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Best BBQ in Richmond, VA

  • m

What's everybody's thoughts on the best BBQ places in Richmond, VA? I've been to the following:

Scale 1-10

1) Benny's (7)
2) Chillin & Grillin (7)
3) Famous Dave's (8)
4) Bill's BBQ (4)
5) Hanks (7)
6) Andy's (7, BBQ only)
7) Red Hot & Blue (7)
8) Smokey Pig (6, WAY over-rated)
9) Allmans (7)
10) Dunn's Drive-Inn (5)

Still lookin' for the place that's just awesome.

Thanks,

Mark

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  1. Here's another vote for rockin' Benny's! I'm glad to see they are still there. I have fond memories of that place!

    1. Haven't tried Benny's, but the others fail, most miserably, at producing barbecue. Roasted and/or boiled meat with (maybe) a little smoke blown over it doesen't make barbecue. For some reason real barbecue is hard to find in the Commonwealth. They've been raising and cookin' pigs there for 400 years! Is Allman's still open?

      1. None of those places comes even close to Buz & Ned's (on Boulevard just south of the Diamond).

        Extra Billy's can serve some good q, also.

        1. The Va Barbeque Co
          752.4838 & 752.5939
          600 england st, ashland, VA 23005

          1. Try Virginia Barbecue Company in Ashland...way better than smokey pig

            1 Reply
            1. re: bk

              Benny's on the south side (never on Sunday) They are one of the few that cooks on premises. get the dinner specials, cheap. Don't listen to others.

            2. Delicious Benny's! Just ate there Monday...(i'm from Roanoke) what a treat.

              1. Where is Benny's? It is ludicrous that Richmond has only fair midwest-style BBQ, and almost no decent VA-NC style. Buz&Neds, for example, is decent, but not local. Brocks in Colonial Heights is OK, but its not in Richmond. Where are the old country boys cookin' it up?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Shroomer5

                  Check out Virginia Barbeque(listed previously in this post). You can get the NC style here and it's delicious! We drive up to Ashland just to bring a dinner pack home. Make sure you get the potato salad, too.....made with roasted potatoes, and it's just as great as the BBQ.

                2. I agree re. Buzz and Neds. We also like The Hermitage Grill's barbecue (near Lakeside Ave and Dumbarton)

                  1. My vote Benny's! Nice that it is walking distance to the house also!

                    1. In my opinion Benny's is the best, hands down, especially if you get it with their sweat potato casserole. It's fresh, and very tasty. You should check out Buzz and Ned's, their bbq is quite good also. It's sort of interesting that Famous Daves got a higher rating than Benny's.

                      1. Check out Grandpa Eddie's out West Broad Street - in Goochland - http://www.grandpaeddiesbbq.com/

                        I just tried the KC's Famous Burnt Ends Sandwich - great smoked flavor. Good service.

                        I'd go to Grandpa Eddie's over Bill's BBQ any day (had Bill's yesterday). Haven't tried the others yet for comparison.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: CutYou

                          I'd second that. They are serious about their bbq and spend alot of time making sure that it is up to snuff. I'd give them a shot......

                          1. re: CutYou

                            Please note, we have moved from our Goochland location to the corner of Three Chopt and Cox Roads, at 11129 Three Chopt. We are now also open 7 days a week. New phone number is 804-270-RIBS (7427). website is www.GrandpaEddiesBBQ.com and there is a map there to the new location. Thanks!

                            -----
                            Grandpa Eddies Barbecue
                            11129 Three Chopt Rd, Richmond, VA 23233

                          2. Another place that folks don't mention that I like for ribs is Alexander's. Very moist, tender, with a great sauce.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hopkid

                              Virginia Barbeque in Lakeside has awesome NC and VA BBQ! Yummy!!!

                            2. hands down...Virginia BBQ Company. Allmans was horrible!

                              1. Virginia Barbeque Company is by far THE BEST. Great NC and VA style BBQ. Check out the link below for more information and franchise opportunity. My second choice is Benny's BBQ.

                                http://www.virginiabbq.com/vabbqhome....

                                1. I was just driving through this past week and the wife and I stopped by to try Buzz and Ned's. We were both somewhat disappointed after seeing all of the stuff on TV and on the web.. We got a half rack of ribs, a pork sandwich and a chicken sandwich. The ribs were well smoked and had a good texture they were burnt when finished/sauced on the grill. Also my wife and I did not like the sauce which had way to much honey for our tastes (native North Carolinians). As for the pulled pork and chicken, again both seemed to be well smoked but the sauce did it in. The sides were nothing special and were of similar quality of other BBQ joints we've been to (we had cole slaw, onion rings and hush puppies).

