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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

NYC's 9 greatest barbecue spots

Get ready to tackle the best BBQ restaurants in New York, including top-notch smokehouses and rib joints

By Bao Ong and Time Out contributors
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When you think of local cuisine, New York pizza  and the city's best bagels probably leap to mind. While pit-smoked brisket and falling-off-the-bone ribs are widely considered the domain of the South, the best BBQ restaurants in NYC are mighty fine, too. Tackling a range of regional and global barbecue styles, these joints are carving up smoked brisket, burnt ends, hot dogs and sausages worth writing home about.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best BBQ restaurants in NYC

Beef Ribs at Hometown Bar-Be-Que
Beef Ribs at Hometown Bar-Be-Que
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

1. Hometown Bar-b-que

Restaurants Barbecue Red Hook

This wood-paneled 120-seat smokehouse is self-taught pit master Billy Durney's first restaurant in Red Hook. Inspired by his Brooklyn upbringing and travels through the South, Durney turns out 'cue with global influences. Dig into smoked meats both American (Texas-style brisket, North Carolina–inspired baby back ribs) and international (smoked jerk chicken, lamb belly banh mi).

Fette Sau
Fette Sau
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Kirby Smith

2. Fette Sau

Restaurants Barbecue Williamsburg

Joe Carroll (Spuyten Duyvil) pioneered Williamsburg’s smoked-meat boom in 2007 with this auto-shop-turned-ramshackle-roadhouse, whose name means “fat pig” in German. Eager throngs wait dutifully for their gluttonous turn at the counter, while picnic tables are shared by locals and savvy tourists alike. Fill up on a rotating selection of pork, beef and Black Angus brisket, pork ribs and sides like Dante’s German potato salad, with chunks of onion-studded spuds coated in a zesty vinaigrette.

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Hill Country barbecue
Hill Country barbecue
Photograph: Courtesy of Hill Country

3. Hill Country

Restaurants Barbecue Flatiron

Texpats can find a little piece of home in the smoky warmth of this behemoth, bi-level 26th Street honky-tonk meticulously modeled after Lockhart, Texas’s legendary Kreuz Market. The 10,000-square-foot Lone Star oasis pours Shiner beer, plays  two-step tunes and, most importantly, slices up some killer beef. Meal ticket in hand, herd near the upstairs counter for “moist brisket," an indulgently fatty mix of deckle and tip smoked for up to 15 hours over Texan post oak. A slab of beef shoulder comes as juicy and rosy-rare as good roast beef, ringed with a charred salt-and-pepper crust.

Chicken at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbeque
Chicken at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbeque
Photograph: Jessica Lin

4. Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue

Restaurants Barbecue Gowanus

Pit master Matt Fisher (RUB Long Island) and griller Bill Fletcher fire up a 2,600-pound pit at this Gowanus 'cue joint, delivering grub like dry-rubbed brisket, sticky rib tips and pit-smoked baked beans. Wash it all down with a local beer—or chase your meal with a shot of rye or bourbon—at one of the cyprus-and-hemlock wood tables in the 50-seat smoke shack. 

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Barbeque platter at John Brown Smokehouse
Barbeque platter at John Brown Smokehouse
Photograph: Jessica Lin

5. John Brown Smokehouse

Restaurants Barbecue Long Island City

Josh Bowen’s meat shrine sparked a renaissance in Queens when it opened in 2011, continuing a legacy bagan by shuttered Pearson’s Texas Barbecue. Though it changed locations last year, the Hill Country alum's Kansas City specialties still draw in neighborhood families and BBQ fans, who gather for fatty morsels of brisket. Grab a beer from the bar and nab a spot on the patio.

Mighty Quinn's BBQ
Mighty Quinn's BBQ
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

6. Mighty Quinn’s

Restaurants Barbecue East Village

Drummer turned chef Hugh Mangum first hawked his Texas spice-meets-Carolina-vinegar specialties at his immensely popular Smorgasburg stand, and when the operation went brick-and-mortar, hungry throngs followed. Paprika-rubbed brisket—slow-cooked for 22 hours—boasts a quarter-inch smoke ring and a girdle of fat that will have your taste buds cheering. The thick campfire bark of the pulled pork is elevating, and the Jurassic-sized beef rib is so tender, one bite will quiet even the pickiest of BBQ hard-liners.

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7. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Restaurants Barbecue Morningside Heights

Barbecue lovers from near and far flock to this perpetually packed Harlem smokehouse. With locations in Syracuse and Rochester, founder John Stage transformed a former meatpacking plant into a third outlet in 2004. The bare-brick hall slings jalapeño-crowned Texas brisket; fleshy, pull-off-the-bone pork ribs; and thick-battered fried green tomatoes drizzled with cayenne-buttermilk ranch dressing.

Ribs at Mable's Smokehouse and Banquet Hall
Ribs at Mable's Smokehouse and Banquet Hall
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

8. Mable's Smokehouse and Banquet Hall

Restaurants Barbecue Williamsburg

This wood-paneled roadhouse opened in 2011 with mismatched chairs, pail light fixtures and taxidermy near the Williamsburg waterfront. Artist-cum-pit-boss Jeff Lutonsky and wife Meghan Love dole out smoky Oklahoma ’cue and sides with recipes inherited from Lutonsky’s mother and grandmother—think juicy brisket, tender pulled pork, candied yams and borracho beans stewed in Texan lager Shiner Bock.

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9. Pig Beach

Restaurants Barbecue Gowanus

Pig Beach slings delightful, succulent meats dressed to the nines in exquisite sauces to hordes of 'cue-craving Brooklynites in an expansive backyard patio and 7,000-square-foot warehouse space. Outside, the smoke pit rotates rib racks, turkey breasts, chicken wings, and—of course—hulking slabs of pork until tender. Drizzle your meaty order in one of the kitchen’s glossy sauces (brown sugar-honey, hatch vinegar bbq) and pair it with fellow comfort foods like mac and cheese and and house-made sweet and sour pickles.

Want more meat? Find the best steaks in NYC

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