Looking for the best BBQ in Pittsburgh? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ll admit it – while Pittsburgh is known for a lot of great things, BBQ isn’t exactly one of them. But just because it doesn’t happen to be synonymous with our city doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really spectacular places in town to find fall-off-the-bone ribs, finger-licking sauce, and mouthwatering brisket that will make you want to cry real tears of happiness.
Sure, Texas, Kansas City and North Carolina may have earned their reputations as BBQ meccas, but we’re doing just fine up here, thank you very much.
The Ultimate Guide to the Best BBQ in Pittsburgh
This incredibly popular BBQ joint on the North Side is incredibly popular for a reason – you’re going to have an amazing meal here, full stop. This tiny take-out shop has a limited menu of ribs and chicken with a few sides, and they do run out regularly. Get there early. Get there often. Just get there.
Wilson’s Bar-B-Que (700 N. Taylor Avenue)
The Dream BBQ
You’ll walk right past the smokers of pork ribs, turkey ribs and chicken to get to this Homewood restaurant, where you’ll find classic barbecue favorites on the menu (the turkey ribs are divine). Carry out or eat in the restaurant, and get there early in the day to avoid missing the most popular dishes. On the side dish menu, the Mac & Cheese, potato salad, and greens are standouts.
The Dream BBQ (7600 N. Braddock Avenue)
Pittsburgh Barbecue Company
With two carryout locations (one on Banksville Road and one in Murraysville), Pittsburgh Barbecue Company has been serving up up smoked Carolina-style BBQ every season for more than a decade. The company uses a 17-spice dry rub on their famous ribs, and a vinegar based sauce. On the menu you’ll find ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork (by the pound or as a sandwich), and homemade sides, including Mac & Cheese, baked beans, cole slaw and corn bread.
Pittsburgh Barbecue Company (various locations)
The Hill District
People go crazy over the ribs at this tiny Hill District takeout and eat-in spot, and their BBQ chicken is some of the city’s best (don’t forget to order some wings, too). Those are the two main dishes served here, along with sides like green beans, collard greens, sweet potatoes, cabbage and cole slaw.
Z-Best Barbeque (1315 5th Avenue)
Two Brothers Bar-BQ
BBQ meats smoked in a real hickory smoke pit are what’s on the menu at this tiny takeout trailer (they have picnic tables in the back for enjoying your meal). The ribs are incredibly tender, but still have a bite to them – a tough balancing act that they’ve mastered. The smoked chicken is also a star of the menu. Side dishes that you can’t miss include Mesquite baked beans, Mac & Cheese and cornbread cake. They also have a food truck now, too.
Two Brothers BBQ (5228 Thoms Run Road, Presto)
Selma’s Texas Barbeque
You’ll find old-school BBQ favorites at Selma’s Texas Barbecue in Moon Township, with meats and chicken that’s been hand-rubbed with seasonings and smoked up to 14 hours in their Hickory wood smoker. All of their sides are made from scratch, including their Mac & Cheese, fresh-cut French fries, and baked beans – and their cole slaw and potato salad recipes are mixed from a long-held family recipe. Sauces include Kansas City Style, Hot Memphis Style, Carolina Mustard Style, Texas Cowboy Style and more, and their fresh-baked desserts (and fresh-brewed sweet tea) are a must-get.
Selma’s Texas Barbeque (9155 University Blvd., Moon)
South Side BBQ Company
South Side BBQ Company is both a sit-down restaurant and a regularly-roaming food truck, serving up St. Louis-style ribs, BBQ chicken, smoked brisket, pulled pork and pulled chicken. Corn on the cob, sweet cornbread, grilled sweet potatoes and North Carolina slaw round out the restaurant menu. On the truck, you’ll find BBQ-style sandwiches, like their Redneck Club, a monster dish made with both pulled pork and brisket, and their Pittsburgh-famous Bar-B-Cones, a sweet waffle cone stuffed with pulled pork.
South Side BBQ Company (75 S. 17th Street)
Showcase BBQ is known for their out-of-this-world ribs, smoked right outside the shop. They also serve chicken, wings, and turkey, and they have sandwiches on the menu, too. Their house BBQ has a nice sweetness to it, with a little bit of spice at the end. And the sides? You’re going to find Red Beans & Rice, yams, Broccoli & Cheese, baked beans, potato salad, Macaroni & Cheese and more – and they’re all really, really good. The restaurant is mostly take-out, though there are a few seats for eating in.
Showcase BBQ (6800 Frankstown Avenue)
Pork & Beans
Richard DeShantz’s Pork & Beans brings solid BBQ dishes to the downtown crowd. Stop in for brisket (our favorite), ribs, pulled pork, Pastrami pork belly, tri-tip, sausage of the day, or beer can chicken, all served family-style. They also have a killer sandwich selection (fried chicken with hot honey is a must), and side dishes like broccoli salad, burnt end beans, and loaded potato salad. And their cocktail program, with their rotating list of frozen slushy-style drinks, is a must.
Pork & Beans (136 6th Street)
Barbecue from the “coastal plains of Georgia” is what you’ll find at YinzBurgh BBQ in Bloomfield, a small shop that specializes in Southern-style BBQ. YinzBurgh meats are rubbed with a special blend of house spices, then smoked low and slow on hardwood. And everything is served with the sauce on the side (there are six homemade varieties to choose from). The menu includes pulled pork, beef brisket, baby back ribs, and chicken, and vegan and vegetarian items aren’t an afterthought there – you’ll find smoked tofu and plenty of side dishes to enjoy.
YinzBurgh BBQ (4903 Baum Blvd.)
It’s definitely worth the drive (about an hour from Pittsburgh) to this Blairsville BBQ restaurant. Here, you’ll find barbecue cooked over a hardwood fire, and a house sauce that can’t be beat. They have traditional pork ribs, boneless country ribs, chicken and pulled pork, and side dishes that include garlic mashed potatoes, baked beans, pasta salad, chili and fresh-baked rolls. Blairsville bonus: While you’re in town, head to Dean’s Diner for dessert, and some of the best coconut cream pie in the state.
Clem’s Cafe (1985 US-22, Blairsville)
Smoked brisket and homemade biscuits are on the menu at Brisketburgh, a mobile food truck that makes regular appearances at the Millvale Food Truck Park, and various spots around the city. Get their 14-hour smoked brisket on a biscuit slider, served with a Pittsburgh Pickle Co. pickle, along with baked Mac & Cheese and sesame green beans. Their fresh-baked mini biscuits, topped with maple vanilla butter or homemade jam, is the perfect dessert.
Blowfish BBQ brings their BBQ to you! They set up their wood-fire smoker at breweries and festivals all over town, with a menu of ribs and chicken, all prepared “low and slow.” They also sell sides of baked Mac & Cheese, potato salad, and more Follow them on Twitter to find out where they’ll be.
There’s a lot to love at this Warrendale restaurant, from the traditional smoked meats (ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork and sausage are all ordered by the pound), to the non-traditional daily specials, which can range from smoked pork belly with an Asian glaze to pork rinds with a kimchi dipping sauce. They also have a ramen noodle bowl that seems like it would be out of place at a BBQ restaurant, but somehow fits in perfectly. And for dessert? You’ve got to try their homemade ice cream.
Mitch’s BBQ (16070 Perry Highway, Warrendale)
Need even more excellent BBQ? Be on the lookout for Spork Pit (from the owners of Spork) opening in Garfield later this summer, Walter’s Barbecue, opening later this year in Lawrenceville, and Choppin’ Block, a lunchtime takeout spot that will be coming soon in the Strip District.
Did we miss your favorite BBQ restaurant? Let us know in the comments!
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