                                  My recommendation is order the items without the sauce or on the side. This way you can control the sweetness that can over power the pork. Personally I would do like we did for the few years we lived in Colorado and that was bring our own NC style sauce (i.e. vinegar based). We had a place that used traditional hickory smoking but the sauce just was just too sweet like we experienced at buzz and Ned's.

                                  All in all I would say Buzz and Ned's does a good job on their smoking but we feel the rest of the menu is typical. Would we eat there again? If we are going through Richmond around meal time and felt like BBQ we probably will. Of course we would ask to have the sauce left off. Would we make special plans to go there? Probably not.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: overload_1971

                                    We got a bunch of pulled pork from Benny's this weekend and it was fabulous. It's smoked and served with sauce (vinegar based) on the side and it was all kinds of delightful!

                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                      Of those, Benny's is the only one I've tried, and I like it. My cafeteria also does a nice job with smoked, pulled pork (believe it or not).

                                      We, too, have been generally disappointed by the barbeque in these parts. The best I've had have been made my home cooks.

                                    2. I haven't tried it, but I work in Petersburg and many of the folks around here swear by King's on Wagner Rd for NC style

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. The most unique BBQ I have had in Richmond and my favorite is Phat Boyz BBQ. It is located right next to Green Top Sporting Goods.

                                        1. What does everyone mean by VA-style bbq? The bbq that I have when I'm up in Virginia is identical to eastern NC bbq as far as I can tell. The only odd man out that I've seen is beef bbq done in eastern nc sauce, but even at that, ENC style pork seems to be more popular by far.

                                          Anyway, I'm a huge fan of K&L Barbecue in Hopewell and the Stony Creek Tastee Hut in Stony Creek.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Naco

                                            VA style is red tomato-based

                                            1. re: kcl060

                                              Where have you had tomato based barbecue sauce in Virginia? I've eaten bbq at a fair few places in the Tidewater and the southern Piedmont, and with the exception of obviously nouvelle places like Buz and Ned's, it's always been eastern NC style. Even at places that serve beef bbq, like K&L, they use an eastern NC sauce on it.

                                          2. I am a Buzz and Ned's fan. I am not really a fan of NC style BBQ (sorry, but spent too much time in Texas and am not really that fond of the taste of vinegar) and that may be why.

                                            1. There's a parking lot in the plaza across from Beulah Elementary school (corner of Hopkins and Beulah rd) where they have a guy out there barbecuing ribs, pulled pork, etc and I've heard it's delicious! They're out there every Friday and Saturday during the summer (maybe even Sundays, but I'm not sure). They start up pretty early, too, it seems. I passed by there around 11AM one day and they were there. The hours are on a huge sign at the intersection. You can see it best coming from Beulah crossing over Hopkins when the gas station is on your left and the parking lot with the grilling is on your right.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: kcl060

                                                actually yea, that's true. his sauce pretty much sucks but he does good ribs without any sauce at all. Just got some today. His pulled pork is awesome too, but the sauce is just lacking...take it home and doctor it up...he's gotten expensive tho in terms of ribs. $9 for a half a rack...c'mon. no sides, no restaurant rent, pass on the savings, man

                                                1. re: kcl060

                                                  If he is selling pasture raised pork the the 9 bucks is cheap.

                                              2. Had some TASTY ribs at Q's

                                                Smoky and the sauce is on the side the brisket is Ok and the pulled pork better, but its the ribs that keep me going.

                                                Is in a strip mall but the smoking is done there (you can smell it when you go in)

                                                Has anyone else tried?

                                                Q Barbeque
                                                www.qbarbeque.com

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Landru

                                                  Yep...I'm a fan. The ribs and the smoked chicken are my favorite. The pulled pork is Dh's fav.

                                                2. Buz and Ned's. Hands down the best BBQ I have ever had. Incredible.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                    1. re: beauxgoris

                                                      i know people have their issues with them, but i just picked up ribs from there the other day on the way home from work and while crazy pricey, they were awesome. sides were good too.

                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                        alamo barbecue. 22nd and Jefferson in Union Hill-- on the border with Church Hill-- great jalapena mac n cheese too.

                                                        1. re: junkifunki

                                                          i agree 100%. awesome pit out back. great mustard based potato salad among other things. really nice employees. there's a great meal deal for under 10 bucks. sandwich, two sides, desert, and drink. its a paper bag that feels like it has to weigh at least 5 pounds. i get them to cut the sandwich into 2 pieces and i have never had a problem with it feeding 2 people.

