While Philly is by no means considered a barbecue town, the city has an appreciation for the many variations of smoked meat. Barbecue is all about the low-and-slow, the T.L.C., the coddling and care required to make something beautiful out of hunks of meat. It’s about tinkering and toying until the rub or sauce recipe and smoke time is just right. From neighborhood favorite ribs to new school smokers, here’s where to find the best barbecue in Philadelphia.Read More
Where to Get Smoky, Juicy, and Delicious Barbecue in Philly
Essential spots for ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more
The Lucky Well
Ambler-born barbecue spot the Lucky Well specializes in Memphis-style barbecued meats and sides like cornbread, potato salad, and dry-rub fries. To satisfy suburban and urban appetites, the local chain currently boasts locations in Spring Garden and Warrington. Dine in or order online.
North by Texas at the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market
Philadelphia’s buzziest ‘cue pop-up of the past few years is open every Saturday at the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market. This project from Texas Hill Country ex-pats keeps the menu simple with sustainably sourced smoked brisket, chicken, carnitas, or mushrooms, served as part of a platter or taco style with fresh tortillas. Stop by the market from 9 a.m. onwards to see what all the buzz is about.
Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse
It's all there: the pit, the pink ring, the hickory smoke, and every style of barbecue in one place. Head here for Memphis ribs, Texas brisket, or Carolina pulled pork, all smoked low and slow for hours. Order online, dine in, or get delivery through DoorDash.
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Deke’s began as a barbecue passion project based out of a Manayunk garage and ten years later there are two locations, one on Ridge Avenue and another in Germantown. Both serve slow-cooked St. Louis ribs, Carolina pulled pork, and Texas brisket. Also on offer: sandwiches (including a brisket cheesesteak), cornbread, collard greens, hush puppies, and for dessert, chocolate bourbon pecan pie. The Germantown location, which has a full bar, turned part of its parking lot into a beer garden shared with neighbor Attic Brewing.
Charlie’s Country Ribs
In North Philly, Charlie’s Country Ribs is open three days a week with the ribs (pork and beef) promised in its name, along with pork short ends, barbecued chicken, and mini-sweet potato pies. Order online for pickup Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Zig Zag BBQ
Zig Zag is running an operation where spare ribs, brisket, turkey, and pulled pork are paired with innovative sides such as Sichuan-style smashed cucumber salad, and queso mac topped with Hot Cheetos. You can order online in advance or dine in.
In Overbrook, this essential staple of Philly’s barbecue scene serves saucy smoked meats and all the sides that go with them best, like potato salad, candied yams, cole slaw, and cornbread. Wear a bib, the eatery’s slogan warns, while digging into the ribs, chicken, brisket, and pulled pork. Dibbs is currently open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Joe Carroll's Brooklyn-born barbecue came to Fishtown via a partnership with Stephen Starr back in 2012. So what's kept this barbecue spot popular over the years? It's all in the rub. The brisket's dark crust, teeming with a sweet and smoky pungency, is worth a trip all on its own. Fette Sau is open seven days a week and has a good amount of outdoor seating available.
Angry Deekin Ribs
Ribs are the go-to at this takeout spot on Spring Garden serving juicy beef and pork ribs and sides like mac and cheese, candied yams, and collard greens. Pulled pork sandwiches, brisket sandwiches, and smoked wings are also on the menu. Call to order for pickup.
Huff and Puff BBQ
This Midtown Village spot boasts a lengthy bill of barbecue fare, from chopped beef sandwiches to sharable multi-meat flights. What sets Huff and Puff aside from the competition is the restaurant’s extensive menu of vegan options like corn ribs, pulled jackfruit, and cauliflower burnt ends. Dine in or order takeout via Toast.
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Long Shot BBQ
At Long Shot BBQ, barbecue brisket, chicken thighs, ribs and pulled pork are offered by the pound, platter or in sandwich form. Standout sides include a generations-old sweet potato casserole made with a brown sugar crust. You can order online.
This small barbecue spot just off Passyunk is one of the most popular in all of Philly. Get there early or reserve your ’cue online because the ribs, brisket, and wings are known to sell out quickly. Don’t skip the brisket cheesesteak with Cooper Sharp whiz. Order online for pickup. There are a handful of tables for dining inside and outside.
Nick's Charcoal Pit
Go to Nick's for the filet mignon sandwich (charbroiled, stuffed between a Sarcone's roll with spinach and cheese), and stay for the barbecue. The ribs are fall-off-the-bone good, and the wings are charred hard and crispy. Order pickup or delivery through GrubHub.
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Bomb Bomb BBQ Grill & Italian Restaurant
Finding Bomb Bomb is easy: Just look for the bright neon sign in the middle of a residential neighborhood. While the red gravy Italian food is as comforting as it gets, barbecue is in the name for a reason. Saucy ribs (with a house-made bourbon-spiked barbecue sauce) are done "South Philly style," and ordering both with a side of mussels is as natural a match as peanut butter and jelly.
Big Daddy'z BBQ & Grill
Delco’s go-to barbecue keeps limited hours, Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to sell out, but that doesn’t scare away a steady stream of regulars lining up to take out cherry and oak smoked ribs and cajun spiced brisket. Sandwiches here are over the top — think pulled brisket and kielbasa finished with cajun mayo, caramelized onions, and jack cheese.