The long weekend is soon approaching, and frolicking in the cool Hamptons waters and firing up the grill are surely top of mind. Stuck in the city this weekend? Don’t despair — you can still enjoy the pleasures of backyard barbecue … restaurant-style. So without further ado, we present Our 10 Best NYC Barbecue Restaurants.
10. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: The first Dinosaur Bar-B-Que was founded by a couple of bikers in Syracuse back in the 1980s, and this branch is appropriately decked out with biker regalia. While the spot doesn’t serve the city’s best ‘cue (the pulled pork isn’t bad, though), it offers a cheery and boisterous environment (often packed with Columbia University students), with 20 beers on tap and lots of fun to be had. 700 West 125th Street, 212-694-1777
9. The Smoke Joint: The chopped-beef sandwich stands out on the menu of this Brooklyn barbecue restaurant, as do the Flintstone-size beef ribs. Also noteworthy are the hot links, Brooklyn-style Buffalo wings, roasted corn on the cob, and its general welcoming vibe. Here, small batches and lots of wood (mainly maple) mean good ‘cue. 87 South Elliot Place, Brooklyn, 718-797-1011
8. R.U.B.: Don’t be deterred by its pompous name, which stands for “Righteous Urban Barbecue.” The ribs done Kansas City-style are quite good, and so are the sausages, though you never know which of the three (hot links, spicy barbecue, Italian sausage) will be available at this Chelsea spot. 208 West 23rd Street, 212-524-4300
7. Daisy May’s BBQ: Barbecue guru Adam Perry Lang set up shop on the far west side of the city to dish up his ‘cue. The ribs are finger-licking good, and the sides (collards, corn, mac ‘n’ cheese) here are actually better than at most barbecue joints. 623 Eleventh Avenue, 212-977-1500
6. Rack and Soul: This joint project of Harlem’s Charles’ Southern Kitchen and barbecuist John Wheeler blends soul food and barbecue. The fried chicken is, naturally, crispy and moist, but parts of the ‘cue menu — like the pulled pork and the excellent baby-back ribs — are even better. 2818 Broadway, 212-222-4800
5. Blue Smoke: Danny Meyer has shown that he can run a barbecue place just as well as one of his many fine-dining establishments. And given his Midwestern upbringing, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Kansas City spare ribs at this Gramercy restaurant are delicious, saucy, and succulent. The pulled pork platter isn’t bad, either. Fancy spiced potato chips with blue cheese dip and the iceberg wedges also make for great sides. 116 East 27th Street, 212-447-7733
4. Mable’s Smokehouse: Take one glance at the counter for dispensing meat, and you know this place means business. Chalked on a board above the counter, the menu features only four meats, a list of sides that sometimes don’t suck, and a scattering of bar snacks consistent with the smoked-meat ethos. Sausages are salty and scrumptious, plus Mable’s even offers chili con queso. 44 Berry Street, Brooklyn, 718-218-6655
3. Fatty ‘Cue: Who would have thought that American barbecue would match so well with Southeast Asian flavors? Obviously Zak Pelaccio, who opened this South Williamsburg nook a few years back. And given the restaurant’s tasty crisp smoked duck with red curry, fatty and flavorful coriander bacon, and the noodles in meat broth, we’re mighty glad he did. 91 South 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-599-3090
2. Hill Country: This institution succeeds in perfectly re-creating Central Texas barbecue, emulating Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas. Brisket and beef shoulder are the cuts to order here, along with the refreshing cucumber salad, and maybe the green-bean casserole. Grab a slice of white bread and wrap up the ‘cue. Then sit back and enjoy the country crooning. 30 West 26th Street, 212-255-4544
1. Fette Sau: Who wouldn’t love a restaurant whose name means “fat pig”? At this Williamsburg warehouse, the meat selection is naturally porky but also quirky (head and tails are common) and often features boutique meats. The smoky ‘cue comes on a plain tray on a sheet of butcher paper, with two sauces available for self-service. Sides (save for salty pickles) are always great, plus an excellent whiskey selection and snappy cocktails cut through the richness of the meal. What more could you want from a barbecue restaurant? Maybe a day off the day after your meal to recuperate — oh wait, you have that, too. 354 Metropolitan Avenue Brooklyn, 718-963-3404
Happy Memorial Day weekend!