                                                        2. re: AMFM

                                                          I got two critical emails from Buz in response to a post I made on a food blog. The first email was bad enough, but the second one was enough that I will definitely never go there again.

                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                            wow. that's a really big issue. would make me not go there either.

                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                              Wow. Haven't been there but was planning to check it out. Won't now. Food blogs are for customer communication, not owner retaliation.

                                                              1. re: 1Buckeye

                                                                He also spoke very unkindly regarding other BBQ places in town and their owners.

                                                                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                  He can definitely be rude and abrasive. Got to the point where I wouldn't call the place anymore (which I guess was his goal, but since some people were still able to do call ahead takeout even after I was told they dont do it anymore, who knows )

                                                                  Of course, other BBQ owners have also been mocking him lately too, on the time it took to open the new place.

                                                                  For me, I like his beef ribs a lot, enough to where I just suck it up and buy some every so often; because doing beef ribs at home on my smoker would be a lot of time and effort. So even if he can be a miserable cuss at times, he is saving me a lot of work for my beef rib fix

                                                                  But I would be a regular as opposed to a once or twice a year visitor like I am now if he wasn't, well, who he is.

                                                    2. A week ago, Raymond Sokolov wrote a column in the Wall St. Journal on Richmond BBQ. He only covered two places but was ecstatic about Hank's. Buzz and Ned's got a nod for their ribs but not their brisket sandwich. I haven't been to either place but was posting this to add to the conversation.

                                                      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

                                                      Off topic, he also had accolades for Millie's and, having been there for a weekend breakfast, I would concur.

                                                      1. Hands down the best BBQ, ribs, chicken, brisket you will ever eat. Don't believe me? Check the owner/chef out on the show BBQ Pitmasters on TLC. They place well above all the other "BBQ states" in the nation on quite a regular basis.

                                                        -----
                                                        P Q's Bbq
                                                        13579 Midlothian Tpke, Midlothian, VA 23113

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: gariposh

                                                          We love PQ's, and have eaten there for the past 19 years. Not only is the bbq delicious, but the brunswick stew and hushpuppies are so good, we usually get some to go for the next day.

                                                        2. In the town of Waverly off of Rt. 460 just south of Petersberg, there is a place called Cowlings BBQ that is very good. It would be a good 35 minute drive from Richmond, but it is worth it. I always get their large chopped BBQ plate.

                                                          1. I find it interesting that no one has mention Extra Billy's on Broad St. It's been awhile since I've been but really liked their ribs. They have very good brisket for the area and do sausage too. http://www.extrabillys.com/

                                                            2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                Funny! That's what I wanted to say, but didn't have the nerve! I think their sausage is actually pretty good, but the rest of their BBQ is just OK.

                                                            1. Big Daddy's 9
                                                              Benny's 8
                                                              Q bbq 8

                                                              Buz and Ned's to me isn't that great. Love Bennys (esp. their bread pudding, yum!) But I really like Big Daddy's which is a tinnny place on Jahnke Rd. You can only pick up, you can't eat in, but everything there is sooo good and tender. I usually get the NCarolina BBQ (although they have great regular Q) and their corn fritters are amazing. Q BBQ is located near the Walmart/ Sams on Midlo near Midlo high school. They have really fresh BBQ, and I like the atmosphere and graphics of the whole place.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: LovingLimes

                                                                Big Daddy's sometimes has a stand at the Forest Hill Park Farmer's Market - they do have good BBQ. I love Benny's, I haven't eaten there in awhile - the Benny's lovers are making me want to get over there for some BBQ, soon.......

                                                                1. re: LovingLimes

                                                                  I wasn't that impressed with Q. I think I went in there with my expectations too high so I may have to try it again. Benny's and PQ's are the best.

                                                                  1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                    I really enjoyed the ribs at Q, but wasn't super impressed with the BBQ or the sauce. The brisket was also pretty good. I like it more for the atmosphere, cool beer selection, nice interior, etc.

                                                                2. I spent last weekend in Richmond visiting form NYC and I was on the lookout for awesome barbecue. Here's what I ate:

                                                                  On Friday we had an awesome lunch at Comfort. I had a special sliced beef sandwich that was unreal! The slices were so thin and rare it was like carpaccio. Just delicious with excellent sides. I really dug the vibe and found the service from both owner and staff friendly and engaging. These people are doing great things with comfort food, period. Glad to finally join the fan club.

