Food & Drink

10 Barbecue Places Worth Trying in Portland

Podnah's Pit, Homegrown Smoker, and More
May 24, 2023
Dig into succulent smoked meats at Podnah's Pit BBQ. (Podnah's Pit BBQ)
As the weather warms up, and picnics become more common, few foods are more ideal for an al fresco meal than barbecue. We've compiled this list of Portland joints worth your time, from the Texas-style Podnah's Pit BBQ to the clever vegan Homegrown Smoker. Grab some takeout and head to your favorite park or beach for a memorable moveable feast. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Botto's BBQ List
The Portland Mercury's Andrea Damewood writes, "Botto’s opened in 2016 to much acclaim, especially for its brisket and ribs, done up in the Austin, Texas-style that owner Darren Bottinelli loves. It closed when Bottinelli went to the minimum-security Sheridan Federal Correctional Institute, convicted of stealing $3 million from his former healthcare funds management company. Botto’s reopened this year, and the barbecue remains as good as I remember, especially the lean brisket cuts with a kick of housemade sauce. The smoked turkey and a side of broccoli and cauliflower casserole were both a bit sogged down with grease, but it’s nothing a side of pickled veggies couldn’t cure."
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Daddy D's Southern Style BBQ List
This barbecue joint with a location housed inside a Shell gas station in Vancouver and another outpost in Woodland has gained a loyal following for its heartily portioned pulled pork, beef brisket, barbecue chicken, and ribs. Louisiana-born owner and third-generation grillmaster Donnie Vercher learned the craft of barbecue from his father and is now passing the tradition on to his son. Be sure to save room for dessert—Vercher's family recipe sweet potato pie and 7-Up pound cake are equally mouthwatering.
Vancouver, Woodland
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Dinner Bell Barbecue List
Tucked away inside the Flying Tortoise food cart pod, this cart earns rave reviews for its affordable prices, large portions, and high quality. Round out your meal with some cheesy grits and collard greens. 
North Tabor
Pickup, dine-in

Eem List
This wildly popular Thai barbecue spot, run by Shipwreck List owner Eric Nelson, Langbaan List and Hat Yai List owner Earl Ninsom, and Matt's BBQ owner Matt Vicedomini, has enjoyed plenty of praise from local media. As Andrea Damewood writes, "Eem is the restaurant equivalent of Lizzo: infectious, critically and commercially acclaimed, and addictive AF. You cannot go wrong in ordering, from the hot fried cauliflower to the divine brisket in white curry to the fried rice with burnt ends. And both the cocktails and mocktails are some of the best in town—my favorite [is the] piña colada, made with coffee and salt to keep it from being too cloying." 
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Homegrown Smoker List
Barbecue isn't just for carnivores: This vegan barbecue spot has attracted attention for its robust plant-based takes on comforting Southern classics, such as smoked tempeh ribs, barbecue soy curls, and creamy "macnocheese."
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Lawless Barbecue List
This kitchen slings slow hardwood-smoked, Kansas City-style barbecue. The menu includes hearty comfort food such as Frito chili pie, smoked and fried wings, burgers, brisket banh mi sandwiches, panko mac and cheese, carnitas tacos, ribs, and banana pudding.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Matt's BBQ List and Matt's BBQ Tacos
Andrea Damewood writes, "When native Long Islander Matt Vicedomini opened his Texas-style barbecue cart in a weird empty lot off Northeast MLK in 2015, the game changed. The brisket is a *chef’s kiss* of sweet tenderness and a bark that would make an oak jealous. Now located next to Prost on North Mississippi, make sure you get there early, as Matt’s usually sells out." She's also a huge fan of the business's sibling cart Matt's BBQ Tacos: "Is it wrong that my favorite thing about this all-day smoked meat taco joint with lines down the block are the flour tortillas? Made with lard, they’re soft, supple, and absolutely perfect. But it certainly doesn’t hurt that the smoked meats within claim Matt’s pedigree, made all the better with the addition of eggs, potato, and cheese at breakfast. The migas, with eggs, pico de gallo, cheese, guac, and tortilla chips are available all day, and for a good reason. Go early and often: These babies tend to sell out pretty quick, especially with that national media spotlight."
Boise, Clinton, Concordia
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Podnah's Pit BBQ List
Patrons flock to Rodney Muirhead's Texas-style barbecue haven for its array of Oregon wood-smoked meats. If you really mean business, go for "The Pitboss," which feeds two to three people and includes brisket, pulled pork, two pork ribs, one sausage link, cornbread, and a choice of two sides. The restaurant also tucks brisket, carnitas, and smoked chicken verde into tacos, using tortillas made in-house with Three Sisters Nixtamal.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Reverend's BBQ List
This Sellwood smokehouse offers St. Louis ribs, Carolina-style chopped pork shoulder, and sliced beef brisket as well as fried chicken. For vegans and vegetarians, there's also smoked tempeh. The popular "Good Reverend" sandwich comes stuffed with burnt brisket ends, pimento cheese, house pickles, crisp iceberg, mayo, and fried onions.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Wolf's Head Smokehouse List
In addition to brisket, Carolina-style chopped pork, Kansas-style pork belly burnt ends, pastrami, and Memphis-style pork spare ribs served with a variety of housemade sauces, this Beaverton cart also offers burritos packed with brisket burnt ends and mac and cheese. There's also a solid smash burger on the menu.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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