Do you smell that? We think… someone is grilling! Oh yes, Chicago, the air is warmer, the grass is greener, and that means it’s finally barbecue season—and we couldn’t be more excited. But, since not all of you can get to a grill—or maybe you don’t want to—our friends at Yelp Chicago have you covered with the best spots around the city to experience barbecue, even if you can’t cook it yourself.
This is the granddaddy of all smoked meats, and you should be prepared to wait in line at all hours of the day. This Texas-style barbecue joint makes everything good: the ribs are good, the sandwiches are good, the meat is good, and even the smoked salmon is good (and should be tried no matter what you think of smoked salmon). 112 N. Green St., 312-754-0431
This spot is literally quite the mouthful to say, but it’s worth the struggle. This isn’t just barbecue–it’s Filipino barbecue, and that means you can have something indulgent like a bowl of brisket Bi Bim Bop. 4009 N. Albany Ave., 312-857-4221
Let’s be fair, this wouldn’t be a Chicago barbecue list if it didn’t include the Smoque. Get something smoked, get something grilled, get a side of baked beans, and dig in. Plus, it’s BYOB, so make sure you come prepared to wash down the meaty meal you’re about to have. 3800 N. Pulaski Road, Ste. 2, 773-545-7427
When you’re aching for a trio of sliders, perfectly grilled and perfectly presented, we recommend a trip to the Q. We can’t stop eating them, and because they’re tiny, they have less calories, right? (Right.) If that’s not doing it for you, and you’re looking for a taste of everything, try the BBQ Flight: prime brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken. Oh, and did we mention they have homemade barbecue chips that are not only incredible but bottomless? You can make a meal out of just those… but, don’t, as you’ll miss out on everything else. 1160 N. Dearborn St., 312-642-1160
Blackwood proudly declares that, “We source only the finest ingredients and smoke our meat for 14 hours—taking our time, so that you can savor yours.” It’s true, too—even their mac n’ cheese takes a cool four hours to make. They’re renowned for their soft, tender, and flavorful brisket, but their previously mentioned mac and cheese is legendary, they pull a mean pork and chicken, and if you come on the weekend, you can get that Fred Flintstone-style full rack of ribs. 962 W. Belmont Ave., 312-487-4807
You’ve got to have a lot of guts to call yourself BBQ Supply, and this spot holds up. They do all styles of barbecue and sides from ribs to sausage and smoked beans to mac n’ cheese, as well as a whole slew of sauces like South Carolina, Kansas City, and BBQ. They even do smoked tacos if that’s what you’re into. 6954 N. Western Ave., 773-675-1410
Alex Shebar is the Sr. Community Director for Yelp in Chicago. Helping businesses get the most out of the site is his passion. He also curates local events intended to spread positive word of mouth for the many local businesses that dot the Chicago culinary landscape. Follow @YelpChicago on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And use the hashtag #YelpChicago when posting your food p0rn around the web.
photography via yelp.com user Christopher V. on Yelp.com/Blackwood BBQ; yelp.com user Marissa G. on yelp.com/BBQ Supply Chicago; via yelp.com user Elsie W. on yelp.com/Smalls Smoke Shake & More; via yelp.com user Michael B. on yelp.com/Smoque BBQ Chicago; via business owner on yelp.com/Chicago Q; via yelp.com user s m. on yelp.com/Green Street Smoked Meats