Sun’s out, buns out.
When the sun decides to make an appearance, we hear beer bottles going tsst, champers being popped, and there’s always an underlying smell of a barbie. Oh yes, the dreaded barbecue. It’s a love hate relationship. We’ll all gladly tuck into the numerous hot dogs, burgers and corn on the cob being passed around but there’s always the unlucky sod (usually dad) slaving away in the beaming heat in front of the burning coals. Well, why not cut out the middle man and dive into one of London’s BBQ joints to save you the hassle (and burn scars!).
We’ve rounded up 15 of our favourite BBQ haunts in London, where you can feast on succulent meats, sip longingly on cocktails and devour indulgent sides – yes, we’re talking to you mac and cheese – enjoy!
Dubbed as a cajun-style BBQ joint, The Blues Kitchen Brixton will surely satisfy your beefy cravings (and no, we’re not talking about a beefy argument with your mate Cal over his wandering eye). You can’t go to The Blues Kitchen without diving deep into their ‘brisket and burnt ends’ that’s been smoked for 14 hours, piled alongside dill pickles, coleslaw and fries (or salad for a lighter option, well, only slightly). For the veggies, there’s a sharing feast that sounds incredible, coming with their famous creamy hot spinach dip, yum!
Where: 40 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 5SP
Buckle up kids, we’re on a road-trip to the Midwest!
Smokey Tails, today has become well-known for its rich, smokey home cooked flavours. Curated from the Beats & Eats pop-up created by Seth Troxler, Jo Vidler and Joan Ahearne, the recipes derive from Seth’s three generation old family recipe book – so you certainly know they’re gonn’be tried and tested!
Where: 359 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, E2 6LG
Boy, oh boy does Bodean’s BBQ Smoke House serve up a rip roaring BBQ and roar it does! While we’re still trying to crack down their secret rubs and sauce recipes, we’ll gladly keep ticking off each of their venues from our BBQ bucket-list. Aiming to bring the taste, style and soul of Kansas City to us Londoner’s, their menu serves up a tantalisingly good feast for all! Whether you’re after a slab of ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, or a combo of them all, you’re in the right place.
Oh don’t think you vegans will have to surrender to the bite! Nope, Bodean’s vegan game is certainly strong. If you’re after a smokey hit, dive into their pulled bbq mushrooms sarnie stacked with carrot or, their bbq jackfruit meal clambered together with seasoned fries and corn on the cob!
If you’re looking to curb your BBQ cravings, head down to South Place Hotel’s Chop House and tuck into one of their chops or steaks fresh off the grill. Seeking inspiration of the conventional 18th century chop house style resto, they’ve refined their classic style of grilling to fit contemporary tastes and sensibilities. All the grilled classics come served with roasted cherry vine tomatoes, field mushrooms and watercress, add on a side of truffle mashed tatty or their devilish triple cooked chips and you’re onto a winner!
Where: 3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Moorgate (Great Northern) (0.2 miles)
Think big, sticky and messy, and it still won’t come close to what Porky’s has to offer. With now four locations spread across the city, it’s likely you’ve heard of these guys. Their griddled blackened catfish dusted with cajun spices is as fresh and spicy as it sounds, while their rack of baby back ribs are smoked over hickory with a dry rub, and then they’re glazed with their special bbq sauce, just like they do in Memphis! Make sure you stock on napkins because it’s about to get saucy.
Born in an ol’ taxi repair shop back in 2015, Berber and Q Grill House draws inspiration from the Middle East, North Africa and the Ottoman. Combined with Western cooking techniques and you’ve got one hell of a show! They smoke, they marinate and they grill help maximise the flavour combos. We recommend sharing a bunch of their small grills plates before diving into one of their showstoppers. Or if you’re feeling super hungry, share the smoked shoulder of lamb coupled with pickles, kebab sauces and laffa bread – oh boy, it’s heavenly!
