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Best of Toronto

The Best BBQ Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / April 12, 2013

bbq restaurants torontoThe best BBQ restaurants in Toronto are temples of meat devoted to time-honoured cooking traditions. In Hogtown, a surge of new smokehouses have hardly matured but have zealously taken up the artform (or is it a sport?) with deep reverence to the legendary pits of the Southern states. What was once a catch-all category for anything covered in mesquite sauce is now yielding serious smoke-infused fare: dry, bark encrusted ribs, briskets ribboned with fat and spoon-torn pork shoulders...I'm salivating at the thought.

Here's are the best BBQ restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The Best BBQ Chicken in Toronto
The Best Ribs in Toronto

The Stockyards

The Stockyards

The Stockyards does pulled pork and BBQ beef brisket sandwiches all week long, but on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, pit smoked chickens ($14) and spice crusted racks of ribs ($26) cook all day for a 5 o’clock debut that regularly sells out soon after. In true Carolina style, the ribs are dry and peel off the bone with little effort, the meat is so good that sauce is entirely unnecessary (though still available on the side for those that must). More »

Electric Mud

Electric Mud

The duo behind Grand Electric throws tradition out the window at this recently opened Parkdale BBQ joint. Dainty portions of chopped peanut and chive topped ribs (served three for $13.50) are known for their unique flavour rather than value, but it’s the frenetic bourbon fueled atmosphere that makes Electric Mud a fun destination all the same. More »

Barque Smokehouse

Barque Smokehouse

Named for that delicious crust formed by the alchemy of smoke, meat, fat and time, this well loved Roncesvalles smokehouse boasts a menu full of brisket, back ribs, sausage, beef ribs and chicken, available a la carte ($6-14) or on sampling platters ($25 per person/$45 per couple). Smoke infused brunchtime offerings like the brisket topped Barque Benny ($14) still draws line-ups even two years after opening. More »

Memphis BBQ (Woodbridge)

Memphis BBQ (Woodbridge)

This branch from the sprawling Big Bone BBQ chain is unique to its Woodbridge neighbourhood but loudly proclaims affiliation to Memphis. It’s also the winner of 50+ Ontario BBQ competitions offering down-and-dirty roadside fare like tender smoked chicken wings ($9.75/lb) and rib dinners ($10-$21) that will leave you covered in sauce upto your elbows. More »

Stack Restaurant

Stack Restaurant

Situated on Yonge Street, this comfy, casual restaurant emulates select barbecue styles cherry-picked from the best of the Southern U.S. barbecue belt. The Lexington (North Carolina) vinegar-sauced pulled pork ($10) and heavily rubbed, sweet and salty Memphis brisket ($10) are amongst the highlights on the meaty a la carte menu. More »

Paul and Sandy's

Paul and Sandy's

Staying true to time-honoured slow cooking methods, Paul & Sandy's Real Barbecue Co. in Etobicoke serves up dry-rubbed, Kansas City style ribs ($12/half or $20/full) plus chicken, pork, beef brisket and even smoked meatloaf dinners for $11.50. Doled out in paper-lined baskets, most dinners include a selection of two sides from the customary array of baked beans, creamy slaw and red skin potato salad. More »

Holy Smokez

Holy Smokez

Operating out of a retail storefront, this Mississauga takeout counter dedicates it’s attention exclusively to the pit. You can’t even get fries. They don’t have a fryer. Taking cues from South Carolina and Texas, the emphasis is entirely on sandwiches ($4-8) piled high with hickory smoked beef brisket, coarsely shredded chicken or pulled pork that melts tenderly with each bite. More »

Aft Kitchen & Bar

Aft Kitchen & Bar

Though it resists the label of BBQ joint, smoke plays heavily into the nightly specials at this recently opened Riverside restaurant. The menu offers reverential Southern foods (not just BBQ, but fried too) along with wood smoked burgers ($13), tender wings ($14) and toothsome ribs ($19) from resident pitmaster, Lawrence LaPianta. More »

Leslieville Pumps

Leslieville Pumps

This gas station come urban smokehouse makes BBQ roadside grub their niche with a takeout menu full slow cooked favourites. Sandwiches ($7.75) heaping with forked beef brisket, pulled pork or hickory smoked chicken thighs are meals on their own but, essential sides are here too, like BBQ corn salad, slaw, beans and corn fritters available for $3-4 each. More »

Discussion

28 Comments

Rich / April 12, 2013 at 01:49 pm
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Electric Mud #2? FAIL FAIL FAIL.
bob / April 12, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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Hey, at least Lou Dawgs isn't on the list!
Richard / April 12, 2013 at 02:33 pm
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great choice for #1. However, a glaring omission was the absence of Phil's http://philsoriginalbbq.com/
lister replying to a comment from Rich / April 12, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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Why the fail for Electric Mud BBQ?

If Woodbridge and Mississauga are there then Buster Rhino's in Oshawa and Whitby and Memphis Fire BBQ in Winona (Hamilton) should be too.

AAA in Toronto is decent.

