spot for an authentic Texas feast! Enjoy the sweet aroma of slow-cooked ribs and savor tender brisket and homemade sausages.
  • 3. Lillie’s Q: At Lillie’s Q, a mix of Southern traditions and Windy City charm await. Their award-winning sauces tantalize the taste buds and their inventive dishes will surprise you.

Plus, don’t miss out on Honey 1 BBQ’s legendary honey-flavored smoked meats or Q-BBQ’s modern takes on classic BBQ.

Tips for visiting BBQ restaurants in Chicago

Chicago is famous for its delicious BBQ spots. To maximize your experience, follow these helpful tips:

  • Come hungry – Don’t miss out on the amazing smoked meat flavors!
  • Taste different sauces – Explore the sweet, tangy and spicy sauces with a platter.
  • Go early – Avoid wait times by visiting off-peak hours or making a reservation.
  • Chat with the pitmasters – Learn about their smoking techniques and dish recommendations.

For an authentic BBQ experience in Chicago, here are some additional ideas:

  • Savor the atmosphere – Many BBQ joints have a relaxed vibe with live music or outdoor seating.
  • Sample unique sides – Enjoy side dishes like macaroni and cheese, cornbread and coleslaw.
  • Treat yourself to dessert – Finish your meal with house-made desserts like banana pudding or peach cobbler.

Follow these tips to savor every bite and make lasting memories. Enjoy the BBQ feast in Chicago!


Discover the amazing BBQ restaurants of Chicago! From the smoky aromas to the delicious flavors, each offers its own unique take. We’ve explored the renowned Smoque BBQ and Green Street Smoked Meats, with their tender and juicy slow-cooked dishes. Plus, there are hidden gems like Honey 1 BBQ and Uncle John’s Barbecue, with traditional flavors passed through generations. Venture further to Lillie’s Q and Blackwood BBQ for innovative twists and bold flavors. Experience The Pit Rib House for ribs that fall off the bone. Don’t miss out on this culinary journey! Indulge in the tantalizing smells, flavors, and textures. Whether you’re a BBQ expert or just someone who loves good food, Chicago won’t disappoint. So, let’s get finger-lickin’!

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are some of the best BBQ restaurants in Chicago?

Some of the best BBQ restaurants in Chicago include Franklin Barbecue, Smoque BBQ, Green Street Smoked Meats, The BBQ Supply Co., Lillie’s Q, and Bub City.

2. What type of BBQ cuisine can I expect in Chicago?

Chicago offers a wide variety of BBQ cuisines, including Texas-style brisket, Memphis-style ribs, Carolina-style pulled pork, and Kansas City-style burnt ends. You can find unique flavors and techniques from different regions of the United States.

3. Are these BBQ restaurants suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

While BBQ is traditionally meat-focused, some restaurants in Chicago do offer vegetarian or vegan options. It’s always best to check the menu or contact the restaurant in advance to inquire about specific dietary restrictions or preferences.

4. What are the price ranges like at these BBQ restaurants?

The price ranges at BBQ restaurants in Chicago can vary. Some may offer affordable options, while others may be more upscale. It’s wise to check the restaurant’s website or call ahead to get an idea of the price range and make a reservation if necessary.

5. Do these BBQ restaurants offer takeout or delivery services?

Yes, many of the BBQ restaurants in Chicago offer takeout or delivery services for customers who prefer to enjoy their food at home. It’s recommended to check the restaurant’s website or call them directly to place an order or inquire about their delivery options.

6. Can I make a reservation at these BBQ restaurants?

Reservations policies may vary among BBQ restaurants in Chicago. Some may accept reservations, especially for larger groups or during peak hours, while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s advisable to check the restaurant’s website or call them in advance to make a reservation if needed.

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