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A tray of beef ribs, thick-sliced brisket, and links, with pink pickled onions on the side Horn BBQ

18 Bay Area Barbecue Joints For Charred, Smoky Meat

Where to satisfy your craving for smoked brisket, links, ribs, and all the fixings

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The Bay Area might not be nationally known for its regional barbecue, but there’s one thing we have no shortage of: people who love to eat barbecue and debate the relative merits of spots serving slow-smoked brisket and ribs. There’s also no shortage of options, from new-school spots with fine-dining pedigrees to time-tested joints that have been cranking out the same recipe for decades.

As the weather warms up, and folks start dreaming of cold beer and summer cookouts, here are 18 new and classic barbecue joints, spread across the Bay Area, that’ll satisfy all your smoked meat cravings.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Slow Hand BBQ

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1941 Oak Park Blvd
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 942-0149
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Located in a Pleasant Hill strip mall, Slow Hand does a solid job with the usual lineup of ribs and brisket, but it also gives corned beef a turn in the smoker, and the tender, intensely flavorful smoked chicken is a particularly nice surprise. Call in or get delivery via DoorDash or Grubhub. Not for nothing, the restaurant also does a nice to-go prime rib plate on Fridays.

2. KC'S BBQ

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1235 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94706
(510) 526-6325
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Reopened now after a 2017 fire, the longstanding West Berkeley neighborhood joint is best known for its pork ribs, which are available for purchase by the “short end” (aka the meatier, fattier end) or the “long end” if you don’t want a full rack. The sauce tends toward sweet and tangy.

3. Pig In A Pickle

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5959 Shellmound St kiosk 16
Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 922-8902
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Recently reopened in the Emeryville Public Market, Pig in a Pickle is open for preorders during limited hours — Thursdays through Sunday from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. On offer are a wide range of regional barbecue specialties: Texas-style brisket, Alabama-style smoked chicken, and Cajun-style hot links that are actually made in house. Order online. The Public Market is now also open for outdoor seating.

Janelle Bitker

4. Smokin Woods BBQ Cafe

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4307 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 423-8634
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Located inside the 2nd Half sports bar, Smokin’ Woods has garnered a dedicated following for its best-in-class smoked brisket and — if you’re lucky enough to snag one — its meaty, prehistoric-sized beef ribs, they routinely sell out by dinner time.

Beef rib plate at Smokin’ Woods Bill Addison

5. Horn Barbecue

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2534 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 225-6101
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Matt Horn’s acclaimed barbecue restaurant finally opened its doors in West Oakland last fall, bringing his sold-out pop-ups to permanent residency. Horn’s “West Coast barbecue” draws on meat-smoking techniques of Central Texas, producing jiggly, glistening briskets, spicy hot links, and more. Southern sides like collard greens, mac and cheese, and desserts like banana pudding are equally worth the wait.

ribs at Horn bbq Horn BBQ

6. Vegan Mob

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500 Lake Park Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
(415) 513-5120
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The only one of the restaurants on this list we’d recommend to non meat eaters, this popular Lake Merritt spot — “the Bay Area’s favorite vegan BBQ” — is known for its plant-based versions of smoked “brisket” and barbecue “ribs.” The restaurant is open for takeout Tuesday through Sunday. Order online for pickup or delivery.

A plate at Vegan Mob Vegan Mob

7. Burma Bear

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325 19th St
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 817-4413
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The only restaurant we’re aware of that specializes in both American-style barbecue and Burmese-style side dishes, Burma Bear is makes a compelling case that nothing goes better with beef brisket or baby back ribs than some garlic noodles and coconut rice. The restaurant’s Uptown Oakland storefront is currently closed — but the business is now taking online orders for ready-to-eat plates, or cold food to heat up at home. Pre-order for pickup at the restaurant on Tuesdays

8. Everett & Jones Barbeque

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126 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 663-2350
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An Oakland classic since 1973, Everett & Jones is still serving its usual slate of ribs, brisket, and links. Stop in to one of the restaurant’s Oakland locations (in Jack London and the Laurel), or it’s Berkeley location on San Pablo.

9. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

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705 Divisadero St, San Francisco
CA, 94117
(415) 231-6993
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Celebrated meat master Ryan Farr’s Divisadero restaurant dishes out some of the best smoked meat in the Bay, especially if you’re a fan of lush, thick-sliced brisket. The side dishes are especially good, including a wicked fried mac and cheese and hot dog creation. Order online for in-store pickup or delivery or grab a seat on the patio.

10. Memphis Minnie's BBQ

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576 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 864-7675
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For a long time, Memphis Minnie’s was the standard bearer for barbecue in the city, and now, decades later and through a recent ownership change, the restaurant is still plugging away, serving solid pulled pork and brisket and its popular Wednesday special smoked pastrami. Call in or order online, for pickup or delivery, via Caviar.

11. Roderick's BBQ

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2708 98th Ave
Oakland, CA 94605
(510) 564-4648
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Located all the down in Deep East Oakland, near the Oakland Zoo, Roderick’s has become a popular destination for its pulled pork, ribs, and notably tasty collard greens.

