Rankings: the Seven Tiers of New York City BBQ Joints
 

 

 

PigTrip BBQ Home

BBQ Joints/reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City BBQ Joints Ranked

(05/04/12)

 

In yesterday's Virgil's Real BBQ review I placed it "in the mix of (possibly) second- or (more likely) third-tier New York City BBQ joints." Rather than just let that comment pass without commiting to actual tiers, I decided to complete the exercise and compile the full list for places I've tried within the five boroughs. Note that each group is presented alphabetically with no implied order within the group (the actual order might change visit to visit). Aside from the top tier, a joint might slide up or down to an adjacent one, but no further than that.

 

 

Tier 1: (alphabetical order)

 

Fette Sau see my review of  this joint

High grade sourcing, strong rub and smoke levels, high probability of wow factor. Drawbacks are speed and sauces.


Hill Country see my review of  this joint

You can really taste the wood and the pepper-heavy rub. Brisket (both the lean and moist) and sausage are musts here even if not your usual order.


RUB see my review of  this joint

Burnt ends are the star here, but everything's good, often great. More strong rub and smoke. Sides and pulled pork underrated.

 

 

Tier 2: (alphabetical order)

 

Daisy May's see my review of  this joint

Arguably the best pork rib (wet or dry) and chili in the city. Beef rib good but expensive; boneless meats not so good.


Dinosaur see my review of  this joint

Ribs and creative sandwiches are the way to go here. Sides outstanding.

 

Fatty Cue see my review of  this joint
Southeast Asian take on BBQ might not be for everybody, but the flavors are scintillating.

 

Rack & Soul see my review of  this joint

Rare soulfood joint with real smoked 'cue. Saucy but it works, and the sauce is no crutch.

Wildwood BBQ see my review of  this joint

Upscale restaurant with another best ribs candidate, both beef and pork. Fantastic wings. Skip the sides.

 

 

Tier 3: (alphabetical order)

 

Harley's Smokeshack see my review of  this joint

Very creative, sort a modern take on old school 'cue. Good sauced ribs, innovative sides.


John Brown Smokehouse see my review of  this joint
Kansas City joint with excellent burnt ends and pulled pork the way to go. Frequent specials.

 

Mable's Smokehouse see my review of  this joint
Sort of a poor man's Daisy May's with much better brisket. Good add-on to Brookly Brewery.

Virgil's Real BBQ see my review of  this joint
Oft-maligned tourist trap turns out surprisingly respectable if expensive 'cue. Good pork sammy.

 

 

Tier 4: (alphabetical order)

 

Blue Smoke see my review of  this joint

Outstanding beef ribs and piggy pulled pork, with pork ribs and brisket less reliable.

Southern Hospitality see my review of  this joint

Surprisingly good ribs after a recent smoker upgrade. Jury (read: me) still out on the rest of the menu. Friendly staff, generous pours.


Smoke Joint see my review of  this joint

Decent to good with some of the best sides in the city.

Waterfront Ale House see my review of  this joint

More of a bar than a barbecue joint. Creative sandwiches, solid chili.

 

 

Tier 5: (alphabetical order)


Back 40 West see my review of  this joint

Boutique eatery with smoked fare. Sides better than the entrees. Don't miss the pig face nuggets.

Bone Lick Park see my review of  this joint

Decent joint with no real shining strengths or glaring weaknesses.

Butcher Bar see my review of  this joint

Sourcing pride yes, Southern Pride no. Some fragrant flavors with only a hint of a barbecue profile. High prices, free apple pie.

 

Ember Room see my review of  this joint

Todd English's Asian/BBQ fusion has some hits and misses. Chocolate ribs, anyone?


Georgia's Eastside BBQ see my review of  this joint

The best of the BBQ restaurants that have no smoker. Saucy.


Mexicue see my review of  this joint

Little Mexican tastes on potato rolls or tacos have just a hint of barbecue flavor, less than a hint of smoke.


Neely's BBQ Parlor see my review of  this joint

Disaster that involves Pat and Gina Neely in name only. Atmosphere is its major strength.

 

Pies n Thighs see my review of  this joint

As a hipster sandwich and donut joint, it works. As barbecue, not so much.

 

 

Tier 6: (alphabetical order)


Brother Jimmy's see my review of  this joint

The worst of the "real" BBQ joints smoking over wood. Hot servers, good sauces, mediocre 'cue.

 

BBQ's Smokeshack see my review of  this joint

Fast food BBQ joint might be cheaper than nearby RUB and Hill Country, but not nearly cheap enough.

 

Nicky's Beer & BBQ see my review of  this joint

Much more emphasis on the Beer than the BBQ, and it shows. Mechanical bull. 'Nuff said.


Rodeo Bar see my review of  this joint

If the 'cue is smoked (it might be), it doesn't taste it, but better than most of the fake ones.

 

 

Tier 7: (alphabetical order)


Dallas BBQ see my review of  this joint

1980s time warp faux BBQ. Cheaper than BBQ's Smokeshack, but a further step down in quality.


Duke's see my review of  this joint

Fun place, emphasis on drinks, barbecue an afterthought.

 

Golden Chicken & Ribs see my review of  this joint

Cafeteria quality.


Hog Pit see my review of  this joint

The only thing BBQ about this place is the sauce. Meats taste boiled. At least they have a fryer.


Live Bait see my review of  this joint

Dallas might be bad, but Live Bait's bad and expensive.

 

 

 

Boston, you're next.

 



 

click to view larger image

Bacon and pork belly at Fette Sau.

 

click to view larger image

Sausage links at Hill Country.

 

click to view larger image

Brisket sandwich at RUB.

 

click to view larger image

Ribs at Daisy May's.

 

 

'Like' PigTrip BBQ Reviews on Facebook to keep up with all of the reviews and much more content not available on the site.

 

 

 

©2012 pigtrip.net | all rights reserved

 

Joints | Reviews | Ramblings | News | Links | Recipes | About | Home