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What's the best BBQ restaurant in NYC ?

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I've heard some said 'Virgil BBQ' some said 'Persons BBQ,' Any recommendatons ? Thank you.

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  1. The ONLY authentic BBQ in NYC is at Pearson's. It is Texas BBQ in and is in Queens. It is only 4 tables in the back of a sportsbar, but the bbq is very good.

    Virgil's is your best bet in Manhattan. It is big, busy, and has decent BBQ which is a mixture of different bbq styles. They have their off nights, but you should be alright.

    Do a search of the main chowhound page for more info.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jayask

      When was the last time you were at Pearson's, because it hasn't been Pearson's for a couple of years...

      For what it's worth, NY Mag came out with their Best of issue and had RUB as the Best:

      And the NY Times has an article that visits a handful of places:

      My suggestion is take the Times article and decide for yourself. That way you to can make broad characterizations of what's the best, but at least you will be informed :-


      PS - If you ar going to Virgil's, have the Chicago Dog.

      1. re: RICKO

        gotta agree on the nyt's article. peter meehan's writeup was pretty good.

    2. I remeber my first time in Virgil's I asked the waitress which kind of ribs she would recommend, to which she replied: "Oh I don't know, I don't eat animal flesh."

      1. I'm a fan of Daisy Mae's and I'm a Texan. it isn't authentic but it is decent and their combo deals are somewhat impressive. Antoher good one is Pies and Thighs in Brooklyn.

        1. I don't think Pearson's even exists anymore, at least it doesn't in Manhattan and Virgil's is horrible. Blue Smoke or RUB are the ways to go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mobahat

            Correct...Pearson's RIP in both locations. The queens location is now called Ranger Texas bbq and according to recent reports has been supposedly improving steadily.

          2. Dinosaur BBQ and Blue Smoke are my two favorites.

            1. My vote is for Daisy Mae's over Blue Smoke and Virgil, though I haven't tried RUB or Dinosaur.

              1. Dinosaur is a great place. The BBQ is excellent, the brew is cold, and the prices are more than fair. What more do you want ???

                1. I've really enjoyed Rub the few times I've been there. I'm also a fan of Blue Smoke, though the waits can be unbearble. Tried Rack and Soul the other day (which I suppose is a soul food restaurant but they serve the same things a BBQ restaurant serves) and was underwhelmed, though the ribs were good. Virgil's has been a mixed bag for me but I have had some enjoyable dinners there.

                  My rec would be Rub, but you can't go wrong with Blue Smoke either.

                  1. i was REALLY impressed with the meal i had from daisy mae's. pork and especially beef ribs were outstanding, the pulled pork was good, and the sides almost managed to hold their own. in brooklyn, i highly recommend the pulled pork at pies and thighs, either in a sandwich for lunch/dinner or in hash for brunch (their fried chicken is pretty perfect, as well).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: wleatherette

                      Has P&T changed at all since Stephen left? I haven't heard anything at all about quality changing, just curious if anything has been different....I know their sauce has mellowed some.

                      1. re: BackyardChef

                        i don't think so. i've had a few meals (at least) since he left, and they were great. i'm pretty impressed with their consistancy.

                    2. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      I've tried a number of places and here's what I thought:
                      1.) Virgil's-Touristy, but moist, smoky ham. Don't remember much else, but I would go back.
                      2.) Blue Smoke- Expensive Q, good deviled eggs, too chewy salt and pepper beef ribs (I prefer my meat to slide off the bone with a minimum of pull on my part.
                      3. Pearson's-closed for about a year and a half now. It was in the back of Legend's Bar in Jackson Heights (now home to Ranger's Barbeque, haven't tried it yet). Moved to E. 81st St. a while back and didn't get much business. My buddy was the manager there and they really did have a great cracked corn pudding app that was a smooth , tasty cross between a corn soup and a corn souffle and their 14 hour smoked brisket was a like a hard, smoky punch in the mouth. I loved it. It is missed. I don't even know if Robert Pearson is in the 'cue business anymore.
                      4. RUB-like it a lot. I went the first week and they were working out the kinks. Service was kinda slow and they were still working out the menu. I thought the pork was a bit mushy and the turkey was a bit flat tasting. The ribs were porky, meaty, and had a lot of flavor. The burnt ends were great. Smoky, fatty, and lots of sauce. The beans were killer! Goopy and lots a flavor from the burnt ends strewn throughout. I thought it was kinda pricey, but it is NYC. My #2 choice.
                      5. Dinosaur Barbecue- I should preface this by saying that I grew up not far from the original place in Syracuse and wasted many a night there on beer and 'cue, so I definitely have a bias. I've always loved it and I'm a big fan of the NYC branch as well. I've been there numerous times and just went last night. They've got great ribs, porky, meaty, not quite fall-off-the-bone tender, a wicked crust from the rub. These ones are wet, but you could probably get them dry if you ask. The pulled pork is moist and had soft pieces as well as some of the bark, to. A nice contrast. The chicken is usually pretty moist, although a bit dry last night. The brisket is pretty good, but not as good as Pearson's was. Always a good choice are the deviled eggs, tangy and hit with some creole spice on top instead of paprika for a nice zip. Any of the wings are a good bet, but the Wango Tangos are perfect. Smoked, then grilled and basted in their sauce. They aren't burn your mouth hot, but after a few, you feel a little bite of the habanero pepper sauce. The sides are pretty good too. I love the BBQ beans with pulled pork in them. The cornbread is not too moist and has a nice glaze of honey on top. The mac and cheese is nice and custardy and cheesy. They've also got Syracuse style salt potatoes (a welcome memory from home) and the fries are top notch too. Ok, now I have to go there soon. Hope this was helpful.

                      1. I've been going to Virgils for years, I've never had a problem with the staff, the food has always been wonderful and the wait has never been a problem. I've also been told that the wine/beer selection is quite impressive. As for the one vegetarian waitress, in a place of that size, one member of the waitstaff is no indicator of how good the restaurant is.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hungry_fox

                          just an (to me amusing) anecdote.

                        2. Dino and Daisy May. (The Times article was a bit unfair to Dino's, methinks.) Never been to RUB, but I hear excellent things.

                          1. RUB hands down. Go early as they run out of St. Louis cut ribs which I prefer over the leaner baby backs. It's consistently excellent. I've eaten at Blue Smoke many times, very good but the ribs are always a bit too dry for me. Daisy May's is good, I prefer the chicken to the ribs there.

                            Nobody's mentioning Bone Lick Park on Greenwich Avenue. It's usually pretty good but inconsistent. The beef ribs there are delicious.

                                1. Spanky's C
                                  Virgil's C+
                                  Copelands C+ (their fried chicken gets an A-)
                                  Rack and Soul B
                                  Dinosaur B+
                                  Daisy May A- (I've only tried the pulled pork and brisket)
                                  Blue Smoke A (only been once. Too expensive, but the ribs blew my mind.)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Paul N

                                    What Daisy May does best is ribs,and the Memphis dry rub are my choice, a slight edge over the K.C. sweet, but both are great.

                                  2. I am only familiar with Daisy Mae's from their pushcart, but what I've gotten has been excellent.

                                    I've been to Virgil's a few times and love it. It's good when you just want some barbecue, but note that it is almost always crowded and a bit chaotic. But just focus on the food. :--)

                                    I went to Blue Smoke once and I seem to recall I liked it.