Ellen Fort

12. MexiQ

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90nd Ave, (Walnut &, Plymouth St
Oakland, CA 94603
(510) 701-3239
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Located in Deep East Oakland, this popup and catering operation fuses slow-smoked American barbecue with Mexican flavors — so you wind up with combinations like smoked tequila brisket, Mexican street corn, and jalapeño cornbread muffins. Check out MexiQ’s weekly offerings, and order for pickup and local delivery via Instagram DM.

13. Smokin' Warehouse Barbecue

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1465 Carroll Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124
(415) 648-8881
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A takeout window at a literal warehouse in the Bayview, Smokin’ Warehouse has been a community staple for 10 years. It’s got all of the usual smoked meats, but the beef ribs — a relatively uncommon offering — are especially notable. Call in or order delivery via DoorDash or Uber Eats.

14. Sauced BBQ & Spirits

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2300 1st St Ste 120
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 961-1300
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This NorCal mini chain — with locations in Livermore, Walnut Creek, Sacramento, and San Jose — serves a range of regional barbecue specialties, including Kansas City-style burnt ends and Carolina-style pulled pork, though no one would blame you for sticking with the crowd favorite thick-sliced smoked brisket. Order online for takeout or delivery.

15. Just Potato Salad

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29587 Mission Blvd
Hayward, CA 94544
(510) 753-9667

The potato salad is, indeed, good enough to name an entire restaurant after, but this Hayward gem is mostly a barbecue restaurant, and its St. Louis-style ribs, in particular, are one of the most enjoyable versions you can find in the East Bay.

16. Capelo's Barbecue

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2655 Middlefield Rd
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 701-5433
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Although this popular food truck mostly isn’t making its regular rounds right now, the Capelo’s to-go counter in Redwood City is open for takeout, with pre-orders available online for scheduled curbside pickup. The slow-smoked brisket is the signature meat offering at Capelo’s, though the COVID-19 crisis has also inspired new offerings, like a barbecue taco kit.

17. Redwood City BBQ

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640 Woodside Rd
Redwood City, CA 94061

A relative newcomer to Redwood City — open just a month before the shelter-in-place order went into effect — this offshoot of San Jose’s South Winchester BBQ has quickly become a local favorite for its ribs and tri-tip in particular. Order online for pickup or delivery.

18. Smoked Out BBQ

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807 Aldo Ave Ste 106
Santa Clara, CA 95054
(408) 320-2971
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This newish Santa Clara barbecue spot is know for smoking some of the best beef brisket and tri-tip in the South Bay, as well as for over-the-top sides like its oxtail poutine tater tots. The restaurant is currently open for takeout during limited lunchtime hours, Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call in, order at the counter, or get delivery via DoorDash.

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1. Slow Hand BBQ

1941 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Located in a Pleasant Hill strip mall, Slow Hand does a solid job with the usual lineup of ribs and brisket, but it also gives corned beef a turn in the smoker, and the tender, intensely flavorful smoked chicken is a particularly nice surprise. Call in or get delivery via DoorDash or Grubhub. Not for nothing, the restaurant also does a nice to-go prime rib plate on Fridays.

1941 Oak Park Blvd
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

2. KC'S BBQ

1235 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94706

Reopened now after a 2017 fire, the longstanding West Berkeley neighborhood joint is best known for its pork ribs, which are available for purchase by the “short end” (aka the meatier, fattier end) or the “long end” if you don’t want a full rack. The sauce tends toward sweet and tangy.

1235 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94706

3. Pig In A Pickle

5959 Shellmound St kiosk 16, Emeryville, CA 94608
Janelle Bitker

Recently reopened in the Emeryville Public Market, Pig in a Pickle is open for preorders during limited hours — Thursdays through Sunday from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. On offer are a wide range of regional barbecue specialties: Texas-style brisket, Alabama-style smoked chicken, and Cajun-style hot links that are actually made in house. Order online. The Public Market is now also open for outdoor seating.

5959 Shellmound St kiosk 16
Emeryville, CA 94608

4. Smokin Woods BBQ Cafe

4307 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Beef rib plate at Smokin’ Woods Bill Addison

Located inside the 2nd Half sports bar, Smokin’ Woods has garnered a dedicated following for its best-in-class smoked brisket and — if you’re lucky enough to snag one — its meaty, prehistoric-sized beef ribs, they routinely sell out by dinner time.

4307 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

5. Horn Barbecue

2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607
ribs at Horn bbq Horn BBQ

Matt Horn’s acclaimed barbecue restaurant finally opened its doors in West Oakland last fall, bringing his sold-out pop-ups to permanent residency. Horn’s “West Coast barbecue” draws on meat-smoking techniques of Central Texas, producing jiggly, glistening briskets, spicy hot links, and more. Southern sides like collard greens, mac and cheese, and desserts like banana pudding are equally worth the wait.