Lou Dawgs is terrible. I do better southern BBQ on my stove top smoker than they do.
lister replying to a comment from Richard / April 12, 2013 at 02:35 pm
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At one point Phil's was pretty good when there was basically no other BBQ joints around. Granted I haven't been for the past 4-5 years (I think just after the Restaurant Makeover thing was done) but I wasn't impressed then.
Mark / April 12, 2013 at 02:50 pm
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Also, in East York is the underrated Rally Sports bar. Pulled pork, ribs and chicken (smoked)in a sweetish sauce. BBQ beans with smoked rib shavings...very nice. Hey, if you'll go as far as Woodbridge, why not Vic Park and O'Connor?
www.rallysportsbar.com
Audrey / April 12, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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If I were to rely on the restaurant reviews in blogto I would have to assume there are no restaurants east of University south of Bloor.
H2O / April 12, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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Audrey - 7 out of the 9 restaurants mentioned in the list are neither west of University or south of Bloor.
JoeCarter / April 12, 2013 at 04:55 pm
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I may have read that incorrectly, but is Electric Mud charging $13.50 for 3 ribs?! If so, that is insane. BUT kudos to those guys for totally taking advantage of their trend hopping customers and making themselves rich. Seriously, that takes some intelligent thought.

Also, while I haven't been to some of these I know that SMOKE (or whatever they're called now) on Harbord gave the biggest portions I've seen. Only one of 6 at our table was able to finish their sampler - it was out of control. If you're hungry, head there.
Grace / April 12, 2013 at 05:11 pm
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I'm question about their food, but curious to know who determine those are "the best" in Toronto?
Grace replying to a comment from Grace / April 12, 2013 at 05:11 pm
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sorry I mean I'm "not" question about their food.
L / April 12, 2013 at 05:30 pm
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BARQUE is OVER-RATED big time! It really shouldn't be on the top 3 at least.
Everything you eat there has the same flavour (everyone I know agrees). Feels like they use the same spice/seasoning on everything, including the fries, which makes for a boring meal. To add to this point, its over seasoned and salty.
Taylor Fladgate / April 12, 2013 at 06:11 pm
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No list of BBQ for TO is complete without Buster Rhinos BBQ in Whitby. The BBQ Baby Back ribs, whole rack, on Friday mornings fresh from the smoker, piping hot (not reheated) are delicious. Put the hot Habanero sauce on the fries. The ribs don't need it.
west end is best end / April 12, 2013 at 06:22 pm
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All you west end haters are gay, get used to it.
Anon / April 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm
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I have to agree that Barque is overrated but the service was nice. The best bbq I've had in Toronto is definitely Stockyards. If the place was a bit bigger in terms of seating, I'd like it better. It can get crazy in there.
Toni replying to a comment from Richard / April 13, 2013 at 12:06 am
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Yes Phils Original BBQ on College is awesome for some serious BBQ in the neighborhood. Phils is awesome...

http://philsoriginalbbq.com/
Justin / April 13, 2013 at 01:16 am
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The answer is none.

There is no good bbq in Toronto. Having lived in the south, I have been disappointed time and time again with bbq in Toronto. There's a lot of great food in this city, bbq is not one of them.

Sorry.
Spinach / April 13, 2013 at 03:13 am
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Best BBQ in T.O. is Popeye's. Could eat it everyday.
Barbi Q / April 13, 2013 at 04:45 am
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Smoke Bourbon, formerly Smoke on Harbourd, is a great BBQ style neighbourhood restaurant. Excellent value, good food, great atmosphere.
Audrey replying to a comment from H2O / April 13, 2013 at 08:38 am
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Must have misread the map and addresses. Maybe you can point out which ones in this list are East of university south of Bloor.
I will admit I should have also said west of the Don Valley.
I see very little mention of eateries in the area bounded by University, Bloor and the Don Valley.
I pick up a Now if I want to find good cheap eats.
Billy John replying to a comment from Justin / April 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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Have you tried AAA Bar yet? It is the closest thing I have found to a true southern BBQ joint. They smoke Central Texas (Austin) Style - oak wood, dry rub, sauce on the side.
AA / April 15, 2013 at 10:35 am
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Looks like this reveiw was specifically thrown together so as to include Aft amongst other places that have been reviewed ad nasuem.

Also, Leslieville Pumps should not be included on this list... especially if you're going to omit Black Camel (IMO).
Michael / April 29, 2013 at 03:06 pm
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Agree with Mark. Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse is very underated & often overlooked probably because of location. Although the location is a head scratcher it is a GEM! They smoke most meats & the Pulled Pork, Brisket & smoked wings are among the best this city has to offer, not to mention the service!

http://www.rallysportsbar.com/site
STEVE / August 9, 2013 at 04:47 pm
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Rd's Southern BBQ in Brampton food is "off the chain" ribs,chicken brisket. pulled pork. awesome sides, baked beans corn bread, mac and cheese, hush puppies, Friday's are real southern creole, jumbalaya, gumbo. Saturday's mammoth beef ribs. Generous portions. I have eaten dozens of meals and have never been disappointed. I haven't tried all of the places mentioned above, but for taste and value non have surpassed rd's
( fyi the place is a bit of a pit, but the food more than makes up for the ambiance)
Zeda / August 29, 2013 at 07:38 pm
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RDs is the best bbq i have ever had in all of toronto brampton and missisauga! I lived in Baton Rouge for years and this food at Rds
is pure and authentic! Its hands down the best bbq ever. The owners are amazing and take pride in their food. I could eat there everyday
Curt / November 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm
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I have to agree with Michael and Mark. Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse has to be one of the best places for BBQ and Smoked Meat! The pulled pork is just awesome! Service is A1 to boot.
fmed / March 3, 2014 at 01:09 pm
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Thank you for feedback

It will be helpful.
fmed / March 3, 2014 at 01:09 pm
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Thank you for feedback

It will be helpful.

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