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Mighty Quinn's BBQ
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

NYC's 10 best barbecue spots

They do exist!

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Like the notion that NYC apartments are smaller than fire escapes or that everyone here's a jerk or each and every one of our bars is speakeasy-themed, claims of our barbecue inferiority are mildly exaggerated. Sure, we aren’t famed for it like we are for our bi-annual social media- disputes over pizza and bagels, but barbecue does exist in the five boroughs, and plenty of it is better than fine, good approaching great, and even outstanding. These are the best spots to visit for barbecue right now, or at least to use as examples in an internet debate. Just remember: You can only win the former. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best BBQ restaurants in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Red Hook
  • price 3 of 4

Hometown Bar-B-Que came in hot to Red Hook when it first opened in the nautical hamlet in 2013. High marks, media darling designation and long lines followed for “Brooklyn style” barbecue incorporating flavors from various cuisine categories. Then, it curiously went through a period of being just ok before becoming excellent once more over the last couple of years, notably during a period of previously unfathomable difficulty for restaurants worldwide. So, hometown never left, and it's back, with pulled pork, ribs a few ways, substantial sandwiches and classic sides in its sprawling spaces inside and out. 

  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

Lived-in Fette Sau is lined with white tiles behind the bar, exposed brick and and a large mural depicting cuts of meat on one wall. Natural wood tables are topped some of those illustrations made real, like pulled pork, pork belly, ribs and wings with five sauce options for max mixing and matching. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Flatiron
  • price 2 of 4

Although barbecue in Manhattan could be as confounding as a 1990s Pace Picante Sauce commercial (the Platonic ideal of incongruity humor), Hill Country is right at home in Got–ham City. The ambitious “tribute to the traditional central Texas barbecue experience, Southern hospitality and the artistry of downtown Austin” smokes its meat over wood brought in from The Lone Star State. Order low and slow selections like shoulder clod, brisket spare ribs and small or supersized combo platters. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Long Island City
  • price 1 of 4

The relocated John Brown BBQ still attracts crowds a short distance away from its original location, which first opened in 2011. Its Kansas City-style barbecue by way of Queens two times over includes all manner of meat by the pound, slab, quarter or half, as the case might be. Order at the counter and snag a spot in the lofty dining room or under an umbrella on the patio. 

  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Though its now shipping coast to coast and franchising out, the original Mighty Quinns’ TK is still among the best in town. Grab a hold of Brontosaurus ribs, burnt ends, sandwiches and platters in the lively but casual, wood-lined spot. Mighty Quinn’s booze is limited to beer, but this strip of the East Village is basically bar central should you seek more sips. 

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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Morningside Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Barbecue lovers from near and far flock to this perpetually popular Harlem destination, which originally got started in Syracuse in 1988. Now with four locations in New York State and two in NYC, Dinosaur Barbecue is famous near and far for its lengthy menu of all the expected hits, plus sliders, steak, burgers, bowls salads and sandwiches. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

Recently relocated Royal Rib grew its following over the course of half a century at its previous address, and now the family owned business is back in action with old and new fans near its original location. Expect to wait in line for ribs, chicken and plentiful sides that have pleased generations. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Gowanus
  • price 2 of 4

Pig Beach must be doing something right to draw long, sidewalk-clogging lines up and down the Gowanus Canal week after week. Its huge outdoor space surely helps, where the teeming throngs of selfie-stars order a variety of meat-lovers sandwiches, ribs, brisket, burgers, dogs and wings. It also has a second location in Queens.

Want more meat? Find the best steaks in NYC

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