Our 10 Best Barbecue Restaurants in NYC
Currently enjoying the quiet life with his family upstate, Zak Pelaccio started something special with 'cue guru Robbie Richter in 2010 with the original Fatty 'Cue in Williamsburg. Watching the brand expand to the West Village then shutter for over a year in Brooklyn only to rise from the ashes like a smoke-charred phoenix (mmm ... magical bird meat) has been juicy drama for New York restaurant obsessives. Luckily, the meats coming out of chef de cuisine Anthony Masters's kitchen are just as succulent as the gossip, as familiar cuts are put through the Fatty Southeast Asian wringer. Spots of brilliance come in unlikely places, as in a West Village starter of tender poached chicken tossed with intense smoked eggplant, celery, sesame, and pickled jalapeño. Bonus points for ending the meal with pies from Butter & Scotch.
6. Blue Smoke, 116 East 27th Street
Danny Meyer's foray into barbecue country helped lay some of the foundation for the city's current 'cue climate, and over 10 years later, the food coming out of chef Kenny Callaghan's kitchen has helped keep this spot relevant. Pulled pork achieves a balance of smoke and saucy tang, piled high over white bread during dinner or bursting out of brioche at lunch. Chicken wings exhibit a similar piquancy, cooled down when dipped into blue cheese. Also of note: Blue Smoke's mac and cheese is some of the best in town, arriving at the table with a soufflé-delicate browned crust.
5. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 700 West 125th Street; 604 Union Street, Brooklyn
Twenty-five years ago, when everyone was scanning the South for smoked meat inspiration, John Stage up and opened a damn fine barbecue joint in Syracuse, New York. Now with locations in Harlem and Park Slope, the chain boasts two hallmark items--mammoth chicken wings and tender pork ribs--both of which hinge on Dinosaur's addictive smoky-sweet barbecue sauce. But meats alone do not a barbecue restaurant make, and dishes like fried green tomatoes with smoked shrimp remoulade, as well as simple sides like Syracuse-style boiled salt potatoes, reveal the attention to detail put into the menu.
4. BrisketTown and Smokeline, 359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, and the High Line near West 16th Street and 10th Avenue
Crowned the 2013 Brisket King (no really, there's an actual crown), Daniel Delaney took his Texas-inspired barbecue game to the elevated streets when he opened Smokeline on The High Line. The Brooklyn flagship cooks up arguably the city's best brisket, and even offers breakfast tacos starting at 8 a.m. Across town, you'd do well to stick to what's between the buns. That means either "The Deckle" or "The Mess": the former showcases slices of fatty brisket flickering with spice from a peppery bark and hit with the zip of pickles and onions, the latter is a mash of the same brisket, pulled rib meat, and griddle-crisped cheese assaulted with chili sauce and onion relish. Both are only available at Delaney's Manhattan kiosk, which serves an abbreviated menu of brisket, sandwiches, and ribs.
30 W. 26th St., New York, NY
25-27 Broadway, New York, NY
91 S. Sixth St., Brooklyn, NY
116 E. 27th St., New York, NY
359 Bedford Ave., New York, NY
354 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY
7104 35th Ave., Jackson Heights, NY
103 2nd Ave., New York, NY