Summer is the season of barbecue. Whether cooking it at home in your yard or heading out to your favorite restaurant, barbecuing is a seasonal staple. And sure, the Southern states are known for preparing this type of cuisine. But that doesn’t mean New Jersey doesn’t have its fair share of places perfecting this style of cooking. Dishing out smoked brisket, ribs, beans cornbread and more, there are plenty of establishments to choose from to get your barbecue fix. Not sure where to begin? If you’re in New Jersey, start with these 25 barbecue joints serving up all the favorites.
Daddy Matty’s BBQ – Madison, NJ
Located in Madison, Daddy Matty’s BBQ offers plenty of options. With two different types of chili, Texas-style brisket and New Mexico pork green chili, this New Jersey barbecue restaurant has it all. Choose from beef brisket, smoked sausage, sliced turkey break, baby back ribs, and pulled pork or chicken. Or, get a platter and try some of everything. Stop by on a Sunday for brunch and try a plateful of biscuits and gravy or some French toast bread pudding.
Back Bay Barbecue – Somers Point, NJ
Originating as a roadside stand, Back Bay Barbecue has all the barbecue classics. Try a plate of BBQ ribs, wings or even a pastrami sandwich. Or grab something from the seafood menu, such as fried shrimp or their “Fried Deviled Crab Cake.” The South Jersey BBQ eatery also has a variety of sides, including mac and cheese, corn on the cob and Cowboy Beans prepared with homemade seasoning and cold smoked for that traditional smokey flavor.
Fink’s BBQ Smokehouse – Dumont, NJ
Fink’s BBQ Smokehouse cooks up Texas-style barbecue in Bergen County. With plenty of slow-smoked meats, this is a great stop for any carnivore. Meats include pulled pork, turkey, spare ribs and even chicken fried steak. Sides include favorites such as coleslaw and mashed potatoes as well as their signature sweet corn souffle.
Red White and Que – Kearny, NJ
Red White and Que is classic Southern barbecue in New Jersey with pounds of smoked meats on their menu, literally. Order a quarter-pound of Carolina pulled pork, a half-pound of St. Louis cut ribs, a pound of smoked buffalo wings or any of their other “meats by the pound.” You can even get it on a sandwich. Pair your selections with sides such as mac and cheese, vinegar or mayo coleslaw, collard greens or country-style potato salad.
More Than Q- Princeton and Lambertville, NJ
With locations in both Princeton and Lambertville, More Than Q’s menu is packed with Texas-style BBQ. Grab the usual meats—brisket, pork, chicken and spare ribs—along with items such as burnt-end baked beans, hush puppies and fried pickles. And if you are looking for some after-dinner dessert, try a slice of sweet potato pie, chocolate bourbon pecan tart or some homemade banana pudding.
J ‘n’ C BBQ – Butler, NJ
J ‘n’ C BBQ in Butler, New Jersey is one of the go-to barbecue joints. The dinner menu has a full selection of smoked meats that can be added to plates and platters. The lunch menu offers BBQ tacos and loaded mac and cheese topped with your choice of meat. You can also try one of their specialty sandwiches served on Texas toast. “The Bulldog” features brisket and mac and cheese with pickles and sauce, while “The Colt” has pulled pork topped with coleslaw and green onions.
Surf BBQ- Rumson, NJ
Rumson’s Surf BBQ is a classic pit-smoked barbecue restaurant with a full bar. Grab a platter with coleslaw, pickles, fries and cornbread. Or try one of their chicken wings such as classic buffalo, salt and vinegar, hot pepper salsa or sweet chili Sriracha. The menu also features options like tacos, burgers and sandwiches. Be sure to also check out their house cocktails and full margarita menu with choices from jalapeno to hibiscus.
Brother’s Smokehouse – Ramsey, NJ
Owned by three brothers who spent their summers in North Carolina, Brother’s Smokehouse has a wide range of Carolina-style cooking. Order the chopped BBQ plate filled with smoked pork dressed in a North Carolina vinegar-based sauce. Also try specialties such as fried chicken and shrimp, marinated grilled chicken breasts, or shrimp with bacon, peppers, and onions served over cheesy grits.
KB’s BBQ Smokehouse- Irvington, NJ
KB’s BBQ Smokehouse has all the usual BBQ meats, platters and sides plus more. Grab their jerk chicken or smoked turkey legs with your choice of side—options include five-cheese mac and cheese, Mexican street corn, sweet potato souffle and more. Plus, get a piece of their signature blueberry cheddar cornbread with your platter. There are also plenty of sandwiches and wings on the menu.
Smoke BBQ – Audubon, NJ
Head to Smoke BBQ in Camden County for a full selection of smoked meats, sandwiches, tacos and nachos. Grab a plate of smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked chorizo or pork belly nachos or tacos. Or stick to the traditional BBQ platters. Sides are also available, from coleslaw and baked beans to mac and cheese and cornbread.
Local Smoke BBQ – Multiple NJ Locations
A micro-chain with six New Jersey locations, Local Smoke BBQ is a great go-to. The restaurants offer a wide selection of burgers, sandwiches and platters, along with appetizers. Try the smoked jalapenos wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cream cheese and pulled pork, or fried pickles and hush puppies to start. For a meal, grab some ribs, pulled pork, chicken or brisket with sides such as sweet chili Brussel sprouts or redskin potato salad.
Jersey Shore BBQ – Belmar, East Brunswick and Point Pleasant, NJ
Jersey Shore BBQ has three New Jersey locations packed with Southern barbecue favorites and new wave interpretations. From salads to burgers and sandwiches to pizza, Jersey Shore BBQ has the classics and more. Grab the “Longhorn Cheesesteak” filled with brisket, pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and onions. You can also try a pie topped with pulled pork and Memphis-style sauce.
