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A metal tray with several heaps of meat, sausages, and side seen from above.
The “family meal” special at Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque is a big feast for a reasonable price.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

A Meat Lover’s Guide to NYC’s Essential Barbecue Restaurants

Where to get brisket, pork butt, smoked sausages, ribs, and burnt ends

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The “family meal” special at Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque is a big feast for a reasonable price.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Summer is almost upon us, and real hardwood barbecue beckons — and we’re not talking about backyard barbecue cooked over propane, either. New York City has come a long way from the days when sauce-slathered babyback ribs baked in the oven were considered barbecue. The city’s pitmasters have turned to other parts of the country for inspiration — to Texas, the Carolinas, Memphis, Kansas City, and other capitals of smoked meat.

Pitmasters began upping their game in the late ’90s and have only gotten better with time. This revised map has new places in unexpected neighborhoods, including Jersey City, Mott Haven, Hoboken, and most recently the revival of a historic spot in Bed-Stuy. You’ll find plenty to chew on.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Pik Nik BBQ

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This might be the prettiest barbecue in the state, with its flower-filled pots on a Westchester street that slopes down to the Hudson River. The St. Louis ribs are nicely charred (compare them to Blue Smoke’s), the brisket smoke-ringed, and the pork sausage cross-hatched and made in-house. Vegetarian salads on display are particularly colorful, an oddity in good barbecue.

red curving sausage, cup of potato salad, and other gobs of smoked meat decorated with greenery
The three-meat special at Pik Nik.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

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Founded in Syracuse in 1988 and still boasting upstate flourishes, John Stage's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is one of the more established barbecues in NYC. Rather than concentrating on a single style, it offers a menu that evokes several different places around the state and country. Go for the pork ribs, baked beans, and, best of all, Syracuse salt potatoes. Located on the edge of Columbia University’s new north campus, Dinosaur is a great spot for dining with kids. There are other locations in Park Slope and upstate New York.

A dining room with people sitting at rustic booths and light streaming in a window in the background.
Dinosaur’s comfy West Harlem interior.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hudson Smokehouse

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This Mott Haven newcomer via pitmaster Robin Hudson does a spectacular job on fundamentals, including a solid brisket sandwich and passel of smoky pork ribs, matched with a local beer selection and a comfortable dining hall. Hell, this place might as well be in Texas. Lots of quirks keep the menu interesting, including pork belly, a smash burger, chorizo, and jerk chicken. Beef ribs and pastrami available on Saturdays only.

Thickly stacked barbecued brisket overflows from a small bun.
Smoked brisket sandwich.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Izzy’s Smokehouse

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Recognizing the fundamental compatibility between Texas-style barbecue and kosher dietary laws, Izzy’s showcases luscious beef brisket with no lack of fat, and humongous beef ribs, supplemented with a smoked and fried chicken sandwich and various sausages, tacos, and egg rolls. Helmed by Sruli Eidelman, this Upper West Side branch opened seven years after the original location in Crown Heights.

Brisket sandwich cut in half to show cross section, with purple cabbage slaw above the meat and a layer of pickled slices underneath.
Izzy’s brisket sandwich comes with purple slaw.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Virgil's Real BBQ

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Virgil's Real BBQ in Times Square makes real hardwood barbecue more accessible to tourists than any other place in town, with the possible exception of the Mighty Quinn’s chain. It’s owned by the same hospitality company as the Italian restaurant Carmine’s. The barbecue is surprisingly good despite the corporate feel, with decent brisket, pulled pork, and barbecue beans bobbing with little tidbits of meat. Another branch can be found on the Upper West Side.

A barbecue with red signage and skyscrapers all around it and an American flag hanging down on the right of the picture.
Virgil’s is a prominent feature of Times Square.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

John Brown BBQ

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Now describing itself as Kansas-City style, John Brown BBQ moved into the Long Island City location of Mothership Meat Company, another Josh Bowen establishment. The menu is more eclectic than the Kansas City designation suggests, featuring brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, and house-cured pastrami. There’s also a beguiling array of invented sandwiches such as the John Brown Reuben, which deploys pastrami along with Swiss cheese and coleslaw. The glorious fenced and decorated backyard is another lure.

