A guide to the best barbecue restaurants in Chicago. While Chicago isn’t a barbecue city, there are still several excellent spots for different types of barbecue scattered throughout the city.
Last updated: March 2022
The Best Barbecue Restaurants in Chicago:
Table of Contents
We have organized this list of best barbecue restaurants in Chicago by neighborhood, and have indicated which restaurants serve lunch in addition to dinner.
A barbecue joint specializing in ribs, rib tips, chicken, hot links, and seafood. Leon’s stands out from all of the other entries on this list of best barbecue restaurants in Chicago because it is the only restaurant that sells barbecue meat and seafood by the bucket. And if a bucket isn’t enough, party trays are available too. Leon’s has a second location on 106th Street.
Honey 1 BBQ
The menu at Honey 1 BBQ includes brisket, chicken, pulled pork, ribs, and rib tips that are slow cooked over a wood fire. The menu also includes burgers and fried chicken wings, catfish, perch, and jumbo shrimp.
Barbecue, Lunch, Kid friendly
Offset BBQ has some menu items that the other joints don’t like chicken fried ribs, waffle fry nachos, a smoked beef dip sandwich, and BBQ bibimbap. The menu includes platters of smoked chicken, pork, brisket, and sausage and several sides plus sandwiches and burgers.
An elegant restaurant serving traditional barbecue. The stars of the menu are the meats that are cooked low and slow, including the brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. In addition to barbecue, the menu has Southern classics like shrimp & grits, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese.
Greater Grand Crossing:
Lem’s on the South Side has been serving Chicago-style barbecue for since 1954. The restaurant is known for their rib tips and hot links. The menu also includes fried chicken, fried shrimp, potato salad, coleslaw, and fries.
Smoque offers sandwiches and platters with sliced brisket, chopped brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and sausage plus ribs, meat by the pound, and several sides. A second location can be found within Revival Food Hall in the Loop.
Earl’s is a low-key joint with drive-thru window that serves barbecue and donuts. The menu has freshly smoked pulled pork, brisket, pulled chicken, ribs, and rib tips. Plus salmon, burgers, fried chicken, and hot dogs. Side include corn bread, baked beans, fries, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, and charred corn.
The Smoke Daddy
American, Barbecue, Lunch, Kid-friendly
Smoke Daddy is one of the very best barbecue restaurants in Chicago. It is known for the ribs, the burnt ends, and decadently creamy macaroni and cheese. If you feel like ordering something a little lighter, the Wrightwood salad is excellent.
Krazy Hog BBQ
Currently, Krazy Hog BBQ’s new location is being developed but you can still order from Door Dash. The menu includes pulled pork and pork rib tips that can be served on a plate, in a sandwich, or over fries.
County Barbecue serves St. Louis spare ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, pastrami, chicken, rib tips, wings, salmon, and hot links and a variety of sides.
This restaurant has three locations in the Loop (211 W. Adams Street, 233 N. Michigan Ave, and 307 West Lake Street) and a location in Merchandise Mart. The menu has the standard like beef brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and sausage, plus harder to find items like brisket burnt ends, and vegetarian smoked jackfruit. Once you pick your protein, you can add it to a sandwich, taco, salad, or platter and top with a one of six regional sauces.
American, Barbecue, Kid Friendly
A barbecue joint and old Frank Sinatra hangout that is known for their ribs. Twin Anchors opened in 1932 and is a Chicago institution. When compared to the other spots on this list, Twin Anchors has a larger menu and even has a gluten-free menu and some plant-based meat options.
Honky Tonk BBQ
A family-run rustic eatery serving from scratch Memphis-style wood roasted barbecue and hosting live music. The menu has smoked pork, brisket, chicken, ribs, and rib tips and sides including macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, candied yams, coleslaw, beans, greens, and portobello mushrooms.
ATX Bodega is known for serving Tex-Mex style cuisine including birria tacos, carne asada tacos, quesadillas, brisket, and ribs. Sides include queso blanco, pinto beans, and carne asada fries.
American, Barbecue, Southern, Lunch
A casual restaurant serving barbecue and Southern cuisine with a country music theme and live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. The restaurant specializes in smoked bbq meats and also offers burgers, fried chicken, and several types of macaroni and cheese.
Slab BBQ serves St. Louis style ribs, rib tips, turkey legs, turkey tips, bbq chicken, fried chicken, and hot links plus sides including macaroni and cheese, potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw, candied yams, and French fries.
Green Street Smoked Meats
A fast-casual Texas barbecue restaurant with long communal tables and lots of twinkle lights. Guests have the option of ordering smoked meats by the half pound, sides, and sandwiches.
Run by two-time World BBQ Champion Chef Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q is located within District Brew Yards and is 21+. The menu has barbecue pulled pork, tri-tip, prime brisket, baby back ribs, and pimento cheese sausage by the half pound plus fried chicken, sandwiches, and sides.
The Smoke Daddy
See the full description under Lakeview.