The sun’s out and, as if the upcoming Bank Holiday wasn’t enough, next week is National Barbecue Week (29th May – 4th June). We’ve rounded up 15 of our favourite BBQ joints in London, where you can feast on meat, cocktails and classic sides like mac’n’cheese and slaw:
What: Midwest Modern
Why: Having recently found a permanent home at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, Smokey Tails comes from DJ Seth Troxler, Jo Vidler and Jona Ahearne. Their food is known as ‘Midwest Modern’ to us, it’s known as darn good. Using recipes inspired by Seth’s childhood you’ll find the likes of baby back spicy BBQ pork ribs, smoked lamb ribs, Seth’s BBQ pork brioche bun and Grandma T’s fried chicken. Head over on a Sunday for their Sunday brunches which even feature Smoked Bloody Marys.
Where: Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, N1 6NU
What: Kansas City BBQ
Why: Secrecy seems to be the key to success as popular BBQ restaurant, Bodean’s boasts secret rubs and sauce recipes that give their dishes that tantalising taste to tempt guests back time after time. The aim is to deliver authentic American BBQ to the UK and meat lovers can certainly get their fill with the Boss Hog Platter; a full selection of their finest meats including spare and baby back ribs, burnt ends, a Jacobs Ladder beef rib, pulled pork, chicken thighs and 2 smoked sausages. They also have an impressive selection of burgers and hot dogs with all of the food made daily on site with fresh raw ingredients.
What: Authentic Memphis
Why: In 2013 Porky’s opened its doors as Camden’s first BBQ restaurant. They’re clearly doing things right, as since then they’ve opened three further restaurants. Inspired by their trip to Memphis, owners, Joy and Simon are bringing American authenticity to London. Everything’s big, sticky and messy, just the way BBQ food should be done. As if that’s not authentic enough, you can get into the fraternity spirit and try your hand at beer pong… a true American pastime.
What: Global Inspiration
Why: The Middle East, North Africa and the Ottoman are the main inspirations for these lovers of BBQ, with food inspirations being taken from these regions and combined with Western cooking techniques – what a combo! They smoke, they marinate and they grill to maximize flavour and their seasonal menus means things are constantly mixed up. And what’s a BBQ without a bar? These guys have a bar which they claim may actually be too long… you’ll have to go check it out for yourselves.
Where: 338 Acton Mews, Haggerston, E8 4EA
What: Brixton BBQ
Why: The Joint started off as a pop-up four years ago before setting up shop in Brixton. They serve up a succinct menu which has comfort food written all over it. Meat comes from the Ginger Pig and the buns are made by the Bad Boys Bakery. Our favourite has to be the 16 hour slow cooked pulled pork topped with candied apple bacon, topped with cheese and guacamole. Just make sure you go hungry – it isn’t for the faint hearted or should we say stomached?
Where: 87, Brixton Village Market, Brixton, SW9 8PS
What: Texan BBQ
Why: Southern soul food to the core; get your fill of brisket, corn bread, crispy fried chicken and BBQ beans at this Texan barbecue hotspot. Indulgence is key with pulled pork, burnt ends, short beef rib, lobster and New Orleans gumbo as just some of the options to get you tempted. Whilst the emphasis is heavily on a selection of meats, Blues Kitchen also offers pretty tasty sides and puddings that are not to be missed – deep fried Oreo doughnuts, for example…
What: Original Smoked and Grilled Food
Why: Neil Rankin’s Smokehouse is exactly what it says – all about the smoke. Working with the best farms in the UK to source the finest meat which they butcher on site , they create specials board bursting with coal-grilled prime cuts and slow-cooked specialities. The menu has options of rare-breed beef burger with Korean pulled pork, short rib bourguignon, and chopped brisket roll with gochujang. Wash down your meal with a cold beer; choose from 20 on tap and 60 in the bottle.
Where: The House, 63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington, N1 2DG
What: A Little Social Grilling
Why: New kid on the block, Meat Up, is bringing a little social grilling to Wandsworth Town. Tneir website says they are bringing, burgers, booze and banter – the best of the British summer BBQ, but luckily inside, you don’t want to chance our weather. Of course being near The Handbook HQ we had to check it out, the burgers are definitely up there with some of our favourites and the cocktails are not to be missed.
Where: 350 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SS
What: Slow Smoked Meats, Texan Style
Why: Texas Joe is bringing the true taste of Texas BBQ to Bermondsey. The brisket nachos are a must, the pork sandwich piled high with slaw and pickles needs to be ordered and their mac’n’cheese won over our Texan colleague when we headed there in the summer.
Where: 8-9 Snowsfields, Bermondsey, SE1 3SU
What: 5 Different Grills
Why: What could be better than a restaurant with an open grill? A restaurant with not one but 5 different grills… Barbecoa calls itself the home of smoke and fire and boasts a robata, Tandoor, Argentine grill, pitsmoker and wood-fired oven so we can see why. Tuck into roasted veg, smoked cocktails and charred steaks and see how the ancient art of cooking with fire is as modern as ever.
Where: Barbecoa Piccadilly, Piccadilly, London
What: The Original Thai Grill
Why: Out with Southern-style BBQ restaurants and in with the Thai grill – Smoking Goat is Soho’s original Thai BBQ place. If you need some convincing, there are daily fish deliveries from independent fisherman and farmers combined with Thai chillies, palm sugar and fish sauce all the way from Bangkok all roasted on a sweet chestnut and oak cask wood barbecue – think we’re coming around to this Thai BBQ idea now!
Where: 7 Denmark Street, Soho, WC2H 8LZ
What: Lunch Hour BBQ
Why: BBQ’s aren’t just for the weekends and bank holidays, Walter and Monty have upped their game and made their wraps and boxes the ideal lunch hour treat. The restaurant is right in the heart of the city with The Gherkin watching over, so it’s the perfect place to go for busy city slickers. Walter and Monty also have after-work feeding covered too, with sharing platters best for sociable dining.
Where: 6 Bevis Marks, Bury Court, City of London, EC3A 7BA
What: Clay Pots
Why: Smoking Goat will have to put up a fight for that Thai BBQ in Soho-shaped hole in your heart, Kiln is also providing us with Thai aromas on the grill. After the success of Smoking Goat, it would be rude not to open up another Thai BBQ restaurant in Soho, and that is exactly what Ben Chapman has done. BBQ’s aren’t just for meat lovers, Kiln’s speciality is seafood all served in their iconic clay pots. For the meat lovers however, their meat is all sourced in the UK and the food is prepared in front of your eyes.
Where: 58 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 9TL
What: BBQ Terrace
Why: For the healthy BBQ-goers, Smokestak salads are just as tasty as they look. We’re not entirely sure how healthy they actually are, with crispy bacon and dill sour cream, but hey it has the word ‘salad’ in it and that’s good enough for us! They’ve recently launched a new summer menu complete with some refreshing cocktails and soft drinks to enjoy on their newly-opened terrace.
Where: 35 Sclater Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LB
What: Michelin-Starred BBQ
Why: A Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair isn’t synonymous with BBQ but Benares are serving a special, BBQ-inspired street food menu to coincide with National BBQ Week (29th May – 4th June). The summery 5-course menu will see a high-end spin on traditional Indian street food dishes, with each course inspired by the hometown of each chef.
Where: 12a Berkeley Square House, Mayfair, W1J 6BS
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