As Tupac once rapped, "I see no changes... except for in the Chicago BBQ scene, particularly over the last year." And Tupac's right (of course he is): in just the last year, we said goodbye (Honey 1 BBQ) and hello (Dinosaur) to enough 'cue-eries that we thought it was time for a revised list of Chicago's best BBQ joints for 2015. The list has expanded to 12 spots -- and we've included which smoky meat you should eat at each of them.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

South Side-style is cooked over a live fire in a glass-walled smoker, and it’s all about pork -- ribs, yes, but also two scrap meats from the stockyards -- rib tips, and the spicy sausages called hot links -- served under white bread and over fries, and swimming in sweet-hot sauce (unless you ask for it to be left out). Be prepared to take it to-go -- there’s rarely seating, and money and ‘cue are usually exchanged through bulletproof glass (more info on the South Side-style, here).
 

5. Bro-N-Laws

Humboldt Park
What you're getting: Rib tips and links
With Honey 1 BBQ now departed for the South Side, this is the closest example of South Side-style BBQ you can get north of the Eisenhower Expressway. It offers tasty, smoky rib tips and links and keeps a second, no-pork smoker for folks in the area who don’t eat pork (they get “west side steak”).
 

4. Uncle J's Bar B Que

Grand Boulevard
What you're getting: Rib tips and links
The South Side’s beloved Uncle John’s is gone, but luckily it spawned heirs among different members of pitmaster Mack Sevier’s family, and this one -- run by his daughter and her family -- is, for one thing, the easiest to get to (right off the Dan Ryan). The rib tips and sage-tinged smoky hot links are awfully close to Dad’s, and so is the sweet-hot sauce.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

3. Crazy Bird Chicken

East Garfield Park
What you're getting: Rib tips, fried chicken, and caramel cake
As you might guess from the name, this is a fried chicken and soul food-sides place first and foremost, but owner Larry Tucker was one of Chicago’s great names in BBQ in the '90s, and he fires up a glass smoker on weekends to recall those glory days (call ahead to make sure -- or don't, the worst that can happen is you wind up with some tasty fried chicken).

FLICKR/ELLIS CALVIN

2. Barbara Ann's BBQ

South Side, Greater Grand Crossing
What you're getting: Rib tips/links combo
Recently re-opened, this BBQ stand attached to a motel (let your imagination roam) does fine ribs and tips, but the move is the sage-flecked hot links created by former pitmaster Mack Sevier, who went on to own (now-closed) Uncle John’s.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

1. Lem's Bar-B-Q

South Side, Grand Crossing
What you're getting: Ribs and rib tips
The city’s oldest BBQ stand helped establish the rib tip as Chicago’s bargain BBQ meat of choice, but the real glory here is a stack of juicy, smoky spare ribs in the vinegary sauce that put Lem's on the map back in the 1940s.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

Call it "BBQ for the Food Network era"; in the last decade, the North Side has seen an explosion of places synthesizing the best-loved barbecue styles from around the country, with Texas-style brisket next to Memphis pulled pork and ribs, and mustardy sauces from the Carolinas... if you swing that way. Here’re the top seven that pay tribute to tradition, while taking it in their own directions.
 

7. Blackwood BBQ

Loop, West Loop
What you're getting: Brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken
Real BBQ in the Loop? What sorcery is this? In a pair of fast food-like locations (the new patio-equipped shop sits near Union Station), these guys dish up freshly smoked brisket, pulled pork, and more, all of which you will take back to the office to make your coworkers insanely jealous. Just be sure to get yours by 3pm, when the shops close.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

6. Chicago Q

Near North Side
What you're getting: Baby back or St. Louis ribs, Kobe brisket, BBQ shrimp & grits, and dessert
Easily the swankest barbecue spot in Chicago right now, Chicago Q feels like a place you’d go to watch the Derby... if you owned a horse running in it. Competition BBQ champion Lee Ann Whippen’s ‘cue is strongest on ribs and the lusciously fatty (American Kobe, not Wagyu) brisket, but the Southern sides are plenty good too, and you want to leave room for the carrot cake.
 

5. Green Street Smoked Meats

West Loop
What you're getting: Brisket, hot links, and Frito pie
Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff breaks out the honky-tonkyest faux-roadhouse a city of eight million ever saw. Brisket, pulled pork, and the juicy hot link are all first-rate -- the ribs less so -- but if you just want a trashy quickie from the bar, get the Frito pie loaded with the brisket chili.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

4. Pork Shoppe

Avondale, Andersonville
What you're getting: Brisket, pulled pork, and pork belly sandwich
The pork belly sandwich -- thick slices of smoky bacon-to-be piled on a sandwich -- is the OMFG on the menu, but beyond that, this is a good, overlooked spot that does quality brisket (including brisket tacos) and pulled pork. Well, maybe not that overlooked, since it just opened a second location in BBQ-starved Andersonville.

Mike Gebert/Thrillist

3. Husky Hog BBQ

Bridgeport
What you're getting: Brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and fried green tomatoes
With his South Side location in the shadow of the Sox, Memphis-area native Joe Woodel explains about 50 times a day that he’s not serving South Side Chicago tips and links -- instead, this is Tennessee-style pork, chicken, and brisket spot, with an impressive array of sauces and some very tasty Southern sides.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

2. Smalls

Irving Park
What you're getting: Brisket, brisket bibimbap, pulled pork, fried chicken, and garlic rice
Texas barbecue with Asian sides proves to be an inspired combination (who really needed cole slaw, anyway?), and it’s no disrespect to the meat to say that it’s the one BBQ place where I could also be tempted away by fried chicken -- it’s great, too. No seating, but you can head over to the bar next door and have your 'cue brought over.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

1. Smoque

Irving Park
What you're getting: Brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis ribs, and Rudy Mikeska sausage
Smoque kicked off the BBQ movement on the North Side not quite a decade ago, delivering great Texas-style ‘cue. It still has lines out the door today, but it's a model for customer service in a busy joint. No Chicago BBQ tour would be complete without a visit to this spot.
 