A fenced-in concrete yard with tables covered with red-checked fabric and tiny lights strung around everywhere, glowing yellow.
John Brown’s back yard.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hill Country Barbecue Market

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Hill Country turns out a faithful version of Central Texas barbecue, largely inspired by Kreuz Market in Lockhart. Founded by Texas native Marc Glosserman, the brisket is available fatty or lean, in addition to “clod” (beef shoulder). The beef sausages are imported from Kreuz, but the small chain (there’s another location in Washington, D.C.) recently started making its own hot links, and they’re damn good. As at basically all great Texas barbecues, the sides are just so-so. The selection of meat is served on butcher paper with a choice of white bread or soda crackers. Texas Blue Bell ice cream also available.

A curving sausage link lies upon several slices of white bread.
Beef sausage from Kreuz.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Myron Mixon's Pitmaster Barbeque

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Don’t you love a quirky barbecue, where the level of the output sometimes rises to exemplary, while other things are mediocre? This new pit right on Hoboken’s main drag is run by Myron Mixon, a veteran of the competitive barbecue circuit who’s also a food TV celebrity. Pulled pork is a highlight, especially when doused with the vinegar sauce; the beef and pork sausages are nicely dense and smoky; and as over-the-top as it sounds, a sandwich of brisket topped with mac and cheese is probably the best thing on the menu.

A round shiny bun with brown sliced brisket and orange macaroni.
Brisket sandwich with mac and cheese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hamilton Pork

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This barbecue in Jersey City, a few blocks from the mouth of the Holland Tunnel, was founded in 2016 by brothers Michael and John Gondevas. In addition to great beef brisket, pork ribs, and pulled pork, find uncommon items such as sausages made from brisket, crusty and chewy lamb belly, and tacos filled with various forms of barbecue, squiggled with complementary sauces. The fenced-in side yard is an added plus, about as close as the metro area ever comes to Austin.

Three tacos on flattened tortillas on brown paper on a metal tray.
Barbecue tacos at Hamilton Pork.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mighty Quinn's Barbeque

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Mighty Quinn's serves up what pitmaster Hugh Mangum describes as “Texalina style,” a fusion of the barbecue traditions found in Texas and the Carolinas. But what really emerges is a uniquely NYC iteration: Maldon salt is sprinkled atop the meat as it’s served, and some dishes make use of a deep fryer (smoked chicken wings). The gargantuan beef rib, smoked for 12 hours, is a defining menu item.

A plate of sliced meat, some pickled vegetables like onions and chilies in a paper tray placed on a wooden table
The beef brisket sandwich at Mighty Quinn’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall

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Mable's is unique among the city’s barbecue joints, a real Oklahoma-style honky tonk with long benches and tables fit for brew-swilling crowds. Try the brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, and — standing in for hot links sausage — locally sourced kielbasa. The three-meat and three-sides platters are a good deal for a crowd, but the individual diner or couple could easily be seduced by some of the side offerings, including a Frito pie with top-notch chili, barbecue tacos featuring your choice of meat, and peanut butter pie. Just skip the so-called pulled chicken.

An orange tray with barbecue, sides, and slices of white bread helter skelter.
Brisket and kielbasa with sides.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Queens Bully

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If a down-home barbecue were recast as a cocktail lounge, this Forest Hills establishment is what it would look like. Indeed, the menu strays into normal bar food like pretzel bites, fried chicken and waffles, and wings in a dizzying number of permutations. But the barbecue, running to chicken, ribs, brisket, and — not neglecting vegans — smoke jackfruit, is solid. Some regional sandwiches are also showcased, including po’ boys and Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches.

A rack of charred ribs with cauliflower and coleslaw
Ribs with a side of pickled vegetables.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Blue Smoke

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While the original branch of barbecue pioneer Blue Smoke closed during the pandemic — along with its associated jazz club — the Battery Park City outpost motors on under chef Bret Lunsford. This branch has always been known for its ribs in the Memphis and St. Louis styles smoked over cherry wood. The Texas-style brisket sandwich, piled high, is good too, and so is the barbecued chicken, smoked and then grilled. From there the menu wanders needlessly off to things like fried chicken and chips with queso.

