Pig Out at Some of Chicago's Best BBQ Joints

Though barbecue's pretty much a summertime necessity, the average person loathes slaving over a hot grill in 90-plus degree weather.

In Chicago, a number of barbecue-focused eateries relish the idea of smoking and grilling meats all day, every day. And for a fulfilling experience where you'll also get to soak up atmosphere, we've gathered several restaurants for the best barbecue in Chicago.

01 of 08

Smoque BBQ

Sliced brisket with baked beans in a cup and a sealed container of barbecue sauce on a metal tray

Courtesy of Smoque 

3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641, USA
Phone +1 773-545-7427

It’s worth the drive or taxi fare to Irving Park for these expertly prepared meats that have been smoked for hours. Smoque garnered a cult following pretty much the day it opened, and that’s especially for pulled pork and brisket smoked for 12 and 15 hours, respectively. The restaurant also boasts superior Texas-style sausage (which is made at a restaurant in Taylor, Texas) and St. Louis-style barbecue. The signature sauce by the bottle (pictured) is a big seller as well.

02 of 08

Chicago q

Sliced brisket on a plate with a tall slice of cornbread

Courtesy of Chicago q

1160 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610-2720, USA
Phone +1 312-642-1160

Much fancier than its local counterparts, Chicago q is partly owned by one of the main investors in chef Art Smith’s now-shuttered Table Fifty-Two restaurant. The vibe at Chicago q is upscale, serving a mostly business clientele, and all sauces and rubs are made in-house. The Kobe sliced brisket (pictured) is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. There are also several whiskey flight options to complement the “q.” Choose from single barrel and small batch (three each) to a “grand tasting” of nine bourbons from the restaurant’s portfolio (prices range $18-$75). Diners may also purchase the sauces to try to recreate the magic at home.

03 of 08

Fireplace Inn

six cheese burgers in two rows on a metal tray.
Photo courtesy of Fireplace Inn
1448 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610-1306, USA
Phone +1 312-664-5264

A block away from the iconic Second City lives one of the longest-standing barbecue restaurants in the city. Fireplace Inn is very sports-oriented, catering to a crowd that’ll watch whatever’s on the multiple, over-size screens. They also come for the baby back ribs and spacious outdoor patio, which doubles the space when it’s open during warmer months.

04 of 08

Green Street Smoked Meats

Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, a grilled chicken pinwheel, a grilled sausauge, cole slaw, pickles, mac and cheese, broccoli and two slices of white bread on a parchment paper-lined tray

Courtesy of Green Street Smoked Meats

112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Phone +1 312-754-0431

Smoked meats are the focus at this casual, yet trendy restaurant from the team behind Gilt Bar, Maude's Liquor Bar and Au Cheval, among others. Green Street Smoked Meats specializes in brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, and a craft cocktail menu. Downstairs is home to High Five Ramen, one of the city's greatest basement bars.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Honey 1 BBQ

rib tips with sauce and the edge of two slices of white bread

Courtesy of Honey 1 BBQ

746 E 43rd St, Chicago, IL 60653, USA
Phone +1 773-285-9455

This cult favorite hasn't lost a beat since relocating from the North Side to the South Side neighborhood of Bronzeville in 2015. Honey 1 BBQ specializes in smoked ribs, smoked chicken, tender pulled pork, rib tips and hot links cooked low and slow over wood smoke. Honey 1's BBQ sauce is made in-house.

06 of 08

Lillie's Q

a slightly out of focus pulled pork sandwich missing one bite

Courtesy of Lillie's Q

417 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
Phone +1 773-295-1270

Award-winning sauces and barbecue have helped put this chef-driven destination in the spotlight. Lillie's Q has also developed a loyal following for its extensive bourbon selection. The Bucktown restaurant pretty much caters to all, as it's also a popular destination for major sports games.

07 of 08

Smoke Daddy

Rack of ribs on top of two slices of bread with a pickle quarter on the side on a large plate. There is a basket of french fries, a plate of coleslaw and a glass of beer are next to the plate of ribs

Courtesy of Smoke Daddy

1804 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
Phone +1 773-772-6656

Smoke Daddy’s recent renovations, which include expanding the indoor/outdoor dining area and upgrading the smoker, make it more popular than ever. Its reputation has long extended beyond the Wicker Park crowd it mostly serves because of the free nightly live-music program. Smoke Daddy is best known for slow-smoked ribs, but the smoked chicken and pulled meats (chicken, pork or brisket) also drive in the fans. The smoked pulled meat nachos are one of the best-ever appetizers on a barbecue restaurant menu.

08 of 08

Twin Anchors

rack of ribs and some barbecue chicken on a plate with a bowl of baked beans, a small contianer of coleslaw and a pickle quarter

Courtesy of Twin Anchors Ribs

1655 N Sedgwick St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Phone +1 312-266-1616

Housed in an 1881 structure in Old Town, Twin Anchors has famously played host to the likes of Al Capone, Frank Sinatra, and Conan O’Brien. It is known for fall-off-the-bone ribs, fish and chips, steaks and sandwiches.

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Pig Out at Some of Chicago's Best BBQ Joints