Food & Drink

The Best BBQ Spots in Phoenix

Published On 04/27/2015 Published On 04/27/2015

BBQ. It's one of the only true American art forms, and sadly, The Valley (and the West Coast in general) isn't really known for it -- but that doesn't mean we don't have our fair share of gloriously talented practitioners of this succulent craft. Here are some great Phoenix spots to prove it.

Martin Reger

Texas BBQ House

Phoenix

This award-winning barbecue spot delivers terrific Texas-style meat. And by Texas-style, that also means the portion sizes; it offers up affordable food by the half-pound or rack. We can promise you won’t leave hungry.

Arizona BBQ Shack

Arizona BBQ Shack

Central Scottsdale

AZ BBQ Shack is known for its ribs, but the entire menu is pretty phenomenal, from the beef brisket to the pulled pork. Aside from the great food, the casual atmosphere and friendly service are exactly what you’d hope for from a laid-back and affordable barbecue joint.

 

Courtesy of Bobby-Q

Bobby-Q

North Phoenix

Bobby-Q is the perfect setting for the more sophisticated 'cue lover, who wants to sip a glass of wine with their catfish. Portions are generous and the food is great --  and that's not to mention the extensive menu, ensuring that any barbecue you’re craving will likely be accommodated, whether you’re after wood-fired chicken, brisket, or smoked prime rib.

Joe's Real BBQ

Gilbert

Housed in a repurposed church, Joe’s Real BBQ is as authentic as it gets when it comes to atmosphere and taste. The joint's family owned and operated, and has been an East Valley barbecue staple since 1998. Don’t forget to try one of its desserts or the homemade cornbread, which is almost as good as its full slab of ribs.

Pork on a Fork

Pork on a Fork

North Phoenix

Justin Erickson, son of a barbecue champion raised on a Nebraska hog farm, was practically destined to open up a barbecue restaurant. Pork on a Fork began with Justin bringing in meats from that Nebraska hog farm to sell at The Valley farmer’s markets and two years later, he opened the eatery. Now, unsurprisingly, it's one of Phoenix’s most beloved barbecue spots.

Courtesy of Scott Holmes

Little Miss BBQ

Phoenix

The line is long... but that's a good thing, and the impeccable service and delicious, fresh meats make it all so worth it. The meats are the undisputed stars of the show, but you’ll be disappointed if you don’t pair yours with the legendary Jalapeño Cheddar Grits and Bekke's Secret Pecan Pie.

The Barbecue Company Grill & Cafe

The Barbecue Company Grill and Café

Phoenix

The Barbecue Company has been serving Phoenicians bold BBQ flavor for nearly three decades, and has won several national-level awards in the process. It prides itself on its Southwestern take on barbecue that’s not always traditional, but don’t fear -- you’ll find plenty of 'cue classics here as well.

Honey Bear's BBQ

Honey Bear's BBQ

Central Phoenix (two locations)

Honey Bear’s opened in Phoenix in '86 and locals have been singing its praises more or less constantly since that day. Its menu is simple, but the items on it have been near-perfected (like the pulled pork), and its dessert selections are on point too. Food comes in individual servings or by the pound/gallon, in case you want to take your stretchy pants for a test drive.

Frasher's Smokehouse

Frasher’s Smokehouse

Arcadia

This Kansas City style BBQ stop opened in the last couple of years thanks to George Frasher, the man who ran Frasher’s Steakhouse and Lounge for 16 years prior. After seemingly dominating the steak world, he decided to open this casual and rustic spot for barbecue lovers. Diners have been pretty much thanking him ever since in the form of brisket, pulled pork sandwich, and turkey orders (under the “Protein” section of the menu)... and BBQ sauce-stained money and credit cards when it comes time to pay the bill.

Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue 

Cave Creek

This award-winning barbecue joint has some of the best food and the biggest portions in Phoenix. Which is great because anything less than BIG when it comes to BBQ is just not worth the time. But don’t worry: whether you’re getting the half a chicken, the 1/2lb of brisket, or the slabs of pork ribs, you’ll be fully satisfied with what’s filling your plate. Grab some side favorites like the baked potato salad and olive coleslaw to let that food coma really sink in.

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Jamie Killin is a Phoenix writer and food lover. Follow her on Twitter @jamiekillin or on Instagram @jamiefayekillin.

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1. Texas BBQ House 5037 S 24th St Ste 3, Phoenix, AZ 85040

This award-winning barbecue house delivers a taste of Texas that won’t disappoint. Everything’s bigger in Texas and this restaurant brings that attitude to Phoenix by offering up affordable food by the half-pound or rack -- we can promise you won’t leave hungry.

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2. Arizona BBQ Shack 8471 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 (North Scottsdale)

Arizona BBQ Shack is known for its ribs, but the entire menu is phenomenal, from the beef brisket to the pulled pork. Aside from the great food, the casual atmosphere and friendly service are exactly what you’d hope for from a laid-back and affordable barbecue joint.

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3. Bobby-Q 8501 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051 (North Phoenix)

Bobby-Q is the perfect setting for the more sophisticated BBQ lover, who wants a glass of wine with their catfish. The generous portions and great quality food will make you want to keep coming back. Not to mention, the menu is extensive, so any barbecue you’re craving will likely be accommodated -- whether you’re looking for wood-fired chicken, brisket, or smoked prime rib.

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4. Joe's Real BBQ 301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234 (Gilbert)

Housed in a re-purposed church, Joe’s Real BBQ is authentic as it gets when it comes to atmosphere and taste. Joe’s is family owned and operated, and has been an East Valley barbecue staple since 1998. Don’t forget to try one of its desserts or the homemade cornbread, which are almost as good as its meats!

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5. Pork on a Fork 1515 W Deer Valley Rd Ste B102, Phoenix, AZ 85027 (North Phoenix)

One of Phoenix's most beloved BBQ joints, POAF began by bringing in meats from a Nebraska hog farm to sell at Valley farmer’s markets and two years later, it opened as a full time eatery. And once you try it, you'll be glad it did.

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6. Little Miss BBQ 4301 E University Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85034

With nods from Phoenix Magazine, Arizona Republic, and Phoenix New Times, it's no wonder that this Okemah Haven 'cue joint is one of the best in country. At Little Miss', the Central Texas-style BBQ is cooked up daily -- with Arizona oak and pecan on a giant smoker -- along with the from-scratch sides. Most impressive are the Lone Star-state inspired jalapeño cheddar grits and the pulled chopped sandwich.

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7. The Barbecue Company Grill and Cafe 4636 S 36th St, Phoenix, AZ 85040

The Barbecue Company has been serving Phoenicians bold BBQ flavor for more than 20 years and has won several national awards in the process. It offers a Southwestern take on barbecue that’s not always traditional, but don’t fear -- you’ll find plenty of barbecue classics here as well.

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8. Honey Bear's BBQ 5012 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

Honey Bear’s opened in Phoenix in the '80s and locals have been singing its praises ever since. Its menu is simple, but the items on it have been perfected and its dessert selections are the perfect match to its meats. It boasts great prices and offers its food in individual servings or by the pound or gallon, which makes it great for families, or those who want to taste bit of everything.

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9. Frasher's Smokehouse 3222 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018 (Arcadia)

This casual BBQ spot is a favorite among Arcadia locals and widely considered the best BBQ restaurant in Phoenix. We are huge fans of their brisket and pulled pork sandwich, but we encourage you to stop by and taste their menu for yourself.

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10. Bryan's BBQ 6130 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (Cave Creek)

If you are in the mood for some award-winning barbecue, Bryan's Barbecue is the place to go. They are known for their huge portions and delicious side dishes like baked potato salad and coleslaw. We think that Bryan's serves up some of the best BBQ in Phoenix.

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