Feature

The 9 Must-Try BBQ Dishes in Boston

By Scott Kearnan  |  July 13, 2015

It's summer, the weather's warm — and the barbecue's hot. From pulled pork to beef brisket, here are some of our favorite spots to find whatever Q calls your name. 

Feedbag at Blue Ribbon BBQ

Consider yourself warned: you're not going to finish this on your own. When it comes to large take-out orders — you know, for game days and lazy backyard Sundays — Blue Ribbon has a winning combo of quality, price and consistency. The Feedbag feeds four (or maybe more) for $59.99: you get a slab of St. Louis–style ribs, a half-chicken, one pint of barbecued meats (from choices like pulled pork or smoked sausage), rolls, cornbread, a half-pint of housemade pickles and half-pints of several sauces for slathering. Party planning: accomplished. 
Must-order side: Cool off with some great coleslaw. 

1375 Washington St., West Newton; 617-332-2583
908 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington; 781-648-7427

Burnt ends at Blackstrap BBQ

Two alums of East Coast Grill, the perennial hot spot for heat-seekers, are behind this 'cue outfit in neighboring Winthrop. Its name refers to the variety of molasses used in its sauce, so get the burnt ends — they're smoked over smoldering oak and then soaked in the good stuff. 
Must-order side: Keep an eye on the specials, which include unique barbecue-inspired bites like fried mushrooms with garlic-chile aïoli and corn and cheddar soufflé with bacon-maple butter.

47A Woodside Ave., Winthrop617-207-1783

Smoked wings at Causeway

Fly over to the West End's bi-level barbecue palace for some impressive smoked wings (also available boneless) slathered with your choice of sauce: Sriracha, sweet and spicy mustard, black pepper–honey Buffalo or cherry tree. 
Must-order side: As the Sriracha makes apparent, there are some interesting Asian inflections to be found at this BBQ spot. For sides, check out the edamame succotash, a surprisingly delicious mash-up.

65 Causeway St.; 617-227-9100 

Texas Rachel in a Skirt at Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

Chef John Delpha knows his way around the competitive BBQ circuit, and he brings his barbecue IQ to this recently renovated Somerville diner. Meet Texas Rachel: she's sloppy and messy — but marvelous. The sandwich (pictured at top) features smoked brisket on rye with BBQ onions, horseradish "wonder sauce" and creamy slaw. 
Must-order side: Again, some interesting Asian influence accompanies the fried pickles, served here with a kimchi mayo. 

381 Summer St., Somerville; 617-629-9500

Pulled pork at Sweet Cheeks Q

In early fall Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison will open her Southeast Asian–focused restaurant Tiger Mama next door. In the meanwhile, we'll enjoy kicking back at her barbecue spot's awesome beer garden with our favorite pulled pork (pictured below) in Boston: full of flavor and waiting to sop up some of Faison's fantastic housemade sauces.
Must-order side: Legendary for a reason, the giant bucket o' biscuits with honey butter is a "New Classic" in the local dining scene. 

1381 Boylston St.; 617-266-1300

Pork ribs at M&M Ribs

Who knew a food truck was where to find some of the best pork ribs in Boston? Head here to find the schedule for the mobile BBQ kitchen, an unassuming but awesome spot for rib-sticking stuff. 
Must-order side: Two words — candied yams. You're welcome. 

Smoked beef brisket at Redbones

The Somerville staple has built itself a red-hot reputation, but we especially recommend the beef brisket, wood-smoked for 14 hours — and washed down with nearly 30 beers on tap. 
Must-order side: No, no one actually calls Boston "Beantown." But if you're gonna get some BBQ baked beans, get 'em here. 

55 Chester St., Somerville; 617-628-2200

Hickory roast chicken at Soulfire

Sweet-smoky hickory lends fantastic flavor to the roasted half-chicken at this pair of barbecue joints, firing up birds — among other platter-ready meats — at locations in Allston and Mission Hill. 
Must-order side: What's better than creamy mac 'n' cheese? Fried creamy mac 'n' cheese — that's what. 

128 Harvard Ave., Allston; 617-787-3003
737 Huntington Ave.; 617-232-8000

Skewers at WOW Barbecue

No one said we had to stick to just Southern barbecue. For something a little different, head to WOW in Malden — or find its progenitor food truck — for fantastic Chinese barbecue skewers of meats like beef, lamb and chicken.
Must-order side: This is probably the only barbecue place where you'll find marinated jellyfish head served with smashed yam and blueberry sauce. 

184 Salem St., Malden; 781-605-2766