Where: 338 Acton Mews, Haggerston, E8 4EA
When the menu dubs a dish the chefs favourite, you know there’s only really one you should try. At The Joint, the chefs faves are between the BJ burger packed with a double beef patty, pork belly, American cheese, their ‘secret’ sauce and pickles in a potato bun (that’s right, move over brioche, you’ve had you time), and the BBQ specials. Think 16 hour slow cooked pulled pork, or slow cooked shredded chicken, with candied apple bacon, slaw and salad in your choice of homemade bap or wrap. And if you’re feeling super indulgent, couple your main with their deep fried Mac and cheese, you won’t regret it (well, hopefully not anyway).
Where: Brixton / Tooting
When a restaurant’s called Smokehouse, you know what you’re letting yourself in for. Smokey goodness obvs. They work together with the best farms the UK has to offer sourcing the finest meats, ready to be plopped on their coal grill. Their Sunday specials include slow smoked Texel lamb shoulder, and their Gloucester old spot pork rib eye and smoked shoulder, all served with the usual accompaniments. Dig in, kids.
Where: The House, 63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington, N1 2DG
Howdy partner! You won’t find Texas-style or Texas flavoured dubs here. Nope, at Texas Joe, you’ll be served up the real blooming deal! And, you get to pick pretty much any part of the meat you like, whether that’s beef short rib, chicken thighs, or pork shoulder. We’re also a huge fan of their brisket nachos and their chilli mac and cheese… Our mouths are salivating just thinking about it!
Where: 8-9 Snowsfields, Bermondsey, SE1 3SU
We’ve certainly bombarded you with Southern-style BBQ haunts but we’re yet to unveil the Thai grill. Influenced by the late night canteens of Bangkok, Smoking Goat certainly knows a thing or two about the ol’ grill. The herbs, veggies and fish sauce are directly sourced from Bangkok, while there are daily fish deliveries from independent fishermen and farmers. So what’ll it be, the smoked brisket and bone marrow massaman curry or, a whole grilled John Dory with red nahm Jim?
Where: 64 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JJ
Those looking for a tasty lunchtime treat listen up! Naming themselves the masters of the BBQ, Walter and Monty certainly have a lot to live up to. And oh my, do they live up to it! Popped right underneath The Gherkin (if you’re a business worker, this one is certainly for you!), you’ll have your choice of chop (or falafel and halloumi for the veggies), served up in box or wrap depending on your fancy.
Where: 6 Bevis Marks, Bury Court, City of London, EC3A 7BA
Um, so when a restaurant serves up a whopping great beef brisket for the whole table to devour, you know you’re in for a good’un. Or if you’re looking for the ultimate feasting menu, Smokestak certainly has you and your pals covered, sharing family-style.
Where: 35 Sclater Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LB
Neil Rankin, the chef behind Pitt Cue and Bag Egg, certainly knows a thing or ten about barbecuing. This other abode is Temper, a vibrant steakhouse with music filling the air, cocktails flowing around every corner and an an open kitchen slap bang in the middle of the restaurants allowing you to watch the chefs as they prepare your food over fire. They pride themselves on the fact that they source their meat directly from small farms, butchering it all in house, with little wastage.
Where: Various locations around the city
For a great barbecue, you need a great slab of meat, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Big Easy. They take hand cut quality beef, and specially selected cuts from their pork to serve on hell of a show. All of their meat is smoked in their pit room, dry rubbed and is served alongside their famous housemate Bar.B.Q sauce so you can smother it on yourself.
Where: Various Venues
Having started out with a little ol’ food truck on the Southbank, Pittcue has since expanded with a full-blown resto in Spitalfields. Thankfully, they still continue to serve up succulent cuts, which change daily. And as if that wasn’t enough, they’ve even built a brewery, using the best ingredients to produce beer that works in line with their kitchen and food.
Where: 1 The Avenue, Devonshire Square, Spitalfields, EC2M 4YP