A pile of charred ribs on a white plate.
Barbecued pork ribs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fette Sau

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Early on, this 15-year-old barbecue spot tucked in a Williamsburg alleyway established itself as a maverick operation with a broader range of barbecue options than usual. In the early days, the chalkboard menu at Fette Sau (“fat pig”) often ran to pork belly, beef tongue, pork chops, and, yes, pig tails, in addition to ribs and brisket. The quality has always been high, with a much more aggressive drink program than most barbecue spots, including shots of premium whiskies in addition to beer.

A tray covered with white paper and a dozen or so types of barbecue and side, including ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.
A selection of barbecue and sides at Fette Sau.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Royal Rib NYC

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Royal Rib NYC — known originally as Royal Rib House — was founded in the 1970s, before the city had real hardwood barbecue, reflecting the barbecue traditions of the Carolinas. For the time it sufficed, turning out ribs, pulled pork, and chickens that derived their smoky flavor and crisp exterior from a vertical rotisserie cabinet. The storied place closed in 2019, but it recently reopened further east, offering a menu that now includes fried chicken and also seafood. The soul-food sides, excellent in themselves, persist, along with banana pudding, apple cobbler, and sweet potato pie for dessert.

A sign with red letter over a picture window, seen from a sideways angle.
Royal Rib House moved recently to a new Bed-Stuy location on Malcolm X.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pig Beach

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The founders at Pig Beach are Balthazar alum Shane McBride and Del Posto vet Matt Abdoo. The barbecue is eclectic there’s red hot sausage, and a perfect cheeseburger), bringing together numerous culinary influences. On the banks of the Gowanus, the backyard is a delightful place to hang with some ribs and pulled pork, and kids and pets are welcome. A new branch recently appeared in Queens.

A women sits at a picnic table with two kinds of meat and a thick slice of bread, with tables of diners seen behind her.
The fenced yard on the canal is relaxing.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hometown Bar-B-Que

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Hometown is pitmaster Billy Durney's vision of NYC barbecue. While it leans toward Texas-style, it is at its heart and soul a New York restaurant. It was previously declared the best barbecue in the city by Eater critic Ryan Sutton, and many aficionados agree. The move here is to order everything on the menu — but especially the short rib, brisket, Jamaican jerk ribs, and spare ribs. A new branch in Sunset Park’s Industry City may be more accessible and offers specialties all its own, including smash burgers and cheese fries.

A flour tortilla cradling beef brisket, pickles, and onions.
Brisket tacos are one of Hometown’s many glories.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pik Nik BBQ

red curving sausage, cup of potato salad, and other gobs of smoked meat decorated with greenery
The three-meat special at Pik Nik.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This might be the prettiest barbecue in the state, with its flower-filled pots on a Westchester street that slopes down to the Hudson River. The St. Louis ribs are nicely charred (compare them to Blue Smoke’s), the brisket smoke-ringed, and the pork sausage cross-hatched and made in-house. Vegetarian salads on display are particularly colorful, an oddity in good barbecue.

red curving sausage, cup of potato salad, and other gobs of smoked meat decorated with greenery
The three-meat special at Pik Nik.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

A dining room with people sitting at rustic booths and light streaming in a window in the background.
Dinosaur’s comfy West Harlem interior.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Founded in Syracuse in 1988 and still boasting upstate flourishes, John Stage's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is one of the more established barbecues in NYC. Rather than concentrating on a single style, it offers a menu that evokes several different places around the state and country. Go for the pork ribs, baked beans, and, best of all, Syracuse salt potatoes. Located on the edge of Columbia University’s new north campus, Dinosaur is a great spot for dining with kids. There are other locations in Park Slope and upstate New York.

