I moved here 3 years ago from South Carolina, and the one food I constantly find myself missing dreadfully - and have never found done well in Chicago - is BBQ. At this point I'd take any style - Southern, Texan, KC....any reccos?
What places have you been to already?
I like Robinson's on Armitage, Fat Willy's, Hecky's in Evanston, Merle's in Evanston,
Honey 1 gets rave reviews, but I haven't tried it.
I presume you've searched earlier threads, because BBQ is discussed a lot on this board. If not, here are some recent discussions:
A big endorsement for Fat Willy's, try the pulled pork or the brisket, enough food for a horse
If you get out toward the western suburbs, a VERY good BBQ joint is Uncle Bub's in Westmont. It's on Cass Avenue two blocks south of the Burlington tracks.
The meat is properly smokey- ribs, tips, brisket, chicken, sausage, pulled shoulder; the sauce is middle-of-the-road not too sweet, a spicy version if you want. Everything is made in-house- slaw, fries are hand-cut, beans, all the trimmings are custom made.
He does a lot of catering, too. Our Rotary Club had him handle a BBQ for 400 a year ago for the Rotary International 100th year Convention here in Chicago- it went off flawlessly and we got accolades from Rotarian guests from all over the world for some months afterward.
Try it; you'll like it.
I haven't found a place that does Southern food right either - who knew it was that hard - but I really like the Horseshoe Bar on Lincoln . . . decent ribs and the brisket is good to outstanding depending on the night. I thought Fat Willy's was OK but the sauces were a little weird, like they were full of MSG.
Also it's not Southern style but the $6 order of short ribs at Sticky Rice on Western (it's a Thai place) is amazing, I usually get that when I have to have something barbecued or I will die.
I listed a number of places in the post linked to above by Darren. But where are you looking to find bbq? North side? South side? And are you looking for pulled pork, ribs, tips?
My favorite spot on the north side for ribs and tips is Honey 1. They do bbq the way it's meant to be done -- spareribs (not baby back), slow cooked over wood (you'll know you're near when you're a block away and see the smoke billowing). Fat Willy's is ok, but has nothing compared to Honey 1. I would also urge anyone to stay far away from Robinson's -- it's like Twin Anchors, no smoke, no slow cooking and thus, not real bbq . . . just rib jello!
Honey 1 is at 2241 N. Western Avenue, phone: 773.227.5130. Here's a link with a number of great pictures of their food:
If you're looking for good bbq on the south side, see the aforementioned link.