2534 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA 94607

6. Vegan Mob

500 Lake Park Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
A plate at Vegan Mob Vegan Mob

The only one of the restaurants on this list we’d recommend to non meat eaters, this popular Lake Merritt spot — “the Bay Area’s favorite vegan BBQ” — is known for its plant-based versions of smoked “brisket” and barbecue “ribs.” The restaurant is open for takeout Tuesday through Sunday. Order online for pickup or delivery.

500 Lake Park Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

7. Burma Bear

325 19th St, Oakland, CA 94612

The only restaurant we’re aware of that specializes in both American-style barbecue and Burmese-style side dishes, Burma Bear is makes a compelling case that nothing goes better with beef brisket or baby back ribs than some garlic noodles and coconut rice. The restaurant’s Uptown Oakland storefront is currently closed — but the business is now taking online orders for ready-to-eat plates, or cold food to heat up at home. Pre-order for pickup at the restaurant on Tuesdays

325 19th St
Oakland, CA 94612

8. Everett & Jones Barbeque

126 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

An Oakland classic since 1973, Everett & Jones is still serving its usual slate of ribs, brisket, and links. Stop in to one of the restaurant’s Oakland locations (in Jack London and the Laurel), or it’s Berkeley location on San Pablo.

126 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607

9. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

705 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA, 94117

Celebrated meat master Ryan Farr’s Divisadero restaurant dishes out some of the best smoked meat in the Bay, especially if you’re a fan of lush, thick-sliced brisket. The side dishes are especially good, including a wicked fried mac and cheese and hot dog creation. Order online for in-store pickup or delivery or grab a seat on the patio.

705 Divisadero St, San Francisco
CA, 94117

10. Memphis Minnie's BBQ

576 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

For a long time, Memphis Minnie’s was the standard bearer for barbecue in the city, and now, decades later and through a recent ownership change, the restaurant is still plugging away, serving solid pulled pork and brisket and its popular Wednesday special smoked pastrami. Call in or order online, for pickup or delivery, via Caviar.

576 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

11. Roderick's BBQ

2708 98th Ave, Oakland, CA 94605
Ellen Fort

Located all the down in Deep East Oakland, near the Oakland Zoo, Roderick’s has become a popular destination for its pulled pork, ribs, and notably tasty collard greens.

2708 98th Ave
Oakland, CA 94605

12. MexiQ

90nd Ave, (Walnut &, Plymouth St, Oakland, CA 94603

Located in Deep East Oakland, this popup and catering operation fuses slow-smoked American barbecue with Mexican flavors — so you wind up with combinations like smoked tequila brisket, Mexican street corn, and jalapeño cornbread muffins. Check out MexiQ’s weekly offerings, and order for pickup and local delivery via Instagram DM.

90nd Ave, (Walnut &, Plymouth St
Oakland, CA 94603

13. Smokin' Warehouse Barbecue

1465 Carroll Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124

A takeout window at a literal warehouse in the Bayview, Smokin’ Warehouse has been a community staple for 10 years. It’s got all of the usual smoked meats, but the beef ribs — a relatively uncommon offering — are especially notable. Call in or order delivery via DoorDash or Uber Eats.

1465 Carroll Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124

14. Sauced BBQ & Spirits

2300 1st St Ste 120, Livermore, CA 94550

This NorCal mini chain — with locations in Livermore, Walnut Creek, Sacramento, and San Jose — serves a range of regional barbecue specialties, including Kansas City-style burnt ends and Carolina-style pulled pork, though no one would blame you for sticking with the crowd favorite thick-sliced smoked brisket. Order online for takeout or delivery.

2300 1st St Ste 120
Livermore, CA 94550

15. Just Potato Salad

29587 Mission Blvd, Hayward, CA 94544

The potato salad is, indeed, good enough to name an entire restaurant after, but this Hayward gem is mostly a barbecue restaurant, and its St. Louis-style ribs, in particular, are one of the most enjoyable versions you can find in the East Bay.

29587 Mission Blvd
Hayward, CA 94544

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16. Capelo's Barbecue

2655 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

Although this popular food truck mostly isn’t making its regular rounds right now, the Capelo’s to-go counter in Redwood City is open for takeout, with pre-orders available online for scheduled curbside pickup. The slow-smoked brisket is the signature meat offering at Capelo’s, though the COVID-19 crisis has also inspired new offerings, like a barbecue taco kit.

2655 Middlefield Rd
Redwood City, CA 94063

17. Redwood City BBQ

640 Woodside Rd, Redwood City, CA 94061

A relative newcomer to Redwood City — open just a month before the shelter-in-place order went into effect — this offshoot of San Jose’s South Winchester BBQ has quickly become a local favorite for its ribs and tri-tip in particular. Order online for pickup or delivery.

640 Woodside Rd
Redwood City, CA 94061

18. Smoked Out BBQ

807 Aldo Ave Ste 106, Santa Clara, CA 95054

This newish Santa Clara barbecue spot is know for smoking some of the best beef brisket and tri-tip in the South Bay, as well as for over-the-top sides like its oxtail poutine tater tots. The restaurant is currently open for takeout during limited lunchtime hours, Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call in, order at the counter, or get delivery via DoorDash.

807 Aldo Ave Ste 106
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Related Maps