While Philly is by no means a barbecue town compared to some American epicenters, this city still has an appreciation for the art of meat smoked slow and low and coated in a spice rub or sauce. Here’s where to find the best barbecue in Philadelphia, from neighborhood favorite ribs to new-school smokers and even some vegan cauliflower burnt ends.Read More
Where to Get Smoky, Juicy, and Delicious Barbecue in Philly
Essential spots for ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and even vegan burnt ends
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 urban appetites, the local chain also boasts a location on Spring Garden Street.
North by Texas
A hobby became a pandemic side hustle for college professor R. Scott Hanson, an Austin ex-pat. Keep an eye on Instagram to see where to find his Tex-Mex barbecue pop-up, which currently appears one Saturday a month at the Mermaid Inn during the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market. You’ll also find North by Texas’s smoked brisket burnt ends in breakfast tacos Fridays at Taco Heart, another restaurant from an Austin transplant determined to bring the flavors of the South to Philly.
Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse
It's all here in Northeast Philly: the pit, the pink ring, the hickory smoke, and every style of barbecue in one place. Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse offers Memphis ribs, Texas brisket, and Carolina pulled pork, all smoked low and slow for hours.
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Deke’s began as a passion project based out of a Manayunk garage. A decade later there are two locations: Deke’s Bar-B-Que for takeout on Ridge Avenue and Deke’s Garage Roadhouse Bar-B-Que 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, and desserts like pecan pie. The Germantown restaurant even has a full bar.
Charlie’s Country Ribs
In North Philly, Charlie’s Country Ribs is open just three days a week, serving soul food and the (pork and beef) ribs promised in its name, along with pork short ends, barbecued chicken, and mini sweet potato pies.
Zig Zag BBQ
Kensington winner Zig Zag BBQ pairs spare ribs, brisket, turkey, and pulled pork with uncommon sides such as savory corn pudding and queso mac topped with Hot Cheetos.
In Overbrook, this Philly barbecue staple serves saucy smoked meats and all the classic sides, like potato salad, candied yams, coleslaw, and cornbread. As the slogan warns, you may want a bib when you dig into the juicy ribs, chicken, brisket, and pulled pork at Dibbs.
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, rich 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
Per the name, juicy beef and pork ribs are the go-to at Angry Deekin Ribs, a takeout spot on Spring Garden that also serves smoked wings, brisket sandwiches, and sides like mac and cheese, candied yams, and collard greens.
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 really sets Huff and Puff apart from the competition, though, is an extensive menu of vegan options like corn ribs with Alabama white sauce, pulled jackfruit, and cauliflower burnt ends.
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Long Shot BBQ
At Long Shot BBQ in Grays Ferry, barbecue brisket, chicken thighs, ribs, and pulled pork are offered by the pound, platter, or in sandwich form. A generations-old recipe for sweet potato casserole with a brown sugar crust is among the standout desserts.
This small barbecue spot just off Passyunk is one of the most popular in all of Philly. Get here 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. There are a handful of tables for dining inside and outside.
Nick's Charcoal Pit
Come to Nick’s Charcoal Pit in South Philly for the filet mignon sandwich (charbroiled, stuffed between a Sarcone’s roll with spinach and cheese) and stay for the barbecue. The ribs fall off the bone and the wings are charred hard and crisp.
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 in South Philly. While the red gravy Italian food is as comforting as it gets, barbecue is also in the name for a reason. Saucy ribs (with a house-made bourbon-spiked barbecue sauce) are done "South Philly style," and ordering them with a side of mussels is as natural as matching peanut butter and jelly.
Big Daddy'z BBQ & Grill
Delco’s go-to barbecue keeps somewhat limited hours like a few other places on this list, 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 at Big Daddy’z BBQ & Grill are over the top — think pulled brisket and kielbasa finished with cajun mayo, caramelized onions, and jack cheese.