In homage to the start of BBQ season on Memorial Day Weekend, we’re here to talk about all the smoky, juicy, vinegary and all other dimensions that create the wonderful flavors of barbecued meats in NYC. Whether you’re a New Yorker looking to find an alternative to good old BBQ grillin’ in someone’s backyard or an out-of-towner craving a finger-lickin’ good NYC BBQ, we’ve got you.
What makes Mighty Quinn’s so mighty is the seductive smokey flavors that come from their method of wood-cooking. Prepared for many hours, all of the seasonings are immersed in the tender meat with perfection. What we have as a result is addictive, tantalizing barbecue. One of their biggest hits is the brisket, which offers flavors that are rich and perfectly spiced and texture that mimics a hot knife through butter. The other famous dish is their brontosaurus ribs, which can stretch as long as your forearm. The balance of lean and fattiness brings about an tsumami-packed euphoria that makes your taste buds water. While the lunch crowd can get overwhelming in some locations, it’s a great place to feed your carnivorous cravings for dinner.
Photo Credit: @jasoneats
Kansas City-style BBQ is a specialty that can be found right here in NYC, right over the river of Manhattan in Long Island City, Queens. What makes KC-style BBQ so distinct is their saucy blend that uses tomatoes and molasses, which is served in ample portion here. They also stay true to the Midwesterner’s passion for a good brew and offer an extensive craft beer selection that suits perfectly with their menu. The outdoor seating pays homage to the bygone days of 5 Points, which became an iconic art piece that belonged to the LIC landscape before it was demolished. While you enjoy their juicy and smoky burnt ends and fall-off-the-bone spare ribs, you can enjoy the colorful mural created by graffiti artist, Shiro, and the director of 5 Points, Meres. Another bonus here are their free non-alcoholic drink refills!
Photo Credit: Feisty Foodie
Its name lives up to the original business of being a butcher bar but, just a couple of years ago in 2014. They’ve expanded to welcome patrons to have a seat, order some moonshine and enjoy all of their barbecue goodness in-house. Butcher Bar’s philosophy is about all-around high-quality and fresh food and sustainable décor. They are known best for their double-smoked beef burnt ends (also known as meat candy) and their succulent smoked pulled pork, which is smothered with an irresistible barbecue sauce. The mac-and-cheese is a well-raved side here and comes with bacon in every bite. If you’re in the mood to start early, they also offer a barbecue brunch.
Photo Credit: Betty Cutie
While the interior is adorned with wood panels from ceiling to floor, the bars and tables were upcycled from a dismantled water tower in Greenpoint. The fun with building your own bars is being able to put fun little themed Easter Eggs into the design, like a butcher’s knife embedded right into the bar. Also, for any Astoria-residents that likes upcycling, their furniture was bought from Big Reuse, which is a mammoth warehouse in Astoria that sells recycled furniture from old businesses and organizations (where finding a school locker or expensive commercial-grade Italian kitchen equipment isn’t unusual).
If you find yourself meandering down East River into the up-and-coming neighborhood of Red Hook, follow the smoky scent for their local gem that serves up some mean pulled pork and brisket. This gem goes by the name of Hometown Bar-B-Que. It entices you with their tasty meats done Southern-style and pit-smoked with oak wood. The décor is befitting of the ambiance of American barbecue culture, where the concept of wood is central: their tall ceilings are exposed with wooden beams and their cafeteria-style dining room is filled with wooden picnic benches against an American flag backdrop. Their collard greens are tastefully balanced between the vinegar and the spice from the added smoked pork shoulder. Another great side is their corn bread, which is a bit more on the savory than sweet side but tasty nonetheless.
Photo Credit: Hometown Bar-B-Que
Into the trendy streets of Williamsburg, you can find yourself enjoying Texas-style dry-rub BBQ at Fette Sau (or German for fat pig). Fette Sau is quite the hot spot during nights and weekends, so do expect a bit of a long line at the cafeteria-style barbecue joint. Their brisket is fatteningly satisfying and moist and their ribs tender and flavorful. Both go great with their baked beans, which have generous bits of meat for a heavenly accompaniment. They also have a reasonable craft beer selection, which playfully have tap handles made out of the tools of the butcher trade, such as a meat tenderizer or skewer. Their garage doors beneath their bright fluorescent awning sign are often drawn up, welcoming all meat-lovers like you to come on in and have a seat.
Photo Credit: Shenae Simmons
DInosaur Bar-B-Que has come a long way to get to the rodeo-style wooden booths and brick walls that we see today. The early days of this lively spot began on the road, serving their famous Southern-style barbecued dishes at motorcycle shows near Albany. One of the stars of their show are their ribs, which provide a satisfying blend of smoke, spice and sauce. While not the typical BBQ order, their worthy wings are also extra-large and satisfying. While this place usually has a long wait, once the moment hits where you get your rack of ribs, the pangs of regret of those moments lost waiting for a table will slowly melt away in the same way that their meat melts in your mouth.
Photo Credit: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que