Six spots for barbecue
Hit one of these barbecue joints for your Labor day picnic.
1 Smoque (3800 N Pulaski Rd, 773-545-7427) The line often winds around the block at this Northwest Side ’cue fave. The beautifully marbled brisket’s the star of the show, but the St. Louis spareribs and chicken are equally droolworthy.
2 Lilly’s Q (1856 W North Ave, 773-772-5500) The pink-tinged pulled pork and thick slices of smoked tri-tip at this Wicker Park spot prove chef-owner Charlie McKenna is every bit deserving of that Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue trophy behind the bar.
3 RUB BBQ Company (2407 W Lunt St, 773-675-1410)The smoke leans a bit light at this Rogers Park newbie, but it’s a solid choice for North Siders looking for tender brisket, pulled pork with a bright apple flavor and pulled chicken that moves deep into comforting Thanksgiving territory.
4 HONEY ONE BBQ (2241 N Western Ave, 773-227-5130)The father and son behind this rib house hail from a part of Arkansas where smokers are more common than microwaves. We suggest ordering up a couple of slabs of meaty, tender spareribs, a whole mess of rib tips and a plate of hot links. If you’re still hungry after the main event, juicy smoked chicken and crispy catfish should round things out.
5 Smoke Signals (7137 S State St, 773-783-1855) Ali Lahiani spent a decade building up a rep by driving around town towing a smoker welded to a boat trailer. Now, he’s got a simple storefront right off the Dan Ryan and invested in a Chicago-style aquarium smoker to turn out his signature rib tips, half chickens and weekend-only beef short ribs.
6 Honky Tonk BBQ (1213 W 18th St, 312-226-7427) Willie Wagner started off with a portable smoker at the Hideout Block Party and Northalsted Market Days. Now he’s set up shop in Pilsen to serve his “Memphis-style,” dry-rubbed barbecue. The smoky pulled pork clocks in as one of the best around. Tender, juicy chicken comes in second.