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Best BBQ Ribs in NYC

I'm in the mood for some really good ribs. Any suggestions?

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  1. IMHO, Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem has the best ribs around. I love their babyback ribs, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and slathered in killah sauce. You can add more at the table since they have bottles out of their regular sauce and the hotter stuff if that's the way you like it. Great atmosphere and the friendliest staff around. Little wonder it's always packed but you can get reservations online. http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/nyc/in...

    4 Replies
    1. re: pkallan

      I'm going here this week and am trying to decide what I should order as my side dishes. Any recs?

      1. re: gloriousfood

        I like their mac & cheese and cole slaw. My wife likes the slaw and the salt potatoes. Make sure you start with an order of wings - they're terrific with the "wango tango" sauce. BTW, for mains, I suggest you get your sauce on the side.

        1. re: Striver

          Why on the side? Thanks for your suggestions on the sides, btw. The last time I was there I had their simmered greens, which was pretty good.

          1. re: gloriousfood

            I always ask for it on the side because they tend to slather it on if you don't, and the ribs as a rule are good enough that they don't need much - if any - sauce.

    2. I went to Daisy May's last night. I had the Memphis style ribs (pork) and they were very good. I was not blown away but they were good - probably the best I've tasted in NY. Let's face it - you really need to head south / southwest to get the great stuff.
      The sides at Daisy May's were KILLER! The red eye gravy, creamed spinach and the bourbon cooked peaches were amazing!

      I've tried Dinosaur. The food was good but it doesn't really stick out for me.

      1. I like Blue Smoke a lot, but it can be pricey for what you get. They do have this stuff called Fry Bread (which is basically deep fried bread) and it's delicious, served with a spicy mayo.

        Haven't been to RUB, which I've heard is good. Dinosaur sounds great...and as a fan of BBQ I'm going to have to check it out...

        1. I recommend Virgil's Real Barbecue in Times Square. It sort of strikes you as tourist (and is...) but the ribs and sauce are pretty great! Better than Dinosuar and RUB in my opinion.

          1. In order of my preference....

            Dinosaur BBQ is my favorite for food and value, I think quite a bit better than Virgil's. Plus Fairway's right there, do some shopping.

            Blue Smoke is also quite good, but pricy. Jazz club in the basement is high cover and short sets but good acts.

            Virgil's is very easy to get to, and reasonably good. Got a jones for swine and not a lot of time....

            Brother Jimmy's is OK if you like a drunken frat party environment.

            Spanky's BBQ is right near by Virgil's, but I thought it was terrible.

            Havent tried Daisy May's or RUB, but now I will!

              1. Is it worth going to Brother Jimmy's BBQ on 2nd Ave. and 77th?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Feed Me

                  No, not really. It feels like a frat party plus grill. Granted, I went on a Friday night at 10 pm, but the service is mediocre and the food was sub par. The candied yams were yummy, but our chicken wasn't great and the bbq sauce was unremarkable.

                2. Dinosaur BBQ is the ticket! The smokey, tender ribs are so flavorful you rarely think of anything else, however, they have so much more going for them; beer selections are great, live music a total bonus as are the fried green tomatoes and wango tango wings. The only thing that beats it is the original Dinosaur in Syracuse!

                  1. Did anyone see the recent after hours episode at dinosaur bbq?
                    Everything looked so good. The thing that I love most about Dinosaur besides the amazing food is that its an experience. You don't feel like you are in nyc.

                      1. The Oklahoma Jumbo Beef Rib from Daisy May's is one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. Like meat candy.

                        As for Blue Smoke, try the Salt & Pepper ribs.

                        I thought RUB was a little disappointing, but I was only there once when they first opened... it seems like BBQ places take a little while to get things right.

                        1. At the risk of getting heat from the BBQ aficionados on the board-I really like Houston's Baby Back Ribs. A bit pricey at $26, some may say a bit too saucy, some may say the sauce is too sweet, but you can eat the ribs w/a spoon and they are quite tasty imho.
                          Now I've been to my share of rundown bbq shacks all over the country and for fair disclosure my standard order is a pulled pork sandwich not ribs but having said that when I get the urge for ribs I head to Houston's- the one at 54th & 3rd.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Fallon

                            My boyfriend loves the baby back ribs at Houston's too. We have tried most of the restaraunts listed in this post, but he always seems to crave those from Houston's!

                            1. re: Fallon

                              The only flak I would offer is that the ribs at Houstons are par boiled (hence the tenderness), then grilled with a sauce. A criminal shortcut in my view. Authentic southern BBQ is slow smoked with a dry spice rub or repeatedly mopped with a sauce, a process that typically takes hours of labor. The best BBQ does not even require a sauce!

                              Love Virgils - the closest to what I had when stationed all over the south, and am looking forward to trying Dinosaur and RUB.

                            2. A long-end half rack at RUB tonight could not have been better.

                              1. RUB is the best smoked meat place in Manhattan. The BBQ sauce is unnecessary

                                1. Rack & Soul has great ribs - the food far outshines Dinosaur BBQ and Daisy Mae. The smoked pulled pork is also fantastic. Good place for sweet tea and other southern-style favorites.

                                  1. I really like the st. louis ribs at blue smoke. fatty and tasty - not too sweet. the sides there are also good, and i like the blue smoke ale. im no expert, though...