A dining room with people sitting at rustic booths and light streaming in a window in the background.
Dinosaur’s comfy West Harlem interior.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hudson Smokehouse

Thickly stacked barbecued brisket overflows from a small bun.
Smoked brisket sandwich.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Mott Haven newcomer via pitmaster Robin Hudson does a spectacular job on fundamentals, including a solid brisket sandwich and passel of smoky pork ribs, matched with a local beer selection and a comfortable dining hall. Hell, this place might as well be in Texas. Lots of quirks keep the menu interesting, including pork belly, a smash burger, chorizo, and jerk chicken. Beef ribs and pastrami available on Saturdays only.

Thickly stacked barbecued brisket overflows from a small bun.
Smoked brisket sandwich.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Izzy’s Smokehouse

Brisket sandwich cut in half to show cross section, with purple cabbage slaw above the meat and a layer of pickled slices underneath.
Izzy’s brisket sandwich comes with purple slaw.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Recognizing the fundamental compatibility between Texas-style barbecue and kosher dietary laws, Izzy’s showcases luscious beef brisket with no lack of fat, and humongous beef ribs, supplemented with a smoked and fried chicken sandwich and various sausages, tacos, and egg rolls. Helmed by Sruli Eidelman, this Upper West Side branch opened seven years after the original location in Crown Heights.

Brisket sandwich cut in half to show cross section, with purple cabbage slaw above the meat and a layer of pickled slices underneath.
Izzy’s brisket sandwich comes with purple slaw.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Virgil's Real BBQ

A barbecue with red signage and skyscrapers all around it and an American flag hanging down on the right of the picture.
Virgil’s is a prominent feature of Times Square.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Virgil's Real BBQ in Times Square makes real hardwood barbecue more accessible to tourists than any other place in town, with the possible exception of the Mighty Quinn’s chain. It’s owned by the same hospitality company as the Italian restaurant Carmine’s. The barbecue is surprisingly good despite the corporate feel, with decent brisket, pulled pork, and barbecue beans bobbing with little tidbits of meat. Another branch can be found on the Upper West Side.

A barbecue with red signage and skyscrapers all around it and an American flag hanging down on the right of the picture.
Virgil’s is a prominent feature of Times Square.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

John Brown BBQ

A fenced-in concrete yard with tables covered with red-checked fabric and tiny lights strung around everywhere, glowing yellow.
John Brown’s back yard.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Now describing itself as Kansas-City style, John Brown BBQ moved into the Long Island City location of Mothership Meat Company, another Josh Bowen establishment. The menu is more eclectic than the Kansas City designation suggests, featuring brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, and house-cured pastrami. There’s also a beguiling array of invented sandwiches such as the John Brown Reuben, which deploys pastrami along with Swiss cheese and coleslaw. The glorious fenced and decorated backyard is another lure.

A fenced-in concrete yard with tables covered with red-checked fabric and tiny lights strung around everywhere, glowing yellow.
John Brown’s back yard.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hill Country Barbecue Market

A curving sausage link lies upon several slices of white bread.
Beef sausage from Kreuz.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hill Country turns out a faithful version of Central Texas barbecue, largely inspired by Kreuz Market in Lockhart. Founded by Texas native Marc Glosserman, the brisket is available fatty or lean, in addition to “clod” (beef shoulder). The beef sausages are imported from Kreuz, but the small chain (there’s another location in Washington, D.C.) recently started making its own hot links, and they’re damn good. As at basically all great Texas barbecues, the sides are just so-so. The selection of meat is served on butcher paper with a choice of white bread or soda crackers. Texas Blue Bell ice cream also available.

A curving sausage link lies upon several slices of white bread.
Beef sausage from Kreuz.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Myron Mixon's Pitmaster Barbeque

A round shiny bun with brown sliced brisket and orange macaroni.
Brisket sandwich with mac and cheese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Don’t you love a quirky barbecue, where the level of the output sometimes rises to exemplary, while other things are mediocre? This new pit right on Hoboken’s main drag is run by Myron Mixon, a veteran of the competitive barbecue circuit who’s also a food TV celebrity. Pulled pork is a highlight, especially when doused with the vinegar sauce; the beef and pork sausages are nicely dense and smoky; and as over-the-top as it sounds, a sandwich of brisket topped with mac and cheese is probably the best thing on the menu.

