The jury's out on which city produces the best barbecue in the nation. Is it sweet North Carolina pulled pork? Smoky Kansas City ribs? Or that charred goodness of Texas brisket?
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The beautiful thing about New York is it's a town full of transplants. Some of the best in the BBQ biz have made their way to the city to offer you amazing smoked goodness in all the classic styles. Take a look at our favorites.
Hometown Bar-B-Que (Red Hook)
Nestled in Red Hook, the little coastal community just southeast of Downtown Brooklyn, lies Hometown Bar-B-Que. If you've contemplated a day trip to the neighborhood, this restaurant alone is worth the journey. Though the entire menu is delightful, you'll sincerely regret not getting the beef brisket.
If you time it right, the “brisket baron” may even have just pulled a fresh slab out of the oven and will throw you a free taste when you finally make your way up to the front of the line. Rich, melt-in-your-mouth goodness, with a sweet-and-savory, crunchy rub. Close your eyes and for a second you just might think you're in Texas. Pair it with a side of collard greens and some banana pudding, then go enjoy a nice food coma stroll down by the water.
Mighty Quinn's (East Village)
If southern barbecue is what you're looking for, head to Mighty Quinn's. This establishment has a few satellite restaurants throughout the city, but its East Village location is the oldest and, we feel, the best. Try their pulled pork, and pair it with an order of sweet potato casserole, complete with a heaping dose of marshmallows, brown sugar and pecans. Also noteworthy are the baked beans, which are prepared with burnt ends from their stellar brisket.
Fette Sau (Williamsburg – North Side)
The pulled pork's a favorite here, although the brisket and ribs are stellar as well. Fette Sau has a couple nice touches that set it apart from the field, like the picnic tables stationed outside, perfect for a beautiful day, and the Hawaiian rolls that complement each meal. The inside of the restaurant is styled like a classic Texas barbecue joint, with long, communal tables and a smoky aroma that permeates each corner of the restaurant. Not to be missed if you're in Williamsburg.
BrisketTown (Williamsburg – South Side)
True to its name, Delaney Barbecue's BrisketTown is all about the brisket, so much so that they offer two different cuts: lean and fat. While we here at Forkit preferred the fattier iteration, it's nice to have choices in this arena. A standout side is BrisketTown's cranberry slaw, which is sweet, tart, and refreshing, and pairs nicely with the smoky meats.
Butcher Bar (Astoria)
Burnt ends may be the most addictive item in the vast barbecue arsenal, and nobody does them better in New York than Butcher Bar. Order a half-pound of these and we can guarantee you'll be smitten—and fiending for more. If you've happened to tote along an unfortunate soul who isn't head-over-heels for barbecue, Butcher Bar even offers a Philly Cheese Brisket Sandwich, topped with caramelized onions and muenster cheese.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Harlem)
Some have called the ribs you'll find at this Harlem staple the best in New York, and we'd be far-pressed to disagree. There's so much smoky, meaty flavor in these bad boys that you'll find yourself without the urge to reach for the barbecue sauce bottle. What's more, you'll find that, like the name, your mannerisms will hearken back to prehistoric times, as the bones themselves are so good you'll suck each one clean for a good five minutes like a caveman. And for the wings aficionados, Dinosaur's smoked offerings will change your perspective for the better.
The one drawback to barbecue is that it's tedious and time-consuming to prepare. The bright side is, there are plenty of delicious establishments all over the city that have put in the time and effort to concoct some truly incredible smoked creations. Now, all you have to do is head over, take a look at the menu, sit down, and enjoy. The sun's shining, it's 70 degrees, and barbecue season is upon us.