Though New York City isn’t home to a particular style of barbecue, it has welcomed the likes of many giants from across the country. Kansas City-style, Texas brisket and Eastern Carolina whole hog—it’s all here.
Here’s where to get the best of the best:
What It Is: Per their website, “The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que began life in 1983 as a mobile concession stand using a 55-gallon drum cut in half.” There are currently nine locations—New York City locals can find them throughout Brooklyn and Harlem.
What Our Inspectors Say: “The scent of wood smoke wafting through the red brick structure (which coincidentally once served as a meatpacking warehouse) only heightens the diners' carnivorous cravings.”
What to Order: As it’s Texas-style, best to get the brisket. Also of note, per our inspectors: “Minimize decision making and order the Extreme Sampler: a heaping feast of apple cider-brined smoked chicken, dry-rubbed slow-smoked pork ribs and lean Creekstone Farms brisket. Add on a creative side or two—perhaps the barbecue fried rice studded with bits of pulled pork?
What It Is: Bodyguard-turned-pitmaster Bill Durney’s Red Hook haven for meats smoked over oak wood.
What Our Inspectors Say: “The trek to Red Hook is worth it once you get a taste of this Texas 'cue. Pitmaster Bill Durney is doing the Longhorn State proud with his smoked brisket that will rock your world.”
What to Order: Meat that comes by the half-pound: choose from brisket, pulled pork, lamb belly or turkey. Also on the menu: ribs, Vietnamese hot wings, brisket tacos and thick slab pastrami bacon.
What It Is: Pitmaster Tyson Ho’s 3,000-square-foot beer garden that celebrates traditional North Carolina BBQ.
What Our Inspectors Say: “A boon to this otherwise industrial warehouse neighborhood, Arrogant Swine’s whitewashed brick walls and rows of picnic tables steadily fill with hungry patrons. Striking exterior wall murals and the aroma of sweet smoke both impress from the approach. Heat lamps extend the season for savoring slow-cooked pork outdoors, with rock music and a smoke-fueled barbecue buzz in the background.”
What to Order: Carolina whole hog is what they do best here—an entire pig is slow-smoked over embers and then pulled, chopped and seasoned with vinegar sauce. Sides include pit-smoked beans, collard greens and Kenny G’s waffle-pressed mac-n-cheese served with a side of queso.