A round shiny bun with brown sliced brisket and orange macaroni.
Brisket sandwich with mac and cheese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hamilton Pork

Three tacos on flattened tortillas on brown paper on a metal tray.
Barbecue tacos at Hamilton Pork.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This barbecue in Jersey City, a few blocks from the mouth of the Holland Tunnel, was founded in 2016 by brothers Michael and John Gondevas. In addition to great beef brisket, pork ribs, and pulled pork, find uncommon items such as sausages made from brisket, crusty and chewy lamb belly, and tacos filled with various forms of barbecue, squiggled with complementary sauces. The fenced-in side yard is an added plus, about as close as the metro area ever comes to Austin.

Three tacos on flattened tortillas on brown paper on a metal tray.
Barbecue tacos at Hamilton Pork.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mighty Quinn's Barbeque

A plate of sliced meat, some pickled vegetables like onions and chilies in a paper tray placed on a wooden table
The beef brisket sandwich at Mighty Quinn’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Mighty Quinn's serves up what pitmaster Hugh Mangum describes as “Texalina style,” a fusion of the barbecue traditions found in Texas and the Carolinas. But what really emerges is a uniquely NYC iteration: Maldon salt is sprinkled atop the meat as it’s served, and some dishes make use of a deep fryer (smoked chicken wings). The gargantuan beef rib, smoked for 12 hours, is a defining menu item.

A plate of sliced meat, some pickled vegetables like onions and chilies in a paper tray placed on a wooden table
The beef brisket sandwich at Mighty Quinn’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall

An orange tray with barbecue, sides, and slices of white bread helter skelter.
Brisket and kielbasa with sides.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mable's is unique among the city’s barbecue joints, a real Oklahoma-style honky tonk with long benches and tables fit for brew-swilling crowds. Try the brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, and — standing in for hot links sausage — locally sourced kielbasa. The three-meat and three-sides platters are a good deal for a crowd, but the individual diner or couple could easily be seduced by some of the side offerings, including a Frito pie with top-notch chili, barbecue tacos featuring your choice of meat, and peanut butter pie. Just skip the so-called pulled chicken.

An orange tray with barbecue, sides, and slices of white bread helter skelter.
Brisket and kielbasa with sides.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Queens Bully

A rack of charred ribs with cauliflower and coleslaw
Ribs with a side of pickled vegetables.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

If a down-home barbecue were recast as a cocktail lounge, this Forest Hills establishment is what it would look like. Indeed, the menu strays into normal bar food like pretzel bites, fried chicken and waffles, and wings in a dizzying number of permutations. But the barbecue, running to chicken, ribs, brisket, and — not neglecting vegans — smoke jackfruit, is solid. Some regional sandwiches are also showcased, including po’ boys and Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches.

A rack of charred ribs with cauliflower and coleslaw
Ribs with a side of pickled vegetables.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Blue Smoke

A pile of charred ribs on a white plate.
Barbecued pork ribs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

While the original branch of barbecue pioneer Blue Smoke closed during the pandemic — along with its associated jazz club — the Battery Park City outpost motors on under chef Bret Lunsford. This branch has always been known for its ribs in the Memphis and St. Louis styles smoked over cherry wood. The Texas-style brisket sandwich, piled high, is good too, and so is the barbecued chicken, smoked and then grilled. From there the menu wanders needlessly off to things like fried chicken and chips with queso.

A pile of charred ribs on a white plate.
Barbecued pork ribs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fette Sau

A tray covered with white paper and a dozen or so types of barbecue and side, including ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.
A selection of barbecue and sides at Fette Sau.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Early on, this 15-year-old barbecue spot tucked in a Williamsburg alleyway established itself as a maverick operation with a broader range of barbecue options than usual. In the early days, the chalkboard menu at Fette Sau (“fat pig”) often ran to pork belly, beef tongue, pork chops, and, yes, pig tails, in addition to ribs and brisket. The quality has always been high, with a much more aggressive drink program than most barbecue spots, including shots of premium whiskies in addition to beer.