                                    1. Royal Rib House , Halsey Ave and Troop Ave in Bed Stuy
                                      5 Spot on Mrytle Ave in Ft Greene
                                      Virgils in Midtown
                                      Brothers Jimmies ,
                                      Acme, SOHO

                                      1. I have to say I was a little disappointed with Blue Smoke. Just didn’t do it for me.

                                        I am a fan of Daisy Mays, and I am looking forward to trying Dinosaur’s.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                          Was at dino last night. Again it was very good great smoke flavor the same as i remember Salt lick. Im an ex texan so i like mine dry with sauce on the side.
                                          Its better than blue smoke anyday. On the prices you cant beat dino for the quality get the sweatheat deal full rack and 4 sides = $21. I even had left overs the next day. The only small complaint was that they dont take the skin of the back of the ribs(might be a times saving thing). They are so heavily smoked that the skin is too tough to eat.

                                          If its parboiled(cheap shortcut) it aint real BBQ. If its totally falling of the bone its overcooked. Im gonna smoke 5 racks this Sat and see if i can beat dinos ribs.

                                        2. I am a fan of Blue Smoke and Brother Jimmys. Blue Smoke is more upscale (than BJ) and is pretty good. Brother Jimmy's is a very fun atmosphere (for the younger crowd - 20s/30s) and has some great wings, ribs, etc. Sides are pretty good at both.

                                          However, if you want real BBQ, time to get on a plane and head south....NY just doesn't cut it.

                                          1. Next to my kitchen its RUB hands down.

                                            1. I like Dinosaur, but probably for sentimental reasons more than anything else. But for flavor, if you're willing to make it up to 125th St. for Dinosaur, then I highly recommend MoBay, just west of 5th Ave. on 125th St. (there's one in Fort Greene as well, but I haven't tried it). Their dry rub is some of the best I've had in NYC (perhaps not saying much, I know) and beats the pants out of something like Virgil's.

                                              1. Daisy Mae's was a big, BIG let down. Cafeteria style meant dried out sides.

                                                1. Virgil's is infinitely better quality than Dinosaur. i live near Dinosaur and go back occasionally to see if it has improved and I'm always disappointed. Dinosaur's ribs aren't nearly as tender or as flavorful as Virgil's (they leave the ribs in the wood smoker for the right amount of time at Virgil's - most places either go for a significantly shorter smoke on their ribs and you can tell the difference, or they let them dry out, which is unforgiveable. They also use three kinds of wood in the smoker for a more complex flavor.) I also have to respectfully disagree with the previous dry rub comment. The dry rub at the other places mentioned, while respectable, isn't as complex as the rub at Virgil's by a long shot. Don't let the location fool you - its not some stupid tourist spot. I've been eating there since 1996 and none of the newer places in the city stack up.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: rootheee

                                                    I'm a Dinosaur fan...the best value in NY and now that you can make reservations on Open Table, you can avoid the long waits. In warm weather, eat outside at the picnic tables, it's a show in itself.

                                                    Believe it our not, recently had an excellent brisket sandwich at Southern Hospitality..moist and flavorful with good sides.

                                                    Although Virgil's has become more touristy over the years, I can't resist their hush puppies, better than all the others and I still enjoy Blue Smoke, the elegant barbecue experience and miss Pearson's on UES.

                                                  2. Dallas Jones BBQ is excellent as well!

                                                    1. Gotta go with the Dinosaur. Been eating their ribs since Syracuse in the 90s and still love 'em! They do put sauce on them, but most importantly, they don't drown them in it. You can ask for sauce on the side and get them dry. They do have a good smoke flavor and ring from the (real) smoker, a nice char from the grill and the spice rub makes for a good bark after sitting in the smoker for hours.
                                                      I loved the Kansas City Sweet and Sticky ribs from Daisy May's. Lots of sauce cooked into the ribs and lots of tender meat. I can't remember if there was a good smoke flavor, but I do recall foregoing the napkins and licking my fingers! Yeahm, that's right! Not mad about their sides and felt they were lacking and sat around for a bit. They really need to shoot a new commercial as the one they're airing now makes me want to jump out of a window. Enough with the screeching already!
                                                      Georgia's Eastside BBQ on Orchard St and Great Jones cafe have some tasty ribs, though they're not smoked at all, but I'd get them again. Very tender. Great Jones' veer off the BBQ path with a sweet, possibly Asian influenced sauce. Blue Smoke's ribs were too chewy for me as was the pork rib at Hill Country. I liked the rest of my food both times I went to Hill Country. I like Virgils, but can't remember what I had there other than some really good BBQ ham. Spanky's-you couldn't pay me enough to return there. Heartland, please stick to brewing mediocre beer and don't put the smoker in the front of the house and then have the waitress tell me how she can smell the smoke coming from it when it's cold. RUB-been there many times, but never had the ribs, perhaps on my next trip. Any suggestions for what type of ribs I should get. I like 'em tender, unsauced, meaty, with just a subtle tug to pull the meat off the bone.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: billyboy

                                                        RUB BBQ in chelsea is pretty great --- not too fancy inside, but if your in the mood for some solid american bbq, this is it.

                                                      2. IMHO, Daisy May's is the best in new york, hands down. Their offerings (in particular, the Memphis dry-rub) are not doused in a heavy sauce, allowing you to actually taste the ribs. The meat is so tender, it melts off the bone. As others have mentioned here, the sides are to die for (you just HAVE to try the sweet tea).

                                                        My main complaint with Dinosaur and Blue Smoke is that their meat is not very flavorful by itself, and relies too heavily on the bbq sauce (which, at Blue Smoke, is not all that flavorful either).

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: chinezfud

                                                          I love Daisy Mae's. Like chinezfud says above, the flavor runs DEEP. You can tell the difference!

                                                        2. Pork: R.U.B.
                                                          Beef: Hill Country