                                                                  On Saturday we decided on Benny's. While the atmosphere simple and service friendly, the food was totally forgettable. The pork and beef were both very dry and the ribs were missing that smoke/ juicy fat rush that makes you say wow. I had high hopes but ultimately it proved a real disappointment. Hopefully next time I'm proved wrong.

                                                                  On Sunday we weren't really looking for more 'Cue, but a friend from the area suggested Virginia Barbecue Company in Ashland. We had no idea it was a chain- or that this was the original location. Set in a simple tiny, 100+ year-old house, it feels worn but warm. There's only 4 tables in the place and one of them was occupied by nice older woman chomping on a pulled-pork sandwich. I got the sampler of brisket, carolina and virginia pork. Wow. The brisket, while not very smoky, was tender and juicy. The carolina pork was the most spot-on I've had outside on NC, and the Virginia pork was a revelation- salty and rich with surprisingly subtle tomato and spice.

                                                                  Now this is a chain so I don't know how legit it is... or whether they even cook it on location. However, I do know that it was delicious and I'd stop there again in a heartbeat if I happened to be tooling around north of Richmond.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Virginia Barbecue
                                                                  11552 Busy St, Richmond, VA 23236

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: bhill

                                                                    so glad you got to comfort. it's a great spot!

                                                                    1. re: bhill

                                                                      I too was really disappointed with Benny's. After reading a lot of good stuff on here, I expected to really enjoy my meal, but it was average to sub par. I won't be back. : (

                                                                    2. It sounds like you all are have been trying too many of the heard ofs! Check out some of the hole in the wall places, they usually have much better BBQ!

                                                                      Sibley's in Chester and
                                                                      PQ's in Midlothian

                                                                      Both have great BBQ in a simple atmosphere!!

                                                                      1. still love TDs. have been back recently. total dive but yummy. and now that the smoker's out front it smells amazing every time i drive by.
                                                                        the ribs, chicken, pulled pork/chicken and the sides are all great.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: AMFM

                                                                          Richmond seems to have a lot of BBQ places that are just meh. But saying Famous Dave's BBQ is the best is like saying Olive Garden is the best Italian in Richmond. Ludicrous! Buz & Ned's is okay as well. Their price is so high, it doesn't seem worth it. Best bang for your buck for BBQ I have found is 2 places in Midlothian, VA - Q's next to Walmart and the Virginia BBQ Company on Busy St. off of Hugeneot Rd. Again, I think you gotta go to Texas for good BBQ, we really don't have anything that is out of this world. It's all meh. I've been to Benny's also,, and just thought it was okay. For BBQ it just makes sense to go wherever it is convenient for you. Not much variation if you ask me.

                                                                        2. Phat boyz in Glen Allen next to Green Top has EXCELLENT bbq....everything is made fresh there and the smell of the outside smoker will draw you in...well worth it...www.phatboyzbbq.com
                                                                          You will be back!

                                                                          1. For me the best is King's BBQ http://www.kingsfamousbarbecue.com/ although it is just south of Petersburg.

                                                                            Best in Richmond area for me is Q.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: NXS

                                                                              I'm newly all about Eley's in Petersburg. Great bbq, sauce and onion rings. Petersburg seems to have a lot of great 'cue.

                                                                              1. re: NXS

                                                                                Has anyone tried Willie's? It is outside of Richmond in Bottoms Bridge off of I-64. Looks like it may be a good q joint.

                                                                                http://williesbbqva.com/

                                                                                1. re: wlesedd

                                                                                  I made it to Willie's. Not recommended. You know its not a good sign when you see a bunch of propane tanks next to the building.

                                                                              2. How about Dickey's Barbecue at Forest Hill and Chippenham? They are a Texas barbecue joint with some great barbecue.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: thens98475

                                                                                  Haven't been there but they are a chain and I haven't heard many good things about them.

                                                                                2. I went to Saucy's BBQ in Petersburg today. It was great. Its a little Q joint made out of a shipping container. For real. Check it out.

                                                                                  http://www.saucysbbq.com/

                                                                                   
                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: wlesedd

                                                                                    I saw that it was listed in Southern Living, which is usually not a bad indicator. Never heard of it, usually I hit Kings when I am in that area.

                                                                                    1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                      I stopped at Saucy's on my way to Norfolk last week and was disappointed by it. Though their sauce was good - vinergary, not what I expected - their shipping container seems to belie that they are reheating, not barbecuing on site. The ribs were actually quite meaty and had a reasonable crust. The pulled pork and beef was reheated and pretty tasty. They have a few tables with umbrellas.