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Mike Gebert is a James Beard Award-winning food video producer and writer and Founder of SkyFullofBacon.com. Follow him on Twitter @skyfullofbacon.

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1. Bro-N-Laws BBQ 3820 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60651 (Humboldt Park)

With Honey 1 BBQ now departed from the South Side, this is the closest example of South Side-style BBQ you can get north of the Eisenhower Expressway. It offers tasty, smoky rib tips and links and keeps a second, no-pork smoker for folks in the area who don’t eat pork (they get “west side steak”).

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2. Uncle J's Bar B Que 502 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60615 (South Chicago)

The South Side’s beloved Uncle John’s is gone, but luckily it spawned heirs among different members of pitmaster Mack Sevier’s family, and this one -- run by his daughter and her family -- is, for one thing, the easiest to get to (right off the Dan Ryan). The rib tips and sage-tinged smoky hot links are awfully close to Dad’s, and so is the sweet-hot sauce.

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3. Crazy Bird Chicken 1138 S California Ave, Chicago, IL 60612 (Garfield Park)

As you might guess from the name, this is a fried chicken and soul food-sides place first and foremost, but owner Larry Tucker was one of Chicago’s great names in BBQ in the '90s, and he fires up a glass smoker on weekends to recall those glory days (call ahead to make sure -- or don't, the worst that can happen is you wind up with some tasty fried chicken).

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4. Barbara Ann's BBQ 7617 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60619 (Near South Side)

Mack Sevier helped create the recipes that make this divey BBQ joint attached to a motel so mouth-wateringly great. Try the sage-dusted hot links, or the ribs and tips, for that authentic BBQ flavor with a creative edge.

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5. Lem's BBQ House 311 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619 (South Chicago)

Lem's has racked up throngs of fans since it opened in 1954 thanks to its juicy BBQ ribs, which are served out of a retro roadside stand complete with a tall, neon-lit sign. This South Side institution still tops its meats -- from hot links and rib tips to chicken and shrimp -- with the original spicy BBQ sauce that late owner Myles Lemons created back in the 1940s. Prepare for large portions at small prices, and to take your order with you -- this tiny counter doesn't have seating.

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6. Blackwood BBQ 305 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60606 (Loop)

Blackwood BBQ is like a cross between Chipotle and a smoked-meat palace, offering you the chance to customize your barbecue experience in the form of sandwiches, platters, and salads, all dressed with a wide variety of regional sauces, from the Alabama-style white sauce and spicy Kansas City blend to the signature hot and sweet Chicago sauce simmered with Old Style lager.

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7. Chicago Q 1160 N Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60610 (Gold Coast)

A solid member of Chi's increasingly crowded smoked-meat scene, Chi Q gets fancy with spartan black leather furniture and white linen light fixtures. The gut-busting plates feature fare like bacon/cheddar hushpuppies, pork-infused "pig powder chips", and seriously good Brussels sprouts.

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8. Green Street Smoked Meats 112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

Down an alley off Restaurant Row, Green Street serves Texas-style smokehouse barbecue in a spacious, warehouse location. Like the smoked meats, the restaurant decor is reminiscent of the Lone Star State with exposed brick and iron pipe fixtures. The pulled pork and brisket are the way to go, especially with sides like spicy pickles and coleslaw. In a departure from the Texan recipes that rule the smoker, the beer selection is mostly made up of Midwestern craft brews, but there are Southern-inspired cocktails like bourbon sweet tea.

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9. Husky Hog BBQ 335 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616

What used to be only a food truck, this Bridgeport meatery dishes out the same splendid fare (and more) that originated from their truck, including their famous juicy ribs and pulled pork, as well as deep-fried Oreos and smoked corn on the cob so good, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered eating corn any other way.

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10. Smalls 4009 N Albany Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Irving Park)

Smalls is a Filipino smoke shack that's got a tasty mix of American barbecue and Asian comfort food in a snug Irving Park space. If you are looking for a menu full of unique cuisine, a cozy atmosphere, and some of the best food in Chicago, look no further than Smalls.

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11. Smoque BBQ 3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641 (Irving Park)

This Texas-style barbecue joint in Irving Park kicked off the smoked meat movement on the North Side in the mid-aughts, and it's been delivering great brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis ribs, and Rudy Mikeska sausage ever since. Smoque still has lines out the door because it's a must-stop on any eating tour of Chicago. FYI: it's BYOB so bring a frosty six-pack to fend off the inevitable meat sweats.

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12. Pork Shoppe 5721 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660 (Andersonville)

This 38-seat outlet of porcine goodness is decked out with mounted farm tools and pig diagrams in a barn-like space. Smoked baby back ribs, pulled pig & fowl, Texas-style brisket, and sliced steak dominate the menu alongside a choice of three different sauces: molasses-based Sweet & Sticky, vinegar-y Tart & Tangy, and Wicked Spicy. Atop a fluffy brioche bun, meaty, fatty bacon that's been cured for ten days a smoked for 12 hours meets pastrami on what is undoubtedly one of the best sandwiches in the city.

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