Hamilton Pork – Jersey City, NJ
Located in Jersey City, Hamilton Pork has more than what the name may lead you to believe. Their menu is loaded with meats from pork ribs to lamb belly to brisket sausage. Choose three of your favorites with a sampler platter, or load up on just one. The eatery also features a full list of tacos such as carne asada, brisket and al pastor, as well as tons of sandwiches.
Cubby’s BBQ – Hackensack, NJ
Cubby’s BBQ has a large menu of ribs, steaks, wings, burgers, hot dogs and more. Grab a hot BBQ beef sandwich, a plate of your favorite barbecue meats or a hot dog all the way. Complete the meal with sides such as a baked potato, Texas-style chili, onion rings or even some cajun gumbo soup. This NJ BBQ joint has loads to choose from, so you’re bound to find something that stands out.
Oink & Moo BBQ – Somerville, NJ
The Tex-Mex-influenced menu at Oink & Moo BBQ features menu items such as brisket and pork belly burnt ends along with smoked brisket and pulled pork chili. Aside from getting platefuls of meat, they have plenty of tacos. They also sell bottles of their homemade BBQ rubs and sauces, and plenty of barbecuing supplies to try your hand at home smoking and grilling.
Smokehouse Grille & BBQ – Wall Township, NJ
Smokehouse Grille & BBQ not only has Texas-style brisket and Carolina-style pulled pork and chicken, but also homemade sausage links and a full menu of hot dogs. Pick from the “Bird Dog” topped with pulled chicken and coleslaw. A hot dog topped with mac and cheese or BBQ beans. Or grab one topped with smoked brisket and cheese.
Henri’s Hotts Barbeque- Hammonton, NJ
Henri’s Hotts Barbeque in Hammonton has a full menu of staples such as smoked ribs and brisket, as well as meatloaf and seafood. All platters are served with cornbread and two sides, with choices such as collard greens, mashed potatoes, corn pudding and more. Pro tip: Check their Instagram to see their specials. Recent items include fried pork chops with corn sauteed in bacon and smoked brisket topped with caramelized onions and cheese on a bun.
Bill’s BBQ – Newfield, NJ
A true roadside, barbecue joint, Bill’s BBQ is only open on Saturday and Sunday but is definitely worth the stop. The menu keeps it simple, sticking to traditional selections such as baby back ribs, smoked chicken wings and pulled pork, along with coleslaw, greens, baked beans and potato salad. Smoking starts at 5 a.m. each weekend, and you can call ahead to make sure your order is ready.
OISO BBQ Pit – Fort Lee, NJ
Fort Lee’s OISO BBQ Pit combines Southern-style barbecue with an upscale atmosphere. The menu includes a full selection of smoked meats, including house marinated spicy, thick cut bacon. Top items at OISO are the Beef Rib Burger, which has a full rib atop a brisket patty smothered in melted cheese and chili sauce, as well as a platter of shrimp, clams, mussels, snow crab and crawfish in a Louisiana-style Cajun sauce.
Woodchuck’s BBQ – Point Pleasant, NJ
Woodchuck’s BBQ sticks to the usuals when it comes to their dinner menu. Its entrées cover a full range of platters from ribs to steak tips, pulled pork to BBQ chicken and combo platters. Decide whether you want wet (with sauce), dry-rubbed, spicy or naked. Of course, Wooduck’s also offers plenty of sides and appetizers, including corn fritters, sliders and buttermilk chicken tenders.
Mighty Quinn’s – Clifton, NJ
With multiple restaurants throughout New York (and even one in Dubai), Mighty Quinn’s single NJ location can be found in Clifton. Meats available at the restaurant are brisket, burnt ends, spare ribs, wings and more, all of which come with pickled cucumber, onion and chiles. Available sides include sweet corn fritters, baked beans and sweet potato casserole, to name a few.
House of ‘Que – Hoboken, NJ
Specializing in Austin, Texas-style barbecue, House of ‘Que offers plenty of choices all with a view of the Manhattan skyline. Grab one of their specialty sandwiches, such as the Sloppy Texan with seasoned brisket and ground beef with American cheese. Try some of their smoked meats by the pound with sides such as Texas slaw, mac and cheese, corn salad and more. Then, finish off the meal with peach cobbler or a slice of pecan pie.
Hambone Opera BBQ – Lawrence Township, NJ
Found within the Trenton Farmers Market, Hambone Opera BBQ has a small, but delicious, menu. Offering brisket, ribs and pulled chicken and pork, with the brisket and pulled meats available as both sandwiches and platters, Hambone Opera’s menu is a classic representation of Southern barbecue. Platters include coleslaw and beans, with cornbread also offered. Or grab your favorites by the pound.
Boss Hog Barbecue – South Plainfield, NJ
Located in South Plainfield, Boss Hog Barbecue offers smoked meats, barbecue platters and sandwiches with handmade sauces. Pick from their original, Carolina-style, Kansas City, Alabama White and Pineapple Habanero sauces to enjoy with meats such as brisket, chicken, pork and bratwurst. When it comes to sides, they keep it simple with Southern green beans, baked beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw and cornbread.
Reilly’s Rib Cage – Hillsdale, NJ
Reilly’s Rib Cage has all the smoked meats, sandwiches and sides you expect from a barbecue joint. Brisket, chicken, pork, bratwurst and St. Louis-cut ribs are all offered at the eatery, along with mac and cheese, beans, coleslaw, jalapeno cheddar cornbread and more. And, if you plan on sticking around for dessert, they have banana custard pudding to satisfy your sweets craving.
Have a favorite barbecue joint in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments below
About the Author/s
New Jersey native that loves reading on the couch in pajamas, exploring new places and cooking at home. Interested in writing about food, fashion and culture, all while sipping a tall glass of cold brew.