Food & Drink

10 Barbecue Places Worth Trying in Seattle

Jack's BBQ, Lil Red Takeout and Catering, and More
May 23, 2023
The Central District's popular Wood Shop BBQ smokes its meat with hickory from the Ozark Mountains and Post Oak wood from Texas. (Wood Shop BBQ)
Seattle may not be an internationally renowned barbecue destination like Austin or Kansas City, but we still have our fair share of exceptional smoked meats. We've compiled this list of barbecue joints worth your time, from the local gem Lil Red Takeout and Catering (which once landed on a list of the top 20 Black-owned barbecue spots in the country) to the Central Texas-style favorite Jack's BBQ. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Bitterroot BBQ List
This Ballard barbecue joint sources all of its meat from local butchers and uses locally grown applewood for smoking. Load up your tray with classic choices like pulled pork, mac and cheese, cast-iron cornbread, cheddar grits, and coleslaw, and make sure to save room for a house-made ice cream sandwich for dessert.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Brileys BBQ List
This laidback, unassuming neighborhood spot is worth the trek to Lake Forest Park for its affordable cherrywood-smoked barbecue. The restaurant has applied its signature style of "Northwest barbecue" to baby back ribs, pit beef, sliced brisket, and other meaty delights.
Lake Forest Park
Pickup, dine-in

Emma's BBQ List
Head to this Hillman City gem for heartily portioned barbecue, including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and beef hot links. The menu also includes comforting sides, scratch-made strawberry and blackberry lemonade, and sweet potato pie.
Hillman City
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Hole in the Wall BBQ List
This Pike Place fixture is known for its beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs (available only on Thursdays and Fridays), signature "bullwhacker" barbecue sauce recipe, and championship-winning "railroad chili."
Pioneer Square
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Jack's BBQ and Jackalope Tex-Mex List
Former Microsoft employee and barbecue nerd Jack Timmons learned the trade at the BBQ Summer Camp co-hosted by Texas A&M's Meat Sciences department and has made pilgrimages to Louis Mueller's, Snow's, Cooper's, and other legendary Texas barbecue temples. Many devotees cite Jack's as the most authentic Central Texas-style barbecue in the Seattle area. Timmons also runs the Tex-Mex spinoff Jackalope in Columbia City, serving dishes like brisket enchiladas and smoked beef rib fajitas.
Various locations
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Jones Barbeque List
Popular favorites at this West Seattle spot include the giant ribs smoked with Northwestern cedar, spicy collard greens, and sweet potato pie. The sweet-and-fiery Arkansas/Texas–influenced sauce is excellent—many barbecue enthusiasts say it’s the best in town.
West Seattle
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Lady Jaye List
At this West Seattle cocktail bar and smokehouse brought to you by a team who previously spent time at Radiator Whiskey and White Swan Public House, a gigantic applewood smoker (affectionately dubbed "Cletus") churns out mountains of succulent smoked meat. Indulge in slow-roasted brisket, or opt for the pork belly "porkstrami" or smoked turkey, which gets piled into hearty sandwiches. Drinks include craft cocktails, beer, wine, and hard seltzer.
West Seattle
Pickup, dine-in

Lil Red Takeout and Catering List
This local gem earned a spot on a list of the top 20 Black-owned barbecue spots in the nation, compiled by James Beard Award-winning author and barbecue expert Adrian Miller in his book Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue. (Considering that Miller sampled barbecue at over 200 restaurants across the country to research his book, this is no faint praise.) The restaurant is run by husband-and-wife team Erasto “Red” Jackson, who specializes in soul food and a style of barbecue that incorporates influences from Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City, and Lelieth Jackson, who is of Jamaican descent and the mastermind behind the restaurant's Jamaican dishes. Fans love the ribs, the mac and cheese, the jerk chicken, the brisket, the rum cake, and the banana pudding. 
Columbia City
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Pecos Pit and Pike's Pit List
Local standby Pecos Pit was launched by Ron and Debra Wise in 1980. Red Robin cofounder Gerry Kingen took over the business in 2010 and has plans to grow the franchise into a full-fledged barbecue empire. In 2015, the brand launched the well-loved spinoff Pike's Pit located in (where else?) Pike Place Market. Both spots are particularly well-known for their gloriously sloppy sandwiches made with alder-smoked beef and pork.
West Seattle, Sodo, Pike Place Market
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Wood Shop BBQ List
Founded by a Kansan and a Texan, this Central District barbecue joint and food truck, which was once featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, offers meat by the pound (all smoked with solid hickory from the Ozark Mountains and Post Oak wood from Texas), tasty sides, and an impressive whiskey selection. 
Central District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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