The Best BBQ Restaurants in Toronto
The best BBQ restaurants in Toronto embrace the time-honoured cooking traditions of the Southern states. What was once a catch-all category for anything covered in mesquite sauce is yielding some serious smoke-infused fare: bark-encrusted ribs, briskets ribboned with fat, and spoon-torn pork shoulders.
In Toronto, traditionalists who take great pride in emulating regional styles are increasingly being joined by a new wave that's taking creative license when it comes to skewing flavours toward other global locations, or taking advantage of rare and interesting proteins - say, duck or offal. While in most cases good BBQ needs nothing more than a side of wet naps (white bread works too), on this list you'll even find smoked meats making their way into tacos, poutine and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Here are the best BBQ restaurants in Toronto.
The smokehouse and larder on St. Clair West seems to excel at everything it does, and while it's perpetually packed, you'll find it busiest on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday evenings when whole pit-smoked chickens ($15) and spice-encrusted racks of ribs ($27) come out of the smoker at 5pm. Week-round you'll find pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches on the menu along with a house-smoked bacon that makes its way into burgers, sandwiches and breakfasts. More »
This Roncesvalles restaurant features goodies from the onsite wood smoker all day long, ranging from the brisket topped Barque Benny ($14) on the brunch menu to the array of meats including brisket, back ribs, sausage, beef ribs and chicken offered at lunch and dinner. Sample it all on platters ($26 per person/$48 per couple) or order a la carte and share enticing apps like smoked duck tacos ($8) and wings ($12) to start. More »
From the same folks behind Grand Electric, this bourbon-fueled joint in Parkdale does Southern-inspired favourites from both the fryer and the cooker. On the menu under "Bar-B-Que" you'll find selections like cowboy beef ribs (MP), pork side ribs ($14.50), rib ends ($7) and pig tails ($10.50). More »
On Dupont, this hideaway behind Rose & Sons keeps the outdoor cook-out vibe going year-round. The menu is anything but traditional, but it'll certainly satisfy your carnal urge for fire-licked meats. While the selection changes seasonally, expect to find slabs of baby back ribs ($32/full, $17/half) dressed with unusual accoutrements like pecorino, walnut, sage and pears, as well as grilled specialties like flank steak or whole fish. More »
Both a food truck and a permanent restaurant in The Beach(es) are devoted to smokehouse standards. Accompanied by a full range of classic sides, the menu boasts drool-inducing sandwiches loaded with coarsely shredded brisket or saucy Carolina pork ($15-$16), and meaty delicacies served a la carte, or on sampler platters starting from $56 for any four meats and three sides. More »
The seductive scent of hardwood smoke will lure you into this smokehouse on the Danforth where you'll find sauce-slathered ribs by the whole ($28) or half rack ($18), and Carolina-style pulled pork piled high on a bun ($12). Don't worry if you find yourself elbow-deep in sauce - wet naps are in no short supply. More »
In Etobicoke, this BBQ joint is well loved for smoke-infused, bark encrusted meats, including dry-rubbed, Kansas City style ribs ($12/half or $20/full), and fat-ribboned pork and beef brisket that's so tender it can be torn by hand with almost no effort. Try to save room for the sides, too - selections include baked beans, creamy slaw and red skin potato salad. More »
Part of the Big Bone BBQ family of restaurants, this offshoot in Woodbridge serves up saucy sandwiches stacked with pulled pork or brisket ($8.75) along with smoked wings ($9.75/lb) finished on the grill and glazed in fiery red sauce. Not to be missed are the competition-grade ribs sold three, six or nine bones at a time ($9.75-$19). More »
This uptown smokehouse near Yonge and Lawrence adopts regional styles from across the Southern U.S. barbecue belt. Order meats like the Lexington pulled pork ($10) and the sweet and salty Memphis brisket ($10) a la carte, or have them both on the Ultimate Platter ($64) with baby back ribs, charcoal chicken, smoky molasses beans, mac and cheese, fries and dinner rolls. More »