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Barbecue Chefs' Favorite Bay Area Barbecue

Where they go other than their own

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Native Sons BBQ/Facebook

It’s safe to say chefs who make good barbecue know good barbecue. Spending all day, every day smoking, saucing, and tending to meat provides a particular skill set to recognize when others do it well. So we turned to the barbecue chefs themselves to find out where to go for the good stuff around the Bay Area.

Carmen & Family Bar-B-Q

"For us, we do not get the urge to eat much barbecue because we are around it so much. Anything raw, crisp, or un-smoked is great for us! If we do get the hankering, we will make the trek over to Carmen & Family Bar-B-Q in Hayward for old-school California barbecue. When there, we will usually get the two-way plate with beef links and pork ribs with a Red Stripe. You can ask for extra spicy sauce if you like it hot." — Richard Park, chef/owner CatHead's BBQ

Gorilla Barbeque

"Gorilla Barbeque in Pacifica. The portions are always large and flavors fantastic. Rich the chef/owner is also a great guy. The dried rub smoked meat is the standard bearer in the Bay Area!" — David Lawrence, chef/owner Black Bark

4505 Burgers & BBQ

"For me, the sourcing of the meat for barbecue is an integral part of the process. With that in mind, I love what Ryan Farr is doing at 4505 Burgers & BBQ. His barbecue is delicious, and he takes the sourcing very seriously, for which I have a ton of respect." — Dave McLean, owner Smokestack at Magnolia Brewery

Native Sons

"I routinely check out barbecue in the area and barbecue being what it is, it’s all about timing. Some days I can go into a restaurant and everything is on point, other days not so much, so I reach for the sauce. One night while having brews at the Speakeasy Tap Room I was introduced to Native Sons for the first time. At first I was skeptical as they were serving their food off a Colman stove, but was pleasantly surprised to find some real deal barbecue by two guys that love what they do. They’re cooking in small batches so the food is usually on point with good flavor profiles and fresh sides — get the creamed corn if they have it. It takes some hunting to find them, but they do a pop-up every week or so." — Tom Campbell, general manager Memphis Minnie's