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La Traila BBQ
Photograph: Courtesy La Traila Barbecue/Andrea Greico

Here’s where to find the best BBQ in Miami

Bring on the smoked ribs, marbled brisket, Southern sides and more of the dishes we crave from the best BBQ in Miami

By Virginia Gil
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Summer is peak grilling season, but who says you have to wait? Better yet, who says you have to grill the food yourself? You can find the best BBQ in Miami at restaurants throughout South Florida, from trendy New York transplants in Wynwood to holes-in-the-wall in far-flung areas like Homestead to local favorites that have been around for years. Post lockdown, the city has added a new category to the growing list of barbecued meat purveyors (besides the beloved Miami steakhouses): the pop-up, serving up tender ribs and smoked pork to-go. City dwellers used to have to make pilgrimages to far-away suburbs and farmlands in search of the saucy, meaty good stuff but now the options for tasty BBQ in Miami abound, and we’ll happily eat it year-round. After all, that’s exactly how long summer lasts in Miami, so bring on the ‘cue!

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Miami

Where to find the best BBQ in Miami

Hometown BBQ
Photograph: Virginia Gil

1. Hometown BBQ

Restaurants Barbecue Allapattah

Before all of the 212 invaded the 305, Hometown led the pack (in terms of meat, that is) with this Allapattah outpost of its famed Brooklyn barbecue joint. The covered, open-air space is sprawling with a fully stocked bar that spans its width for a drink program that’s equally sizable. Find a variety of wines (listed with tasting notes), local brews and craft cocktails to go with your meaty spread. Smoked meats are served by the half-pound—think marbled brisket and pulled pork—while ribs are available in three kinds and sizes. It’s a sharing place, especially if you’re thinking about starting off with a Frito pie or smoked brisket queso—which you absolutely should. 

2. Shiver's Bar-B-Q

Restaurants Barbecue Leisure City

Shiver’s is the place for super-size everything: brisket, benches and beverages. The Homestead institution serves real-deal hickory-smoked meats—from baby back ribs and pork spare ribs to chicken and beef brisket—which it’s been making the exact same way for more than 60 years. The meat is so good, they don’t even care about serving you Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce because you won’t even need it. Be warned: Shiver’s a hike from downtown Miami (about 40 minutes south) but so, so worth it. 

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Bon Gout
Photograph: Courtesy Bon Gout

3. Bon Gout

Restaurants Haitian Little Haiti / Lemon City

This Little Haiti barbecue joint specializes in Haitian-style smoked meats, flavored with epis and cooked low and slow for hours. Bon Gout, whose name translates to "good taste," serves traditional BBQ dishes like brisket, ribs and chicken as well as island signatures, such as griot (Haitian fried pork) and zoe-style tacos. It’s one of our cheap eats holy grails, where you’ll always find high-quality food at an unbeatable value.

La Traila BBQ
Photograph: Courtesy La Traila Barbecue/Andrea Greico

4. La Traila Barbecue

Austin native Mel Rodriguez and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie bonded over their shared love of Texas-style barbecue, which the duo quickly parlayed into a viable business. First as a pop-up during lockdown and then this past spring as a brick-and-mortar in Miami Lakes. The menu is fit for a footballer and fans of big, hearty meat dishes. There’s the popular brisket sundae with layers of mac and cheese, baked beans and cream corn, and the La Barbecue stack that’s piled high with sliced brisket, pulled pork and smoked sausage among other gut busters. Plus, pork, beef, ribs and various sausages available by the pound.

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5. Drinking Pig BBQ

This takeout-only operation took off during lockdown and, fortunately for us, has stuck around. Open only on weekends (Fri–Sun at noon till sold out), Drinking Pig BBQ is owned and operated by Raheem Sealey (executive chef at KYU), Mark Wint and Yohanir Sandoval, who sling some of the best barbecue in Miami. Place your individual orders for chicken, sausage and brisket or go all in with a party pack for your next summer hang.

Barbecue
Photograph: Unsplash/Emerson Vieira

6. Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue

Restaurants Barbecue Downtown

Tucked away between skyscrapers and convenience stores is Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue, home to one of the best pulled-pork sandwiches you’ll sink your teeth into. Downtown Miami is an unlikely place for a barbecue restaurant, particularly one with picnic seating and mostly beer on its drink menu, but that’s part of Sparky’s charm. Seek it out for generous portions of Southern barbecue staples, like baked beans, brisket and creamy banana pudding, which is made in-house.

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Bo Leg’s BBQ 
Photograh: Shutterstock

7. Bo Leg’s BBQ

Restaurants Barbecue North Miami Beach

Bo Leg’s isn’t a restaurant as much as it is a smoker with a table under an awning that sells food to-go, but that’s really all you need. No frills, no problem tender ribs and juicy chicken seasoned with house-made rubs and sauces. If you’re in it for the fixin’s, the mac and cheese, baked beans and collard greens won’t disappoint. Don’t expect to pay more than $15 for a truly satisfying meal.

Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grille
Photograph: Nina Lincoff

8. Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill

Bars Sports Bars Coconut Grove

This South-Florida–based chain of seafood and barbecue restaurants serves up good times and enormous racks of ribs in equal measure. The Joe’s Meal Deal is the adult version of a Happy Meal you didn’t know you needed. It includes a full rack of Flanigan’s signature baby back ribs served with a side, a salad, a roll and an ice-cold beer for just $23.99—and it will put you straight to sleep.  

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Uncle Tom's Barbecue
Photograph: Courtesy Uncle Tom's Barbecue

9. Uncle Tom’s Barbecue

Restaurants Barbecue

Uncle Tom’s has been a Coral Gables landmark for more than 70 years. It underwent a massive image and menu overhaul in recent years, but it still serves the classics families have come to love: such as brisket, baby back ribs and buttery breads, plus additions like the crispy corn nuggets. 

Shorty's BBQ, Restaurants and cafes, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Shorty's BBQ

10. Shorty's BBQ

Restaurants Barbecue Dadeland

What is it? This friendly barbecue pit is the last vestige of pre-developed, pre-trendy Miami.

Why go? For a chill vibe and finger-lickin’ ’cue. Barbecued chicken and ribs are served in a casual atmosphere, where eating with your hands in strongly encouraged.

Hold the meat, please!

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